Mark McKenzie

Mark McKenzie News

“Prayer for Peace” from Max and Me up for 2018 Grammy consideration

Sony Masterworks submitted “Prayer for Peace” performed by The London Singers and full orchestra for 2018 Grammy consideration. It is from a new soundtrack called Max and Me released by Sony Masterworks. that is getting stunning reviews. The work was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London by Peter Cobbin and mixed by Armin Steiner at the 21st Century Fox Newman Scoring stage in Los Angeles. Thank you for considering it and we appreciate any sharing of this page with friends.

Polish priest Maximillian Kolbe, tortured at Auschwitz asked those around him to not be overcome with hatred but to love for “Only love is creative.” His compassion lead him to sacrificially die in Auschwitz’s starvation bunker to help a man with children survive. The film makers, musicians and I hope this message of hope, love, and beauty amidst great darkness will be enjoyed by many and spread widely. A portion of each sale goes to the Shoa Foundation, Word Vision and Catholic Relief Services.

Following are reviews from Film Music Critics around the world:

“A triumphant ravishing masterwork…finest film music yet for 2018” American Music Preservation
“Staggeringly beautiful…score of the year” Movie Music UK
“Boundless expression of joy…score of the year” Movie-wave.net
“Tender, heartfelt, soaring, gorgeous…score of the year” Score Zone
“profound…inspiring and haunting…stunningly beautiful.” Movie Music International
“You’re going to have goosebumps…one of the best scores of the year.” Cinematic Sound
“An ode to symphonic beauty…do not miss this celebration of life and love” Soundtrack Dreams
Brought to tears…the more I hear it the more I believe it is a truly theophanic work.” (a manifestation or appearance of God) The Click Track

Joshua Abby RoadL-R Concert violinist Joshua Bell with Composer Mark McKenzie holding Joshua's Stradivarius during playbacks on the Inspiring animated film MAX AND ME - Version 6I LOVE YOUIMG_2349IMG_2386IMG_2184 - Version 3IMG_2406_2Clara Sanabras and Mark McKenzie at Abby Raod Studios - Version 2Sunset HugI AM Max and Me Mixing Engineer Armin Steiner at 21st Century FoxIMG_2278P1020121

KolbeRubertoMAX 420

MAX AND ME

  1. I Am (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 1:13
  2. Two Crowns Vision 1:22
  3. Head in the Clouds Over You 2:16
  4. You Could be Anything 2:44
  5. In the Trenches 2:29
  6. If You Are So Intelligent Why Don’t You Believe? 5:22
  7. Ask and it Will Be Given to You 1:25
  8. When I’m Saying Me I Mean You   :51
  9. Dare To Dream Bigger  1:51
  10. A Mother’s Prayer (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 3:10
  11. Dapper Duds   1:50
  12. Sunset Hug 1:49
  13. I’m Sorry 3:02
  14. Nazi Brutality 3:17
  15. Prayer For Peace 3:40
  16. Auschwitz Cries  2:56
  17. Only Love is Creative 2:37
  18. I Love You (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 4:00
  19. Triumph Over Fear   3:20
  20. He Was Always With Me 1:50
  21. I Believe in You 4:12
  22. Heaven’s Welcome 2:28

Violin Soloist: Joshua Bell
Soundtrack Available on Sony Masterworks
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London
Recording Engineer: Peter Cobbin
Mixed at 21st Century Fox Newman Scoring Stage
Mixing Engineer: Armin Steiner
Conductor: Gordon Johnson
Choir:  London Voices
Chorus Masters: Terry Edwards and Ben Parry
Solo Vocalist:  Clara Sanabras
Boys Choir: Libera
Libera Choir Director: Robert Prizeman
Orchestra Leader: Thomas Bowes
Piano: Dave Arch
Boy Soloist: Issac London
Wooden Recorders: Helen Keen
Guitar: John Parricelli
Orchestra Contractor: Isobel Griffiths
Assistant Orchestra Contractor: Susie Gillis
Supervising Music & Scoring Editor: Marc S Perlman MPSE
Additional Music Editing:  David Lai
Music Preparation: Gregg Nestor
Mastering Engineer: Patricia Sullivan
Assistant Recording Engineer: John Barrett
Assistant Mixing Engineer: Christine Russell

In addition to Robert Ruberto and those listed above the composer would like to thank producers Pablo Barroso and Claudia Nemer, Sony Classical’s Mark Cavell, writer Bruce Morris, Animators Paty Garcia-Pena, Gregorio Nunez, legal help Gary Fine and Angela Shirley, the Sony team Lynn Lendway, Stacie Negas, Jennifer Liebeskind, and Beth Miller, Stephen Ritzenthaler, Jerry Goldsmith, David Baker, Nancy Rice Baker, Morten Lauridsen, Michael Cunningham, Ivar Lunde, Sue, Megan and Mollie McKenzie.

