Liner Notes for

It's one thing to be a classically schooled composer - to understand harmony and counterpoint, know the classics, and be able to write music for an eighty-piece orchestra. It's quite another to commit one's emotions to paper in the form of musical notes and then to translate those notes into a powerful emotional experience.

Mark Wolfram knows how to do both.

Mark is a big, warm, teddy-bear kind of guy. The youngest of five, he grew up in the cold climes of Minnesota. His mother, a talented pianist, once saw Rachmaninoff perform. By the time he was eight, Mark knew that he was going to be a musician; by the age of 16, he knew that his life's work would be composing. Upon graduating from Northwestern, he went to work writing music for Broadway, Madison Avenue and television in New York and Chicago.

Today, he lives in Los Angeles. That's where his very specialized talents are in demand, creating music for films and television. "Piercing the Celluloid Veil" offers a sampling of his music, much of it performed by the superb Sinfonia of London.

"Piercing the Celluloid Veil" is about reaching beyond the traditional - adding multiple musical layers of interest to afford the listener a cinematic experience without going to the movies. This is a soundtrack without a film, using the mind's eye as a projector.

It's also a kaleidoscope of musical concepts and styles, from the expansive Americana of "Big Sky" to the mystery and urgency of "Ethical Dilemma"; from the shifting currents of "Serpentine" to the tempered sorrow of "Wistful Disappointment"; from the ominous waltz of "Innocent Facade" to the propulsive energy of "Dogged Pursuit." There's a brass trio and even a complex serial composition entitled "Corridors," each a solid classical work...the dramatic "Credo." And there's a great contemporary track called "The Test of Time."

Mark's own "orchestral odyssey" led to the creation of this album. Having spent a number of years realizing the musical ideas of other composers, he says, "part of this project was to fine-tune and hone my own voice." About his hopes for this music, he adds, simply: "I want people to listen and to honestly be moved."

A word of advice: Put this disc on when you can devote your full attention to the music. Dim the lights. Turn up the volume. Close your eyes. Let the music carry you away; you may be surprised where you end up.

 - Jon Burlingame

Jon Burlingame writes about film music for Daily Variety.

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