Category Archives: Interviews


Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Anthony Chue is best known for his music scores for films such as Bodies at Rest (directed by Renny Harlin), Divergence (directed by Benny Chan), and his recognizable themes in his scores for the Storm series (Z-Storm, S-Storm, L-Storm etc ) directed by David Lam.

He is known for his high energy adrenaline driven action scores that make good use of low brass, strings, and electronic sounds.

His Best Score nominations include The Golden Horse – Men Suddenly in Black (2003), Divergence (2005), and Invisible Target (2007), and one at the Asian Film Awards, for Reign of Assassins (2010).

He divides his time between Hong Kong, and Los Angeles, where he is represented by The Kaufman Agency.

“One of your recent scores Flashover has just been released on digital platforms, via Plaza Mayor, you scored the movie in 2022 I think? How did you become involved on the movie and did you have any specific requests of instructions regarding the music from the director?  Was there a temp track on the movie when you first saw it?”

It is interesting how things sometimes come about – I got the gig from producer Alvin Lam (of Universe Pictures), and we hadn’t been in touch in ten years! He texted me “out of the blue” in 2020 and said he’d like me onboard for this film. I was extremely delighted of course. I scored this in 2021. The director had a temp track, yes, and was quite specific with regards to the feel and energy of the music. He had all the “in and out” points outlined with the temp track, and instructed me to follow the “ups and downs” and contour of the temp track.

“The movie is very exhilarating, and your score supports the action all the way through, at what stage of the production did you become involved on the project, did you see the rough cut for the purpose of spotting, or did you have a script before seeing the movie?”

Thank you for your compliments.

I was involved after they had a rough cut, and I began composing after they sent me the final cut (which of course is never really final, but that’s another topic!).

No, I did not have have a script, and even if they had given me one, it would’ve been in Chinese and my Chinese isn’t good enough to read it (and that’s another topic too!).

“The score is a fusion of symphonic and electronic elements, what size orchestra did you have for the project?”

Twenty-four string players, a nine piece brass section, and a flute and an oboe. That’s 35 musicians but I hesitate to say “a 36-piece orchestra” because the strings and woodwinds were recorded in Beijing, and the brass was recorded in Vancouver (where I live)! I do wonder if the music would sound different if the whole “orchestra” was recorded in one room in single passes.

I chose to record brass in Vancouver perhaps because I am a trombone player and I am picky with brass, and wanted to oversee the session in person! (I did not attend the strings and woodwind recording sessions in Beijing).

“The score for Flashover as I have said is brimming with action cues, but you remain thematic throughout, do you think it is important to have themes or musical phrases for certain characters or even locations?”

Yes, it is important to have musical phrases for certain characters, and also for situations. 

For example, the short two-phrase French horn call (which can be heard in the beginning of the track “Flashover Suite”) is the “emergency” or “urgency” theme for the firefighters. I also have a softer strings theme for the firefighters, to accent the brotherhood, and friendship among them. So, I have more than one theme for the same characters, depending on the situation in the story.

Do you orchestrate all your music for film, or is this sometimes not always possible because of schedules?”

I am quite particular with the voicings and instrumentations of my music, so I make these orchestration decisions as I compose. However, I outsource the music notation work, not only because of the limited schedule, but also because I am not familiar enough with music notation software, so why torment myself!

 Do you conduct or do you think it is better for you to have a conductor and supervise the sessions from the recording booth to listen to how the music is working?

In Beijing, recording sessions are often done without a conductor; they follow a click track. The brass (in Vancouver) was recorded with a conductor. I originally thought of conducting myself, but the contractor offered to conduct, and I am glad he did, because I was able to concentrate better on the recording.

What would you say is the purpose of job of music in film?

The purpose of film music is the tell the story using music, which includes telling the audience the mood of the characters, how they feel, or what they are thinking.

When you read a novel, unlike watching a film, we have written words that tell the reader what the protagonist is thinking as he walks into an alley with a gun. Is he scared? Is he confident? Is he thinking of his kidnapped daughter? Are he and his daughter on good terms? Is there imminent threat? 

The music can be very different for each situation.

What composers either from the world of film music or classical music would you say have maybe influenced or inspired you?

John Williams, Hans Zimmer, James Horner, Charlie Clouser, Tchaikovsky, Bruckner, and James Swearingen.

