Category: Record Labels


Over the past ten years the soundtrack label Movie Score Media has in my opinion outshone many other such labels that specialise in the release of film music. MSM have been responsible for releasing somewhat obscure but at the same time innovative and groundbreaking film scores. The label has always championed new talent in the film music arena and brought to the attention of collectors numerous composers who would probably not have had their music for film and TV released. Label owner,composer and producer Mikael Carlsson is obviously the driving force behind this practice of releasing fresh and original soundtracks so I asked him about the label and basically how he worked.

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What inspired you to become a soundtrack label producer?

Excellent music by lesser known composers! Before I launched MovieScore Media a little more than ten years ago, I was making a living as a news editor for 15 years with film music journalism as a hobby, first publishing my own magazine in Swedish – MovieScore – in the early 90s and then being heavily involved in the UK publication Music from the Movies for around a decade. I also formed the Film Music Critics Jury back then, which then turned into the quite prolific International Film Music Critics Assocation. As I was writing hundreds of CD reviews and conducting many composer interviews, I began to take more and more notice of excellent scores from smaller films by up and coming, not very well known, composers. I felt that this music deserved more attention, and that it oftentimes had much more to offer than the blockbuster soundtracks everyone buys. In 2005 I launched MovieScore Media and decided to switch from journalism to a full time devotion to music. The label was not my main focus in the beginning as I was also an aspiring film and television composer, writing music for some Swedish series, but the label soon became the most important part of my activities, and it still is.

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So when you are looking for a score to release, what do you actually look or listen for?

It used to be quality of music only. I have released many scores for films that no one, including myself, actually saw. The music was great, and deserved to be heard by more people. Of course, from a commercial standpoint this is risky business, and I quickly learned two things: I needed to release music on CD – physical product – that would attract soundtrack collectors, and I needed to find a balance between musical quality and commercial appeal in the film title itself. The competition today is very tough, and it’s really difficult to find the right titles to release where all the right criteria are met.

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What is the first step or steps when you decide that you would like to release a score, do you approach the composer or maybe the film company?

It depends. If it’s a score by a composer I know and maybe have worked with on previous albums, I probably reach out to him or her first. It’s quite rare though that composers are in control of the copyright, so eventually I am going to be in touch with the company that owns the music, usually the film company. It has become far more common in the past years that I am approached by composers too – the other way around.

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Is it better if the composer of the score is involved when you are working on a release?

Yes, absolutely. I’ve only done a handful of releases where the composer was not involved, usually for rather sad reasons, i.e. the composer not being alive. If that is the case, I still like to have someone who used to work closely with said composer listen to my album cut for feedback. I remember that I was in touch with Eric Colvin on the Basil Poledouris album (”The Legend of Butch and Sundance”) and Blake Neely, Ilan Eshkeri and Steve McLaughlin on the Michael Kamen (”Back to Gaya”), for instance. For a current score, sometimes the composer already has an album cut ready for mastering, but the most common scenario is that I am sent the complete score and do the album cut for the composer to approve.

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Have there been any scores that you wanted to issue but have been refused access to them by either the composer of the film company, and what were the reasons for this, if you can tell us?

Yes, there are many scores I’d like to release but there are sometimes many obstacles, and the most common one is that the film company simply is not interested. Many of them sit on great scores, but the score album business is generating too little money for them to be interested. Only on a couple of occasions has a composer refused to have a score put out.

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Many soundtracks are limited to a run of 500 or less, have you ever thought I wish I had produced more, and what titles would you say are the better sellers for your label?

We ran into a problem with our release of ”Let the Right One In” back in 2008. At the time, we usually had our CD releases limited to 500 copies. But this particular title sold out so quickly and the demand was so big, that we decided to lift the limit as there were no contractual reasons for it. To this day, it’s one of our best selling albums and we decided to never do the marketing trick with limited editions again. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the albums we do will be available forever, in fact most of the CDs we do are only 300 units. Should there be a surprise hit, we are able to do more, but in most cases we don’t have that luxury.