 

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Joshua Bell and “A Mother’s Prayer” up for 2018 Grammy consideration

Sony Masterworks submitted “A Mother’s Prayer” performed by concert violinist Joshua Bell and 135 of London’s finest orchestral, choral and boys choir musicians for 2018 Grammy consideration.  Thank you for your consideration. We appreciate an sharing of this page with friends.

Polish priest Maximillian Kolbe, tortured at Auschwitz asked those around him to not be overcome with hatred but to love for “Only love is creative.” His compassion lead him to sacrificially die in Auschwitz’s starvation bunker to help a man with children survive. The film makers, musicians and I hope this message of hope, love, and beauty amidst great darkness will be enjoyed by many and spread widely. A portion of each sale goes to the Shoa Foundation, Word Vision and Catholic Relief Services.

Following are reviews from Film Music Critics around the world:

“A triumphant ravishing masterwork…finest film music yet for 2018” American Music Preservation
“Staggeringly beautiful…score of the year” Movie Music UK
“Boundless expression of joy…score of the year” Movie-wave.net
“Tender, heartfelt, soaring, gorgeous…score of the year” Score Zone
“profound…inspiring and haunting…stunningly beautiful.” Movie Music International
“You’re going to have goosebumps…one of the best scores of the year.” Cinematic Sound
“An ode to symphonic beauty…do not miss this celebration of life and love” Soundtrack Dreams
Brought to tears…the more I hear it the more I believe it is a truly theophanic work.” (a manifestation or appearance of God) The Click Track

Joshua Abby RoadL-R Concert violinist Joshua Bell with Composer Mark McKenzie holding Joshua's Stradivarius during playbacks on the Inspiring animated film MAX AND ME - Version 6I LOVE YOUIMG_2349IMG_2386IMG_2184 - Version 3IMG_2406_2Clara Sanabras and Mark McKenzie at Abby Raod Studios - Version 2Sunset HugI AM Max and Me Mixing Engineer Armin Steiner at 21st Century FoxIMG_2278P1020121

KolbeRubertoMAX 420

MAX AND ME

  1. I Am (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 1:13
  2. Two Crowns Vision 1:22
  3. Head in the Clouds Over You 2:16
  4. You Could be Anything 2:44
  5. In the Trenches 2:29
  6. If You Are So Intelligent Why Don’t You Believe? 5:22
  7. Ask and it Will Be Given to You 1:25
  8. When I’m Saying Me I Mean You   :51
  9. Dare To Dream Bigger  1:51
  10. A Mother’s Prayer (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 3:10
  11. Dapper Duds   1:50
  12. Sunset Hug 1:49
  13. I’m Sorry 3:02
  14. Nazi Brutality 3:17
  15. Prayer For Peace 3:40
  16. Auschwitz Cries  2:56
  17. Only Love is Creative 2:37
  18. I Love You (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 4:00
  19. Triumph Over Fear   3:20
  20. He Was Always With Me 1:50
  21. I Believe in You 4:12
  22. Heaven’s Welcome 2:28

Violin Soloist: Joshua Bell
Soundtrack Available on Sony Masterworks
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London
Recording Engineer: Peter Cobbin
Mixed at 21st Century Fox Newman Scoring Stage
Mixing Engineer: Armin Steiner
Conductor: Gordon Johnson
Choir:  London Voices
Chorus Masters: Terry Edwards and Ben Parry
Solo Vocalist:  Clara Sanabras
Boys Choir: Libera
Libera Choir Director: Robert Prizeman
Orchestra Leader: Thomas Bowes
Piano: Dave Arch
Boy Soloist: Issac London
Wooden Recorders: Helen Keen
Guitar: John Parricelli
Orchestra Contractor: Isobel Griffiths
Assistant Orchestra Contractor: Susie Gillis
Supervising Music & Scoring Editor: Marc S Perlman MPSE
Additional Music Editing:  David Lai
Music Preparation: Gregg Nestor
Mastering Engineer: Patricia Sullivan
Assistant Recording Engineer: John Barrett
Assistant Mixing Engineer: Christine Russell

