Welcome to Breakdown, an unofficial resource and discussion list about the innovative guitarist/producer Michael Brook. This site is infrequently updated, but contains a great deal of background info which will remain online. For up-to-date news and information, visit Michael Brook's official site and MySpace page.

Scores | film scores and contributions to soundtracks

This page summarizes the film scoring side of Michael Brook's career. The Internet Movie Database Michael Brook entry is a good place to go exploring for more information on these films.

Sulla Strada back to top

1982, Italy

Jon Hassell scored a 1982 production of Sulla Strada by the Italian theatre company Maggazini, featuring guitar by Michael Brook and percussion by Miguel Frasconi. An album was issued in 1995 on Materiali Sonori.

Captive back to top

Captive

1986, Virgin Films

Theme song & score released on a soundtrack album and single.

Written and directed by Paul Mayersberg. The Edge composed the score along with Michael Brook. Michael Berkeley also contributed to the film's score but his work is not represented on soundtrack album.

From the liner notes: "Rowena le Vay is young, rich, spoiled and living a despairingly empty life dominated by her millionaire father. One night three anarchists - a French man and woman and a Japanese man - abduct her. Rowena is brainwashed, abused mentally and physically, into a understanding of herself as an individual. She is eventually adopted as the fourth member of the family. But their happiness is short-lived, as the police close in... Captive is a tale of survival and renewal. It is a suspense story, by turns violent, erotic and funny; a haunting, dream-like and extraordinary thriller."

Available from Amazon.com

For All Mankind back to top

For All Mankind

This film featuring NASA footage of lunar exporation features music by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, plus other Opal Artists. The two albums to come from the production are Eno's Apollo and the compilation Music for Films III, including "Err" by Brook.

Available from Amazon.com

Lanzarote Music Festival back to top

Lanzarote Music Festival

A bootleg concert film released in 1989 by Hendring, featuring Roger Eno, Harold Budd, Laraaji, and Michael Brook. This concert was also the source of the bootleg cd Shona.


Fires of Kuwait back to top

Fires of Kuwait

1992, IMAX

Michael Brook composed the score to the 1992 IMAX film Fires of Kuwait. A soundtrack album was never released. It is unknown whether any of the music was taken from exisiting recordings or later released in other forms. See the online press kit for more information.

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Heat back to top

Heat

1995, Warner Brothers

Michael Mann is also the director of Thief, Manhunter (the lesser-known predecessor to Silence of the Lambs), Last of the Mohicans, and The Insider. In my opinion, Last of the Mohicans was a beautifully filmed mess, but Heat is a nearly perfectly-made film. Rich, complex, densely written, and not a character is neglected. It is notorious for hyper-violence, but it is all brutal, real, and with consequence.

Brook was commissioned to work on the score to Heat on the strength of his production work and his score to Fires of Kuwait. Brook reportedly completed "select cues" and some other original material for the film, but Mann opted to go for an amalgamation of electronica by various artists and the Elliot Goldenthal / Kronos Quartet score. The music that eventually wound up in the film was by such diverse peoples as Brian Eno, William Orbit, James, Passengers, and Moby. The compilation soundtrack album includes the Cobalt Blue version of "Ultramarine."

Far more music was used in the film than was released on cd. More so than usual when it comes to film scores, I feel the Heat cd unfortunately isn't as effective on its own. Instead, I strongly recommend renting the film and playing through a high-fi system, preferably very loud.

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Dead Man Walking back to top

Dead Man Walking

1996

The score to Tim Robbins' 1996 film Dead Man Walking was composed and performed by Tim Robbins, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Eddie Vedder. Michael Brook produced and mixed some tracks on the soundtrack album, featuring music from and inspired by the film.

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Stuperen (The Diver) back to top

1996, Norway

"Two young people - a girl and a boy - on a beautiful summer's day at the public swimming pool. A film about a close but 'impossible' relationship." A short film directed by Mona J. Hoel, written by Arne Vilhelm Tellefsen, starring Kasper Rasmussen and Ida Solvang, with original music by Michael Brook. Check out the Internet Movie Database's entry on Stuperen for more information.

Albino Alligator back to top

Albino Alligator

1997, Miramax

The Breakdown discography includes complete information and notes about the soundtrack album. The cd contains "music from and inspired by" the film. The film was carpeted wall-to-wall with score, ambience, and tension music. However, Brook went back to the music and reworked it into a new collection of pieces. The album is meant to stand on its own, rather than as a collection of incidental music used in the film. Still, the film's musical themes are still strong, even incorporating some key dialogue from the film into the music.

The film is absolutely saturated with Brook's score. The soundtrack release does not nearly cover the range of music used in the film. For example, there are huge swatches of interesting ambience and drum-driven "tension" music in the film not represented on the cd.

Brook clearly composed a tremendous amount of music for the film (including, I believe, fragments of "After Image" at one point). He chose, however, to extensively edit and remix to craft the album. This choice, now that I think about it, is probably a wise one. The album already seems like a collection of moods, as opposed to the song structures of Cobalt Blue or Mustt Mustt. It would have appeared even moreso had he lifted the incidental music straight out of the film. The pieces would lose the effect gained by the collision of image and sound. This area is one in which I find the Heat soundtrack insufficient; the music used in the film is superbly edited and placed, but when simply compiled on cd most of the impact is lost.

Albino Alligator on the web: Bill Jackson mixed the Albino Alligator and Affliction scores. Also, see an unofficial Kevin Spacey page.

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Joyride back to top

Joyride

4AD, 17 November 1997

Michael Brook said in "... drones and ornamentation" (Eyesore, Jeff Keibel, 22 May 1997) that an upcoming film entitled Joyride would feature a soundtrack by himself and several other 4AD artists. 4AD label chief Ivo Watts-Russell bankrolled the film and served as music supervisor.

