John Takis Talks “Justice League,” “Batman” and “Caped Crusaders” Soundtracks with The World’s Finest

The World’s Finest pulled Producer John Takis aside to discuss his work on an assortment of 2016 DC Comics-based animated soundtracks from La-La Land Records, including the massive Justice League soundtrack release and the new Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders score release. Takis digs into how these titles came together, shares his thoughts on an assortment of different score releases, and how crucial it is for fans to support these releases. He also teases what could be coming down the pipeline for upcoming DC Comics animated-based soundtrack releases. To read the entire two-part interview, click on the image or respective links below.


Part One: Justice League & BatmanPart Two: Return of the Caped Crusaders

The soundtracks for Justice League, Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and more are available from La-La Land Records and can be purchased through the label’s official website or other digital retailers. To discuss these releases, click on the discussion links below.

Batman: The Animated Series, Volume Four Soundtrack Talkback (Spoilers)
Justice League: Original Soundtrack to the Animated Series Soundtrack Talkback (Spoilers)
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Soundtrack Talkback (Spoilers)

Stay tuned for further updates and much more here at The World’s Finest.

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The World’s Finest Interviews Dynamic Music Partners on “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders”

The World’s Finest caught up with Dynamic Music Partners to discuss their work in scoring the Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders animated feature. In this Q & A, Dynamic Music Partners – consisting of Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis and Kristopher Carter – touch upon their score for Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, their influences, their favorite tracks and much more. The soundtrack for Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, available from La-La Land Records as of November 8th, 2016, can be purchased through the label’s official website or other digital retailers.

Click on the image below to check out the interview, right here at The World’s Finest!




For more information on Dynamic Music Partners, along with the assorted works and projects – past, present and future – check out their official website. DMP can also be found on Twitter at @DynMusPartners and on Facebook.

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is now available to own on Blu-ray, DVD and on Digital HD. Further details on Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders can be found at the The World’s Finest Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders subsite. Stay tuned for further coverage, including reviews, exclusive content and more.

Click here at discuss Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders on The DC Animation Forum!

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La-La Land Records Announces “Superman: The Animated Series,” “Batman: The Brave And The Bold” Soundtracks

La-La Land Records has provided The World’s Finest with the exclusive first details and artwork for the upcoming soundtrack releases Superman: The Animated Series – Original Soundtrack from the Warner Bros. Television Series and Batman: The Brave and The Bold – Music from the DC Comics Animated Television Series. The acclaimed label will release a four-disc compact disc set for the classic Superman: The Animated Series and a two-disc compact disc set for much-beloved Batman: The Brave and The Bold on January 28th, 2014. The soundtrack release for both series will include an assortment of tracks featuring music from the entire run of both DC Comic-inspired animated shows.

According to La-La Land Records, the release date for these new soundtrack titles is 12pm (PST) on January 28th, 2014 at both www.lalalandrecords.com and other soundtrack boutiques. Superman: The Animated Series – Original Soundtrack from the Warner Bros. Television Series will be a limited release of 3000 copies, and Batman: The Brave and The Bold – Music from the DC Comics Animated Television Series will be limited to 2000. Continue below for the complete track listing and cover artwork, exclusively revealed first at The World’s Finest, along with initial press details.

On Jan 28th, at 12noon (PST), La-La Land Records will proudly release two fantastic limited edition DC Comics/WB Animation scores: SUPERMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES: LIMITED EDITION (4-CD SET) and BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD: LIMITED EDITION (2-CD SET). The 4-Disc Superman set features a 36 page booklet and the 2-Disc Batman set features a 24 page booklet – both with attractive art and exclusive, in-depth liners. As with many La-La Land Releases, autographed copies will be available to the first customers who order these titles at www.lalalandrecords.com when the titles are released on 1/28 at 12noon (PST). Autographed copies are not guaranteed and will only available while supplies last.

SUPERMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES: LIMITED EDITION (4-CD SET)
LLLCD 1276
Music by Kristopher Carter, Harvey R. Cohen, Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis & Shirley Walker
Limited Edition of 3000 Units
RETAIL PRICE: $59.98

TRACK LISTING:
DISC 1 (78:59)
1 SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES-Main Title (Shirley Walker) 1:07
THE LAST SON OF KRYPTON, PART I (Lolita Ritmanis)
2 Krypton Opening/Monster Attack 2:37
3 Family Theme 1:12
4 Earthquake/Jor-El Appeals* 1:59
5 Brainiac Confrontation* 2:14
6 Jor-El Escapes Arrest/Jor-El Outside 1:52
7 Decision to Send Kal-El 3:01
8 Brainiac Leaves Krypton*/ Kal-El Leaves Krypton*/** 1:43
THE LAST SON OF KRYPTON, PART II (Michael McCuistion)
9 Recap (The Last Son of Krypton, Part II)* 1:07
10 Kal-El Lands on Earth/Couple Find Kal-El 2:09
11 Clark’s Abilities/Clark Meets His Parents 3:19
12 Clark’s First Flight*** 2:24
13 News Program Source :32
14 Industrial Film Source 1:10
15 Superman Rescues Lois*/ Missile Hits Airliner* 3:13
THE LAST SON OF KRYPTON, PART III (Harvey R. Cohen)
16 Recap (The Last Son of Krypton, Part III)* 1:00
17 Superman Saves Airliner* 2:39
18 Clark’s Identity Crisis* :56
19 Lois Abducts Bibbo/Lois Meets John 1:46
20 Clark Recognizes Ship*/Orders to Kill Lois* 2:05
21 Robot Loose in City* 2:08
22 Lois Gets Story* 1:03
MONKEY FUN (Lolita Ritmanis)
23 Family Pet 2:00
24 Titano Lost and Found 2:06
25 Monkey Business/Babysitting With Fleas/Bacteria Attack* 2:07
26 Jimmy Runs Away* 1:01
27 Monkeys on the Loose*/Superman Cages Lions 1:54
28 Titano at the Dock 1:53
29 Titano/Amusement Park* 1:37
30 Superman vs. Titano 1:39
31 Pop Goes the Weasel (Traditional, arr. L. Ritmanis) :37
32 Titano Relocated 1:13
TOOLS OF THE TRADE (Kristopher Carter)
33 Tank Attack* 3:04
34 Meet Kanto/Mannheim Gets Gloves 1:22
35 Train Wreck/Train Robbery 1:31
36 To the Rescue* 1:44
37 Turpin Resigns 1:11
38 Prisoner Turpin/Superman Finds Turpin/Turpin Saves Superman* 3:55
39 Superman Thanks Turpin*/ Planet Apokolips* 1:20
TOOLS OF THE TRADE—Bonus Track (Kristopher Carter)
40 Train Wreck/Train Robbery (Alternate) 1:51
41 SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES—
Video End Credits (Shirley Walker) 2:37
THE LAST SON OF KRYPTON, PART III—Bonus Music-And-Effects Track
42 Superman Destroys Robot* (H. Cohen)/Superman Spurns Lex* (M. McCuistion)/Brainiac Returns* (L. Ritmanis) 3:07

