Photo by Catherine Byrd Composing for film is probably most closely related to composing an opera. Whereas in most 20th-21st century concert music, formal structure is an issue—whether one chooses to revert to 18-19th century forms, chooses serial techniques, or to invent one’s own structures—in film music the structure is dictated by the film’s narrative. […]
Photo by Sharon Guskin I can only speak for myself of course, but I find writing for each medium a distinct process with concerns of its own. Here are a few of my thoughts on the subject. The single most profound difference in the composing process (leaving aside the differences in producing the music in […]
Photo by Robert Millard I wrote my first feature in 1974 for Roger Corman (Death Race 2000), which was also Sylvester Stallone‘s first Hollywood movie. (We have both worked in the movie business continuously ever since!) At that time, I was completing my last teaching year at UCLA, where I had just resigned my position […]
Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki With all of the interest in and investigation into world musics, from scholarly studies to the integration of non-Western styles, forms, instruments, and compositional techniques to popular world fusion styles, it is curious that more composers have not tapped into uniquely American musics. The appeal of various world music styles, […]
Greg Sandow Last month, I celebrated the diversity of new music—or, more exactly, how impossible it is to find a central style, tone, or meaning in what composers do right now. All of us are on our own; it’s fun to learn to live with that. This month, I want to go to an opposite […]
Nicole ZarayPhoto by Sean Gullette Do film composers ever get the fame they deserve? Probably not… They toil long hours for the Hollywood machine behind the heavy curtain of post-production, while the film’s stars and director are already sauntering through candid clips on Entertainment Tonight. Rarely do we see a film composer on prime time […]
Looking for common ground between background and foreground
Paul Chihara, Laura Karpman, Douglas J. Cuomo, and Roger Treffouse explain their different (or not so different) compositional approaches.