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Genötigt von Anne und Oliver (:)) habe ich nun zusammen mit den beiden eine Mark-Snow-Fanseite auf Facebook ins Leben gerufen. Jeder hier ist natürlich herzlich eingeladen. :applaus:

Mark Snow

Wow, schon 38 Fans nach einem Tag, keep it coming. :D

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Ein paar machen das ja auch...:applaus:...aber auf tägliche, rege Diskussionen kann man da eh nicht hoffen, ist bei vielen FB-Fanseiten ja nicht anders, viele zeigen mit ihrem "Gefällt mir" eben "nur", dass es ihnen gefällt, mache ich ja auch, denn wenn ich auf jeder Seite, die mir auf FB gefällt, täglich was schreiben müsste, hätte ich nichts anderes mehr zu tun. :D

Ausserdem ist die Quantität nicht so wichtig, da habe ich lieber einen sinnvollen Beitrag in der Woche als dutzende "Boah, geil!" oder "Genial!" täglich. Da gibt es einige Seiten, vor allem für irgendwelche Teenie-Filme oder -Serien, die werden mit sowas geradezu zugemüllt und darauf kann ich dann auch verzichten. :) Es ist eben wie hier im Board, es lesen mehr Leute mit, als man denkt, auch wenn man aufgrund fehlenden Feedbacks immer denkt, es würde keinen interessieren.

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Und wenn man sieht, wer mittlerweile Fan von Mark Snow geworden ist, von Matthew Joseph Peak, Danel Schreiber, Randall D. Larson bis zu Ford A. Thaxton :)

Nee das ist ja unser Ziel der Seiten, die Musik des Künstlers jemanden näher zu bringen oder einfach nur ein Anlaufplatz zu sein, wenn es um den Lieblingskünstler von jemanden geht oder auch Lieblingsmusikgenre :D

Da ist ein "gefällt mir" wichtiger als ein Kommentar "wie genial" "wow ist das geil" :D, weil gefällt mir das gleiche bedeutet, wie ja Alex gesagt hat :applaus:;)

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Eben, jeder zeigt auf seinem Profil unter "Musik" durch den Klick auf "Gefällt mir", dass ihm die Musik von Mark Snow gefällt und das ist doch schön. Ob er dann auch jemals etwas auf der Fanseite schreibt, ist etwas anderes.

Ein sehr guter Freund von mir von der "MillenniuM"-Seite, tiwwa.info, ist auch ein Fan und hat mir angeboten, mit Mark Snow persönlich zu sprechen, ob dieser nicht Lust hätte, aktiv an der Seite mitzuwirken. Wir wollen natürlich nichts versprechen und sind auch nicht traurig, wenn es nicht klappt, aber es ist natürlich eine reizvolle Option.

Eth, so sein Spitzname, ist einer der Organisatoren auf der "MillenniuM"-Seite, er kümmert sich hingebungsvoll um Gewinnspiele und sonstige besondere Sachen, besondere Sachen deswegen, weil er aktiven Kontakt zu einigen Mitwirkenden der Show hat, so hat Schauspielerin Sarah-Jane Redmond, die in der Serie die dämonische Lucy Butler spielt, extra für das MM-Forum als "Hauptpreis" eines Gewinnspiels mitgemacht, bei dem man Gedichte einsenden konnte und das beste wurde dann gewählt und von Sarah-Jane vorgetragen, momentan organisiert er ein Podcast mit Chip Johannessen, Autor einiger MM-Folgen und Co-Executive-Producer der dritten Staffel, der sich mittlerweile um die Serie "Dexter" kümmert. Aber auch zu Lance Henriksen und Dean Haglund (Langly von den Lone Gunmen) hat er aktiven Kontakt, sowie eben zu Mark Snow, den er zusammen mit Dean Haglund für ein Gewinnspiel zum Release des Lone-Gunmen-Scores gewinnen konnte. Kristen Cloke, die in der Serie Lara Means spielt und mit Glen Morgan verheiratet ist, der ebenfalls Autor und Co-Executive-Producer von MM war (zusammen mit James Wong, mit dem er auch die Final-Destination-Reihe gemacht hat), hat eben zusammen mit ihrem Mann Glen signierte DVDs von "Black Christmas" (das Remake ist auch von Glen Morgan und James Wong, ausserdem ein MM-Insider-Gag) für das MM-Forum zu Weihnachten bereit gestellt.

Das "MillenniuM"-Forum ist ja auch auf FB, ausserdem gibt es eine Gruppe für Mark Snow, Mark Snow selbst war bis vor einigen Wochen noch auf FB, sein Account ist aber mittlerweile leider verschwunden, die Idealvorstellung wäre natürlich eine Zusammenarbeit aller Gewerke, unsere Fanseite soll ja auf keinen Fall irgendeine Konkurrenz werden, das wäre nicht Sinn der Sache.

