What got you into music? For me personally, I believe that it was Clint Mansell who got me into classical music.
Well, not my family…! There were always the odd few instruments around, but I wasn’t exactly encouraged to study anything remotely artistic in any way, shape, or form.
What really got me into it a bit was computers, and in particular, the Amiga, with the soon-to-be cross platform standard, four channel MODs.
In the other end of the spectrum, John Williams’ film scores certainly made a lasting impression, but from my perspective, composing anything along the lines of orchestral or other classical styles just never occurred to me as a realistic option, and I honestly never thought I had any “real” musicality in me in the first place. I was firmly a “synths and computers” guy.
However, a few years ago, orchestral sample libraries lured me in, and now I have ALL the libraries, and also - because there’s nothing like the real thing - a bunch of violin family instruments and whatnot. Lots of catching up to do!
Music in general? I’ve always been surrounded by it. My Mom and her Dad were singers in 4-part “barbershop” vocal groups. My Mom now directs a chorus and arranges songs for the Sweet Adelines organization. I fell asleep many nights as a kid listening to her figure out arrangements on the piano. My two older brothers were in rock bands that would practice in the basement. My parents would have musical get-togethers where all the neighbors would come over and anyone who could play would jam.
One of my brothers was a movie buff and would get soundtrack records and play them to me. I still have Goldsmith’s Star Trek, Horner’s Star Trek 2, and Williams’ Raiders, Superman, and Empire on vinyl somewhere.
Once I started playing piano I had 2 directions I wanted to go: Rock and Film. The big leap was when I first had access to a 4-track and I started covering songs from my favorite bands, doing all the parts with the keyboard, and I also started making my own movies so I had something to record a soundtrack for. I made my first full length movie in high school with a few friends. It was a claymation about two cavemen and I recorded about 80 minutes of music for it.
David, I was the same way with sample libraries. It had been a good long while since I wrote or recorded anything. Then a few years ago I discovered just how far sample libraries had come since I last tried them. It was a quantum leap going from hardware-based keyboard samples from the 2000’s to modern sample libraries and it really inspired me to get back into writing because I could actually make things sound like they sounded in my head.
For me, I think the initial and primary impetus was that my parents, every evening, while having their pre-dinner drink, would play the records of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman on the big magnavox stereo console in the living room. And so by the time I was 8 or 9 years old, I could sing all the horn parts to pretty much every Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman hit. At the same time, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass were having music specials on tv. And so when the day came in elementary school that they offered instrument lessons, I signed up. And because of Herb Alpert, I picked the trumpet. I worked out all of the Tijuana Brass hit songs, and then started listening to Al Hirt. And then, in 7th grade, for Christmas, my brother gave me a record album- Maynard Ferguson, MF Horn 2. And about 30 seconds into the first song of that album, I was hooked; trumpet was going to be my thing from that time forward.
The path was long and winding after that, with lots of music school, multiple bands, studios, and cruise ships along the way. And a detour into another profession entirely. It’s only within the last 3 years, 45 years after that Christmas, that I’ve begun seriously trying to compose music, and getting into using virtual instruments. I’m truly blessed to live at a time with these amazing tools available to use.
I would say that I’ve been interested in music for almost as long as I can remember. It probably started with some records my Dad had, those kind of ‘classical thunder’ compilations with pieces like Beethoven’s 5th Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Wagner’s Die Walkure and so on. Since then, I’ve always been playing instruments which over the years includes trumpet, piano, guitar, violin and French horn.
I was and still am very much inspired by the great Classical/Romantic composers as well as some of the great film and game composers, both past and present like Korngold and Williams to Uematsu and Nakatsuru.
Beyond orchestral, I found myself getting hooked on heavy metal and spent 20 years as a metal guitarist before finding my way back to the orchestral realm.
Korngold’s Captain Blood became an immediate hit, with an Oscar nomination for the score and it is still my favorite no. 1
Matt, you mentioning Uematsu made me realize I totally neglected to mention video games. They were just as much of a musical influence to me as the film scores and the rock music. Nobuo Uematsu, Masami Ueda, and Koji Kondo certainly left an impression that will always be with me.
It’s weird that I’m not a huge gamer, but it was the Japanese game composers like Junichi Nakatsuru, Rio Hamamoto, Yuko Shimamura and Yuki Kajiura as well as Cris Velasco and Jeremy Soule that got me back into wanting to compose orchestral music, despite my childhood filled with the classics and John Williams of course.
I listened to Jeremy Soule’s score to Giants: Citizen Kabuto so many times after I discovered it. Then he went on to do the Elder Scrolls (also great stuff) and got super huge.
Well, my Dad mostly. He’s not a musician but is a music lover. We would listen to swing like Glenn Miller, classical (1812 Overture), and the only “pop” music he liked was Neil Diamond. We would go to the Milwaukee Symphony orchestra and stuff. My parents also sent me to piano lessons at the age of 6. Then my older brothers too introduced to a lot of stuff like The Doors and Van Halen. Movies and television inspired me as well like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. I eventually explored on my own and also took up electric bass. That was inspired a lot by Donald “Duck” Dunn in the Blues Brothers, along with random things like the theme to Barney Miller and Matlock (awesome bass). I could go on and on.
Hi, When I was a kid, I always been attracted to music even though my mother and father didn’t know. after their divorce, I went to middle school and my music teacher started to teach me piano and was good for a beginner, ever since then, I knew that I wanted to play the piano but my mother couldn’t afford to send me to class, and life went on. but I’m here now.
When I was in kindergarten, someone was giving away free piano lessons at our school (after school). My family had recent bought a piano, so my mom asked if I’d be interested in learning how to play it. So, I did take those lessons and just kept going.
What got me into film scoring was two things. In 3rd grade, our teacher asked us to place our heads on our desk, close our eyes, and listen to some music. She played “Peter and the Wolf.” During the performance she asked if we could imagine the story characters based on the instruments being played. I learned how powerful music was as a way (a unique language) to tell a story.
The second was a movie. My mom took me to my first movie. It was a matinee at the Wayzata Theater in Minnesota. The film was “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (1954) with Kirk Douglas and James Mason. Again, I learned how powerful music was in helping to tell the story. It was like an accompaniment to everything else seen and heard onscreen. I was hooked.
To me, the film is only as good as the film’s score; bad score . . . bad film (in other words, bad story telling).
Some film scores also send mixed messaging. That’s the worst! Your internal feelings are telling you one set of information, while the instrumental music is trying to falsely portray a different set of information. Film scores have to be true to what’s happening on screen. It’s like the old-time piano (or theatre organ) player accompanying a silent film. It’s got to real and support the story or the audience gets confused.
Music got me into music. It started when I was about 7 years old and has been central to my life ever since.
You from Milwaukee? Same here. I go to the MSO all the time Great orchestra. Too bad they had to cancel the performance with John Williams though because of Covid. Hope he can come back.