In addition to Robert Ruberto and those listed above the composer would like to thank producers Pablo Barroso and Claudia Nemer, Sony Classical’s Mark Cavell, writer Bruce Morris, Animators Paty Garcia-Pena, Gregorio Nunez, legal help Gary Fine and Angela Shirley, the Sony team Lynn Lendway, Stacie Negas, Jennifer Liebeskind, and Beth Miller, Stephen Ritzenthaler, Jerry Goldsmith, David Baker, Nancy Rice Baker, Morten Lauridsen, Michael Cunningham, Ivar Lunde, Sue, Megan and Mollie McKenzie.

 

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Sir Paul McCartney at Abbey Road

Mark McKenzie: Today brings memories of working with this inspiring man at Abbey Road exactly 4 years ago. During our conversation, he sang some impromptu jazz riffs he had audiences sing on his concert tour. That same voice that sang “Hey Jude” and “Yesterday” close up was surreal and moving. In the early 1960s he said he studied avant-guarde composers and recorded similar orchestral effects in that same room for Sgt. Pepper’s “A Day in the Life.” He shared the excitement he and his daughter had discovering in the vaults of the British Library a cabinet of Beatles manuscripts right next to original manuscripts of Wordsworth and Keats. The topic of Michael Jackson came up and he said he got a call one night: “Hi Paul, this is Michael.” Not knowing who it was, Paul paused and said: “Michael who??” Paul didn’t have any hint of self importance other than there was a videographer filming him constantly maybe in part to protect him from lawsuits. I asked if he’d mind a picture. He said “sure” and my two hugely talented composer friends Marty O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori mocked “How do you rate?” Joking, I said, “Me and Paul are buds” and Paul put his arm around me and said: “Yeah, we’re mates!” I asked Paul how it felt to have such a legacy. He said during the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington DC he kept asking himself, “Is this really me they’re talking about?” Some mornings he gets up and says  to himself, “You did pretty good getting into that band called the Beatles!” Thank you Sir Paul for the music.

 

 

 

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Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire Soundtrack Interview

INTERVIEW WITH MARK MCKENZIE BY JOHN MANSELL AND MOVIE MUSIC INTERNATIONAL:

Movie Music International, John Mansell: I think I am right when I say DRAGON HEART THE BATTLE FOR THE HEART LIGHT contains a score that is maybe 80 percent electronic, was this something that you were asked to do when scoring the movie?

Composer Mark McKenzie: First thank you for your interest in my music John. The old adage, necessity is the mother of invention is often the case in film making. There was creativity at every level of making this film and my hat is off to Raffaella De Laurentiis, Patti Jackson, Patrik Syversen all the film makers for their inventiveness. I hopefully did my part as well.

JM: Do you approach a project differently when working with electronics?

MM: Preparation is essential. I always spend a great deal of time studying potential electronic sounds looking for sonics that seem expressive or that intrigue. Then there is the boring part of reading manuals to learn how to manipulate the sounds into something closer to what I’m actually looking for. In this film there are multiple childhood flashbacks which unfold gradually. These flashbacks are filled with melancholy, hurt, frustration, grief, anger and yet great love. To underscore them subtly, I wanted something that sounded very simple, pure, yet warm. I manipulated a crystal glass sample and then combined it with a soft sensuous boys choir and a rich analogue synth. To my ears it lifts the heart and soulful memories and plays easily under dialogue. Director Patrik Syversen and Producer Rafaella De Laurentiis encouraged me to aim for simplicity so I did exactly that. In a moment of inspiration I was unconsciously drawn to an old French baroque musical form called Chaconne which includes variations over harmonies and a repeating bass line. When I played it for director Patrik Syversen and the producers we all immediately were on the same page. I use this Chaconne repeatedly in the soundtrack. Track #19 “Truth and Love Bring Healing” is one example. It’s a very simple, meditative track that I find myself drawn to.

JM: You have scored three DRAGONHEART movies, each score has included the Randy Edelman theme from the original score, was this something that you decided to include?