DISC 2 (78:59)
1 THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES—Main Title (Shirley Walker) 1:05
WORLD’S FINEST, PART I (Michael McCuistion)
2 Closing Time*/Joke in the Box Source*/ Batman Takes Evidence* 1:37
3 Terrorists on Plane* 1:11
4 Lois Talks to Superman/Lois Beats Herself Up :58
5 Joker Abducts Lex 1:20
6 Lex & Joker Make a Deal/Lois Meets Bruce 1:42
7 Joker Undoes Carlini 1:27
8 WayneLex T-7 :52
9 First Dance 1:11
10 Batman Shows Up/Binko’s Bad Night*/Batman Bugs Superman* 3:29
WORLD’S FINEST, PART II (Michael McCuistion)
11 Recap (World’s Finest, Part II) :38
12 Bruce and Lois Go Out/Joker Crashes Date/Joker’s Plan 2:23
13 Batwing Takes Off*/Superman Meets Joker* 1:39
14 Batman Saves Superman* 3:08
15 Batman Makes His Exit :29
16 Harley Cheers Up Joker/Lex Meets With Joker 2:01
17 Batman Pays Lex a Visit/Superman Flies By* 1:14
18 Jet Pac Transportation*/Joker Uses Robot 1:12
WORLD’S FINEST, PART III (Michael McCuistion & Lolita Ritmanis)
19 Recap (World’s Finest, Part III) (M. McCuistion) :35
20 Ship in Distress (M. McCuistion) 1:45
21 Batman Drops In/ Batman Unmasked/ Superman Stops Robot (M. McCuistion) 1:30
22 Batman Has to Leave/Lex Sets Up Joker (M. McCuistion) 1:28
23 Arrival at Lab*/Robots Battle Superman*/Batman Gets to Lexwing* (L. Ritmanis) 6:04
24 Lexwing Crashes* (M. McCuistion) 2:22
25 Bruce Returns to Gotham* (M. McCuistion) 1:08
MXYZPIXILATED (Harvey R. Cohen)
26 Stopping Traffic/Reading the Comics/The Statue Moves 2:43
27 Chickens/Setting the Rules 3:23
28 A Close Shave*/Proofreading/Apartment Source 3:52
29 Building Battle Suit 1:54
30 Clark’s Calendar/Office Menagerie/Aerial Chase* 4:50
31 Why Am I Eating This? :56
FATHER’S DAY (Shirley Walker)
32 Scream Machine Lands/Superman vs. Machine 3:56
33 Desaad’s Tricky Plan 1:26
34 Kalibak Comes to Earth/Kalibak Trashes Minerva 1:56
35 Kalibak Ambushes Superman :48
36 Superman vs. Kalibak/Fight on Train Track 2:04
37 Battle Continues/Power Struggle 3:25
38 Darkseid Beams Superman 2:21
FATHER’S DAY—Bonus Track (Shirley Walker)
39 Restaurant Source 1:07
40 THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES—End Credits (Shirley Walker) :35

DISC 3 (78:36)
1 SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES— Twenty-Second Promo (Shirley Walker) :26
IN BRIGHTEST DAY… (Michael McCuistion)
2 Kyle Catches Thief :58
3 Abin Makes Ring Choose/Ring Chooses Kyle* 3:27
4 Kyle Is Green Lantern :32
5 Superman Finds Abin/Sinestro Wants the Ring 2:22
6 Superman Meets Guardian :44
7 Kyle Saves Little Girl/Fight Continues 3:02
8 Superman Helps Council/Fight for Power/Kyle Wins Battle 4:05
9 Kyle’s Their Man 1:16
A LITTLE PIECE OF HOME (Kristopher Carter)
10 Break-In at the Museum* 2:14
11 Lex Sees Superman Weak*/Waiting for a Reaction :51
12 Lois Gets a Phone Call/Steal Treasury Plates*/No Deal with Lex* 5:31
13 Lois Visits S.T.A.R. Labs/Superman vs. Dinosaur*/Superman Throws Rock* 4:26
LIVEWIRE (Harvey R. Cohen)
14 Wake-Up Source 1:30
15 Construction Crane/Prevents Crane Accident* 2:42
16 Centennial Park Source 1:15
17 Leslie Becomes Livewire* 1:37
18 Livewire Checks Out :59
19 Metamorphosis Complete 1:07
20 She Turns Off the Light/Tower of Power Is Back 1:31
21 Superman Averts Planes* :59
22 Livewire Gets Recharged*/Caution Sign 3:41
APOKOLIPS…NOW!, PART I (Kristopher Carter)
23 Maggie Brings Cash :51
24 Hovercraft Steals Truck/Superman Fights Craft/Superman & Broken Glass 2:56
25 Darkseid Arrives*/Orion Arrives 2:10
26 New Genesis & Apokolips* 2:55
27 Air Base Battle/Orion Zaps Hovercraft/Orion Wins at Air Base* 3:20
28 Mannheim at Power Plant :33
29 Orion Goes Back 1:24
30 Power Plant Explodes*/Superman Sees Explosion 1:20
APOKOLIPS…NOW!, PART II (Kristopher Carter)
31 Recap (Apokolips…Now!, Part II) 1:00
32 Hamilton Has Bad News 1:06
33 Meet Steppenwolf :26
34 Steppenwolf Arrives*/Missiles Bring Down Superman 2:11
35 Demons Take Over City/Attack of the Demons* 2:01
36 Superman Puts Out Fire* 1:44
37 Darkseid Appears* 1:00
38 Dan Fights Demons* 1:39
39 Apokoliptic War Machine/Darkseid Takes Control* 1:14
40 Orion to the Rescue*/Dan’s Funeral 4:42
41 THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES—Twenty-Second Promo :26 (Shirley Walker)

