Who were your first musical influences - Trying
to answer Pattie Page as she asked 'How Much is
that Doggie in the Window?' - Mick Jagger's pomp
and swagger? - Ray Conniff's smooth strings
easing you into sleep at night? - The eclectic
madness of Ennio Morricone?
first musical influences were Puccini, Rossini,
Stan Kenton, Bernard Herrmann, Elmer Bernstein,
and Henry Mancini.
You wrote a country song 'Sail Away Tiny Sparrow'
for the scenes involving Annie in the original
'Friday the 13th'. Did you take your
cues from the Dolly Parton song that was
originally being used or is country music
something that has always influenced you?
Harry: I simply needed to write a song for the diner
scenes. The Dolly Parton song was used for a
temporary piece. So I took the cue from that. Her
song I think was "fly away little
bluebird" or something like that. I just
made it "Sail away tiny sparrow" and
made it about a young girl whose marriage was
supposed to be perfect and now she had to leave,
just like in a country song. I have to say I
enjoy country music, but I would not say that it
has been a real influence on me.
You have talked about using an Irish tin whistle
to make screeching sounds when creating the
original 'Friday' soundtrack.
What is the most unusual sound you've been able
to create using an instrument?
the tin whistle worked well there. I really try
to find sounds or create them on my own. I try to
give the particular project its own personal
audio identity, be it an instrument, or a
synthetic sound. For example, on a film I did
about past life experience as an Indian in the
old west, I created a rattle sound. I took a
clothes hanger and started adding all sorts of
things on it. A sleigh bell, a couple of metal
disks, a few different seed pods from various
trees, and any thing that sounded earthy... and
then created a rattle sound that was totally
unique. I also tend to experiment with any sound
that I have. I will extend up and down the
keyboard. I tend to go to the extreme ends to see
what happens to the sound in the extreme ranges.
Something that is sampled on middle C has a
completely different sound when played up or down
four or five octaves.
You acted, briefly, in 'Manny's Orphans'.
Is acting something that you'd like to do again -
or is it just better to leave that particular
field to the grownups?
that was the worst! I am not cut out to be on
camera. I also played a musician in a children's
film I did. It was better since I did not have to
speak. But the answer is NO... I don't want to
act. I am lousy. I did do the voiceover for the
pizza in House 4, but again that was easy since I
was not on camera.
Did you research particular aquatic themes when
scoring 'Deep Star Six'?
Not really research, but I did spend a little
time revisiting Debussy's La Mer, and some Ravel
for some orchestration techniques, but not really
for thematic material. I used some of those, but
the score was more involved with techniques that
are more of the aleatoric style.
Did you have a particular thought process when
working out the score for 'Wishmaster'?
Harry: As I remember, the thought process was to power
the Djinn both in a dramatic sense, and also in
the sense that the Djinn could be a tempting and
psychological power on you as well. Also, I tried
to capture the concept of "Stillness"
that the main character used to eventually defeat
the Djinn. I think those were the two objectives
of the music in the drama.
places did you go to in creating the spooky
themes for 'The Horror Show'?
I drove on the freeway a couple of times!!!
Sorry, I could not resist that answer. Just the
way you phrased the question. The story of
'The Horror Show' led me to create
something of an internal madness in the mind of
the main character. It also had a
"technical, electric" bend to it and so
I tried to incorporate that in the score.
Brian: Can you please tell me about the creation process
behind being a "talking pizza" in 'House
Aha, the crown jewel of my acting career. Well it
all took place at the mix, when the pizza box
opened and the pizza was to finish singing the
pizza song. Lewis Abernathy wrote the lyrics and
we were at the mix and when the box opened. I
just started singing, and making a sort of funny
voice for the pizza. And everyone said... go in
the booth and do the voice... So off I went. I
not only sang the song, but then provided the
action voice for the ensuing fight between Terri
Treas and me, the pizza. And the rest is history.
are the differences in creating music for
something like 'Aces: Iron Eagle III' and
something like 'A Gun, A Car and a
Well, let's see what would be the difference
between an action adventure, with World War II
pilots and planes on a mission to capture a Nazi
drug lord in South America., and a jazzy film
noir supernatural romance? Well, the first film
needed to have a military/South American mix of
melodic material. Big battle scenes with airplane
fights so it was a full orchestra blasting away
for most of the film. It was fun to be able to
write heroic marches and epic like battles and
some Latin inspired action sequences. The second
film allowed me to get back to my early Mancini
influences. The score is basically a jazz
quartet, piano, bass, drums and tenor sax, with
strings and some voices. I played the sax parts,
so that made it more fun. I got to write some
cool jazzy stuff and play underscore to a very
wonderful story of humanity and the wonder of
Lastly, any words of advice (IE: Don't try to woo
a guy with a molten lava face and an axe with an
Old World ditty) or future projects that you'd
like to talk about?
of advice? I am not sure what you mean. Here are
some words of advice, be kind, and sympathetic to
each other. Do unto others as you would have them
do unto you. If we were talking about film
scores, I would say to pay more attention to the
scores of films. Try watching a film with no
sound for a while, and then turn up the music,
and you will see the power of the music. As far
as projects in the future, I have a number of
them but I am not sure what is going to happen
first. Here is a sampling - Just finished 'The
Anna Nicole Smith Story' , and waiting
on 'IMurders' , 'Amore'
, 'Black Friday' , 'The
One Eyed Horse' , 'Black Waters
of Echo Pond' , 'JOB' ,
'2000 Degrees' , and who knows
maybe 'Friday the 13th'!!!