MM: Randy’s theme is one of the great iconic movie themes. It is moving, uplifting, powerful and is part of the joy of watching the Dragonheart films. The director and producer and I all conferred on each film where the theme should and shouldn’t play. We use it sparingly for moments when hope and chivalry come alive through the great dragon. The Dragonheart theme, to my thinking, is a textbook example of the commercial value a strong melodic theme can give to a film franchise. It is integral to the Dragonheart films and certainly part of the reason we even have these sequels. Incidentally I first met this man I love and admire, composer Randy Edelman, orchestrating his TV pilot called The Adventures of Brisco County. One of the cues Randy composed and I orchestrated for that TV pilot, later became the Olympics theme we all know and love.

JM: DRAGONHEART: THE BATTLE FOR THE HEART FIRE, has a score that is certainly filled with emotion and has a romantic but melancholy sound to it. Is it more difficult to create this atmosphere using electronics as opposed to utilizing the conventional instruments of the orchestra?

MM: Maybe just different I think. Musical color, harmony, form, themes, rhythm and rubato, still apply to electronics but you have to recreate an orchestra of your own making and not rely on the orchestra and performances that you have studied for a lifetime. The glorious beauty of the orchestra is sorely missed but I do my best with the current technology to approximate it when needed. With electronics you never think about intonation issues and you have complete control of everything. In some ways it is easier to just perform the music yourself as you want it rather than trying to explain to others how it should go. There is much to love about electronics.

JM: How much time did you have to write the score and record it?

MM: I had 6 weeks to compose, record and produce and I used every minute of the day as wisely as I could because there were no assistants or recording engineers or music editors. There were however, two people who never get credit who were essential: Mark Nagata and Ryan Ouchida at Vision Daw. When the electronics and computers fail or crash, they are the smart people working like Sherlock Holmes to figure out why and get me back up and running.

JM: Did the director have a hands-on approach when it came to placing the music?

MM: Director Patrik Syversen was a pleasure and I found brilliant. He had a great sense musically and learned to trust his instincts. He was very exacting philosophically about what he was looking for and where he wanted music and how long it should last. Happily, he was completely open to my creativity on how to approach and accomplish the goals. We worked very closely. I’d play him each cue and we’d discuss it. He had lived with the film for a year and so he was often aware of details, character motivations, inner thoughts and feelings that were helpful to me as a composer.

JM: How much music did you write for the movie and is most of the score included within the recording and do you have an input into what tracks go onto the recording?

MM: I wrote over 60 minutes of music and was given complete artistic control over the soundtrack thanks to Jake Voulgarides and Nikki Walsh at Universal’s Back Lot Music. There are a few pieces the director and I would like to have included but I just ultimately felt insecure about them and opted to leave them off. One example; I was going to omit the first track but I have a tribute to JS Bach in that track and left it in, in part, just for that reason. Patrik wanted chimes in the opening of the movie so I thought…OK…I’ll use them and have them play 4 times…just enough to subtly quote Bach’s 4 note theme to the great c# minor triple fugue in the Well Tempered Clavier.  That is one of my favorite pieces of music.  As you know, I orchestrated Jerry Goldsmith’s final 6 films and helped him compose on a couple films and he would say: “If I compose 1 good minute of music in a year, I think I’m doing great.” I feel the same way. A close friend of mine said last week: “You are really hard on yourself”…she was right. Probably most artists are.

JM: The cello performances are stunning, they are so poignant and heartrending. When you write pieces such as this do you have a soloist in mind?

MM: Thank you. Yes, but in this case it is electronic. These days I’m more excited than ever about electronic music in part because of the growing quality in sampling. Right before I started Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire, I ran into Danny Elfman, who I orchestrated 17 films for, at an Academy Screening of his electronic film score to “The Girl on the Train.” He was excited about electronics and after hearing his thoughts, like often is the case for me with Danny, I was inspired. When I finished, a couple months later, I ran into him again. We compared notes and both still are very excited about the possibilities in electronics. To combine them with a huge orchestral score in Los Angeles or at Abby Road is a vision I have. By the way, Sony Classical plans on releasing my latest epic orchestral score MAX AND ME recorded at Abbey Road Studios with choir orchestra and concert violinist Joshua Bell. It is a work of great love and I’m hoping it will be released this year.

 

 

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Captivating, Festive, Warm, Emotive, Exciting, Powerful, Commanding, Fearsome: Two distinguished reviewers resonate with the new Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire soundtrack.