DISC 4 (79:00)
1 SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES — Ten-Second Promo (Shirley Walker) :16
LITTLE GIRL LOST, PART I (Lolita Ritmanis)
2 Journey Through Space 2:43
3 Superman Enters Chamber/Kala’s Story/Superman Finds Kara 3:02
4 Kara Flies 1:17
5 Intergang Interest/Intergang Arrives :28
6 Gang Fights Superman* 2:38
7 Granny Knows Best/Kara Joins Jimmy :48
8 Following Gang Into Building :45
9 Granny Takes Control**** 2:52
LITTLE GIRL LOST, PART II (Lolita Ritmanis)
10 Recap (Little Girl Lost, Part II) :53 11 Surrounded 1:53
12 Superman Is Captured*/Kara Leaves for Apokolips 3:23
13 Kara Arrives on Apokolips**** 1:18
14 Kara Escapes Parademons**** 2:00
15 Superman Kneels*/Darkseid’s Prediction/Get Back Home* 3:31
16 Stop Comet*/Superman Catches 2:50
17 Supergirl’s OK 1:07
FEEDING TIME (Michael McCuistion)
18 Toxic Waste* 2:28
19 Rudy Becomes Toxic/Goo on Superman’s Finger* 1:24
20 Parasite Saps Police* 1:16
21 Parasite Visits LeBeau*/Parasite Saps Superman’s Energy* 2:23
22 Parasite Can’t Rob Bank :32
23 Parasite Attacks Clark/His New Meal Plan* :49
24 Jimmy Gets Idea 2:19
25 Superman Saves Jimmy/Saved by a Bug* 2:25
LEGACY, PART I (Shirley Walker)
26 Planet Attack 2:20
27 Leader Revealed 1:27
28 Kal-El’s Dream 1:20
29 Brainwashed 2:01
30 Supergirl Chases Robot 2:01
31 Lex Knows :34
32 Ready for Battle :49
33 Kal-El Attacks Earth :57
34 Lex Kills Kal-El 3:53
LEGACY, PART II (Shirley Walker)
35 Recap (Legacy, Part II) :28
36 Taken Prisoner 1:37
37 Superman Tries to Escape 2:09
38 Lois Springs Superman*** 3:47
39 Lois Comforts Superman*** 2:08
40 Return to Apokolips 1:20
41 Superman vs. Furies 1:01
42 Superman vs. Darkseid 2:16
43 Darkseid Prevails 2:07
44 Lois and Superman :46
45 SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES—End Credits (Shirley Walker) :35
Total 4CD Time: 5:15:34

* Includes thematic material by Shirley Walker
**Includes thematic material by Michael McCuistion
***Includes thematic material by Lolita Ritmanis
****Includes thematic material by Kristopher Carter

BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD: LIMITED EDITION (2-CD SET)
LLLCD 1289
Music by Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis & Kristopher Carter
Limited Edition of 2000 Units
RETAIL PRICE: $19.98