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Eben, jeder zeigt auf seinem Profil unter "Musik" durch den Klick auf "Gefällt mir", dass ihm die Musik von Mark Snow gefällt und das ist doch schön. Ob er dann auch jemals etwas auf der Fanseite schreibt, ist etwas anderes.

Ein sehr guter Freund von mir von der "MillenniuM"-Seite, tiwwa.info, ist auch ein Fan und hat mir angeboten, mit Mark Snow persönlich zu sprechen, ob dieser nicht Lust hätte, aktiv an der Seite mitzuwirken. Wir wollen natürlich nichts versprechen und sind auch nicht traurig, wenn es nicht klappt, aber es ist natürlich eine reizvolle Option.

Eth, so sein Spitzname, ist einer der Organisatoren auf der "MillenniuM"-Seite, er kümmert sich hingebungsvoll um Gewinnspiele und sonstige besondere Sachen, besondere Sachen deswegen, weil er aktiven Kontakt zu einigen Mitwirkenden der Show hat, so hat Schauspielerin Sarah-Jane Redmond, die in der Serie die dämonische Lucy Butler spielt, extra für das MM-Forum als "Hauptpreis" eines Gewinnspiels mitgemacht, bei dem man Gedichte einsenden konnte und das beste wurde dann gewählt und von Sarah-Jane vorgetragen, momentan organisiert er ein Podcast mit Chip Johannessen, Autor einiger MM-Folgen und Co-Executive-Producer der dritten Staffel, der sich mittlerweile um die Serie "Dexter" kümmert. Aber auch zu Lance Henriksen und Dean Haglund (Langly von den Lone Gunmen) hat er aktiven Kontakt, sowie eben zu Mark Snow, den er zusammen mit Dean Haglund für ein Gewinnspiel zum Release des Lone-Gunmen-Scores gewinnen konnte.

Das "MillenniuM"-Forum ist ja auch auf FB, ausserdem gibt es eine Gruppe für Mark Snow, Mark Snow selbst war bis vor einigen Wochen noch auf FB, sein Account ist aber mittlerweile leider verschwunden, die Idealvorstellung wäre natürlich eine Zusammenarbeit aller Gewerke, unsere Fanseite soll ja auf keinen Fall irgendeine Konkurrenz werden, das wäre nicht Sinn der Sache.

Genau.

Ich hatte die Idee für die Seite, weil sie einfach eine Ergänzung sein soll, auch weil es, so glaube ich wenigstens bisher keine Mark Snow Seite auf Facebook gab, bisher nur Gruppen. Nebenbei kam ich in den letzten Tagen der Musik von Mark Snow erheblich näher, würde mich sogar mittlerweile als (hoffentlicht akzeptierter) Fan sehen und nachdem Alexander's Suite von Mark Snow zu Unrecht kaum Beachtung führte, dazu kam auch, dass Annes und meine Ernennung von Mark Snow als Komponist der Woche kaum einen sichtbaren Erfolg zeigte, was ich einfach nicht verstehen konnte. Man muss doch Mark Snow kennen. Tja darum sprach ich eines Abends mit Anne und schlug ihr vor, eine Mark Snow Seite zu machen und der passende Mann dafür war auch schnell gefunden.

Und was Alexander, Anne und mich da so glücklich macht, ist die Tatsache, dass man sieht, dass man der Musik von Mark Snow doch eine Chance gibt und allein darüber hat sich Alexander wegen der Anzahl der Fans so gefreut, die übrigens mittlerweile 47 Fans zählen. :applaus:

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49 :)

Was du da geschrieben hast, Oli, kann ich nur unterschreiben!!

Wir wollten einfach nur einen guten leider etwas unbekannten Künstler etwas bekannter machen. Zumindest ist dies mein Gedanke zum Grund der Entstehung dieser Seite.

Wenn nun durch deine Kontakte was noch viel viel größeres entsteht, Alex, wäre das einfach grandios!! :applaus:

Und wenn nicht, so ist das einfach eine Seite von Fans für Fans, was ja auch nicht so verkehrt ist.

Außerdem bin ich sehr froh, dass wir dich gewinnen konnten, Alex! Denn was ich so bisher mitkriegte, bist du der wohl größte Mark Snow Fan und -Experte.

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Eine reine Fanseite von Mark Snow gab es bisher tatsächlich nicht auf FB, eben nur die Wikiseite und eine Gruppe, zu der man aber sagen muss, dass sie sehr gut informiert ist und es werden auch immer wieder neue Links zu Interviews oder sonstigen Neuigkeiten zu Mark Snow gepostet.

