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Sound of Cinema

Matthew Sweet's weekly look at music for the screen.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Studio Ghibli

Matthew Sweet looks at the music for the Japanese phenomenon that is Studio Ghibli in the week that sees the release of Hayao Miyazaki last film, "The Wind Rises".The celebrated Japanese animation studio has produced some acclaimed titles including "Spirited Away", "The Princess Mononoke", "Laputa - Castle in the Sky"and "Porco Rosso". Aviation is often a prevailing theme of the films, reflecting Miyazaki's years growing up around his father's business in the Japanese aviation industry. Matthew talks to Justin Johnson of the British Film Institute about the films, and about the BFI's current Studio Ghibli Festival; and features work from one of the studio's foremost composers, Joe Hisaishi.Matthew also turns his attention to other great film scores inspired by the theme of aviation, including The Battle of Britain; The Sound Barrier and The Aviator.


10 May 2014

Rank #1

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Michael Giacchino

Matthew Sweet in conversation with one of today's leading Hollywood figures, Michael Giacchino, composer of "The Incredibles", "Up", "Ratatouille" for Disney/Pixar and for his collaborations with JJ Abrams on the "Star Trek" movies; and also for his work on the new "Star Wars" films, "Jurassic World" and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes". The programme marks Michael's forthcoming 50th Birthday and his special Gala concert at London's Royal Albert Hall on the 20th October.


30 Sep 2017

Rank #2

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Kaijū and the Japanese mega monster!

With the release of a new Michael Dougherty film, ‘Godzilla: The King of Monsters’ this week, Matthew Sweet looks at Japanese Kaijū, which draws on ancient myths of giant monsters, and considers its impact on film and film music. As well as music for Japanese features, he also looks at the impact that the genre has had on Western film, from ‘The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms’ to ‘The Meg’.


1 Jun 2019

Rank #3

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James Horner

Matthew Sweet presents a tribute to the film composer James Horner who died suddenly last month. A regular collaborator of directors Ron Howard and James Cameron, Horner was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won two for his work on Titanic. Famously prolific he scored more than 100 films, including numerous blockbusters such as Braveheart, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind and the highest grossing film of all time, Avatar. The programme includes never before broadcast interview material with Horner recorded at his home in California in 2013, in which he reflects on his own career and present day Hollywood.


11 Jul 2015

Rank #4

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Jerry Goldsmith 1/2

Matthew Sweet is joined by conductor Robert Ziegler in the first of two programmes reflecting on the scores of one of the great figures of film music - Jerry Goldsmith.The Classic Score of the Week is Goldsmith's score for the 1976 film "The Omen", and there's also music from Goldsmith's scores to "Lonely are the brave", "Patton", "Chinatown", "Freud", "Planet of the Apes" and "Poltergeist".


21 Feb 2015

Rank #5

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The Spaghetti Western

A look at the history of the Italian-made western, through its music, with Matthew Sweet. A genre that appeared in the mid-60s and soon became instantly recognisable through the music of Ennio Morricone - but not exclusively so.


10 Aug 2019

Rank #6

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God of War and Battlestar Galactica composer Bear McCreary

Composer Bear McCreary's credits include Godzilla King of the Monsters, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Child's Play, Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, and the PlayStation 4 game God of War. In this exclusive interview he talks to Matthew Sweet about writing for tv, film and games, his love of horror and sci-fi, and the influence of his mentor Elmer Bernstein.


19 Oct 2019

Rank #7

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The 1940 Oscars

Matthew Sweet dusts off his tux and strolls back in time to the red carpet of the 1940 Oscars. It marked the year of The Wizard of Oz, Goodbye Mr Chips and Mr Smith Goes to Washington but it was Gone with the Wind that stole the show.1939 had been a golden year for cinema. Among the scores and films that Matthew looks at are Erich Korngold's 'The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex'; Ferdinand Heinz Provost's 'Intermezzo'; Alfred Newman's 'Wuthering Heights'; Richard Addinsell's 'Goodbye Mr Chips'; Anthony Collin's 'Nurse Edith Cavell'; Aaron Copland's 'Of Mice And Men'; Max Steiner's 'Dark Victory'. 'Ninotchka'; 'Stagecoach'; 'The Wizard of Oz' and of course 'Gone With The Wind'.


3 Mar 2018

Rank #8

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AR Rahman

Matthew Sweet profiles one of India's most succesful composers, the "Mozart of Madras", A.R. Rahman, whose film scores have changed the sound of Indian cinema. The programme coincides with the release of two new films featuring A.R. Rahman scores - "Million Dollar Arm" and "The Hundred-Foot Journey".In this dip into the world of Rahman we hear music from "Lagaan"; "Roja"; "Bombay"; "Taal"; "Warriors of Heaven and Earth"; "Elizabeth - The Golden Age" and "Couples Retreat".The Classic Score of the Week is A.R. Rahman's music for Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire".#soundofcinema.


30 Aug 2014

Rank #9

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Star Wars

With the release of "Star Wars - The Force Awakens", Matthew Sweet looks back on John Williams's music for the celebrated movie franchise.