Are there any pieces of music or particular songs that you would say had a role in you becoming a composer, what musical education did you have, and was writing for film something that you set your sights on early in your career?

“Majestia”, by James Swearingen was a school band piece that inspired me a lot when I was in high school. And I remember one year listening to Tchaikovsky all summer, including the 1812 Overture, and the Slavonic March. 

I started piano lessons when I was 6, and played the clarinet and trombone in high school (odd combination, I know). I began experimenting with arranging and composition by writing for the school band, and orchestra. I’d transcribe film pieces such as Danny Elfman’s Batman suite for the school band. This is pre-MIDI, so… I didn’t hear what I actually wrote until the band played it. It’s daunting, but… you have to start somewhere, sometime! And why not “now”!

When “normal” kids were playing basketball or soccer after school, I was at the library looking at Mozart scores. (I am not athletic at all!). After high school, I studied music at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, majoring in composition. 

 And Yes, I had always wanted to become a film composer.

Is there a set routine you follow when scoring a movie, for example do you like to have a central theme first and build the remainder of the score around this?

No, I don’t have a routine. I tackle it headfirst and see what happens!

Do you perform on any of your scores?

All the synth and keyboard programming (into my sequencer) is done by me, if that counts. I have played the grand piano a few times. And… I enjoy faking some jazz on my bass trumpet for restaurant music scenes!

Flashover has over an hour of music included on the soundtrack release, is this the complete score?

I omitted all the cues that consisted of mostly long pads with not much musical movement. But there wasn’t much of that.

“What is next for you?”

I am now working on Alvin Lam and Oxide Pang’s next cinematic creation, “High Forces”, a plane hijack thriller starring super star Andy Lau.


Corey Wallace was born on December 25, 1982 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is a composer, known for Supercell (2023), We Have a Ghost (2023) and Cursed Friends (2022).


Supercell is one of your recent assignments, how did you become involved on the movie?

I was fortunate to have been involved with Supercell since the very beginning.  Director Jamie Wihterstern and I have been working together for 15 years, so when he came up with this idea for his first feature film, he immediately turned to me so we could start working on musical ideas for the score.  I first met Jamie at USC where I scored one of his student films.  After that, he just kept coming back to me for anything music, whether it be scoring, music editing, or just advice.  When he was editing the feature film Shadow People, he helped me get onto that film by introducing me to the director Matt Arnold as well as putting some of my music into the temp track.  That led to all of us working on Matt’s show Siberia for NBC.  Since then Jamie launched a production company SwipeMarket, and I worked with him for years on marketing videos.

The score is such a sweeping and thematic one, did the director of the movie have any specific ideas that he related to you about what style of music he wanted for the film, and was the film temp tracked at all, if so was it helpful?

Both Jamie and I love the movies and music of the 80s and 90s, so we knew we wanted to capture that orchestral aesthetic with memorable themes and motifs at the center.  Before the movie we talked about classic scores like E.T., Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, and Cocoon. The temp was mostly John Williams and was very helpful, although our score ended up deviating from the temp in many spots.

Listening to Supercell was like stepping back in time to when film scores were melodic and filled with themes, it’s a glorious fusion of the sounds of both the golden and silver ages of cinema what composers or artists would you say have influenced you or inspired you?

John Williams, Alan Silvestri, James Horner, Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith, Miklos Rosia, Erich Korngold, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, and Marco Beltrami to name a few.

What do you think of the non-thematic and dronelike approach in recent times by various composers on movies?

I think there is an important distinction between melodic and thematic.  A melodic and lyrical score may not have any strong themes, and there are some great themes that are simply just sounds.  While I love the classic scores that do both, I’m a fan of working with any type of score as long as it’s interesting.  Even drones can be interesting if they are emotionally evocative, and they can be great for scores if they effectively convey the drama.  Great music moves and has shape, and even simple drones can have a great deal of shape when layered and processed with intent..  I’m a fan of any type of score that has a strong sonic identity and effectively helps the story.

What size orchestra did you have for Supercell, and where did you record the score?