Und ja, es freut mich schon ein wenig, dass sich so "viele" zu Mark Snow bekennen, da er einer meiner Lieblingskomponisten ist, es aber bisher nur zwei, drei Leute gab, mit denen ich über ihn sprechen konnte. Von daher dachte ich immer ein wenig, Snow gehört in eine kleine Nische der Filmmusik, in die sich kaum jemand verirrt, ähnlich wie bei zwei weiteren meiner Lieblingskomponisten, John Carpenter und Jack Nitzsche.

@Anne Schau ma mal. Ich bin ja eigentlich jemand, der solche Sachen erst mal für sich behält, so lange es noch nichts Konkretes ist und ich bereue es fast schon wieder, es doch ausgeplaudert zu haben, ich will ja keinen enttäuschen. :applaus:

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Von daher dachte ich immer ein wenig, Snow gehört in eine kleine Nische der Filmmusik, in die sich kaum jemand verirrt, ähnlich wie bei zwei weiteren meiner Lieblingskomponisten, John Carpenter und Jack Nitzsche.

An was das liegt, würde mich mal interessieren. Liegt es wirklich daran, dass Mark Snow meistens für die Serien ohne echtes Orchester arbeitet. Wenn ja, dann finde ich das ehrlich gesagt "Totaler Schwachsinn".

Was Snow mit seiner Musik schafft, finde ich sogar um einiges besser als vieles der aktuellen großorchestralen Musiken. Er bringt die Stimmung immer perfekt auf den Punkt und schafft es auch, dass man seine Musik auch außerhalb des Films oder Serie genießen kann.

Ich mag ja besonders seine melancholische Seite, die eigentlich sehr oft bei ihm durchschimmert.

Aber wenn er doch mal ein Orchester zur Hand hat, (er dirigiert übrigens auch fabelhaft, wie ich finde), dann weiß er auch damit vollends zu überzeugen.

Glaube bei ihm ist es ähnlich wie bei Joel McNeely, wo man auch nicht weiß, warum der große Durchbruch nicht stattfand.

Alexander brachte mich vor etwa genau einen Jahr immer mehr auf den Geschmack von der Musik von Mark Snow, bis er mich vollends überzeugte und ich bin ihm sehr dankbar darüber.

Warum es so lange dauerte, keine Ahnung, aber lieber spät als nie.

PS: Kann sein, dass es bis morgen früh meine erste Snow Suite geben wird, aber erstmal nur der orchestrale Snow, der aber auch nicht von schlechten Eltern ist :applaus:

bearbeitet von horner1980

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Ich finde es ja sehr interessant, dass Snow mittlerweile zum Stammkomponisten von Alain Resnais geworden ist. LES HERBES FOLLES wollte ich mir eigentlich im Kino ansehen, hab ihn aber verpasst - wie ist denn da so die Musik, Alex?

Resnais gehört ja zu meinen absoluten Lieblingsregisseuren, hat er doch 1961 mit LETZTES JAHR IN MARIENBAD eines der größten Meisterwerke des subjektivistischen, "anti-narrativen" Films, quasi den Vorläufer aller Lynch-Filme gedreht. In meinen Augen einer der faszinierendsten Filme aller Zeiten.

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An was das liegt, würde mich mal interessieren. Liegt es wirklich daran, dass Mark Snow meistens für die Serien ohne echtes Orchester arbeitet.

Ich glaube, es liegt eher daran, dass ihn kaum einer kennt, da er eben meist Musik für TV-Serien macht und von seinen Musiken wurde ja auch kaum was veröffentlicht, das passierte erst in den letzten Jahren nach und nach.

Wie ich schon mal anführte, komponiert Snow oft sehr orchestral, nur wird die Musik dann eben nicht von einem Orchester eingespielt. Für mich macht genau dieser Zwischenraum zwischen "Man hört, dass da kein echtes Orchester spielt" und "Aber es klingt trotzdem nicht billig, sogar sehr gut, dieser Sound zwischen echt und künstlich wirkt auf mich" einen Reiz seiner Musik aus.

@Sebastian Die Musik zu LES HERBES FOLLES hat viel von seiner PRIVATE FEARS Musik in den ruhigen Momenten, ist aber insgesamt düsterer und experimenteller, die Musik gibt es bisher leider nur als iTunes-Download. Wenn du iTunes installiert hast, kannst du hier in die Stücke reinhören.

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Klingt prima, werde ich mir mal runterladen. :applaus:

Weißt du, ob und wann der Film hierzulande auf DVD erscheint? Weder auf Amazon noch in der OFDb sind Informationen zu finden... Scheint in jedem Fall ein toller Film zu sein, hab bisher nur positive Rezensionen gelesen - soll ähnlich verschachtelt und mitunter auch selbstreflexiv konzipiert sein wie seine frühen Filme, wenngleich natürlich nicht ganz so düster und schwer wie MARIENBAD.

