Mondo made their name through limited run and newly commissioned screen-printed film posters. Mondo’s platform, infamous for selling out designs in mere seconds, has helped to make artists like Jay Shaw, Tyler Stout, and Laurent Durieux recognizable. So, in 2011, when Mondo entered the vinyl soundtrack business, we were pretty sure what to expect. What started with the simple, but attractive, release of Jay Chattaway’s score for Maniac (1980)—artwork by Ken Taylor—has blossomed with each release, making Mondo’s label imprint one of the finest places for some of cinema’s best scores.
By 2014, Mondo have come to be involved in the production of not only posters and records, but also VHS tapes, t-shirts, comics, and soon to be toys; the common thread connecting the pieces being striking original artwork and packaging. With an eye for art, Mondo’s January announcement for their plans to host their own convention, Mondo Con, only seemed like the natural progression for the rapidly growing company. MondoCon will span two days, coinciding with the first weekend of Austin’s premiere film festival, Fantastic Fest, on September 20th and 21st at The Marchesa Hall & Theater. The Con boasts to be a one of a kind event that will “celebrate film, music, art, and toys with the world’s finest artists, designers, toy creators as well as filmmakers, composers and more.”
While the prospect of seeing the 40th anniversary Texas Chainsaw Massacre screening, panel discussions on the “Art of Toy Making” and “Designing Movies,” and meeting guests like Tim Sale and Francesco Francavilla might seem like more than enough justification to be in attendance, but Mondo has saved one of their best announcements for last. Available for sale will be Nathan Johnson’s (Brick) score for Looper, and—a release that will surely have Kubrick fans salivating—the debut of the unused, lost score for 2001: A Space Odyssey composed by Alex North (Spartacus, A Streetcar Named Desire).
Film buffs are familiar with the story surrounding 2001’s iconic score. For those who aren’t privy, the story goes that Kubrick hired North, who he had collaborated with twice prior to the release of 2001, to compose the score. However, as he began editing using the classical backdrop that is now inseparable from the film, he found himself unable to part ways with the guide. To make matters worse, North was kept in the dark about the issue, and attended the premiere expecting to hear his hard work set to Kubrick’s masterful vision—sitting through all 161 minutes, only to learn that his score was abandoned in full, must have been demoralizing to say the least. Mondo Creative Director, Justin Ishmael sheds some light on the importance of the release, "Alex North's Music For 2001: A Space Odyssey is beyond just an important piece of musical history, it is one of the best 'what ifs' in cinema history. MondoCon represented a unique opportunity to showcase this score to an audience, where we can watch scenes from the film together with the music reintegrated into the film.” This event represents more than just the unveiling of a new record for sale; it is an essential instance in cinematic history that won’t soon be forgotten.
Mondo’s release of Looper may not be as monumental as 2001, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. There is no score quite like Johnson’s work for Looper, composed and mixed using natural sounds recorded in New Orleans. The result sets the tense mood for the 2012 Science Fiction Thriller. Ishmael is confident that Looper will impress Mondo fans, and even likens the release to embody the spirit of MondoCon itself, “Looper is a project we have been working on for quite some time and we think it's one of the most intricately designed and packaged releases we've done yet—this incredible fusion of art, film, and music is what MondoCon is all about."
For those who are unable to make it to Austin, don’t vex too hard. While there will no doubt be a swarm of flippers selling copies on eBay shortly after the weekend kicks off, you won’t have to drain your bank account to get your hands on a copy. Despite the initial live release of the records, both scores will have separate online release dates in the near future. To help ease the anticipation, we are giving you an exclusive first look at these two releases below.
Music for 2001: A Space Odyssey will be available for sale at MondoCon in Austin, TX and online in November 2014. The release will be accompanied by the panel, “2001: A Lost Score,” where composer and writer Brian Satterwhite will present select scenes of the film with North’s score inserted.
01) The Foraging
02) The Bluff
03) Night Terrors
05) Eat Meat and Kill
06) Space Station Docking
07) Space Talk
08) Trip to Moon
09) Moon Rocket Bus
10) The Foraging Alternate Version (AKA The Dawn Of Man)
11) Eat Meat and Kill (Take 7 - Wild)
12) Space Station (Take 4 - Partial)
13) Docking (Take 2)
The soundtrack to Looper will premiere at MondoCon and an online the following Tuesday September 23rd.
01) A Body That Technically Does Not Exist
02) A Day in the Life
03) Closing Your Loop
04) Seth's Tale
06) A Life in a Day
07) Time Machine
08) Hunting the Past
09) Following the Loop
10) Mining for Memories
11) A New Scare
12) Her Face
13) City Sweep
15) The Rainmaker
16) La Belle Aurore
18) The Path Was a Circle
19) Everything Comes Around
01) Slinky Dance - Kid Koala
02) Theme from Looper (Piano Version) - Nathan Johnson