With limited budget we had to be very efficient and selective with our recordings.  We recorded in Budapest with various sized groups, a “terraced model”.  Our biggest orchestra was 70 players and was limited to about 5 minutes of score, and we used one piece twice in the score for even higher efficiency (the cue when the Tornado touches down in front of William for the first time is identical to the kiss between him and Harper at the end).  We then recorded a Strings only ensemble of 40 musicians for about 7 minutes of score.  The rest was done with samples and sweetened with live woodwinds and solo trumpet.  There are a lot of flute solos and colourful woodwind passages that are brought to life by recording only 4 woodwinds and mixing them with orchestra samples.  Sweetening is not ideal but a good solution on a limited budget.  


The music is already available on digital platforms, will there be a CD release, and did you compile the music tracks for the release, and is all the music from the score on the release?

We’re hoping we get a physical release, but for now it’s available on digital platforms everywhere.  I spent about two weeks producing the album, and most of the score is on the soundtrack.  There are some very short cues missing, some derivative material that would be redundant,  as well as some material that doesn’t work too well on its own away from picture.

Did you set out to become a film music composer or were you wanting to do music as a career and the film music path just opened up for you?

In college, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I started out as an Industrial Engineering major, but I continued my music education with composition classes and playing in a Jazz Band.  When my friend Evan Pesses asked me to score his student film, I got hooked on the experience.  I changed my college trajectory towards becoming a film composer, and I focused on getting into USC’s Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program for graduate school.  That’s the short answer.  The longer answer involves studying abroad in Australia, taking a year off of school, and working jobs while finishing my degree in the total span of 7 years.

Do you buy soundtrack albums, and can you recall the first time that you noticed music in a film or on the TV?

I used to be a soundtrack fan.  I think you’d have to be to get into this line of work.  I was really into isolated score tracks on DVDs so that I could hear the music clearly in context with the movie, and as a bonus many of those had composer commentary, like Don Davis on the Matrix.  That was a great early education. These days I don’t really listen to any kind of music in my spare time.  I watch lots of movies, but in audio only mediums I listen to podcasts and sports and news radio. 

What would you say were your first experiences with hearing music in film?

The first time I noticed music was the 20th Century Fox logo music that I used to hear before watching Star Wars.  Even more important than the score to Star Wars was the power and majesty of that logo theme.  One of my first music sync experiences was watching Jurassic Park and noticing the trumpet theme during the Journey to the Island.  Somehow it always played when cutting to the exterior of the helicopter, and I really wondered how they managed to do that.

What is coming next for you if you are allowed to discuss it?

I’m excited to be working on several animation projects as well as the Viking Horror film Afterwalker.   It takes place in a Viking underworld, so there really aren’t any boundaries to what the music could be.  We’ve started experimenting with organic atmospheres created through audio processing, and we’ve been really influenced by the bands Wardruna and Heilung.  With Jamie Winterstern we’re already developing ideas for his next project based around the shell community in Southwest Florida.  


Christine Aufderhaar graduated from the ‘Conservatory Lugano’ in classical piano performance (piano class of Nora Doallo, composition class of Paul Glass). She also attended the Berklee College of Music and graduated in film scoring and classical composition within two years instead of the usual five years, receiving several scholarships and the Richard Levy Award. In 2002 she was a SCL intern and in 2006 a participant of the ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop, which inspired her to leave her position as Associate Professor at the Film University in Babelsberg and to start working exclusively as a freelance composer. Christine wrote the score to many award-winning films and her choir music is being performed regularly. She was honoured with several Culture Awards and was named by the ‘Federation of Film & Audiovisual Composers of Europe’ as ‘European Composer 2008 for Switzerland’. She also received a nomination for the ‘Gema Music Author’s Award’ and was numerous times a jury member of Film Music Awards in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Nordic Countries. Christine was a board member of the ‘German Film Academy’ and is a current board member of the ‘German Film Composers Union’. She is based in Berlin, Germany, and Los Angeles (CA).

I know you are a respected concert pianist and you studied piano first, when did you start to study composition and where, and was writing music for film and TV a career that you had always considered doing?

Playing the piano and composing was kind of the same for me. We had an old piano at home, so I started improvising and playing around as a kid before I had teachers. Then, when I was 13, a music teacher showed us a scene from „Once Upon A Time“. I was so fascinated by the elegance of the interplay of camera and music that I wanted to do the same. 

On a professional level I studied composition first with Paul Glass, at the Conservatory Lugano. 

