A Conversation with Magnus Sundstrom of Fin de Siecle Media.
(This interview took place in 2007. )
John 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!
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.
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.
John 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.