We’d like to thank the distinguished reviewers who resonated with the electronic music to Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire. Buysoundtrax’s Randall Larson: “Captivating array of intriguing textures…provides both exhilaration and sensitivity…a warm, festive, and exciting score.”  Movie Music International: John Mansell: “Highly emotive, this is a powerful score, a commanding and fearsome sounding work which I am confident will not disappoint any fan of film music…Highly recommended.”  While Mark loves recording orchestra and choir at Abbey Road, he’s falling in love with the potential and color potential in Electronics as well. Read the interview with Mark and John Mansell below to learn more. A special thank you to our Universal family: director Patrik Syversen, Producers Raffaella De Laurentiis, Hester Hargett-Aupetit, Patti Jackson, Share Stallings, writer Matthew Feitshans, Editors Charles Norris, Maria Friesen, Music executives Nikki Walsh, Jake Voulgarides, Mike Knobloch, Rachel Levy, and Angela Leus.  Check out this exciting family film with Patrick Stewart voicing Drago on Netflix.

Especially recommended Tracks: 5,6,7,8,14,15,16,19,20,21.

1           Bewitched Births      2:12
2           Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire Main Title  :59
3           Shared Love, Shared Heart   1:31
4           Show Off!    1:26
5           Hold Dear to Your Mother and Father  1:40
6           I Knew It, I’m King!   2:04
7           Love and  Friendship   1:30
8           Home On Fire   1:21
9           Vikings Arrive    :51
10         Field Battle Challenge   1:36
11         Unsettling Night  1:29
12         Why Did You Leave Me?  1:21
13         I Have Been Blind    :58
14         The Old Code, Honor in Every Word   1:47
15         It Might Be a Blessing   1:05
16         There’s No Pain Like Between Those We Love Most   2:17
17         Wheels are Turning  2:16
18         Subversive Dance   1:13
19         Truth and Love Bring Healing   2:57
20         Hurry Get the Heartfire   1:41
21         Ascension to the Heavens  7:34

INTERVIEW WITH MARK MCKENZIE BY JOHN MANSELL AND MOVIE MUSIC INTERNATIONAL:

Movie Music International, John Mansell: I think I am right when I say DRAGON HEART THE BATTLE FOR THE HEART LIGHT contains a score that is maybe 80 percent electronic, was this something that you were asked to do when scoring the movie?

Composer Mark McKenzie: First thank you for your interest in my music John. The old adage, necessity is the mother of invention is often the case in film making. There was creativity at every level of making this film and my hat is off to Raffaella De Laurentiis, Patti Jackson all the film makers for their inventiveness. I hopefully did my part as well.

JM: Do you approach a project differently when working with electronics?

MM: Preparation is essential. I always spend a great deal of time studying potential electronic sounds looking for sonics that seem expressive or that intrigue. Then there is the boring part of reading manuals to learn how to manipulate the sounds into something closer to what I’m actually looking for. In this film there are multiple childhood flashbacks which unfold gradually. These flashbacks are filled with melancholy, hurt, frustration, grief, anger and yet great love. To underscore them subtly, I wanted something that sounded very simple, pure, yet warm. I manipulated a crystal glass sample and then combined it with a soft sensuous boys choir and a rich analogue synth. To my ears it lifts the heart and soulful memories and plays easily under dialogue. Director Patrik Syversen and Producer Rafaella De Laurentiis encouraged me to aim for simplicity so I did exactly that. In a moment of inspiration I was unconsciously drawn to an old French baroque musical form called Chaconne which includes variations over harmonies and a repeating bass line. When I played it for director Patrik Syversen and the producers we all immediately were on the same page. I use this Chaconne repeatedly in the soundtrack. Track #19 “Truth and Love Bring Healing” is one example. It’s a very simple, meditative track that I find myself drawn to.

JM: You have scored three DRAGONHEART movies, each score has included the Randy Edelman theme from the original score, was this something that you decided to include?

MM: Randy’s theme is one of the great iconic movie themes. It is moving, uplifting, powerful and is part of the joy of watching the Dragonheart films. The director and producer and I all conferred on each film where the theme should and shouldn’t play. We use it sparingly for moments when hope and chivalry come alive through the great dragon. The Dragonheart theme, to my thinking, is a textbook example of the commercial value a strong melodic theme can give to a film franchise. It is integral to the Dragonheart films and certainly part of the reason we even have these sequels. Incidentally I first met this man I love and admire, composer Randy Edelman, orchestrating his TV pilot called The Adventures of Brisco County. One of the cues Randy composed and I orchestrated for that TV pilot, later became the Olympics theme we all know and love.

