1999 Filmtracks Review

1999 Filmtracks Review

1999-03-29 14:25

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Monsoon, 1998

What’s Cool in 1999? Composer Spotlight:

The Music of Alan Derian

Included with the January, 1999, issue of Film Music Magazine
was a promo sampler that includes short examples of music by a variety
of rising composers. Above and beyond all others, the track composed by
Alan Derian caught my attention.

Derian has scored twenty films over the past fifteen years, and his
music spans a diverse collection of film genres. The track that caught
my attention was from the score for the erotic/kumasutra thriller
(India). With a consistently distinctive and melodic touch, Derian’s score
combines two styles (two that might not seem a likely pairing at first):
Mark Snow’s electronic mastery with John Barry’s orchestrally massive themes.
The result is Monsoon, a score with similarities to the finale of
Snow’s television score for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I recently
presented a collection of late-1998/early-1999 scores to a group of associates,
mostly including the Academy Award nominated efforts in both dramatic and
comedy/musical categories. I also slipped
Monsoon into the pile,
and all of my associates agreed that Derian’s
Monsoon is a better
score than over half of the Oscar nominated scores!

I cannot speak for Derian’s scores as they fit in the films, but without
a doubt, they are enjoyable listening experiences. Chris (Yumbo) Caine
indicated recently, however, that Monsoon‘s score received positive
responses from audiences in Fiji movie theatres. Derian’s
The Howling
features a romantic and mystical motif that would please die
hard Hard Zimmer fans (and especially those who appreciate a deep, male
chorus); the track “The Hero’s Battle” is astounding in its combination
of fantasy and a heroic Western theme.

Clips of Alan Derian’s most recent scores, including Monsoon
and The Howling Leopard, can be downloaded at his official website:
I highly recommend journeying over to his site and sampling the clips;
and I whole-heartedly hope that Derian’s career flourishes. His music features
a thematic power and awesome spirit that I have not heard many times in
my film music publishing career. The best of luck to you, Alan!

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