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Archive for January, 2000

Film & Video Magazine: Interview with Mark Snow

Film & Video Magazine
Interview with Mark Snow
Ed Eberle

I began formal piano lessons at 13, with an instructor in my Brooklyn neighborhood. I was pretty good and became even more interested in music. But I wanted to play an instrument that was more portable than a piano, the tuba or a drum kit. For some reason, I chose the oboe and stuck with it through the New York High School of Music & Arts, and later through four years at Julliard. At Julliard, I became fascinated by composers. I studied scores and listened to music constantly — but still figured the future would lead me to an oboe seat in a traditional orchestra. The music scene in New York was on fire at the time. My friend and fellow composer Michael Kamen and I started a band called The New York Rock ‘n’ Roll Ensemble. We played a combination of classical music and rock, and we managed to become kind of popular for a while.

The band experience exposed me to the commercial side of music. After Julliard, I knew about classical music, recording techniques and then added this commercial rock side. I figured the place where those interests might come together would be Hollywood. When I started, television music was not thought of as a very high calling. But still to get into the business, you had to be a bit eclectic. Music schools didn’t teach film or TV scoring. You had to come from a different musical place before you landed in a spot in the industry.