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Going back just a few years, the horror film score was something of a no go area for record labels, it was not really until films like the OMEN, THE HOWLING, SILVER BULLET, PIRAHNA etc that horror soundtracks started to get released, now we see a landslide of quite low key horror films having their soundtracks released, why is this do you think, film music collectors tastes or a younger audience watching the horror films?

For me personally, horror scores are quite often offering interesting writing. There are of course the whole jungle of ”cheap horror scores” which are just cliche, but the best of the music written for this genre is also some of the most innovative in film music as a whole. I really don’t know if there is a horror ”trend” actually. I think that the scores you mentioned got released more because of the era they come from – the great late 70s early 80s period, which a lot of soundtrack fans are attracted to.

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You set up a separate label from Movie Score Media to concentrate on scores from horror movies, these have included a lot of works by composers who are relatively unknown to collectors, is this quite risky considering the current financial climate?

Yes, if the ”mother label” – MovieScore Media – is known for putting out some rather obscure scores (and I don’t mean obscure in a negative way), than Screamworks Records is even more of a niche label. The challenge is when you have a small film with music by an unknown composer which happens to be interesting and of high quality. Sometimes I see myself more as an artistic director than a producer, because in those cases the producer in me tells me that the commercial problems with such a product are too many. But the artistic director in me has a stronger voice, and that’s why you see some of these scores being released, even though they are small.

Have you ever embarked on a project and mid way through found that tapes are in such bad condition or there is a technical hitch etc that it becomes a non viable project?

Very rarely do I work with archival materials or vintage scores, so no, that has never happened to me.

Do you compete with other soundtrack labels for soundtracks at all, or do you set your sights upon material you know your customers will appreciate, or do film companies or composers come to you with their scores?

Clearly, I have my own niche, but the market today is oversaturated. When I started out ten years ago, it was much easier to get exposure for a release, and to have it pop up as an ”outsider” among the more high profile score releases. Today, also with the explosion of the digital music market, there are so many film music albums coming out every week. The average number during the first half of 2016 is 45 soundtrack releases per week. So yes, the competition is very tough and for a small niche label it’s a huge challenge to try and motivate the fan base to spend their money on our albums – even though the music is great, it’s only natural that they would first purchase music by the more well-known, perhaps even legendary, composers – and then you have all the new big blockbusters coming out.

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How long does it take to assemble all the music and then produce an actual compact disc of a soundtrack?

It depends. The assembly itself doesn’t take long in most cases – the composer or film company delivers the complete score, usually online in digital format. But the actual editing process – editing, sequencing and mastering – can take at least a couple of days. In most cases I do all of this and the composer is then having a listen to it all, may come back with usually just minor requests which are fixed in a day. In a few rare cases composers are very detail oriented and then, of course, the process is longer. I trust my musical instincts a lot when I do an album cut, and sometimes the composer is surprised by the new shape of the score presentation. In 9 out of 10 cases that surprise is of a positive nature. They are happy to discover that the album has a structure and makes sense musically. But it happens that I go down the wrong path with a score, and then of course the composer has final approval and we tweak it. I would never put out a score without the composer being happy with the presentation.

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Do you find that collectors are now downloading more than actually buying the physical CD?

iTunes is my biggest source of income, more than CDs, so yes, probably. You also have the streaming services like Spotify which is growing. The market is changing in quite revolutionary ways, but there are still a hardcore collectors segment that would only buy physical product.

WORRY DOLLS was one of your recent projects and releases, a wonderfully dark score by Composer Holly Amber Church, do you think you will release more scores by her, as I understand the CD has already sold out?

No, that’s incorrect, last time I checked there were plenty of those left. I hope that we can do more albums together, WORRY DOLLS was our second project after RITES OF SPRING that came out in 2012.

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Is there any score you would like to release if you were given the green light?

That list would be too long to put in this article…

MOVIE SCORE MEDIA do seem to release newer scores or current soundtracks, would you consider releasing any vintage material like other labels such as KRONOS with their gold series or Hillside with the Italian westerns they release etc or maybe a series like GDI did a number of years back when they issued the Hammer scores?

Well, we have the Discovery Collection where we released almost 20 scores, including the last scores written by Basil Poledouris and Michael Kamen. I don’t know what qualifies as ”vintage”, but those are at least not current – those are mostly scores for films that came out at last a decade ago.