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Matt Alair vom X-Files-Lexicon hat ein Interview mit Mark Snow geführt, das sehr interessant geworden ist (auch wenn die Antwort auf meine Frage, ob es mehr MillenniuM-Musik geben wird, leider negativ ausgefallen ist). Ausserdem ist mein Review des X-Files-Box-Sets nun ebenfalls im X-Files-Lexicon nachzulesen:

Matt Allair: Thank you for taking the time to chat. It's quite an honor.

Mark Snow: Oh, thanks, it's fine.

Matt Allair: You had a long-standing relationship with musician Michael Kamen from your years at Julliard, and the New York Rock 'N Roll ensemble. What was the most invaluable thing you learned from Michael Kamen?

Mark Snow: Well, we were also classmates in high school, the School of Music and Arts in New York. We were both oboe players at the time. I was one year ahead of him. When we were at Julliard we were roommates. We were on the same kind of footing; we were kind of equals at that time. We put this group together, and I left the group earlier than he did. He carried it on for a little bit. Then we really went our separate ways. He found himself in London and started his amazing composing career, and I went to Los Angeles and got mostly into the TV world. In terms of learning anything from him, I suppose in one sense we learned stuff from each other, but looking back on it, I probably learned more from him when we separated, you know, geographically, and saw how his career took off and I realized that he had that certain gift beyond music, of dealing with people that was just remarkable. I can't say it was something I learned, it was something I just sort of witnessed from afar. I thought I had a similar thing, where I felt very comfortable in a collaborative situation, but he took that up many notches. I think part of his success was his amazing, strong personality, and I think people were incredibly attracted to it. I think for [my career], even though it hasn't been as big time or dynamic as his, I think that's somewhat the reason for my success.

Matt: In the 70s, was it a difficult for you to transition into composing for film?

Mark: I think the interesting thing about that, I believe that every composer who's working and successful now in film and TV, they've gotten there differently. This is not a career like a lawyer or a doctor where you become an intern, or an apprentice, and something like that and you go up the ladder. This is having talent, and then getting some remarkable good luck, and breaks. Everyone's story is completely different. Maybe in the old days, 30 or 40 years ago in the big movie studios there was always a music department, and someone who was the head of the department, these people were asked by directors and producers about who they should use on a certain project, and apparently the director or producer could not use someone unless they passed muster with the head of the music department. Notably Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams really found their way. Lionel Newman [20th Century Fox] was very instrumental in Jerry Goldsmith's career, and championed him. After that, the head of the music department at the studios--they didn't have anything near that power--and they don't today. Basically a director calls up and says "I want John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Hans Zimmer," etc...and they make the deal. In terms of my transition, I found that working in the studios with the rock band was really incredibly helpful in terms of understanding recorded music, recording live instruments, and what the recording studio could do.

I started writing a few jingles, and my wife said, "Listen, let's go to California." This is when I was in New York, and my family are actors and actresses, and she said, "That will be a good chance for them to introduce you to someone," etc...That's exactly what's happened. We went out there with modest means, and six months later I got my first little episode of something for Aaron Spelling, and my wife's sister's husband was an actor in one of his series, and so that's how that happened. Those were the days before any samplers or Synthesizers or anything like that. Everything was written out and copyists came, you know, live musicians, and used small orchestras. So, I had a good ten years of that before the home studio thing even was in its most primitive state. Then in 1986--I remember that year specifically--that first home studio thing came to be viable, and it was incredibly primitive, and the sounds were very clunky and awkward, and non-musical, but there was something there. There was a moment in time when a lot of composers had to chose; trying to learn this or stay where they were. I think at the time it was like maybe seventy-five-twenty-five. Seventy-five percent of the composers said, "No, this is just crap" and luckily I was in that twenty-five percentage, and I thought, "No, I think this is going to be a big deal," and I guessed right.

Matt: You have been a composer since the 70s; was there a project from the 70s or 80s that you were really proud to have been a part of?

Mark: There was a TV movie I did called Something about Amelia that Glenn Close and Ted Danson were in. It was the first dramatic TV show depicting incest and sexual abuse. Although it was incredibly mild, it was a big deal at the time (laughs), and there was a nice bassoon solo in there of all things. I got an Emmy nomination, I didn't win. As you're talking to me, that show was a standout.

Matt: You've cited Ligeti, Penderecki, Xenakis, Varese, John Cage, Mahler...Which composers have been your greatest influence?

Mark: Definitely not any one, but when I was at Julliard, composing was sort of on the back burner. I was more of a instrumentalist with the oboe, there were concerts that I was involved with almost constantly, little chamber groups, or orchestras, and I just loved the most avant-garde, contemporary music. I felt a very natural inclination toward it, and actually that is, I think, if not the main reason, one of the main reasons why The X-Files was perhaps such a standout. The producers and directors, they didn't know from that stuff, but I kind of used that as an inspiration, and they just liked it. That came in very, very handy because [there're] not too many shows where you could do that kind of thing.

Matt: You started early in your career working with orchestras. Do you prefer working with orchestras, or your home studio set-up?

