Brian Tyler, composer of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” was named a BMI Icon at Wednesday night’s 38th annual Broadcast Music Inc. Film, TV and Visual Media Awards in Beverly Hills.
Tyler (above, right) is among the top 10 highest-grossing film composers of all time. His other films have included “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Rambo,” “Charlie’s Angels” and the recent reboot of “Scream.” His TV credits include “Yellowstone,” “1883,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Sleepy Hollow” and “Transformers: Prime.” He also wrote the Formula One racing theme and, as his alter ego Madsonik, has written and produced several songs with a contemporary edge.
“It’s just mind-blowing to now be included in that pantheon of talent,” Tyler told Variety, referring to the many previous recipients of the performing-rights organization’s highest accolade, including John Williams, Alan Silvestri, James Newton Howard, Alexandre Desplat and Terence Blanchard.
“I started composing at the same time I was shooting short films as a kid,” Tyler said. “I always saw music as the unsung hero, the most emotional element in any kind of storytelling device, one that transcends language and culture.
“I feel like I’ve just begun,” he added, citing his current project, “Are We Dreaming?”, an immersive audio-visual experience, a kind of successor to “Fantasia” where the music is the driving force and inspires the visuals rather than the other way around as in most films and TV. A video tribute to the composer included salutes from collaborators including directors Jon Chu, Taylor Sheridan and D.J. Caruso and actors Sylvester Stallone and Justin Baldoni.
Also on Wednesday, the BMI Impact Award was presented to the ensemble of female composers who scored the Grammy-winning “Women Warriors: The Voices of Change” project, celebrating activists fighting for human rights and equality through the years.
“Women Warriors” was the creation of New York orchestra conductor Amy Andersson, who wrote and directed a 70-minute documentary honoring “the strength and valor of over 65 activists who have fought, or are currently fighting, for gender equality, civil and human rights, and the right of every girl to an education,” Andersson told Variety.
She conducted a live-to-picture concert at Lincoln Center in September 2019, including music by eight women composers, then flew to Latvia in February 2020 to record the soundtrack album, which won the Classical Compendium Grammy earlier this year. Honored along with Andersson were BMI composers and lyrcists Lolita Ritmanis, Miriam Cutler, Penka Kouneva, Starr Parodi and Isolde Fair.
Added Andersson: “It means so much to me to see this BMI award recognize the significance of this project; it was created by a team of nine women, was not funded or promoted by any studio, and with just the power of the message, has risen to the level of receiving this honor.”
Dozens of other awards were handed out to BMI composers who scored movie box-office hits and highly rated network TV, cable and streaming series and films. Receiving multiple awards were Tyler (“F9: The Fast Saga,” “Scream,” “Those Who Wish Me Dead,” “Yellowstone”), Atli Orvarsson (“Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.,” “FBI,” “FBI: International,” “FBI: Most Wanted”), Mychael Danna (“The Addams Family 2,” “Cinderella”), James Newton Howard (“Jungle Cruise,” “Emily in Paris”), Carlos Rafael Rivera (“Hacks,” “The Queen’s Gambit”), Thomas Newman (“Dog,” “The Little Things”), Ramin Djawadi (“Eternals,” “Uncharted”), Blake Neely (“Greyhound,” “The Flight Attendant”), Atticus Ross (“Soul,” “Operation Varsity Blues,” “Animal Kingdom”), Trevor Gureckis (“Old,” “Servant”), Mac Quayle (“Ratched,” “9-1-1”), Rob Simonsen (“Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” “Blue Bloods”).
The black-tie event, attended by more than 400 composers and other music professionals, was hosted by BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill (above, left); Senior VP of Creative, Alex Flores; and Executive VP of Creative and Licensing Mike Steinberg.
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