 Are you from a family that is musical as in performers, and can you recall the first time that you started to take notice of music of any kind?

My family is scientifically oriented. They tried their best to prevent me from becoming a musician…;-) 

But, music was always in my mind. As a child I was kind of living in my fantasy, with music, it hasn’t changed.

Auroras Sunrise was released recently, when one of your scores is to be released digitally or onto CD do you have any involvement in the compilation of what music will be included to represent the score?

Yes, I chose the pieces of all releases. Aurora’s Sunrise is the first CD I released with „Music Hub“. It’s a tool from GEMA, it’s really easy and fast to create a CD and all the income remains with the composer. 

Aurora’s Sunrise is a special project, because I could keep all the rights, Copyrights and Performing Rights.

The film is part animated, part documentary and has sections of a silent movie interwoven. Did the producers or the director have any specific requests or ideas about how the music should work in the film, or what style of sound that they wanted for it, and at what stage of the production did you become involved?

I got involved when there was a rough cut. There was no animation, but sketches of images, and parts of the documentary and the silent movie. The temp track was going from the beginning to the end, non-stop. There were many different styles, from classical music to film scores. But once I’ve seen the film I usually blank out the temp track. I remember that after watching the rough cut Aurora’s main theme showed up, and then I went on chronologically and followed the course of the film. 

In the beginning I sent sketches to the director and the editor, they loved it so I was just going on. Then there was Covid and the war in Armenia and we kind of lost the connection, but I just kept working. Fortunately, there were no big change requests.

The City of Prague Philharmonic perform the score for Auroras Sunrise, is this an orchestra that you turn to regularly for your film scores, and do you conduct the music or supervise any recording from the recording booth?

It actually was the first time I recorded with the City of Prague Philharmonic orchestra, Frank Heckel was conducting and I was in the recording booth, together with Leigh Phillips. Jan Holzner was the mixing engineer. We had an amazing time there – also Prague, I had never been there, such a beautiful city and flair.

Did you perform piano on the score, and when working out your musical ideas for a movie or TV project, do you also do this at the piano or maybe use a more technical way?

Yes, I played the piano. I had been searching for the right piano many years, travelling around Europe, and then found it in Berlin, almost next to my apartment. When it’s meant to be a real piano sound, I always play it live. When it has to be a prepared or electronic sound, I use samples.

Would you say that the role of music in film has altered over the past two or three decades, with the more prominent use of drone-like sounds and underlining soundscapes as opposed to thematic music?

Maybe in general yes, there is a lot of soundscapes. It’s more in the background, creating rather an atmosphere- but there are so many different kinds of movies and shows. I feel that in America and France for example melodies are appreciated in a different way than in Germany.

You have worked on TV series, animation, and movie shorts and features, is the process of scoring these different or does it remain basically the same or do projects such as documentaries need more music than say a TV movie or a feature film?

For me it’s all the same. Aurora’s Sunrise and „der Eisenhans“, a fairy tale, were an exception, in a sense that there was music almost non-stop. In a documentary there is usually a lot of dialogue, so the voice becomes kind of the solo instrument. I use frequencies above or below the voice and try to be in the rhythm of it, so it’s a unity and the dialogue is not distracted by the music.

In general, I like it when as less music as possible is used.

Are there any genres that you have not worked on, that you maybe would like to?

I haven’t worked on action films, but I wouldn’t be the right one. I’d love to work more on animation films.

Some of the TV series you have scored are episodic and run for more than just one episode, is it hard to stay fresh musically in this scenario, and do you ever repeat a theme or a section of music from an earlier episode in later ones?

They are called series, but they are 90 minutes long and each episode is a story in itself. So it is always a new beginning from scratch, I’m kind of responding to the overall mood of the film, to what is behind the visual level.

 ”Muttertag“ was the only project, which consisted of two films of 90 minutes. I kept the same language but had new themes, the second film was darker and rougher. 

What composers or artists would you say have influenced you or inspired you in the way that you approach a film scoring project?

I admire Thomas Newman, Bernard Hermann, actually many – but my approach to score is intuitive. I love when the music is independent from the picture, yet still is a unity. I like when everything is reduced to the bare minimum and when all becomes one with the whole.