TRACK LISTING:
DISC 1
1. Batman: Brave and the Bold Main Title§ 0:33
2. Original Beetle Flashback*** 2:05
3. The Search** 2:19
4. History Lesson** 1:05
5. The Ideal Society* 2:24
6. Initiate Attack Sequence** 1:25
7. Ted’s Sacrifice* 1:40
8. Island Blows Up*** 2:37
9. Worthy Jaime*** 0:47
10. No Rest For The Weary*** 2:17
11. Through The Door** 0:21
12. My Son, Tornado Champion** 2:19
13. Major Disaster* 2:03
14. Father Son Bonding*** 2:57
15. Conversation By The Sea*** 1:28
16. Internal Change*** 1:37
17. The Logical Solution* 2:11
18. Dare to Love* 1:54
19. Who Am I?** 1:41
20. Gentlemen Ghost Busted*** 2:41
21. Action In The Sky** 1:39
22. Plastic Man Origin* 0:57
23. Flashback Defense* 1:11
24. Oa Arrival*** 1:21
25. Prisoner Roundup*** 1:37
26. Return To Camelot* 2:09
27. Etrigan Transformation** 0:38
28. Forest Fight** 2:17
29. Ogre Altercation* 1:59
30. Morgan Enslaves Bats*** 0:45
31. Castle Fight*** 1:53
32. Dragon Transformation* 2:18
33. Morgan Defeated** 1:21
34. Etrigan Departs** 0:44
35. Faust Battle* 2:03
36. Aquaman On The Scene** 1:14
37. Orm And Manta Plot*** 1:29
38. Fighting Fish Fun*** 1:38
39. Call Me Ocean Master** 1:53
40. Bat Chum*** 0:48
41. Black Manta’s Showtime** 1:18
42. Shrimp To The Rescue* 2:44
43. A King Is Born** 0:48
44. Meet Bat-Mite*** 1:59
45. Villains & Holidays* 1:54
46. UFOs and Alien Monsters* 1:16
47. Run Bat-Mite Run*** 1:28
48. Bat-Mite Goes Home*** 1:04
49. Just Like Green Arrow** 0:28
Total Disc Time: 79:17

DISC 2
1. Black Orchid Snags Ivy*** 2:42
2. Catwoman Seeks Cloak*** 1:21
3. Thugs Emerge From Smoke** 1:07
4. Catwoman Steps Out** 1:08
5. Cloak Reveal** 1:16
6. Get The Birds Of Prey** 0:53
7. Matches Montage*** 1:52
8. Outsiders vs. Despero*** 3:06
9. Jonah’s Back In Town* 0:46
10. Jonah’s Hand** 1:11
11. I Aim To Repay My Debt* 2:07
12. Enter Mongal** 1:26
13. Furies Attack*** 1:30
14. Bats Hex Face Mongal*** 0:57
15. Mongul’s Savagery** 1:36
16. Giddyap!* 1:31
17. Manta Machine Fight*** 2:53
18. Wildcat** 3:24
19. Motorcycle Chase* 1:40
20. Subway Fight* 0:58
21. Slug Is Sleazy And Slimy** 1:18
22. Wildcat Tricks Slug* 3:36
23. Mystery Montage* 0:57
24. Armed And Dangerous** 2:49
25. Joker Revealed* 1:24
26. Your Car Or Mine?* 2:09
27. Don’t Touch That* 1:17
28. Death Trap** 1:11
29. Sinister** 1:07
30. Seduction And Pulse** 1:56
31. Batmania Battle* 2:32
32. Joker Laughs Last*** 1:11
33. Cadabra And Zatana** 2:25
34. Young Wayne’s Oath* 1:10
35. Confession*** 1:33
36. Tiki Tavern Souce** 0:30
37. Moxin Crashes Ball*** 2:05
38. Casual Contract* 0:55
39. Batman vs. Everyone* 1:41
40. The Slinking Coward** 2:43
41. Jazzy Action Source** 0:50
42. Ambush Bug Materializes** 1:28
43. Bat-Mite Goes Too Far* 1:31
44. Bats Reverts To Norm*** 1:42
45. If Only Piano Source** 1:09
46. Batman: Brave and the Bold End Titles§ 0:36
Total Disc Time: 75:05

§ composed by Andy Sturmer * composed by Michael McCuistion
** composed by Lolita Ritmanis *** composed by Kristopher Carter

Total Album Time: 154:22

Superman: The Animated Series – Original Soundtrack from the Warner Bros. Television Series and Batman: The Brave and The Bold – Music from the DC Comics Animated Television Series will both be available to order on January 28th, 2014 from La-La Land Records, available both directly from the label and other major retailers. Check out the Superman: The Animated Series subsite and the Batman: The Brave and The Bold subsite for further details on both shows.