Mark: If it was up to me it would be a great thing to be able to do fifty-fifty, and especially now-a-days the combination of orchestra and samplers really seems to be the most current thing going. The samples and all of the digital stuff, working with the live players is the thing that's incredibly in vogue at the moment, you know. Hans Zimmer is actually one of the greatest in terms of that combination. The people he has working for him and his technical skills are pretty remarkable, and when you blend a thousand tracks of synthesizers and a hundred-piece orchestra under the right circumstances, and in the right hands with some brilliant technicians, it's a remarkable sound.

Matt: When you do work with orchestras or other musicians, do you have them play just what is written, or do you allow for improvisation?

Mark: That's a good question. In the last X-Files movie I did, we had a session where I just recorded orchestral effects, where nothing was written, and I was able to sample those segments [and] sequences, put them in my magic box, my home studio stuff. I was able to play them in sequences, and then the orchestra came back and played the written music, these were sort of used as sound effects, or ambient, sonic enhancements, if you will, that were really great. It was nothing about tonality, it was up to me where they were to be placed. It was great because it didn't sound like it was, like a live orchestra. There was just a sprinkle of these things, a whole grab bag of these little motifs and sound moments that just worked really great.

Matt: When you are working on a project, looking at footage, and you start composing, is it for you a more instinctual process or intellectual process?

Mark: Oh, it's totally instinct. When I see something I react emotionally to it, and it seems to work out the best. Then I can intellectually process it, if I need to change something to perhaps play against the scene, or to do something that's unexpected. Those are more intellectual moments where I step back and say, "Well, what are the other choices here?" Those things are in the intellectual world, and hopefully there's a good combination of both, of psychological responses to the film.

Matt: Frank Spotnitz has commented that you're like this amazing barometer; based on your music, Frank can judge how successful their efforts have been. Do you feel that quality work inspires quality work from others?

Mark: First of all, doing a series is extremely hard because you've got to be good week after week after week. For The X-Files it was nine years. I'd like to think that everything I did is at least a six, or a six-and-a-half. And sometimes it's an eight, and sometimes a ten, and maybe even an eleven (laughs). I remember Frank once said, "You know, some of your greatest stuff was with some of the greatest episodes, and some of your stuff that wasn't so great was with some of our worst." (laughs) It seemed like, "Well, okay, that's makes sense." I'd like to think that I could do great all of the time, and enhance the episodes that also might have been weaker, but I guess I matched in a way what was there. That's not a cop-out because I do admit when there was an episode that was incredibly inspiring I definitely jumped all over it. The other thing is I didn't slack off; I guess I just responded to what it was.

Matt: I was curious about your home studio multi-track set-up; when you are working on a piece for a project, how many tracks* will you usually lay down on average?

Mark: In my particular system, I can handle over two-hundred tracks*, but that's getting a little much. Sometimes it could be five, or eighty, or fifty, you know. But I don't even really recall that I ever pushed it up to the limit.

Matt: Have you ever added a lot of elements to a piece and then stripped them away in the mix process?

Mark: That depends on the time I have composing. If I'm lucky I'll have the time to revisit the piece, like the next day, or if I'm doing it in the morning, that night, and it will give me the distance from it to be able to have a fresh ear when I come back to it. That's been extremely helpful. I try to do that. I try to listen the next day and see if it's as good as I think it is. In my studio actually, my wife has a fabulous ear and she doesn't mince words, she'll look at me and go, "Horrible" or "That's great." She won't even bother telling me why or anything, just "That stinks." She was very responsible for The X-Files theme because I remember when I did it, I found that whistle idea. She heard it from the house coming out of the garage and said, "That's pretty good. You should show that to Chris." And that's what happened.

Matt: You are known for using the Synclavier, as well as a Roland S-760, and the Proteus 2. Has there been any new gear you've augmented into your set-up since 2002?

Mark: Well, first of all, the Synclavier is a device that is like architecture. In other words, it doesn't have a sound but it can contain many, many sounds. That Roland 760 and the Proteus--those are dinosaurs now. Those are things that are so far gone. What's happening now is these different libraries of sounds. They seem to come out once a month or something. New string sounds or new brass sounds. Different rhythm loops and percussion things. You just sort of have to keep up with it. Between the Synclavier, Logic, and Pro Tools, those devices are things that store these sounds, put them in some kind of order for when you want to pull them up. Those kind of synthesizers are from the past and no longer pertain.

Matt: What kind of music cues do you find easier or harder to write? Scary cues, action cues, or romantic cues?

Mark: Forget about scary or romantic. Literally, it gets down to really fast or not so fast (laughs). The things that are really fast take more time and they're more involved, and the medium tempo, more moody stuff--talk about The X-Files--that was the majority of the music. I think for most composers, you know, easier than a full blast, chase thing.