Have you encountered the temp track and what is your opinion of this, can it be a useful tool or maybe an annoying distraction?

Oh yes, there is almost always a temp track. I listen to it only once, when watching the rough cut, and then forget it and go for what shows up. It’s often something completely different, which gives me freedom, especially if the director got used to the temp track. 

It’s a moment of holding the breath when the director hears the first theme for the first time, because it shows if you’re on the same wave or not and if he is open to let go the temp track and get involved with a new creation.

Is there a set routine that you stay with when working on a project, by this I mean do you like to develop a central or core theme, and then build the remainder of the score around this, or do you work on smaller cues and develop a central theme from these? 

After watching the rough cut, usually a main theme pops up that captures the overall vibe of the film. Then I follow the film chronologically and the themes come along. Sometimes themes show up and I don’t know where they could be used for- so beautiful when you get to the scene and the theme is already there.

What is next for you…?

I’m writing a choir piece right now – in terms of film scores there is a documentary and probably a feature.



Can I start with the score for Mosley, the film was released in 2019, but the score has just recently been released on digital platforms via Movie Score Media, it’s a great score, filled with sweeping themes and has a rich vibrant persona. Is it more of a difficult task scoring an animated movie, I mean do you become involved at an earlier stage than live action films or does it follow the same process as seeing the movie in a rough-cut stage etc. And is scoring an animated movie something that gives the composer maybe a freer hand to be more expressive?

Thank you for that! I am very proud of this score.

The process for animated films is generally different because the process takes much longer and you can be brought in earlier to start the scoring process, giving more time to compose.

As for difficulty, there are many things that can be difficult in composing for film, it’s not just schedule and amount of notes on a page: finding the tone for a film is a big one and I find can be sometimes more challenging on live action films.

My small experience with animation has been that finding the tone is a bit easier, but there is a lot more workload, so it evens out.

Was the film tracked with any music to give you an idea of what the producers were looking for in the music department, and did they also have any specific ideas about the music that you discussed. Also is the temp track a useful tool for the composer.

Yes, there was a temp track that the director and his team had lived with for a very long time. But once I presented them with the family theme, I was told they instantly felt like it was their theme.

I ended up having no issues with the temp on Mosley.

I do know that temp tracks can be problematic for composers, but I believe that if you are able to use it as a starting point for a discussion, then it can be useful. Of course, that will depend on the project, but I have thankfully not had any issues with temp tracks for a good while now. Knock on wood!

Did you have any involvement in what tracks from the score for Mosely would be released, and how much music did you write for the movie?

Mikael from Movie Score Media brought his expertise and experience to the score presentation and I loved it right away. I had given him everything I wrote for it.

I think I wrote around 90 minutes of score.

Was music always something that you were drawn to as in being a career, and was it always writing music for film that you wanted to do?

No, even though I started music fairly young, at first I wanted to be an animator, then comic book artist and then eventually an illustrator. I did work professionally as an illustrator for a while.

I loved film music early though, starting with Star Wars. I was kind of obsessed really. So when I decided to make music my life around the age of 16 which was at first through rock guitar, and then eventually orchestral writing, it makes sense that eventually I found my way to film scoring. But that was half way through my master’s degree in composition! It took a while.

The Legend of Silkboy is another great score for an animated feature, how did you become involved on the project and what size orchestra did you use for the score?

Thank you!

I had scored a short film called “Say Yes” and the director for that one was a screenwriter on “Silk Boy”. That’s how the connection was made. Even though the director for “Silk Boy” really loved my music (especially a piece written for an animated short), I had not scored a feature animation like this before and so I had to pursue it and win the gig over other composers. But I got it, obviously, and it went wonderfully.

The orchestra was the Evergreen Orchestra in Taiwan, which I actually secured for them through the conductor of the orchestra I was working with at the time as composer-in-residence. It was about 60 people, not very big.

When spotting a movie with a director or producer, do you also discuss sections of the movie where maybe music should not be placed?

Yes! Spotting includes where the music starts and end, and the pacing of the score means considering where there is no music.

In the end, music should support the story. Some films take more music than others, like animation for example, where too many moments without music can feel wrong, but even then, it’s not the medium specifically, but rather the style of the picture and the way the story is told.

And also, of course, the sensibilities of the director.