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Would you ever consider releasing a best of MSM collection, like we used to see years ago with labels such as UA?

I have been giving that some thought, given our ten year anniversary this year. I don’t know yet if there will be any though… the hard part is to choose from over 300 releases!

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This interview took place a few years ago as the label were almost ready to release their 100th compact disc.

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1. Was it your own interest in film music that persuaded you to establish Digit movies the recording label ?
It was a HUGE PASSION for CINEMA and FILM MUSIC, of course! We wanted “save” the film music masterpieces from Silver and Golden ages
presenting them with the best possible presentation, packaging and sound restoration.
Digit-movies was born like a kind of game, nothing serious in the beginning…and now we are close to our 100th CD!

2. Who decides what scores are going to be issued on your label ?

The titles are decided as a STAFF project, in our staff we have people that are specialized within different genres of films etc, . Many mixed ideas together can produce very good end products.

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3. Are there any soundtracks that Digit movies have wanted to release but have not been able to, due to copyright difficulties etc ?
No, luckily this has never happened all of our projects have been given the green light.

4. You have released a number of CAM soundtracks, this was something of a breakthrough as many companies had tried without luck to work with CAM, will this be an ongoing collaboration, and do you envisage releasing any westerns scores that CAM have ?
Yes, our relationship with CAM is very good.
They are very good friends and we enjoy a co-operative association with them very
Western scores from the CAM archive will be among our future releases.
5. What have been your most popular releases to date ?

 SODOM & GOMORRA, LO CHIAMAVANO TRINITA’ and OK CONNERY

6.Do you try and involve the composers with the release process, ?

6325Yes, sometimes the composers are involved, especially Ennio Morricone, and 

Composers such as Stelvio Cipriani are very friendly and cooperative!

7. Have there been any scores that you have handled that have been in such poor condition that you have been unable to restore them ?

For examples the GENTLEMAN JOE master tape was in very poor conditions.
We tried our best to restore it, anyway it was a very important Western title, having it with a just so so sound condition was still good, at least we have rescued it!

 

8. Italian film music seems to be as fresh and vibrant as it was back in the 1960,s and 1970,s, what do you think is the appeal of Italian movie music ?

Film Music had big names in the past , today film music is still a predominant part of actual Italian Cinema with new names such as Guerra, Buonvino, Vivaldi, Abeni,Plivio and De Scalzi etc. and Ennio Morricone, at 78, is still hugely creative and prolific.

11. Do you think that in the future, Digit movies might release some non Italian soundtracks ? Ie; British, French, German etc.

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Why not! 

Effectively we issued some score for American movies like PIRANHA II, CATACOMBS, and not forgetting SODOM AND GOMORRAH, possibly the most ambitious compact disc project of them all!
12. How long does it take approximately to work on a title. From start to finish ?
This varies according to the project in hand. Restoring the sound, assembling the CD master, making the graphic etc..

13. Your releases are always well packaged, wonderfully illustrated and contains notes and information on the film etc, do you think that notes and colourful illustrations and packaging is an important factor ?

Yes, Of course. The best presentation is something we wish always for making collectors around the world happy and satisfied.

14. When you look at a score that has already been issued on compact disc such as, PREPARTI LA BARA and THEY CALL ME TRINITY, what factors do you take into account before you decide to re-issue ?

The main factor to take into account is how much extra music was not included in the original release and it depends firstly on the master tapes conditions and how much indent music is available.

15. Have you a favourite film score at all ?
Claudio’s favourite score: LOGAN’S RUN by Jerry Goldsmith
Luca’s favourite score: CASPER by James Horner

Many thanks to both Luca and Claudio for their time and for answering the questions.

 

 

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A brief look at the film production company of Charles Band

FULL MOON.

Originally published in Music From The Movies 1990/91.