Additional soundtrack releases based on animated content inspired by DC Comics characters are expected to be released throughout the year.

Stay tuned for further updates here soon at The World’s Finest.

Discuss this news on The DC Animation Forum!

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Interview With “Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox” Composer Frederik Wiedmann

With the Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox – Music From The DC Universe Animated Original Movie soundtrack release available to own on compact disc courtesy of La-La Land Records – through the label’s website and a host of online retail vendors – The World’s Finest caught up with Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox composer Frederik Wiedmann to discuss his work on the recent acclaimed animated feature. Weidmann covers a host of topics – including character themes, composing for animated movies and television shows, and what he has coming in the future. Click on the image below for the full interview, exclusive to The World’s Finest.

The Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox – Music From The DC Universe Animated Original Movie soundtrack release from La-La Land Records is currently available for the retail price of $19.98. The compact disc soundtrack, available for purchase through both www.lalalandrecords.com and other soundtrack boutiques, is a limited edition of 2000 units. Click on the links below to discuss both the Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox animated feature and its respective releases.

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Soundtrack Talkback (Spoilers)
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Talkback (Spoilers)
Flashpoint Comic Mini-Series/Crossover Talkback (Spoilers)

Click here to read the The World’s Finest review of the Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox animated feature and Blu-ray release. A co-production of Warner Premiere, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the direct-to-video Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox animated feature is available to own across home video media formats.

Stay tuned for further updates here soon at The World’s Finest.

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“Man of Steel” Is Now Available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download!
Discuss the “Man of Steel” here!

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Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion, Kristopher Carter Featured Guests At “PlayFest,” New Interview

The Dynamic Music Partners team has played an integral role in the world of animation since their inception, and now they’re getting the center stage!

The BSOSpirit Association – organizing the first edition of PlayFest, the music, animation and video games festival which will be held in Úbeda from the 23rd to the 29th July 2012 – has announced the attendance of Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion and Kristopher Carter (Dynamic Music Partners), the trio that met while working for the great Shirley Walker on the animated TV series Batman: The Animated Series, to the highly-anticipated festival. Michael, Kristopher and Lolita have been writing music for TV, film, video games and the concert hall for over fifteen years, receiving numerous Emmy nominations and receiving the award in 2001 for their work on the series Batman Beyond. Among their credits are the animated series The New Adventures of Batman and Superman, Batman Beyond, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans, Legion of Super Heroes, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Batman: The Brave And The Bold and the recent Young Justice. All of them have obtained great critical and commercial success.

After years of composing together they discovered the virtues of joining forces, and in 2004 they founded Dynamic Music Partners and have worked as a team ever since.

All of them have shown their talent on solo projects, but certainly they have proven that their work together is much more than the sum of their talents. BSOSpirit is honored to welcome such experienced musicians in the world of animation, calling it a luxury to add their names to the lineup of guests for PlayFest. Click here for the PlayFest website.

Dynamic Music Partners sat down with The World’s Finest to discuss their upcoming appearance at Playfest and what they have in store! Take it away…


The World’s Finest: First off, Dynamic Music Partners (DMP) will be guests at Play Fest 2012 in Ubeda, Spain. Can you give us a quick low-down on what Play Fest is?

Lolita Ritmanis: PlayFest is a festival celebrating music for animation and video games. During the week of July 23rd through the 29th the Andalucian town of Úbeda will be buzzing, as fans of music for animation and video games flock to this relatively small town. The concert on Saturday, July 28th will feature music for animation and video games, performed by an 80-piece orchestra and a 60-voice choir. The outdoor setting for the concert is quite spectacular. During the week there will be an array of workshops and panels for fans as well as for composers. We are honored to be invited to this festival. We will be conducting our music at the concert on the 28th, as well as sharing our music during several panels that we will be participating in.