I want my score to really support the film, and I will advocate for moments without music if I feel it supports the film better. I consider that integral to being a film composer and part of the expertise I bring to a project.

Do you have a preferred method of working out your ideas when writing music, ie piano, keyboard or maybe a more tech approach with computers etc?

First is my ear, I always listen to what is in my musical imagination first. That guides whatever medium I use after to grab the ideas: piano, pencil and paper or the computer.

But I also use the piano or computer to help stimulate and generate ideas, they are all tools and I use all of them and which one I use will depend on the situation or type of writing. Something very contrapuntal might be with paper first, whereas something with simple tune and chords might go straight the computer.

But regardless, I make sure my ear guides the way.

You are credited on films such as Elysium and Enders Game, what was your role on these two movies?

I was orchestrator. I worked a lot on Elysium and was also conductor as well as helped out the composer with many aspects of the process as he was very new. I was brought in and had an office next to his during the process.

What would you say is the purpose of having music in film?

To create the cinematic experience, because what is unique to the cinema is the combination of moving images and music. That is the core of the cinematic experience. That makes it different than theatre or plays.

And of course, the purpose of music in a film is to support and be part of the story. It is another element of the storytelling.

I don’t think of it as background exactly, but the same as a good special effect or good set design, all of which will feel natural and not really noticed if done well and part of the story. It’s not about being invisible, or inaudible, but about doing the job right – which is being part of the storytelling.

You also write for the concert hall, when doing this is it a less restricting process, because in film you are at times restricted due to timings or FX etc?

In film the musical form is dictated by the picture, which means that aspect of the creative decision-making process is taken care of in a way. It’s a different challenge, but there is this guide that the picture provides.

In concert music you have a completely blank slate and you have nobody to answer to. It can be both freeing a bit terrifying!

Are there any composers or artists that you find particularly interesting or inspiring?

Oh…my list will be pretty common to everyone I suspect. John Williams, Silvestri, Horner are some of my favourites in film as well as early Elfman. Some of my concert music favourites are Ottorino Respighi, Vaughan Williams, Ligeti and Jacob Druckman. Stravinsky made me decide to be an orchestral composer, so he has to be at the top of the list, then Prokofiev and Bartok. Bach of course, I spent so much time with his music, and Grieg.

You have scored a number of short films, due to the duration of these is it hard to establish a musical identity within them as opposed to scoring a feature film?

No, not really. Generally a short film will have a singular purpose and can be represented by a one or two main musical ideas.

Finding the tone for it can be difficult, depending on the film, and is as much work as finding the tone for a feature film.

Do you conduct and do you also work on your own orchestrations or is this not always possible due to scheduling?

Yes, I conduct my scores, and so far have done my orchestrations and even part prep. That includes Mosley.

This will be changing on upcoming projects, however.

You do have a few assignments in the works as they say, but can you tell us what is coming next?

I do have something coming up, but not at liberty to say yet, and as you know, it’s not done until it’s done!

MMI thank the composer for taking time to answer our questions and look forward to hear his new scores and projects.


Do you come from a family that was musical as in performers and composers?

Yes, my mother played classical piano, but not by profession.  Maybe I inherited the artistic vein from her.


What would you say were your earliest memories of any kind of music?

As a child I adored Elvis Presley.  From the classical world I loved Rachmaninov and Ottorino Respighi, but more generally I was very impressed by all the masterpieces of symphonic and popular music and films, Ravel’s Bolero, Beethoven’s fifth, Morricone’s films, John Williams’s etc.

What musical education did you receive?

I started at the age of nine with a classical setting and graduated in piano, composition and orchestra conducting at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome.

I personally encountered your music for the first time on the soundtrack to the Black Decameron. At the time I had not seen the movie, but I saw the LP on RCA and in those day’s, (1970’s) one could listen to a record before buying, as soon as I heard your score, I knew I had to add it to my collection. Do you recall what size orchestra that you used for the movie and did you also write the song La Reina Bella that was performed by Beryl Cunningham?

The orchestra that I used for the music of “La Reina Bella” consisted of: percussion, timpani, double bass, flute, piano.  And yes, I wrote all the music of the “Black Decameron”.

Was writing music for film and television something that you had always wanted to do and what was your first score for a movie and how did you become involved on the project?