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Full Moon productions is a company that was founded by film maker Charles Band, the company has been producing low budgets movies mainly of the Horror variety since 1988 and has enjoyed considerable success with this particular genre, cornering the market in what are essentially termed or looked upon as B movies or straight to video/DVD productions. This success has even surprised Band himself, and during the mid to late 190’s the company began to produce up to ten full length feature films per year, again these were aimed at the straight to home video market and did not receive a cinema release. “We are making movies now that are for the video market that would have been full blown cinema releases a few years ago” said Charles. “Today’s theatrical market place is so unforgiving, that if you bomb out with just one film, it could be the end of the company. So in my opinion there is no shame in releasing a movie in a premiere situation directly for home viewing”.

 

 MV5BMTk1NTI5MjU3OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTA1NjUyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR4,0,214,317_Charles grew up in a family that was immersed in the film industry, from the age of nine he and his family moved to Italy, where his Father Albert band made a handful of Spaghetti westerns, and also was involved in the production of a number of Sword and Sandal epics. Charles said that his love of fantasy began as a child when he read the Marvel comics, which featured super heroes such as The Incredible Hulk, Spiderman and the Fantastic Four. He gained much of his experience via hands on training after his Father put him to work on the film sets of movies he was either directing or producing. Charles would do a number of jobs, these ranged from numbering negatives to assisting with sound equipment and cameras. At twenty one, Charles returned to the United States and made his first feature film which was entitled MANSION OF THE DOOMED, which starred the late Richard Basehart. After this Charles went on to produce and direct a couple of 3D features, PARASITE and METALSTORM for Avco Embassy and Universal respectively.  In 1982/83 Band founded Empire Entertainment under whose banner he released films such as RE-ANIMATOR,TRANCERS and GHOULIES. However Band found that buying pictures from other suppliers tended to water down the companies overall product, so in 1988 FULL MOON was born.

MV5BMTIwODg0ODg0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDMzNDkxMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR3,0,214,317_Band and Full Moon went on to release numerous production, granted many were of the low budget variety, but many ranged in budget from one and a half million Dollars to three Million Dollars, and up wards of six million Dollars as in the case of THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM. Which was one of the company’s biggest movies during the 1990’s. To say that Full Moon is just a film production company is certainly an understatement, Band has been busy creating a whole line of merchandising which includes, Trading Cards, T.Shirts, Sweat Shirts, Comic Books, and a great series of model kits. “I suppose we are creating the comic books of the future here” said Band. Charles’s Father Albert was not only active as a film maker in Italy he worked alongside John Huston on THE ASHPHALT JUNGLE and THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE. “I am from the old school of film making” remarked Mr Band snr. “ I never had just one genre that I loved, unlike my son, I always found if I liked the story whatever the subject matter, I would make the movie, but Charlie, he sticks to the same genre”. Albert worked with Charles on DOCTOR MORDRID, and also co-produced the Disney fantasy comedy HONEY I BLEW UP THE KID which was directed by Stuart (THE RE-ANIMATOR) Gordon.

MV5BMTIzODA5NjQwOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTc5NzQ0MQ@@._V1._SX148_CR0,0,148,200_During the early 1990’s Charles decided to expand the company’s merchandise from the films that they had released, he formed a sister company called, MOONSTONE RECORDS, this branch of the company packages and releases the soundtracks from the films that are produced by Band’s film company. Soundtracks such as MERIDIAN by Italian Maestro Pino Donaggio, SUBSPECIES by Aman Folk, NETHERWORLD by David Bryan, PUPPET MASTER 1 and 2 and THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM by Richard Band have all seen releases on the MOONSTONE label.  Whilst Charles is the man behind the camera as it were producing and directing movies, his younger Brother Richard is the man behind the music. “I am a composer who is as much dedicated to music as Charles is dedicated to film”. Explained Richard, “I have my own business, and I work freelance for other producers and film companies not exclusively for FULL MOON”.  Richard also lived in Italy for nearly eleven years. “I fell in love with classical music and through my Father I also learnt a lot about films by visiting the sets”.  The composer taught himself guitar, for a while touring Italy as a flamenco guitarist, he then took up rock music for a period of seven years. When he returned to the United States in 1972, he attended the music conservatory in Los Angeles. Richard got his first opportunity to break into film scoring in 1977 when he collaborated with Joel Goldsmith on the score to the low budget sci-fi romp LAZERBLAST.