JM: DRAGONHEART: THE BATTLE FOR THE HEART FIRE, has a score that is certainly filled with emotion and has a romantic but melancholy sound to it. Is it more difficult to create this atmosphere using electronics as opposed to utilizing the conventional instruments of the orchestra?

MM: Maybe just different I think. Musical color, harmony, form, themes, rhythm and rubato, still apply to electronics but you have to recreate an orchestra of your own making and not rely on the orchestra and performances that you have studied for a lifetime. The glorious beauty of the orchestra is sorely missed but I do my best with the current technology to approximate it when needed. With electronics you never think about intonation issues and you have complete control of everything. In some ways it is easier to just perform the music yourself as you want it rather than trying to explain to others how it should go. There is much to love about electronics.

JM: How much time did you have to write the score and record it?

MM: I had 6 weeks to compose, record and produce and I used every minute of the day as wisely as I could because there were no assistants or recording engineers or music editors. There were however, two people who never get credit who were essential: Mark Nagata and Ryan Ouchida at Vision Daw. When the electronics and computers fail or crash, they are the smart people working like Sherlock Holmes to figure out why and get me back up and running.

JM: Did the director have a hands-on approach when it came to placing the music?

MM: Director Patrik Syversen was a pleasure and I found brilliant. He had a great sense musically and learned to trust his instincts. He was very exacting philosophically about what he was looking for and where he wanted music and how long it should last. Happily, he was completely open to my creativity on how to approach and accomplish the goals. We worked very closely. I’d play him each cue and we’d discuss it. He had lived with the film for a year and so he was often aware of details, character motivations, inner thoughts and feelings that were helpful to me as a composer.

JM: How much music did you write for the movie and is most of the score included within the recording and do you have an input into what tracks go onto the recording?

MM: I wrote over 60 minutes of music and was given complete artistic control over the soundtrack thanks to Jake Voulgarides and Nikki Walsh at Universal’s Back Lot Music. There are a few pieces the director and I would like to have included but I just ultimately felt insecure about them and opted to leave them off. One example; I was going to omit the first track but I have a tribute to JS Bach in that track and left it in, in part, just for that reason. Patrik wanted chimes in the opening of the movie so I thought…OK…I’ll use them and have them play 4 times…just enough to subtly quote Bach’s 4 note theme to the great c# minor triple fugue in the Well Tempered Clavier.  That is one of my favorite pieces of music.  As you know, I orchestrated Jerry Goldsmith’s final 6 films and helped him compose on a couple films and he would say: “If I compose 1 good minute of music in a year, I think I’m doing great.” I feel the same way. A close friend of mine said last week: “You are really hard on yourself”…she was right. Probably most artists are.

JM: The cello performances are stunning, they are so poignant and heartrending. When you write pieces such as this do you have a soloist in mind?

MM: Thank you. Yes, but in this case it is electronic. These days I’m more excited than ever about electronic music in part because of the growing quality in sampling. Right before I started Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire, I ran into Danny Elfman, who I orchestrated 17 films for, at an Academy Screening of his electronic film score to “The Girl on the Train.” He was excited about electronics and after hearing his thoughts, like often is the case for me with Danny, I was inspired. When I finished, a couple months later, I ran into him again. We compared notes and both still are very excited about the possibilities in electronics. To combine them with a huge orchestral score in Los Angeles or at Abby Road is a vision I have. By the way, Sony Classical plans on releasing my latest epic orchestral score MAX AND ME recorded at Abbey Road Studios with choir orchestra and concert violinist Joshua Bell. It is a work of great love and I’m hoping it will be released this year.

 

 

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Welcome

Welcome to this newly revised Mark McKenzie website. It plays new music each time you visit and we invite you linger on the Home page, watch the beautiful nature pictures pass by and listen to endless music of Mark McKenzie. There is much to explore through the various pages thanks to designer Justin Durban and host Amélie Koran. Special thanks to New Hampshire artist Craig Pursley for this portrait painted for the “Circle of Inspiration” Art Exhibit in Pasadena California: 26 New pieces of art each inspired by different tracks from Mark’s movie scores.

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DRAGONHEART 3: SORCERER’S CURSE Pumping Adrenaline on iTunes and Varese Sarabande Records

Varese Sarabande Records released a limited autographed Cd of Dragonheart 3: Sorcerer’s Curse. Universal’s Back Lot Music also released it digitally on iTunes so it is available most anywhere music is sold.  Over 77 minutes of music, epic battles, tense moments, action, triumph, thrills, humor, mystery, heart, magical happenings; it’s all there.

