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 Posted:   Nov 1, 2017 - 1:59 PM   
 By:   amatalqa   (Member)

Film score nerds looking for the old fashioned giant orchestra full of melodies, action and romance, here it is. This score was a dream come true. Austin Wintory's score for my new film, The Rendezvous, available online today, and coming to CD very soon.
So looking forward to hear your thoughts.

My liner notes:

Being a filmmaker second, and a film music nerd first, every time I finally get the green light to direct a new film, I get excited about the musical opportunity it will present to accompany the visual journey. For me, the score is as important as the image. It’s our strongest guide for the viewer’s emotional experience. The Rendezvous is my fourth collaboration with composer Austin Wintory. We first worked together ten years ago on my thesis film, Morning Latte, when I was at AFI and Austin was at USC. Less than a year later, the scoring session for our first feature together, Captain Abu Raed, became one of the most special memories of my life. We recorded at Warner Brothers with the Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra for that little Jordanian film that took us to Sundance and travelled the world. Austin’s beautiful lush score was a testament to his musical ambition and fuel to get me to hurry up and make my next film so we could do it all over again. For our third collaboration, Strangely In Love, a micro-budget LA-set romantic comedy with the old fashioned whimsy of Charlie Chaplin, we had a smaller assemble, but a very rich melodic score featuring chromatic harmonica and a collection of soloists backed by a string section. The music alone felt like reason enough to have made that little personal film.

The Rendezvous, a desert chase romantic adventure starring Stana Katic (Castle) and Raza Jaffrey about a Jewish doctor and an Arab American bureaucrat chasing an ancient scroll across the Middle East was done on a modest $3.5 million indie budget, but Austin went all out by hiring The Colorado Symphony Orchestra to perform his powerhouse action score that elevated our production value to match the exotic settings of Wadi Rum (the desert where they filmed Lawrence of Arabia) and Petra (where Indiana Jones found the Holy Grail). Austin’s score heightened the stakes and the danger, jazzed up the playfulness between the two leads, and infused the journey with romantic undertones and a sense of fun adventure. For example, a simple SUV chase in the desert was scored like a horse race where you can hear the orchestra trotting. You can imagine how giddy I felt as I sat on the scoring stage, an audience of one, watching Austin conduct 72 players blasting their lungs into the brass and wearing their arms out on the strings. This is why I make movies! To have Austin get them scored.

There are three central themes to the score:
1) The desert adventure theme, which is a long exotic melody that sets up the Hitchcockian tone of the film (my pitch to the producers was to make it feel like North By Northwest in the Middle East). This theme plays out in the main title suite, then is presented in sprinkles of jazzy piano throughout the playful cat and mouse investigation, but then takes an unapologetic old fashioned romantic form as Rachel and Jake ride their camels across the desert. The score for that montage was so beautiful and sweeping that I made the sound mixer turn off volume on everything but the music.

2) The mysterious scroll/Armageddonites theme is first heard in the film’s opening prologue, then returns anytime someone references the ancient Dead Sea Scroll that drives our story as it calls for the Armageddon. Playing the combo of cello (Tina Guo) and Saxophone (Ian Roller) doubled on top of each other gives an instant creepiness to the sound, like wisps of wind carrying the devils whispers across the desert sands. Anytime you hear that theme, you can feel evil crawling up your spine.

3) David’s theme. This innocent childhood theme only plays a couple of times in the film, but it hits Rachel’s emotional center, the loss of her brother, who gave his life to save the scroll and protect it from the evil cult.

Last but not least, I must share one very personal story to convey how much this score means to me. I lost my wife, Claire Naber, to cancer on the last day of this film’s production. Six years prior, I had written a melody for Claire in the lead up to our wedding, and Austin had arranged and recorded it with a quartet, to which Claire walked up the aisle. I called it Claire de Claire, and it was something from the heart that I felt captured Claire’s innocence and whimsical joyous outlook on the world. As I finished editing and post on The Rendezvous, I dedicated the film to Claire. At the end of the recording session in Colorado, there was one piece of music left that I hadn’t heard in Austin’s mock-ups. He wanted to save the best for last. The end credits suite begins as a recap to the film, but then the orchestra comes to a silent pause, and then the Claire de Claire begins playing on solo cello then oboe, then the full orchestra takes over, celebrating the joyful spirit of Claire. Tears flooded from my eyes the moment I was struck by the wall of emotion. It was, once again, Austin doing his magic to lift me up with his music. For us, these indie films somehow became very personal stamps on where we were in our lives. Hopefully, this is only just the beginning of a long journey ahead.
released November 1, 2017

Dedicated to Claire Naber Matalqa

Music composed, conducted and produced by Austin Wintory
Performed by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra

Cello: Tina Guo
Guitar: Scott Tennant
Tenor Saxophone: Ian Roller

 Posted:   Nov 1, 2017 - 4:23 PM   
 By:   jb1234   (Member)

As usual from Wintory, this is a very detailed score and I'll need several more listens to fully grasp it. I don't think I've ever heard him do action music before. He's very good at it. It sounds very fresh.

 Posted:   Nov 1, 2017 - 9:23 PM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

My dear Mr. Matalqa, I’m so sorry to hear about your wife. You have my sincerest condolences, my friend. If there’s anyone who can celebrate her life and its journey, it’s Austin Wintory. Two of my favorite scores of all time are his for Journey and Abzu, truly magnificent works. I will investigate this one as well, thank you, and I received the email notification from Bandcamp on it earlier today. Again, you’re in my thoughts good sir.

 Posted:   Jan 9, 2018 - 5:41 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

As usual from Wintory, this is a very detailed score and I'll need several more listens to fully grasp it. I don't think I've ever heard him do action music before. He's very good at it. It sounds very fresh.

Just bought this on Bandcamp after 4 listens on Spotify. Really love the main theme. Also bought it so I can trim out some of the suspense cues for my own playlist. I was also quite impressed by some of the action cues. Really hope this gets him some bigger film projects.

Also Varese just released the CD for those collectors out there.

 Posted:   Jan 9, 2018 - 6:11 PM   
 By:   jkannry   (Member)

He’s also got an interesting new business model. I wonder if this is gonna be the future, artist labels. He’s releasing albums on his own label. Making them digitally available. Allowing people to subscribe or buy back catalogue. All formats. And making them available on iTunes or Amazon etc. The rendezvous is on iTunes.

 Posted:   Jan 9, 2018 - 7:25 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

The subscription seems like a nice way to go but I would rather buy individual scores that I really like.

 Posted:   Jan 9, 2018 - 8:52 PM   
 By:   jkannry   (Member)

The subscription seems like a nice way to go but I would rather buy individual scores that I really like.

The same.

 Posted:   Jan 29, 2018 - 2:19 PM   
 By:   JamesSouthall   (Member)

My review of the album:

 Posted:   Sep 19, 2020 - 5:05 AM   
 By:   Moonlit   (Member)

I really liked this one. Now listening to Abzu.

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