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His first score for his Brother was in 1978 when he wrote the soundtrack for THE DAY TIME ENDED. This was followed by another Band Brother’s joint effort PARASITE. The composer admits he has done so many fantasy type movies that he feels “It has given me a particular style which I tried to develop. There are certain film music composers, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams and also the great Miklos Rozsa, that have worked for many many years within the industry and consequently have developed a definitive sound, but they have worked to refine this sound and when you get this sound you are inevitably asked to do certain types of movies”.

The composers score for THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM is creating a stir amongst collectors, and it is in fact a highly atmospheric and imposing soundtrack, the sound achieved is not a million miles away from the AVE SANTANI chorus in Goldsmiths THE OMEN. “Thank you for that, I don’t think I set out to get that sound, but it worked for the movie and to be compared to Goldsmith, that’s a compliment. I got sick whilst doing the score so maybe I should get a fever more often and I can produce some more great scores”. Richard has composed the music for approx-fifty movies, at least twenty of these have been for his Brother Charles.

FIN DE SIÈCLE MEDIA: TALKING SOUNDTRACKS

A Conversation with Magnus Sundstrom of Fin de Siecle Media.

(This interview took place in 2007. )

L-150-9380-1096374684John Mansell: Was it out of interest in film music yourself that you decide to begin to issue soundtracks?
Magnus Sundstrom: As long as I can remember I have been interested in film music, but my label was initially created to release my own electronic experimental music. However, I soon realized that putting out my own music wasn’t really a challenge. I begun releasing friend’s music, but I didn’t feel completely satisfied with that either. Having lost my interest in the contemporary experimental music, I started investigating the possibilities to release since long forgotten music which had had a huge impact on me during my youth – and after I successfully managed to license a few such albums I felt that my mission with this particular genre was completed. Since I’m a big fan and collector of European, mainly Italian, cult films I decided to contact a few publishers and try to share my passion with others.

John Mansell: What has been your most popular release to date?
Magnus Sundstrom: So far it’s Franco Micalizzi’s SUPERUOMINI SUPERDONNE SUPERBOTTE, a fantastic score and I was extremely satisfied with finding those previously unreleased tapes in such great shape.

John Mansell: Have there been any scores that you have tried to issue, but have been unable to because of the quality of the tapes?
Magnus Sundstrom: No, the main reasons for not being able to release a score are if I can’t find out who owns the rights, or if the tapes are lost, or if we don’t succeed in convincing a publisher to license it to us.

John Mansell: You recently released THE SWEET BODY OF DEBORAH; does this mean that we will be seeing more CAM soundtracks on your label?
Magnus Sundstrom: I certainly hope so, but as far as I know it’s very difficult to license anything from them. We will keep trying, though!

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John Mansell: Are there any titles that you would like to issue which you have been unable to for any reason?
Magnus Sundstrom: There are a number of scores which haven’t been possible to license because of the reasons mentioned earlier. We have also been offered some scores which we decided not to release because we didn’t like them.

John Mansell: Do you like to try and involve the composer of the score in anyway with the release?
Magnus Sundstrom: We actually haven’t involved any of the composers yet, but if the opportunity comes we’ll of course consider it. We have been in touch with Franco Micalizzi after sending him our releases of his music, and he really appreciates them!

John Mansell: Do you think that liner notes are important for a soundtrack release in particular?
Magnus Sundstrom: I don’t think it’s necessary, but it adds an extra dimension to the experience. I think most soundtrack aficionados would want as much information as possible about the film and its music, and well written liner notes together with original poster artwork and stills from the film are things that we definitely will continue with.

John Mansell: What is next up for release on your label?
Magnus Sundstrom: Next week we’ll receive CORRUZIONE AL PALAZZO DI GIUSTIZIA by Pino Donaggio, and in October we’ll release the very experimental LA MORTE HA FATTO L’UOVO score by Bruno Maderna. We also have some more Giorgio Gaslini and Ennio Morricone stuff up our sleeves, but we won’t reveal any titles before everything has been confirmed.