WF: Do you know what material you’ll be drawing from for your appearance at Play Fest? You will also be part of a panel discussion – can you fill us in on that?

Kristopher Carter: We will be presenting the world premiere performance of suites from Batman and Mr. Freeze: Subzero, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, a brand new suite from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, as well as selections from our television themes and scores to Batman: The Brave and The Bold, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and Ben10. For the panels, we will present a master class for young composers on film scoring techniques, a panel showcasing a cross-section of music from the many popular shows we have worked on over the years and we will also participate in a discussion honoring our mentor Shirley Walker.

WF: You’ll be honoring Shirley Walker at PlayFest. Can you share with us her role in DMP’s creation and how she remains an influence even today? How do you plan to honor her at PlayFest?

Michael McCuistion: If it weren’t for Shirley, the three of us certainly would never have been working together as closely as we have been. Although Shirley wasn’t directly involved in the formation of DMP, she definitely had an influence in that we developed similar work styles and approaches while being mentored by her. By the time we formed DMP we were already very compatible in the way we approached scoring a project. We don’t know any specific details about her tribute at PlayFest, but I’m so happy that we’ll be able to be there to experience it along with all the other people who love her and miss her and her music so much.

WF: Now, we basically know the story of how DMP came together. How do you stay together, choose your projects, and basically plan ahead? Is it always a unanimous decision?

LR: We take pride in running a well-oiled machine. First and foremost are the relationships we build with our clients. We take great care to plan our music spotting sessions and music preview sessions so that we can collaborate in a very personal way with the producers of the show. We never phone it in. We choose our projects, but truthfully, the way it works is that the producers of the projects choose us. Very rarely does a project get handed to us. In this era, there are many people on the creative team of a series that need to weigh in on the choice of composers. We meticulously plan pretty much every phase of our work process. We have not yet run into a situation where the decision to accept work has been anything other than a unanimous decision.

WF: A couple of your recent projects were so…opposite of each other. Batman: The Brave and The Bold and Young Justice. Could you run down your approach to both of those series, and how their unique tones set up some very unique score work from DMP? In particular, what was your inspiration for Young Justice’s score.

KC: As a series, Batman: The Brave and The Bold painted a version of Batman that was lighter than some of the other animated incarnations we have scored, freely mixing comedy with the expected mystery, danger and action. There was an unmistakable element of fun in the show that we could not ignore as we created the music, and we felt that a more jazzy approach would bring the right energy and still have the stylistic latitude to be ominous and dangerous when the scenes needed it. And, of course, we needed bongo drums! Producer James Tucker asked that bongos be used in the score as a rhythmic element to drive the action scenes. Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti, the producers of Young Justice, had a particular vision of the way they wanted music to work with the scenes and specific emotions they wanted to evoke, and so we all had discussions together on a unique approach to scoring that show. We placed an emphasis on ethnic percussion, non-melodic sounds and ambient textures to capture the gritty, edgy covert-ops world of our young heroes.

WF: Just to touch upon Young Justice again for a moment, your score work here is unlike anything you’ve done before. Is this something you seek out when deciding projects, how to challenge yourself? Can you run us through some of your most challenging projects today, be it in animation live-action, or beyond?

MM: When Brandon and Greg came to us with their ideas about the look and feel of Young Justice, we were instantly excited about the opportunity to do something different with the score. With a career that spans many years it’s important that inspiration remains fresh. So, for each new production that we score, we definitely strive to create a unique sound that musically identifies that project. Then, within that sound, we have the freedom to do many subtle things while exploring the musical details of that universe. For example, we recently scored a live-action feature film called Broke Sky that had southern blues guitar gestures as the main musical element but then gradually departs from that as the story develops. And we just finished a short live-action film called Game Day in which the underscore is almost entirely marching band source, eventually evolving into an underscore/source hybrid by the end of the film. We really enjoy finding a unique musical sound for each project that will be different and unusual and stimulate us creatively.

