I suppose the first question has to be, Why Film Music?
Film music has such a range of emotions and therefore demands lots of musical colour. I look for that kind of musicality, which is probably why I love Gustav Mahler so much. His writing, particularly the earlier symphonies, are unparalleled in their orchestral and choral structure. John Williams is his modern equivalent in my eyes (and ears!)
What was the record that you first purchased, and if it was not a soundtrack how long after buying this did you buy your first soundtrack?
It was a cassette of Geoff Love’s science fiction recordings. Most of my music education was perusing through Dad’s record collection. The RCA Classic Film Score Series and Ron Goodwin albums were my favourites. When I purchased my first CD player in 1992 then John Williams’ Hook, JFK, Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade and Far & Away were the first discs I purchased.
Are you a collector that will go and buy a re release of a score because it has 1 or 2 minutes of extra music on it?
Absolutely! Sometimes the shortest cues or alternates are the most effective. Take the last few bars of Monsignor and its Meeting in Sicily cue. Stunning! Classic John Williams. I long for the film version of his Miracle of Miracles arrangement from Fiddler on the Roof to be released one day. Just the opening 30 seconds and closing 20 seconds are incredible! Another short and sweet example which is essential for a collector to treasure.
What composer or composers would you say dominate your collection?
John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Alan Silvestri, Mahler, James Newton Howard, Franz Waxman, Patrick Doyle, Hans Zimmer, Bruce Broughton, Leonard Bernstein, Beethoven. Pretty much in that order.
Do you find that these days with the internet and click on it buy it available that the actual collecting side of things has lost some of its excitement?
No, more accessibility can be a good thing. I enjoy some of the playlists that Apple Music or Amazon Music devise based on my listening habits.
What type of scores do you prefer, romantic, action or comedy, or is it a case of as long as it’s good you do not mind?
I tend to gravitate to the romantic scores, but love the energy of a good action score. You’re right, mood can be a deciding factor. A bright and colourful comedy score like Simon Boswell’s Jack & Sarah or Hans Zimmer’s The Holiday sits equally with Waxman’s The Philadelphia Story or Elmer Bernstein’s Ghostbusters.
Are there any scores that you have not been able to get, and you are looking for?
John du Prez’s A Chorus of Disapproval score is lovely but nobody seems to know where it is. Craig Armstrong’s full score to Love Actually needs to be made available. The 25 minute promo released shortly after the film came out doesn’t do it justice. Same can be said about Patrick Doyle’s Bridget Jones, even less of the score was released and there’s loads of music which really needs heard! Most was cut from the film or just not used in place of songs.
What is your opinion about contemporary film scores as opposed to film music from earlier decades?
I enjoy both. Some more than others, but that can be attributed to any genre of musi
How do you store your cds or lps?
Chronologically and in order of composer.
How many LPS did you have in your collection before the arrival of the CD, and how many soundtracks would you say that you have in your collection, combining both LP and CD?
I used to be very organised and kept an Excel spreadsheet of my collection, but life got in the way. Ha! I didn’t have LPs other than Dad’s and I’m not a massive fan of the LP format to be honest. I have a few thousand (some boxed) but can’t be precise. You’ve reminded me to try and log them.
What was your most recent purchase and also what has been the most expensive soundtrack that you have purchased?
I got a nice batch from Intrada with the superb Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and new Franz Waxman cd set.
Thinking back it was probably the John Williams rarity Space camp which cost me £120, also The Accidental Tourist and The Witches of Eastwick were pricey and rare back in the day. I remember paying crazy money for the Oscar promo of JNH’s My Best Friend’s Wedding back in the late 90s too. All of this is before I got married and had children!