19 Dec 2015

Rank #10

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Howard Shore at 70

Matthew Sweet marks the 70th birthday this weekend of Howard Shore, in conversation with the composer, with a look back on his many scores for films to date, which include titles like "The Fly"; "Silence of The Lambs"; "The Aviator"; "Hugo" and "The Lord Of The Rings".Howard talks about his working methods; his collaborations with directors David Cronenberg and Martin Scorsese; about writing music for Tolkien; and he introduces some of his concert music too.


21 Oct 2016

Rank #11

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Batman v Superman

Matthew Sweet with film music inspired by the cinematic portrayal of Batman and Superman in the week in which the movies pit one comic strip hero against the other in Zack Snyder's "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice".Matthew considers the background and origin of both cartoon superheroes and features some of the earliest Batman/Superman screen music - written by composers such as Sammy Timberg, Leon Klatzkin, Lee Zahler and Mischa Bakaleinikoff. And of course there are also the more familiar scores as well, from Neal Hefti, Danny Elfman, Shirley Walker, Elliot Goldenthal and Hans Zimmer. The Classic Score of the Week is John Williams's iconic music for "Superman - The Movie".


31 Mar 2016

Rank #12

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Matthew Sweet looks at music for films that explore father/daughter relationships in the week of the release of Debra Granik's new movie "Leave No Trace".


30 Jun 2018

Rank #13

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Music and British Animation

Matthew Sweet considers music for British animation as the BFI mark the 50th anniversary of Yellow Submarine. The programme looks back on scores for some of the classic children's animation titles from the likes of Oliver Postgate and Ivor Wood including 'Bagpuss'; 'Ivor the Engine'; and 'Camberwick Green'; music for Jerry and Sylvia Anderson's 'Thunderbirds'; the 1954 'Animal Farm'; and 'Watership Down' and 'Yellow Submarine'. The programme also features music from Aardmann Animation features 'Chicken Run' and the recent 'Early Man'; as well as Raymond Briggs's 'Ethel and Earnest' and The Snowman'.And on a similar theme, as Incredibles 2 reaches UK screens this week, there's a chance to hear some of Michael Giacchino's new score.


14 Jul 2018

Rank #14

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Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Matthew Sweet with a selection of music reflecting the film career of pioneering Hollywood genius Erich Wolfgang Korngold, featuring examples from the scores for A Midsummer Night's Dream, Captain Blood, Juarez, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, The Sea Hawk, The Constant Nymph, Kings Row, Escape Me Never, and Magic Fire.(first broadcast in 2017)


6 May 2017

Rank #15

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Arthurian Legends

Matthew Sweet presents a selection of film music and takes a look at some of diverse range of films inspired by the Arthurian legends in the week of the release of Guy Ritchie's new film "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" with a score by Daniel Pemberton.The programme includes music by Trevor Jones, Miklos Rozsa, Franz Waxman, Hans Zimmer, Jimmy Van Heusen, Lerner and Loewe, Anne Dudley and ... Monty Python?The Classic Score of the Week is Ron Goodwin's "Gawain and the Green Knight".


20 May 2017

Rank #16

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French Cinema

In a live edition from the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead, Matthew Sweet is joined by Guy Austin, Founding Director of the Research Centre in Film and Digital Media at Newcastle University, for a jaunt through the history of music for French cinema. France was one of the first nations to recognise the possibilities of cinema and through the pioneering work of figures such as Auguste and Louis Lumière and Georges Méliès, it quickly established the foundations for a new form of art and entertainment.Matthew and Guy begin at the beginning, on a whistle-stop tour of the story of French Film, to the present, taking in scores for films such as L'Atalante; Les Enfants du Paradis; French Cancan; The Red Balloon; Rififi; Les Quatre cents coups; À bout de souffle; Hiroshima mon amour; Betty Blue; Jean de Florette; The City of Lost Children and Intouchables.The Classic Score of the Week is Michel Legrand's music for Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.


23 Mar 2017

Rank #17

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Brian Tyler

Matthew Sweet is joined by Award winning Hollywood composer Brian Tyler whose credits include over 70 films including blockbusters such "Avengers: Age of Ultron", "Iron Man 3" and the "Fast and Furious" franchise. Brian has composed a new score for the film "Criminal" which was launched in cinemas this week, and in May he will be giving a concert of his music with the Philharmonia at London's Festival Hall. Tyler is especially known for his large orchestral, high octane scores associated with the action thriller and the superhero genres. He talks to Matthew about his work to date, his affection for someof the great film composers of the past, and about creating music for some of the biggest selling box-office successes of our time.


16 Apr 2016

Rank #18

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Free Thinking - Cinematic Love Themes

Matthew Sweet live from Sage Gateshead with a look at cinematic love themes as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival.


30 Mar 2019

Rank #19

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Matthew Sweet with film music inspired by the magic and romance of the ballet in the week that sees the launch of the Klaus Badelt score for "Ballerina". The programme includes music from "Black Swan", "Mao's Last Dancer", "The Red Shoes", "The Intelligence Men", "Exposed", "The Bandwagon", "Black Tights" and the Classic Score of the Week is "On Your Toes".


17 Dec 2016

Rank #20