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John Mansell: What is your favourite film score, not just on your label but your favourite score of all time and for what reasons?
Magnus Sundstrom: I can’t choose just one score, there are so many. Some favourites are BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA by Wojciech Kilar, DIABOLIK by Ennio Morricone, CANDYMAN by Philip Glass and THE WICKER MAN by Paul Giovanni.
L2hvbWUvcnVubW92aWUvcHVibGljX2h0bWwvdGVtcC9pbWFnZXMvc3Rvcmllcy9Tb3VuZHRyYWNrL1Bvc3Rlci9maW5fZGVfc2ljbGVfbWVkaWEuanBnJohn Mansell: If a soundtrack has sold particularly well, would you at anytime consider a re-press?
Magnus Sundstrom: Yes, of course. We aim to have all releases available as long as the license agreements allow us.

John Mansell: When you release a score, for example THE ISLAND OF THE FISHMEN, do you then own the rights to the score, or is the music still the property of the original owner?
Magnus Sundstrom: We just license the music for release on CD, but the music belongs to the publisher.

John Mansell: I understand that you are now going to issue some Cinevox soundtracks – would you be able to tell us anything of these forthcoming releases?
Magnus Sundstrom: Before the summer we released RIVELAZIONI DI UN MANIACO SESSUALE AL CAPO DELLA SQUADRA MOBILE, our first collaboration with Cinevox and Claudio Fuiano. They have been very easy to work with and we’ll continue to explore the Cinevox archives. As previously mentioned, we’ll release LA MORTE HA FATTO L’UOVO by Bruno Maderna, which was released on LP by Cinevox in 1968. It has been restored by Claudio and the CD will contain ten previously unreleased tracks. We are working on some more as well but I think it’s too early to mention any further titles.

John Mansell: Many thanks to Magnus for his valuable time.

Roberto Zamori of Hexachord.

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Roberto Zamori’s name will be a familiar one to many collectors of Italian film music. His name has appeared on numerous soundtrack releases, and he has been responsible for getting scores from films released onto Cd and also LP for the first time, scores that would have probably been lost forever if it were not for his intervention. Professor Zamori was born in Prato, Italy on the 17th march 1946. his father was Italian and his mother was swiss.

“My maternal Grandfather was a great music lover, I presume this is where I get my love of music from”.

So what musical training if any did Roberto have ?

“ When I was a young man I began to learn to play the guitar, and in the 1960,s I had my own group, who were named GLI SPIRITI, we made two records ,but my real musical experiences came later when my dreams came true and I began to work alongside such composers as Lavagnino ,Cicognini, Umiliani and Savina. From whom I was taught a great deal. I also have to add Carlo Rustichelli and Maestro Sciascia to that list, I was privelaged enough to be able to sit in the recording rooms and watch and listen to them, it was a wonderful learning experience ,and one that I am so grateful for. I a now in my 60,s but because of my experiences with these marvelous composers, I am able to still hear the sounds that they created, so when I am working on a soundtrack release, I can still hear that music as it was played firstly, I try to work hard to get the rich sound of the 60,s and 70,s, as on the Italian westerns with the bass guitar sounds etc”.

 MI0001118093What new projects did he have planned.?

“ To be honest because of certain recording companies, who have not paid me for my work, I have had to put all projects on hold for a short time. Although I do have many projects ready but its just the funding at the moment. Myself and Lionel Woodman are at the moment planning a compact disc of the film music of Giacamo Dell’Orso, he is such a fantastic musical personality in Italy, but not widely known for all his work on arrangements etc. If you ever meet him you will find him to be a wonderful person and an accomplished musician and composer”. 

 

 

 

How long does it take you to prepare a soundtrack for release ?

“There is no set time for the preparation of a soundtrack CD, it depends mainly on the condition of the tapes, and how much work I have to do to restore them, let us just say using my own parameters it can take up to 6 to 8 hours to restore just 60 seconds of music”.

 

What project has proved the most difficult for you ?

“Each project is difficult, if it was an easy task then everyone would be able to do it, I think that the SOUND DIMENSIONS set was for me the most trying project. The restoring of the old analog tapes took me three months ,but I think it was worth all the time, as I have now the satisfaction of listening to the final product. The sound I managed to achieve was exactly the same as was heard at the original recording session. No electronic cleaning was used, and the work , ah well it was hard and long, but all done by hand. I have to say I am pleased that many people who have purchased the set, have e.mailed me saying they are pleased with the sound quality”.