Matt: When you are not working on a project, are you always composing? Will you build up stock motifs or instrumental templates? Or is everything based on gut reaction to the material at the moment?

Mark: I can't say what motivates me, but sometimes, if I'm not working on a project, I'll go into the studio and fool around with something. Often times [i'll] come up with something that I think is really promising and I'll save it, and hopefully it will find a place in some project. Sometimes that doesn't bear fruit. You know, having the studio is a hobby and going in there in a relaxed way, and thinking 'well maybe something will happen today' and it's always pretty mysterious how it does happen. It's difficult to see what the inspiration is. Someone said 'Oh wouldn't it be great if your studio was on the beach and you had this vista of the ocean, and the thing, and the sun coming in...blah, blah, blah.' For me, that's not it, I could be in a jail cell with my equipment and it would still be as good. I remember one incident where I was doing Hart to Hart, which was an orchestral [job]. It was in the early 80s. I went with the producer to one of the music rooms at the Fox studios. There was a piano playing the theme. We walked in, and there was a score that John Williams was working on, although he wasn't there. It was a version of Dracula with Frank Langella, and the great English actor, Laurence Olivier. There was this room with no windows, ugly as it could possibly be, and I thought, 'That's appropriate. All you need are your tools.' It's pleasant to see the ocean, or snow, or the mountains, but I never found those things, at all, inspiring. It was just put your fingers down here, hear something, and go from there.

Matt: I know that music editor Jeff Charbonneau was the music spotter, and he also contributed percussion cues for Millennium; in what way has Jeff been an influence, if any, on you as a composer?

Mark: Well, the most important thing he did for me was to be able to say, "Gee, I don't think they're going to like this," or "Boy, that's really great," or "You can add more drums," or more this or that. He was a great, not only a great music editor, we had such a close, wonderful relationship that it was important to me that he liked what I did, and I would always have to send it to him first, so he could lay it into the picture, and he'd be the first one after myself who heard the music. So, he was in a good position to comment on it, and because of his experience and expertise, it was a great collaboration.

Matt: Indeed. When you can read a script in advance of a project, do you find yourself starting to develop themes mentally, or do you wait for a rough cut?

Mark: Yeah, I'm never rude to the producers, directors, or the production company when they say, "Oh, well now that you're on the show, we'd love to send you the script," and I'll say, "Sure, that's great." But I just get a vague inkling--well not a vague inkling of what it's about--but I certainly get an idea, but it's seeing the footage. That's the real deal.

Matt: I understand that Chris Carter had a lot of in-depth and working knowledge of music when you started working with him in 1993. Do you find it easier or harder for you to work with filmmakers who have a working knowledge of music?

Mark: Well, I don't mean to be contrary to that, (laughs) but he really didn't have any knowledge of music. He just knew, obviously, what he liked. When we first started working together, he would send some CDs of some bands, or music, and said, "Gee, I like this, this is the kind of stuff I like," to give me an idea of his taste, but in terms of really knowing the intricacies and the detail of actual music, that wasn't what he knew. He was the boss, and he knew enough to say, "That sucks" or "that's great," but he would never say, "That B flat sounds out of tune." He didn't know music theory or composition. So, the answer is 'no,' I never worked with anyone who really knew in-depth about music theory, anything like that. In fact the great line that so many producers and directors have said to me is: "I don't know anything about music, but I know what I like. I'm just going to respond to your stuff dramatically and emotionally," and I said "Of course! What else can you do? That's exactly what I expect of you!" I think sometimes they get a little intimidated that if they don't know about music, they will be at a disadvantage, and I just think the opposite. It's very unimportant for them to know the workings of music. I think it's much more important for them to respond dramatically to what the composer does.

Matt: The typical rock instrumentation--drums, bass, guitar--wasn't really used on The X-Files. Was that something specified by Chris Carter in the early seasons to steer away from? Or just something that evolved?

Mark: No, the pilot of the show they used pieces of score from a whole bunch of big movies, and none of them had the rhythm section sound or the pop music band thing at all. I didn't think it was at all appropriate or right for the show. None of them--Chris or Frank or any of the producers--ever said "Please use guitar, bass and drums," ever. At times they would go buy an existing song, drop it into a good spot, and I had nothing to do with that. But from the composer's point of view, I never thought that was right and neither did they.

Matt: I wanted to ask you about The Lone Gunmen theme. Were all of the orchestral tracks keyboard samples or did you use a real orchestra? Even my dad, who's a musician, had trouble identifying what he was hearing!

Mark: No, there was no orchestra. It was all my samples and a live guitar. So the guitarist did that Star-Spangled Banner bit in the beginning, then played this James Bond spy-type sound and all the rest of it was my garage band.

Matt: The Lone Gunmen theme has a Bond flavor. Was composer John Barry an influence on your work?

