Dragon's Domain Records


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Dragon’s Domain Records presents THE DAVID MICHAEL FRANK COLLECTION, Volume 1, featuring music composed by David Michael Frank. This first collection of David Michael Frank’s film music exhibits three scores from the mid 80’s and mid ‘90s, showing three very distinctly different styles and demonstrating different flavors of the composer’s expertise.

Released in 1985, CODE OF SILENCE was the first action film scored by David Michael Frank, and is also recognized as one of action star Chuck Norris’ best films. This was the fourth film for director Andrew Davis and Frank would collaborate with him again on his next film, ABOVE THE LAW, which launched action star Steven Seagal’s career and also increased the demand for the composer’s talents for scoring action films. Norris plays Eddie Cusack, a Chicago cop who gets caught in the middle of a gang war while his own comrades shun him because he wants to take down a corrupt fellow officer. Henry Silva has a memorable role as the film’s villain and would also return to play the villain in ABOVE THE LAW. Frank’s score for CODE OF SILENCE is a mix of sequencer material the director was fond of but most of the score is in the style of hip fusion, mid ‘80s style, with a rhythm section featuring some of Hollywood’s hottest musicians (George Doering on electric guitar, Neil Stubenhaus on bass, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, and on keyboards Mike Lang, Randy Kerber, and Mike Boddicker.

Released in 1996, COSMIC VOYAGE was a short documentary film produced in the IMAX format, directed by Bayley Silleck and narrated by Morgan Freeman. The film, presented by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, sought to explore our place among the ever-expanding universe. The score was recorded at Skywalker Ranch with a 90-piece orchestra.

Also included, from 1994, music not from a film but a corporate event, from the BOEING 777 ROLLOUT. When the first of a new series of airliner is built, Boeing puts on a PR show, and in 1994, the 777 was their newest airplane. The rollout was a 10-minute event to present the new plans to the public, and Boeing wanted to make it the most spectacular one to date. Frank was hired to compose a ten-minute fanfare and suite for the rollout, which was a one-day presentation with 105,000 people gathered into Boeing’s large aircraft hangar.

David Michael Frank was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland where he studied classical piano and composition at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. After graduating from Northwestern University, Frank moved to New York, where he became Broadway’s youngest conductor. After six years in New York, he relocated to California to pursue a career in film composition, where he’s scored numerous films of various types and over 200 episodes of television over more than forty years in media composition.

Dragon’s Domain Records presents THE DAVID MICHAEL FRANK COLLECTION, Volume 1, featuring music composed by David Michael Frank for several projects from his filmography, digitally mastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland, featuring liner notes written by author Randall Larson, with the participation of the composer.

THE DAVID MICHAEL FRANK COLLECTION, Volume 1 is a limited edition release of 500 units. The first 100 copies ordered through the website will be autographed by the composer at no extra charge.

1. The City Stirs (2:51)
2. Eddie’s Theme (1:38)
3. Enter the Prowler (2:13)
4. Columbian Gauntlet (1:35)
5. Omerta (The Code) (2:42)
6. The Bust (5:28)
7. Cat and Mouse (2:32)
8. Wrong Bar Blues (3:18)
9. Head To Head (2:24)
10. Solo Flight (2:14)
11. Armageddon (3:20)
12. Fresh Start (3:07)
13. Cosmic Voyage (4:48)
14. Through a Drop of Water (2:31)
15. Creation (3:28)
16. Discovery (2:13)
17. Mysteries Of The Universe (2:03)
18. The Heavens Below (1:36)
19. Rebirth (1:13)
20. Little Green Algae (3:45)
21. Into the Cosmos (0:52)
22. Beyond The Stars (1:50)
23. 42 Rings (0:52)
24. A Never-Ending Journey (2:41)
25. Working Together / The Rollout (10:00)

Total Time: 72:18



Cosmic Voyage/Boeing 777 Rollout (1996/1994) *****
BSX (download)
13 tracks - 37:52
The folks at BuySoundtrax have been releasing a series of under-the-radar scores from IMAX films, the latest being David Michael Frank’s Cosmic Voyage (1996). Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the movie explores our place in the universe, and received an Oscar nomination in the Short Subject category. Frank may be most familiar to film music fans for his gritty synth scores to various Steven Seagal films of the early ’90s—which couldn’t be farther from the sound of Cosmic Voyage.

The title music opens with harp before a sweeping string statement takes up a beautiful theme. The line is bolstered by horns and rich harmonic support, delivering a full-scale orchestral style depicting a sense of awe and beauty. “Through a Drop of Water” establishes an epic sweep that carries throughout much of the score. In fact, the album plays out with the feel of an orchestral suite, as a series of grand, symphonic gestures make for one fascinating moment after another.

Touching solo wind lines add poignancy in places like “Discovery” and “The Heavens Below,” while rich string writing continues to deliver the goods. There’s an almost balletic quality to the writing at times, gently wafting across the texture, only to explode forward into small bursts. “Mysteries of the Universe” is driven by undulating motifs and unison strings that reach outward. By contrast, the more avant-garde “42 Rings” showcases an aleatoric sound mass that climaxes in a giant, punched final chord, a la John Williams’ Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Filling out the relatively brief album is a 10-minute suite that Frank composed for the rollout of the Boeing 777, part of a multi-media presentation when the new plane was revealed in Seattle in 1994. The material is enjoyable on its own terms, but there are also enough similarities in the approach to make it a fine companion to Cosmic Voyage.

For fans of orchestral sci-fi that hovers in the realm of Holt’s Planets and the greater Star Trek universe, this album may well be a stellar discovery, and one of the surprise highlights of the year. —Steven A. Kennedy

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