Thanks to J. Broxton at Movie Music UK who writes: “A new score by Mark McKenzie is always a special event…The score’s finale, comprising the cues “Clans Arrive For War,” “Battle to the Death” and “Final Victory and End Credits,” is a 20-minute action extravaganza, featuring some of the most brutal and complicated battle music …anyone used to his sweeping romance and lush religioso themes may be surprised to hear him pumping so much adrenaline…Dragonheart 3 is a great score, full of all the things we have come to expect from Mark McKenzie: moving themes, intellectually sound dramatic development, clever and creative orchestrations, and plenty of heart and passion.”
Thanks also to R. Larson who writes:  …brimming with sonic dimension and orchestral prowess…don’t let the fact that it’s a synth-and-samples performance dissuade you from experiencing an honestly thrilling and authentically-sounding fantasy-action score. The focus in this score is on motif-infused battle action, but McKenzie does find opportunities for eloquent reflection, as in the introspective “One Rejected Knight,” the renewing “Desires Can Spoil A Dream And A Heart,” and the tender “Goodbye My Friend.” There is also more emphasis on Celtic influences on this score from both pipes and chorus, which contrasts nicely with the traditional symphonic base of the music.  “Shadow Hopping” adopts the flavor of a Celtic dance. Mark McKenzie has been rightfully noted for his intimate, melodic drama scores like THE LOST CHILD, THE ULTIMATE GIFT, and THE ULTIMATE LIFE, but hopefully hisDRAGONHEART 3 score may remind filmmakers to bring him on board more action films as well.”

Below are some of the liner notes:

There’s nothing I know of more timeless or powerful than the live symphony orchestra with chorus and I believe that will always be true. That said, when asked to compose an electronic score, I found it full of opportunity, a fun challenge, and ultimately satisfying because electronic music grows in quality every day, and is a far cry from what it was just a few years ago. One nice perk; if I wanted 8 trombones, I just added them with no fuss. I dreamed of making the music as sonorous, powerful, symphonic, rhythmic, fun, colorful, thrilling and bold as possible for this fantastic Universal Studios action-adventure Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse …beautifully written I might add by Matthew Feitshans, and brilliantly directed by Colin Teague.

It is rewarding to freely use alternating complex and compound meters and rhythms with no concern about the time and expense it adds to live orchestral and choral recording. 17/8 is a first and composing the final 21-minute action sequence, (the final 3 tracks of this soundtrack) punctuated with choir chants, percussion and brass gave me a grander sense of scope than I’d experienced before. The action sequence Colin created in the final reel is thrilling to me as a composer. You’ll notice that the end credits include live orchestral music from Dragonheart: A New Beginning and you will undoubtedly enjoy Randy Edelman’s iconic “Dragonheart” theme sprinkled throughout.

Producer Raffaella de Laurentiis, director Colin Teague, production executives Hester Hargett-Aupetit, Jan Kikumoto, Patti Jackson, George Engel and Angela Leus allowed me great latitude, support and encouragement throughout the composing process. For those and others like Maria Frisen, Emily Chu, Stefan Henrix, and Jonathan Wales I am grateful. To learn more and hear more of my music, I invite you to join me at www.markmckenzie.org and on facebook at Mark McKenzie Music.

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ARTIST EXPLAINS ATTRACTION TO MCKENZIE’S MUSIC and CIRCLE OF INSPIRATION ART SHOW

Artist CRAIG PURSLEY writes: “I’m not sure I have ever been more inspired than the last eight months of 2014! In April I first heard a film score by Mark McKenzie and loved it; so melodic, embued with emotion without being saccarine and for me, SO visual! After hearing several of them, I was so impressed that I wrote him what amounted to a fan letter, And I was surprised when he wrote back. After several exchanged emails, I asked if he would be interested in a joint show- his music that inspired my paintings and he agreed. The result was 38 paintings in total…. I have been listening to soundtracks while I paint for more than 25 years, so I thought I knew all the great ones from Korngold to Zimmer so I was surprised when I first heard the score to “The Ultimate Gift”. So melodic and interesting. I bought a couple more and soon owned 17 of Mark’s scores. Quickly I felt like he was the Tchaikovsky of film score composers. While this may sound over the top, those who know me understand that I do NOT speak in hyperbole. Like Tchaikovsky, he is great at simple and beautiful melody like Romeo and Juliet (or Saving Sarah Cain for Mark) and great with power like the 1812 Overture (or The Greatest Miracle). He is capable of expressing the widest range of deep emotions of any composer alive now or ever! The fact that his films are lesser known than some for whom other film score composers have written does not diminish his personal excellence. Speaking as one who has a library of soundtracks building for decades, he should, in my opinion, have a row of Oscars on his mantel already. Hopefully, he will get his due and they will start lining up soon!” Thank you Craig!

