Nightmares and Dreamscapes/Jeff Beal

July 9, 2006


Before the review of this material proceeds too far one thing needs to be made perfectly clear. The soundtrack review copy that was sent to me from TNT is a promotional one and not available for sale at this time. While there is nothing confirmed at this time, a soundtrack release is in negotiations. Hopefully, it will be resolved and released in a short period of time because the material is quite good. Jeff was formally trained at the Eastman School of Music and you can hear it loud and clear. There is a wonderful air of classical music incorporated into his style and it should be no surprise because the list of concert works Jeff has composed is quite impressive. One of the more intriguing examples of many works is a full orchestra concert piece to the silent film The General with Buster Keaton. Having recently completed a review for Silva of some silent material Carl Davis wrote for Chaplin films, my interest in this particular composition was heightened to say the least and hopefully in the future it too will be released as a CD.

The one minute main theme is truly an attention grabbing melody only a minute in length but very well written against small snippets of upcoming episodes as someone is walking through an older style house. The melody is featured in the form of fiddling and one would think how could this style of music have anything at all to do with eerie Stephen King stories. Well, if you watch trust me it fits like a glove. As the door closes to the house the scene shifts immediately to a skyline of the city with Renshaw (Hurt) driving in his car listening to his i-pod and the specific music to the “Battleground” episode starts (not included on soundtrack).

“Nightmares and Dreamscapes” is a TNT (8) part series of one hour short stories of Stephen King. Included with my review copy of the soundtrack was a first look DVD at the episode titled “Battleground” starring William Hurt as a killer/hit man who meticulously executes the CEO of a toy company and subsequently ends up in an intriguing war against an army soldier set mysteriously sent to him. There is no dialogue in this first installment, which not only heightens the suspense, but certainly allowed for a lot of non stop music. The first showing will be July 12th on TNT and each of the 8 parts will feature a prominent actor or actress. Without giving away anymore of the plot think Twilight Zone. While much of the material could be classified as action, then quiet, then surprise, then action again underscore, the final track “Toy Coda” repeats a quieter moment in the beginning (not included) followed by a short haunting musical box style passage for the ballerina figurine as she turns on her pedestal. Outstanding track!

The good news is that material from all (8) episodes are included in the 79+ minute CD. Each one has its own unique style and property to it making the soundtrack a nice listening experience. “Umney’s Last Case” features (5) tracks of jazz mixed with appropriate underscore for some sort of gumshoe episode. Complete with saxes leading the way for a muted trumpet, a little brass, string harmony, and a touch of piano, “Shootout At Blondies” sounds like it should belong on another CD especially with the lush trumpet solo at the end of the track. This is the jazzy style where the track could have gone on for 15 minutes if the group were performing it live! Want a little Gothic rock style? There is just that in the three tracks for the episode “The Fifth Quarter.” A little bit of chamber music can be found in “I’ll Walk Back” and some cool jazzy organ in “Resurrection.”

Let’s all of us hope that negotiations go well and this soundtrack is released. In the meantime why not check out Jeff’s website and listen to over 250 MP’3s on the site! Highly recommended if this CD becomes available! Love that main theme! Oh wait I already said that. Well, it bears repeating and while on that particular subject think another listen to it is in order.


7 Responses to “Nightmares and Dreamscapes/Jeff Beal”

  1. I tend not to drop a lot of comments, but I read through some responses on this page
    Nightmares and Dreamscapes/Jeff Beal | Film Music: The Neglected Art.
    I actually do have 2 questions for you if it’s okay. Could it be just me or does it look like a few of the remarks look like they are written by brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting on other places, I’d like to follow you.

    Would you make a list of every one of all your social networking sites like your
    twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

    • sdtom Says:

      Thank you for much for your response to the Jeff Beal review I wrote. Jeff seemed to have a retro feeling to him which I really enjoyed. You can find all of my reviews on the film music blog/website that I write and is the easiest way to follow my articles.Thanks againTom

      > Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 20:53:43 +0000 > To: >

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