Ten Commandments: A Film Rescored
Steve Berlin, Steven Drozd and Scott Amendola created the momentous new score for the Exodus tale, musically following Moses out of Egypt and into the Dessert where he receives the Ten Commandments.
Cecil B. DeMille’s first attempt at telling the Ten Commandments story was in the Silent era year of 1923. The film is broken up into two stories: the story of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt and a thinly related “present-day” melodrama.
The video, which can be viewed here and on several streaming platforms (listen on Spotify), is a cut of the performance of the score aired during Reboot’s 2020 Shavuot celebration – DAWN – an annual all-night interpretation of the magical and mighty holiday of Shavuot. The score will also be released on vinyl later this year.
Read about it in Rolling Stone here!
A longtime mainstay of the Los Angeles music scene, saxophonist Steve Berlin enjoyed perhaps his greatest prominence as a member of Los Lobos, although he was also a sought-after producer and session player. Born September 14, 1955 in Philadelphia, he first surfaced with the Blasters, and officially joined Los Lobos in 1984 after co-producing their 1983 EP And a Time to Dance with T-Bone Burnett. Berlin also continued playing on sessions for a variety of Southern California bands, including the Beat Farmers, Translator, and the Flesh Eaters. In 1986, he appeared on Paul Simon’s landmark Graceland, and a year later, Los Lobos enjoyed their commercial breakthrough with the soundtrack to the film La Bamba. Concurrently, Berlin’s reputation as a producer continued to grow, and he helmed sessions for acts ranging from Faith No More to Dave Alvin to the Tail Gators. In the years to follow, he remained an alternative rock fixture, forging ahead with Los Lobos and working as a freelance with the likes of the Replacements, John Lee Hooker, Leo Kottke, and Sheryl Crow.
Steven Drozd is best known as a multi-instrumentalist, composer and vocalist for The Flaming Lips. The Flaming Lips received Grammys (in 2003 and 2007) for “Best Rock Instrumental Performance.” He has contributed to other artists’ albums and has had multiple side bands such as Electric Würms (with Lips band mate Wayne Coyne) and “STEVENSTEVEN”, a children’s psychedelic rock album he created with former “Blues Clues” host Steve Burns. They won 2019’s best selling children’s Audible Book with “Foreverywhere”. Drozd has also scored films such as Adam Goldberg’s 2003 film, “I Love Your Work”, the Flaming Lips movie, “Christmas on Mars” and documentaries such as “The Heart is a Drum Machine,” and “SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual of Rock.” Drozd lives in Oklahoma City with his family.
For Scott Amendola, the drum kit isn’t so much an instrument as a musical portal. An ambitious composer, savvy bandleader and capaciously creative foil for some of the world’s most inventive musicians, Amendola applies his rhythmic virtuosity to a vast array of settings. His closest musical associates include guitarists, Nels Cline, Jeff Parker, Charlie Hunter, Hammond B- 3 organist Wil Blades, violinists Regina Carter and Jenny Scheinman, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, players who have each forged a singular path within and beyond the realm of jazz. No project better displays Amendola’s big ears and musical ambitions than “Fade To Orange”, an orchestral piece commissioned as part of the Oakland East Bay Symphony’s Irvine Foundation-funded New Visions/New Vistas initiative. The roiling work premiered to critical acclaim at Oakland’s Paramount Theater on April 15, 2011.