The Medal of Honor Soundtrack Collection

Dan Audio Projects

My latest soundtrack project, the Medal of Honor Soundtrack Collection, was released today. This immense eight-disc box set features over nine hours of music by Michael Giacchino, Christopher Lennertz, and Ramin Djawadi, for the acclaimed video game series.  My involvement was not in producing the album set, but rather to write the extensive liner notes for the collection.  To do so, I did hours of research (yes, I even played some of the games), and interviewed all three composers, as …

Last Night in Madrid, and the Best Italian Food!

Dan Spain (2010)

I got about two hours of naptime before waking up to meet up with everyone in the lobby downstairs.  We headed over to an Italian restaurant where a bunch of the guests were going to eat, but Giacchino and his group (as well as myself) were only going to get drinks, and then get dinner elsewhere with Maria’s friends.  This restaurant was in a bit of a tight space, and with eight of us standing by the bar for drinks, …

Wandering Around Madrid

Dan Spain (2010)

After settling in the hotel, I met up with Giacchino, his sister Maria, his assistant Andrea, her sister Iris and her mom Rohnda, and the six of us headed out to go wander a bit around Madrid.  We walked by the palace, but it was so hot that we decided we needed to get some kind of ice cream.  A gentleman at a restaurant pointed us towards Palazzo, which was supposed to have some of the best gelato in the …

Symphonic Concert of Film Music

Dan Spain (2010)

The concert – as most things in Ubeda – started late, around 9:40pm.  Giacchino kicked things off (literally) by giving the mayor of the city a soccer ball autographed by all the composers, and then tossing two more into the crowd to the fans.  He played music from The Family Stone, Lost, Medal of Honor, and Up.  He was followed by Lennertz, who played music from Medal of Honor: European Assault, The Comebacks, Warhammer, and Meet the Spartans.  Spanish composer/conductor …

Orchestra Rehearsal and Lunch

Dan Spain (2010)

I slept in a bit, and then after a late breakfast headed to the Hospital to check out the symphony rehearsal for the evening’s concert. Watching Grusin play On Golden Pond was great, as well as the Spartacus suite.  There were a few tense moments, like when the percussionist didn’t have the right sheet music during Randy Edelman’s segment, and apparently the musician’s union representatives were very unhappy about the lack of breaks.  But still, everyone got a shot at …

Paella Lunch and Choir Practice

Dan Spain (2010)

After the panels, I was getting hungry, and so I headed to lunch with Lennertz and a bunch of folks from his entourage, and some others.  It was held at a restaurant that seemed to specialize in steak and paella, but it wasn’t quite clear. Dave Grusin and his group was already there, finishing up their meal, and we got started with some salad, bread with excellent local olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and some gazpacho.  The paella was a …

Friday Morning Panels

Dan Spain (2010)

The morning’s first panel was Michael Giacchino’s; after a detailed introduction, he basically just opened up the floor to questions – and a few of his upcoming projects were briefly discussed, most notably two of the live-action films that are to be helmed by Pixar directors: Mission: Impossible 4 (Brad Bird) and John Carter of Mars (Andrew Stanton).  Very cool!  To demonstrate the value of music in “Lost”, Giacchino live-scored on piano, where he had two guests from the audience …

Up

Dan Movie Reviews

Ah, Pixar!  It seems that they can do no wrong. Even their weakest films are generally leagues ahead of most studio features, and it all comes down to one thing: story.  Yes, that’s right, story.  If they can get you crying with storyboards and pencil sketches, then it doesn’t matter how technically proficient their films are.  And yet, they manage to push the boundaries of technology every single time.  No exception is their latest feature film, Up. Directed by Pete …

Star Trek

Dan Movie Reviews

Lately, anything Star Trek related has been mired in over 40 years of canon, with fans shrieking every time something doesn’t quite match the established narrative.  Thankfully, with J.J Abrams taking on Gene Roddenberry’s baby, there’s a few twists and turns that not only give him the freedom to do whatever the heck he wants without worrying about the fans, but he also delivers a Trek film that actually delivers fun, thrills, excitement, and a nice wink-and-nod to the original cast. When …