Yes, my dream was to make film music.  My first soundtrack I wrote for Josè Bolanos, a Mexican director.  Which was called  Arde baby Arde  and presented at the Venice film festival. I became involved after Salvatore Laurani, a great screenwriter, introduced me to Bolanos.

You are a brilliant pianist; do you perform on all of your film scores and do you compose at the piano also?

I have composed a lot of film themes for solo piano and piano and orchestra, and use the piano to write my music for film.

Film music has altered and some say has evolved over the years, but lately it seems that composers avoid thematic compositions, which in my opinion is sad. Do you think it is important to have specific themes for characters and for locations in a movie, so the audience are able to identify with the storyline, its content and individual characters?

Yes, I have always created harmonious themes and movements that identify with the characters in the film and with the narrative situations , suspense, scene changes, flash backs, etc.

 Anna, Quel Particolare Piacere, is a great score, it contains so many colours, styles, and textures, in fact I would go as far as to say it is one of the best scores to come out of Italy in the 1970’s, did the director have any specific instructions or ideas regarding the style of music or where it should be placed?

Yes, the director Giuliano Carnimeo had given me precise directives on the psychology of the characters, on the type of orchestration and on the narrative needs of the film.

At what stage of the production do you like to become involved, do you prefer to see a script, or is it better for you to start work at the rough-cut stage?

Yes, sometimes I have read the script before starting, but not always.  I preferred to work manipulatively for the director with pieces of film pre-assembled by them.

Back in 1974 you wrote a piece entitled The Red Baron which was on the soundtrack for the movie La Bellissima Estate, the main score was credited to Alberto Pomeranz, and you also received a credit for that particular cue, did you write any of the other music for the movie and did you also perform piano on the score. The Red Baron theme is now known by most people as the theme for the TV series Curb your Enthusiasm, how did your music end up being used for this popular series?

On that occasion I re-wrote all Maestro Pomeranz’s arrangements, improving his main theme, which had been criticized by the producer.  I also wrote other songs, including “Il Barone Rosso”, which was then used by Larry David, an American director, for the TV series Curb your enthusiasm, and has become known all over the world with the title “Frolic”.

You scored a number of movies in the 1970’s, but I notice that you never worked on a western, which is when they were still very popular, were you ever offered an Italian western,  or was this a genre that you were not that interested in?

No, I’ve never been invited to write the music for a western film. Although there was a curious episode: I was called by Nora Orlandi, author of the soundtrack of the film “Clint the loner” to sing over the opening credits of the film.


What composers or artists would you say have inspired you or maybe influenced you?

The composers who have certainly inspired or influenced me are Nino Rota, Ennio Morricone, John Williams and Armando Trovajoli.

When you score a film or a TV project, how many times do you like to study the footage before deciding where music should be placed to best serve the storyline, and are you also aware that there are sections of the film that maybe do not require any music?

Before deciding, I like to study the footage for 10-15 days.  There are films in which music from a source such as a radio on, a concert, a disco, etc. prevails.


Have you been asked to compose in a particular style, or have you encountered the temp track on any projects, and is this something that you find can be a helpful guide, or maybe the opposite?

Yes, I was asked for a certain style of orchestration in the Black Decameron, where the very fussy director Piero Vivarelli provided me with various examples of African music, which were very useful to me.


You had Edda Dell Orso perform on your scores from time to time, did you also collaborate with Il Cantori Moderni and Alessandro Allessandroni?


Yes, in my career I have often collaborated with Edda dell’Orso,  much more than with the modern singers of Alessandro Alessandroni.

Do you conduct your film scores, or do you prefer to supervise the session from the recording booth?

I prefer to conduct the orchestra in the hall and then listen to the recording in the Control Room.

I know you are involved in other musical genres, and have released a number of recordings which include cover versions of film themes, when working away from film and composing original songs, is this less confining as in film you have to write music that goes under dialogue or is underscoring action scenes, plus the timings etc, so is the process of writing away from film easier?

The writing process outside the film is certainly less restricted because it is free from the narrative and psychological needs of the film, but that doesn’t make it easier because it determines exclusively musical compositional choices.  Paradoxically, the music of a famous film becomes famous independently of the film itself.

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I still compose several songs and give concerts in Rome with my arrangements of music from my films and famous authors.