The Movies of Michael J Lewis

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The early 1960s was a rich period of influence for a young Welsh composer studying Harmony and Counterpoint at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the City of London. The airwaves were full of great melodies. Ernest Gold’s Exodus was a big hit,

as was Dimitri Tiomkin’s  theme from The Alamo. On Broadway, Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story oozed with good tunes. Maurice Jarre’s score for Lawrence of Arabia was breathtaking. Then came the Bond movies with marvelously evocative sounds by John Barry. That great Welsh girl, Shirley Bassey, belted out  Goldfinger,  stirring lustful thoughts of film music creativity in the very soul of a budding composer, Michael J Lewis.

 

His ambitions were rapidly and irrevocably being steered away from a purist church music career, in the shadow of J. S. Bach, to the drama and excitement of the big screen. Maybe, just maybe, such wild dreams could come true. How Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler and Hector Berlioz would have loved the chance to score moving pictures, recorded with wonderfully large orchestras brimming with the crème de la crème of orchestral musicians. Early in the morning of March 15 1968, an impecunious Michael J Lewis received a phone call from British director Bryan Forbes, inviting him to fly to the South of France to discuss scoring The Madwoman of Chaillot. Forbes’s composer of choice, John Barry, was working on Tony Harvey’s The Lion in Winter and was not immediately available. Forbes had remembered a young Welsh composer playing him a bunch of melodies on a piano at a party a few years earlier and muttering ambitions of composing for film. The big chance had arrived and a wild dream came true. That’s what movies are all about.

 

 

 

 

MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT
“One of the most beautiful themes ever heard in

the cinema”
Gramophone.

UPON THIS ROCK
A dramatized documentary of St Peter’s Basilica starring Orson Welles as Michelangelo, Ralph Richardson as the Narrator, Edith Evans as Queen Christina and Dirk Bogarde as Bonnie Prince Charlie. “This magnificent score is as powerful as anything that North or Rozsa could ever have done.”
Gramophone.

THEATRE OF BLOOD
“The music is as much an essential part of its sonic tapestry as the Shakespearean poetry of its script. Intensely melodic and augmented with sublime coloration of the Bard’s own English Renaissance.

One of the most graceful and melodic scores to accompany cinematic horror.”
Randall D. Larson.

 
 

THE MEDUSA TOUCH
“Its vibrant power is quite staggering”

Gramophone.

MICHAEL J LEWIS FILM MUSIC DOUBLE CD
“This is music of majesty and Passion.”

Paul Place. Music from the Movies.
 

“A gift from the Heavens.”
Ford A. Thaxton. Soundtrack Cinema.
 

“A majestic, sweeping and romantic collection. Michael J Lewis shows nothing less than pure genius”
Mark Banning. Crescendo Records.
 

“The best compilation of music for films so far released” 
John Williams.

 

 

Filmography

 

1994   Deadly Target 
1991   She Stood Alone (TV movie) 
1990   The Rose and the Jackal (TV movie) 
1984   Growing Pains 
1984   The Naked Face 
1983   The Hound of the Baskervilles (TV movie) 
1983   On the Third Day 
1982   Yes, Giorgio 
1982   The Island of Adventure 
1981   Sphinx 
1980   Play for Today (TV series) – Jessie (1980)
1980   The Unseen 
1979   The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (TV movie) 
1979   The Passage 
1979   Ffolkes 
1978   BBC Play of the Month (TV series) – Kean (1978)
1978   The Legacy 
1978   The Medusa Touch 
1977   The Stick Up 
1976   Caesar and Cleopatra (TV movie) 
1975   92 in the Shade 
1975   Russian Roulette 
1974   11 Harrowhouse 
1974   Die Verrohung des Franz Blum (uncredited) 
1973   Theatre of Blood 
1973   Baxter! 
1972   Running Scared 
1971   Unman, Wittering and Zigo 
1970   Julius Caesar 
1970   The Man Who Haunted Himself 
1970   Upon This Rock (TV movie) 
1969   The Madwoman of Chaillot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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