WF: How does a show or movie’s character influence your musical choices. The Spectacular Spider-Man’s score had a great youthful exuberance to it, Justice League felt heroic, Batman Beyond was edgy and dirty. How much research and input do you get from a show’s creative team when deciding how you approach a score? What role do you want your score to play when approaching these shows?

LR: We research a show in great detail before we embark on the process of composition. Often the producer of the show will have some idea of the direction he wants to take with the project. We have yet to work on a series where we have a completely blank canvas concept wise. Creatively it is hard work to fine tune what the vibe of the show will be. This is a collaborative process all the way. When the choices we make in the composing process hit the mark for the producer, it is a very powerful feeling. We are not mind readers, but we certainly have learned a great deal about what kind of questions to ask.

WF: To quickly touch upon it, DMP has also done some video game work. How complicated is it to create a score for a video game as opposed to a television show or movie? What do you have to take into account in this arena that you wouldn’t anywhere else?

KC: Our approach to video games isn’t nearly as different from film scoring as one might expect. Like a film, music for games also needs to give the project a strong, uniquely-identifyable sound, be well-produced and recorded, and compositionally interesting. The main difference has to do with the non-linear nature of games—you have to keep in mind certain sections may not play in the same sequence as originally conceived, or also that they might loop for a long period of time based on the way the players interact with the game.

MM: Another difference is that the final rendering of the game is often not complete until after the music has been delivered. So, rather than working to a picture which has been carefully timed and edited and is rich with acting and expression, we rely much more on the story of the game itself and our idea of what the final visuals will eventually become. The wonderful thing about that is that with each game we’ve been involved with the visuals and final product turned out way better than we could have ever imagined!

WF: Also, DMP has been credited with doing some work on the DC comics theatrical logos and the like. I imagine finding the right cuts and sound for a brief 15 or 30 second logo is exceedingly difficult, maybe even more so than scoring an episode. Can you briefly give us an idea of how you score one of these logo animations? What choices and decisions do you have to make, and is it a long approval process, when coming up with small snippets of music?

MM: Any project that has a very small amount of music with extremely high visibility and featured profile requires a very different process than scoring under dialog and action. Generally, we will score these types of projects as a group, with each of us bringing our separate ideas together to form the finished theme. It’s a lot like songwriting, with the three of us in a room at the same time all contributing to the flow of the writing. Since these pieces are generally very short, often nowadays five seconds or less, each note and each sound becomes very important. So, we examine and re-examine what we’ve done before we submit it. Then, usually several committees of people will have input on what they’re hearing from us, and there will be a multi-tiered back-and-forth process with us doing revisions based on continuing feedback until everyone is satisfied. It’s tedious, but when you’re able to experience the music being featured on screen without any sound effects or dialog, it’s ultimately rewarding.

WF: A bit off-topic-ish, but fans are clamoring to for more scores from Batman: The Animated Series – among other DC animated programs – to be released. Any words of advice on what we can do to let Warner Bros. know there is a huge market for this? Is there any bit of your work you’d particularly like to see released on CD/download?

LR: I can tell you that the clamoring has been heard. La-La Land records will be releasing several of the titles that the fans have been asking for. It is a very exciting time for us in that regard. Stay tuned!

WF: To bring it back to where we started off, and I know you kind of already answered this, but any chance some of the above mentioned shows will be highlighted during Play Fest 2012? Any last words to let the fans know why they shouldn’t miss this great event, with the DMP crew conducting on July 27th?

KC: Yes, most of the ones mentioned above will be! We’re so excited with the opportunity to share our music in this venue with the outstanding orchestra and choir. One of the most compelling reasons to attend this festival is that fans will be able to experience some of their favorite music in “better-than-stereo LIVE” that can’t be heard anywhere in the world outside of the shows for which it was originally composed. We hope to see you there!


Click here for the more details on the PlayFest event.

The World’s Finest would like to thank Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion & Kristopher Carter – Dynamic Music Partners – for their participation in this Q&A.



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