 

You, have worked with many composers, Morricone must be the most high profile Maestro you have worked with, what is it like collaborating with a musical legend ?

“Everyone knows that Maestro Morricone has his own personality, maybe a complex one, but definately not a simple one. Let us say that it has been and still is a interesting adventure planning anything with him. I am proud to have worked with the most popular composer of film music in the world, and also the composer of the song SE TELEFONADO surely the most beautiful song written in Italy

 

R-150-1707231-1291413192 You have produced many soundtracks from Italian movie, have you ever trued to produce a soundtrack from a non Italian move?

“ I have always been interested in producing something from a British movie, I am mainly interested in the B movies of the 1950,s and the 1960,s but I have tried contacting many people, and have never had any luck obtaining a soundtrack,I love the music from the Hammer films, the GDI series is such a great one, but even this has stopped production, Maybe you can help me with this sometime “?

 

I know what you mean when you say no-one in the UK is interested, they are just interested in the money, they have no love for the music, and even less knowledge of it, it is sad. I would be honoured to help you with anything.

You have organized numerous concerts in Italy of film music, what are these and what composers have featured in them ?

“ I have organized around 270 concerts over a period of 25 years, they have always been well attended, the most recent was in TREVISO this was a Homage to Sergio Leone, we had an 80 piece orchestra, and the theatre was packed with 1,500 people who were all big fans of the spaghetti western, and also of Morricone. I also remember last summers concert in LIGURIA which was a film music festival, this included an outstanding live performance by EDDA dell Orso, she was singing Italian themes from movies, it was exquisite. This was televised by RAI television and there were over 1,000 in attendance. This was also a good night for me because I sang with edda at the end of the concert, the theme from METTI UNA SERA A CENA, the audience became crazy with laughter, it was a great night dedicated to Italian film music”.

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The soundtrack market is quite frail at the moment has this effected your work at all,?.

“ It is not just the soundtrack market that is bad at the moment, the music industry in general is taking the worst battering in many years, changes in the music world have nt yet taken full effect, so the music industry landscape is very sparse and sad at this time. Labels which have always been interested in just money are now themselves finding things difficult because of new technology such as the internet. People are able to get music easily on the internet, and no one gets paid for it, I think this is something that will be hard to stop. I personally think that the recording labels must try and create something new and fresh, many labels are trying to generate revenue, so in a way it is good for me because record companies that up to two years ago shut their archives are now open to negotiation”.

 

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What is your opinion of the state of Italian film music today ?                                     

 

 

“My own personal opinion of the new generation of Italian film music, well it is not that interesting, and recently there have been many new scores that I have listened to that are not good at all, in ten years or even less people will not remember the composers of this music or even the music, but this is also true of the new films and television productions, they are dreary and uninteresting, so its hardly surprising that composers are not being inspired by this type of filmmaking.

 

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 American movies scores are much in the same position, the composers fail to be inspired by the films that they are working on, so unfortunately no matter how big the budget is the music is still suffering.   In Italy,  the times of Morricone/Leone, Rota/Fellini, Rustichelli/Germi etc… have now passed, and there are no new names to take their place.

 

Allow me just to add this : during the last 15-20 years, especially the ten years 1981-1991 concerning the permanent congress in Prato “Musica/Immagine” and later with the Hexacord project, I have worked with money directly from my pockets – to give to young generations a better knowledge about Italian Composers for the Italian Movies.

I hope to go on and on in this, as I think it’s really a terrible thing to forget forever what people like Piccioni, Trovajoli, Cicognini, Rustichelli, Umiliani, Marchetti, Alessandroni and many many many others made. They are responsable for an Italian way to the music scores, and I’ll never tire of giving them the best tribute I can do.

 I am Most grateful for everything they have been so able to teach me, I still work and I still have plans to make music according their way of thinking.

 PASSION IS PASSION !

OK, thanks John, for your attention to me and my work.

Italian Film Music and Italian Composers owe you so much !