Breakdown correspondent Bruce Carle reports Joyride was released "straight to video" in November 1997. A soundtrack cd featuring a clutch of 4AD artists is along for the ride. The cd includes "Breakdown" from Michael Brook. At this time, it is unclear if it is the familiar version from Colbalt Blue. Both cd and video were released the week of 17 November 1997.

See the Internet Movie Database's entry on Joyride for more information.

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Affliction back to top

Affliction

19 January 1999

Directed by Paul Schrader (screenwriter of Last Temptation of Christ and Taxi Driver, and director of Touch, et al) and based on a novel by Russell Banks (who also wrote The Sweet Hereafter, itself adapted into a fine film by Atom Egoyan). Shot in Quebec, Canada. Affliction premiered 28 August 1997 at the Venice Film Festival, and in the US at the Fourth Annual Avignon / New York Film Festival. A US production starring Nick Nolte, Willem Dafoe and others.

Excerpted from "Cold Comforts" by Michael Atkinson, from the Village Voice, 28 April 1998: "The [Avignon / New York] fest's central attraction, however, is Paul Schrader's Affliction, the scalding, Russell Banks - based psychodrama about upstate nowhere man Nick Nolte going up against monster dad James Coburn and reckoning out family business both past and future. Last week, after along [sic], distributor-less limbo, the movie was finally picked up. Lions Gate will release it next winter."

Lions Gate Releasing distributed the film in the US in December. My contact at Lions Gate says they considered it a bit tough to market for being "dark," so it may not make it to multiplexes nationwide. However, Nick Nolte is likely to be recognized for his acting, which would widen the film's attention. Also, Lions Gate has made a deal with Harper Collins to release a new movie-themed edition of the book.

A biography of Michael Brook excerpted from the Affliction production notes (numerous errors left uncorrected):

Affliction on the Web: Lions Gate Entertainment has posted a little information about the film. See the Internet Movie Database entry for more information. Also, Bill Jackson mixed the Albino Alligator and Affliction scores.

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Go back to top

Go

US, March 1999

Directed by Doug Lyman. Michael Brook plays guitar on one track by Natalie Imbruglia.

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Getting to Know You back to top

US, 1999

Premiered at Sundance on 22 January 1999. A US film starring Heather Matarazzo, Bebe Neuwirth, among others. Directed by Lisanne Skyler, screenplay by Joyce Carol Oates and Skyler, based on short stories by Oates. Original music by Micheal Brook. The film has yet to find distribution.

For more information, see the IMDB entry and the official site from Search Party Films.

Buddy Boy back to top

US, 1999

Written and directed by Mark D. Hanlon, starring Emmanuelle Seigner. Michael Brook and Brian Eno share a credit as "Composer," along with Graeme Revell. The film premiered in September 1999 at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, and later opened on 24 March 24 2000 in New York. It is not known whether or not the soundtrack is comprised of original material. For more information, see the official site and the IMDB entry.

A Voice from Heaven back to top

A Voice from Heaven

1999

A documentary about Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, including performances in Pakistan, India, Canada and United States, and interviews with Rick Rubin, Michael Brook, Bally Sagoo and the Asian Dub Foundation. Released on VHS & DVD in October 2001.

Available from Amazon.com

Ma Petite Enterprise back to top

France, 1999

Directed by Pierre Jolivet. Soundtrack by Alain Bashung, featuring extended versions of tracks from Chatterton, his album with Michael Brook, Marc Ribot, Link Wray, Sonny Landreth, etc. See the IMDB entry and the movie's official site.

The Jaundiced Eye back to top

The Jaundiced Eye

US, 2000

A documentary by Nonny de la Pena. Original music by Michael Brook. Premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 1999, and opened 3 March 2000 in New York. For more information, see the IMDB entry and the official site.

Available from Amazon.com

Crime and Punishment in Suburbia back to top

Crime & Punishment in Suburbia

US, 2000

Directed by Rob Schmidt and written by Larry Gross. Original music by Michael Brook. Premiered at Sundance on 24 January 2000. For more information, see the IMDB entry.

Available from Amazon.com

Mission Impossible II back to top

Mission Impossible 2

US, 24 May 2000

Directed by John Woo and written by Robert Towne. Michael Brook plays guitar on Hans Zimmer's score, and is listed in the credits as a member of the "Mission Impossible Band." For more information, see the IMDB entry.

Available from Amazon.com

Der Krieger + Die Kaiserin back to top

Der Krieger + Die Kaiserin

Germany, 2000

The soundtrack for the German film primarily features Pale 3, plus various artists including Michael Brook.

Available from Amazon.com

Traffic back to top

Traffic

US, December 2000

Directed by Stephen Soderbergh. Score by Cliff Martinez, featuring Jeff Rona, David Torn, and Michael Brook. See the IMDB entry and the movie's official site.

Available from Amazon.com

India: Kingdom of the Tiger back to top

India Kingdom of the Tiger

IMAX, US, June 2002

An IMAX film with score composed by Michael Brook.

Available from Amazon.com

Straight Up: Helicopters in Action back to top

Straight Up: Helicopters in Action

IMAX, US, 2002

An IMAX film with original music by Michael Brook.

Available from Amazon.com

Iron-Jawed Angels back to top

Iron Jawed Angels

HBO, US, 2004

Michael Brook is credited for "musician: guitar instrumentals." Five other people are listed as having scored the film, so it's likely Brook's contribution is relatively minor. The official site states no soundtrack album has been released.

Available from Amazon.com

Deadwood back to top

Deadwood

HBO, US, 2004-ongoing

Michael Brook contributed original music to episodes 1, 2, and 5 of the first season of this original HBO television series. The first season is available on DVD, as well as a soundtrack album.

Available from Amazon.com