Michael Kamen (1948-2003) - movies and rock music

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves CD cover Michael Kamen has written for both the big and the small screen, and he has also composed scores for opera and ballet companies. It is then perhaps a little surprising to learn that he has had a number of successful collaborations with well-known rock musicians including Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Brian Adams, Metallica and Sting! As a musician he learned to play the piano and the oboe, though many of his rock collaborations were with guitarists. With Kamen such collaborations are almost the norm. Queen's music was blended into the score for "Highlander", and music from the Bryan Adams hit song from "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" recurs in the movie itself. Kamen virtually built the entire soundtrack for "Brazil" from variations on the song of the same name.

Michael Kamen - Die Hard 2: Die Harder - soundtrack CD cover Although he has worked on thrillers such as "Die Hard" and the "Lethal Weapon" series, he is also quite at home on the more subtle character driven movies such as "Circle of Friends" and "Don Juan DeMarco". And on "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" he was able to span the divide between character and action movies with a classical score moving between delicate chamber scoring with harpsichord, through to full-scale classical use of the orchestra, tied together with the Baron's main circus-like showman theme. It is understood that Michael originally scored the film version of "Tomb Raider", but his score became a casualty when the movie was re-edited following previews and Graeme Revell was asked to produce an alternative soundtrack.

Michael Kamen : Baron Munchausen - soundtrack CD cover In the years before his untimely death, Kamen was a user of Sibelius software to produce scores - the same product used to develop the sheet music and other formats included elsewhere on the mfiles site. Here is Michael Kamen conducting the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra playing Ennio Morricone's "The Ecstasy of Gold" from A Fistful of Dollars to introduce Metallica in concert playing their version of the track as used on their "S&M" album YouTube. Here is another quite revealing video where Michael Kamen talks about scoring Robin Hood. A number of Michael Kamen's concert works have been recorded and can readily be found on Amazon. As a taster, here is the 3rd movement on youtube from his Saxophone Concerto featuring David Sanborn as the soloist. This and other works are available on the following album from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Films by Michael Kamen:

TV work by Michael Kamen:

Michael Kamen - Recommendations:

Michael Kamen has an impressive web-site at www.michaelkamen.com and, following his involvement in scoring the movie "Mr. Holland's Opus", he was a founder of the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation which supports music education in American schools through the supply and maintenance of musical instruments. You can also find the following products online:

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