Mark: Well, he was, but actually not whatsoever on that Lone Gunmen theme. So many of his scores I really, really admire greatly. He wasn't particularly known for complex, fast, chasey music. He was mostly known for big, grand orchestral themes and simplicity, and I always felt very attracted to that. Even when there was some action going on with a movie, some James Bond thing, often he wouldn't play it generically, like an upbeat, fast tempo, but something more moderate. It seemed to play against the scene, and yet it worked great.

Matt: The violin solo used in Millennium was such a major element in that series. Was that sound just a stock keyboard sample patch or was a real musician sampled specifically for Millennium?

Mark: The theme was played by a live player, but all of the episodes were done with a violin solo sample that was in my bag of tricks. I got a lot of good comments on that sound. It sounded pretty authentic, but I made sure to use it in a register that didn't give away that it was a sample.

Matt: Has your use of sequencers or sampled loops evolved from the 90s? Do you use them more or less these days?

Mark: No, as I said earlier [those were] libraries of loops and percussion sounds and sounds in general. They come out with new ones all the time and you have to keep up with them, and that's a lot of work in itself, just auditioning and listening to the new things and choosing the things that you like. But it's an evolving thing. I listen to a lot of the music on some of the TV shows now, and I hear a lot of similarity in the sounds, and it reflects on the latest and current libraries. Sometimes something from five years ago pops back and it seems a little more current, because it hasn't been used in awhile. It's just up to the individual composer. If I worked for Chris and Frank all the time from The X-Files on, it would be easy, and in a sense, they were used to a certain kind of sound, maybe I would continue that.

Matt: David M. Sheer is credited as a musician on The X-Files box set. What was his contribution to The X-Files and what season was he brought in?

Mark: He is a musician, but his role in The X-Files was as music contractor. Apparently in the Union, you have to have someone who prepares the contract and he was the person. He's a terrific woodwind player, but he never played on the show.

Matt: What are your thoughts on some of the remixes / reimages of your theme, for example from the Dust Brothers, Unkle, or Nick Cave? Was there one that was a pleasant surprise for you?

Mark: They all were a pleasant surprise, just great. There were some that were like a disco thing or something, there were some [that were] a little less inventive, but the people you mentioned--The Dust Brothers, Unkle, and Nick Cave--man, that was pretty thrilling to have someone take your stuff and really get into it.

Matt: One of my favorite techniques of yours that was used in the season closer, "The Truth," in the cue, "The Truth is Inside," and again in "Closure" from "Jose Chung," was changing The X-Files theme from a minor to a major key. Was that idea something that evolved? Or something that was accidentally discovered?

Mark: Well, I don't think it was accidental. There's something in The X-Files theme where it can be played in a major key, that has kind of a melancholy sweetness that I thought would be really perfect in some of those shows--especially the very last episode--that was extremely intentional, because I never used the theme in the shows that much, if at all, and in the last episode of the series there was a great moment of play, in a reminiscent, melancholy, evocative way that was different from when it was used as the main title theme.

Matt: Indeed, I wanted to ask about your theme for Scully from "Within." Was there a longstanding desire to write in a Leitmotif approach with the major characters or did it just evolve?

Mark: I think that Chris Carter came up with something. He found some music. I forget what the piece was that he wanted me to listen to and to influence me to use for that, and hopefully that could be reused as in fact the Scully theme.

Matt: I feel I should ask, did you ever have any direct interaction with director Kim Manners? Do you have any stories about Kim you'd like to share?

Mark: I think the best part of my relationship, which is the only part of my relationship with Kim, is he would come to my studio, when it was his episode, and he would listen to the music, and this might sound a little immodest, he would just love it. It's pretty great when you have this relationship with someone, where they come over and say: "Well, that's great! Boy, you really have this!" That's really what it was. In fact there was really no one on the show that was adversarial with me, or wanted me to change a whole bunch of things. Every once in a while someone would say to me: "Oh, when the monster pops out of the car could you make it louder?" or, "When this happens could you make it softer?" But, there [were] never any major-change comments. That was one of the great things about working on the show. I know that sounds pretty dull about Kim Manners, but I was so busy, and he was so busy. We really loved each other, but there was no time for socializing (laughs) or hanging out. At the time he had a house, of all places, in Missouri on some lake, some vacation home, and so I told him I was driving cross-country, and he said "Okay, well you better have some of these," and he gave me a special cap, and belt buckle and a shirt with some pins so that I would blend in with the Midwestern population.

Matt: How did you get involved with La La Land Records? Did their work on the Millennium and The Lone Gunmen soundtracks give you confidence to move forward with The X-Files set?

Mark: I didn't have anything to do with it. They called up and said, "We'd like to do this, is that okay with you?" and I said, "Sure," you know. No other label were interested in these soundtrack things and these guys were incredibly enthusiastic. I don't know if there's much financial reward for this, but the people involved with this, they're so passionate about it, and it seemed extremely appealing.