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ART INSPIRED BY MARK MCKENZIE MUSIC TIRAGE ART GALLERY FEB 7, 2015

Thanks to award winning New Hampshire Artist Craig Pursley who has created an entire art show of 38 paintings, each inspired by a different piece of McKenzie movie music. That show will run from February 7th – March 7th at the Tirage Art Gallery in PASADENA. If you are around, plan to visit opening day, Saturday February 7th. Craig will paint a portrait from 2-5PM of Mark and discuss his work. The Open house that both Craig and Mark will attend is from 5-7PM.  To see each painting and the music piece that inspired it, visit “Circle of Inspiration.”

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INSPIRED BY PAUL McCARTNEY / MUSIC IS FOR SHARING

10.14.13  Rochester Post Bulletin written by Tom Weber

“…McKenzie  is returning to Lake City, MN to perform, for the first time, a solo piano concert Sept. 25 at the Lincoln High School auditorium…But why now, after all these years? That answer came from one of McKenzie’s partners on a recent project: Paul McCartney. McKenzie and McCartney worked together recently at Abbey Road studios in London on McCartney’s “Music of the Spheres”symphonic suite for the new game “Destiny.”

During a break in recording, McCartney told McKenzie he likes nothing better than sharing his music with people.

Shortly afterward, McKenzie said, “I woke up with the thought that music is for sharing.I’ve never had a performer’s temperament, but you start to realize this isn’t about me. Hopefully, it will be an evening of sharing music.”

So now McKenzie is ready to get back to where he once belonged.

For the concert, McKenzie will play selections from his movies in their original piano-only form. Then, he’ll play a scene from the movie, with the same basic tune now in its orchestrated version.

The concert will open with music from “Dances with Wolves,” the first film on which the classically-music trained McKenzie worked. “It changed my mind about music in general,” he said of that experience. “I’ve tried to focus my career on writing beautiful music.”

McKenzie started piano lessons in Lake City, and also took lessons in Rochester. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, then did his master’s and doctorate at the University of Southern California.

As part of the concert, McKenzie wants to pay tribute to his music teachers in Lake City, share life lessons he’s learned and plans to end with a question-and-answer session.

“I’ll answer things like, ‘What was Paul McCartney like?'” he said.

Well, what was he like?

“You know,” McKenzie said, “I’ve worked with a lot of movie stars. My anticipation was that he would be aloof and guarded. But when he walked in the room it was like an old buddy walked in. There was not one iota of ‘Look at me, I’m a star.’ I came home so inspired by his humility, his love for people.”

That inspiration is what McKenzie hopes to draw upon for his first solo piano concert.”

http://www.postbulletin.com/entertainment/mckenzie-inspired-by-mccartney-gets-back-to-lake-city/article_af7c6b21-d2b8-5ae2-b87c-7c114ba6b325.html

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MCKENZIE #1 in SCOREKEEPER LIST OF COMPOSERS

12.09.13 MCKENZIE #1 in SCOREKEEPER LIST OF COMPOSERS WHO SHOULD BE SCORING MORE MOVIES
In a relatively short period of time, McKenzie has quietly established himself as a master symphonist with a profound sense of drama…His penchant for piquant melodies and the kaleidoscopic ways he dresses them sets this talented composer apart from his contemporaries. He is one of the best dramatists working today and an exemplar of the powerful force behind music in films. SCORE KEEPER ARTICLE  (Picture by Daniel Sanchez)

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MARK MCKENZIE RADIO INTERVIEW

10.14.13 MARK MCKENZIE RADIO INTERVIEW
Thank you to WGWG radio and Noel T. Manning for this in-depth discussion about “The Ultimate LIfe” music, Mark’s childhood in a small town (Lake City, MN) beginnings of a career, work process, Michael Landon Jr, John Barry, Paul McCartney, Jerry Goldsmith, and much more: WGWG RADIO

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