Matt: How did the selection process work for The X-Files, volume one? Was it based on fan favorites? Or personal favorites? Was there a certain overreaching progression or theme that you, Nick Redmen, and Matt Verboys were aiming for in the selections?

Mark: That was horrible. That was impossible. I mean there was like a million minutes of music and you have to get it down to fifty. That's an exaggeration of course, but every time I found something that I thought was great, oh no, here's something better, here's something better, here's something better. I just turned it over to those guys and they did it, and it was my original choices, they tweaked it and came back to me, and we worked on it together, but boy, that was rough. I was happy with the results but even now I still think, "Oh God, I should have put this thing in, and I should have put this other thing in, and the other theme from this show, and this one." I'm sure some of the fans think, "Boy he missed the boat with this. He should have put this in." "I wish he had done this," but you just have to make a choice and go forward.

Matt: One colleague of mine wanted to ask you, will there be a second edition of music from Millennium that the La La Land label might put out in the future? Do you have any non-X-Files music coming out on CD this year?

Mark: I don't think there's any more Millennium music coming out. I haven't heard about any interest like that. At the moment there's nothing pending.

Matt: You've been working on several foreign productions as of recently. What has the experience been like? Do you find it more liberating or restrictive compared to American productions?

Mark: Completely fabulous. Liberating. When they say, "Do what ever you want," how good does that get? "Copy this temp track." "Oh, the studio wants this." "Oh, we have to have a meeting." "Oh, change this, that's too far out. Normalize it." You know, these people wanted as out there as I could get. I am going to Paris at the end of August to do a movie for this director that I did two previous movies for. His name is Alain Resnais**. He's 89 years old. He'a an amazing person, great director. His stuff is incredibly existential and surreal and really out there, and the idea that he wants me to work on his films is a great, great honor, because he is like an icon in French movie-making history.

Matt: Since the time of your work on The X-Files and Millennium, when you work on such shows as The Ghost Whisperer or Smallville, do you face the challenge of producers requesting music with the flavor of The X-Files or Millennium? Or are you given a lot of latitude to serve what's best for the material? In other words, has musical typecasting become a concern for you?

Mark: No, actually. Although Smallville and Ghost Whisperer, you could say, might be in the X-File realm, or somewhat Sci Fi perhaps. But [with] those shows, doing The X-Files just helped me to get the job, you know. Once I had it, it wasn't "Please do the X-Files music." It was "We want something different. We'd like it to be like this." So... a lot of that music in Ghost Whisperer is sometimes really sappy, emotional, and melodic, and heartfelt. Smallville can be a little old-fashioned, orchestral, and retro in a way. If anyone said anything there it would be like, "Don't do The X-Files here."

Matt: Are there any contemporary soundtrack composers you follow these days?

Mark: I'm a big fan of John Adams*** and Steve Reich****. These guys are not film composers, but I love their music, which is very edgy and just incredibly original and unique. I just love it.

Matt: Indeed, In your daily life, what inspires you creatively?

Mark: Unfortunately I don't have any hobbies (laughs). I just never had time to have any real hobbies, just sit[ting] around doing nothing. I get inspired to get over to the studio and start inventing something.

Matt: Is it gratifying to see your work influence so many musicians?

Mark: You know, it is. Sometimes I think it was a passing fancy, and other times I think, someone will come up to me and say, "Thank you for what you've done. You've liberated the music, you've opened it up more, you've given us room to experiment, etc..." and sometimes the reaction will be, that was good for the show and let's move on.

Matt: Thank you for taking so much time with us. I really appreciate it.

Mark: Okay Matt, Great, Thank you so much.

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Sehr interessantes Interview.. schade wegen MillenniuM, aber vielleicht kommt da ein Label daher und will dann doch noch mehr veröffentlichen.. dann scheint er nicht abgeneigt zu sein, um sein OK zu geben.... naja mal abwarten..

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2011, nach der Veröffentlichung von "Night Sins", kündigte BSX drei weitere Snow-Scores für 2011 an. Daraus wurde bekanntermaßen nichts. Auf meine Nachfrage auf FB erfuhr ich nun immerhin dieses:

 

We have more Mark Snow planned for 2013, definitely.

 

Da bin ich mal gespannt. Eventuell erscheinen die beiden weiteren Resnais-Filme, die Snow nach "Private Fears in Public Places" vertont hat (Les Herbes Folles, Vous n'avez encore rien vu) und nur als Download erhältlich sind, nun ebenfalls auf CD.

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Das Fan-Projekt "Back to Frank Black" veranstaltete einen Wettbewerb, bei dem Fans einen eigenen Trailer für einen MillenniuM-Film machen sollten. Als Gewinn nahm sich Mark Snow höchstpersönlich dieses Trailers an und komponierte die Musik dazu. Den Gewinner gibt es hier:

 

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