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Posts Tagged ‘mark snow’

Massive Music Compilation Updated

Ever since 2008, Eat The Corn has been making a list of interesting cues in Mark Snow’s music for The X-Files: the Massive Music Compilation. Now, with the great help of many contributors, the list has been greatly updated and expanded.

More Music from the X-Files: Find here cues for no less than 150 episodes, often with specific time details and sometimes with links to videos with music recordings. With the BluRay coming out in less than two months, surely better quality audio rips will be created, until we get a proper soundtrack release. Also, don’t forget to check out Snow TraX.

Following a (necessarily subjective) ratings system based on appreciation and how often cues have been requested, the “Best Of” music yet to be released is from the following episodes:

Deep Throat
Ghost in the Machine
Darkness Falls
Dod Kalm
Talitha Cumi
Paper Hearts
Never Again
Memento Mori
Redux II
The Pine-Bluff Variant
The Rain King
Field Trip
Audrey Pauley

Hopefully this will serve as inspiration for La La Land Records, who have been releasing Mark Snow music with X-Files Volume 1 in 2011 and Volume 2 in 2013; Volume 3 is expected soon.

La La Land also recently released more Mark Snow music for Millennium. Since the first release in 2008 had no “Volume” label, the release of a “Volume 2” was a great surprise, and it is well-deserved. Here is the list of episodes covered in “MILLENNIUM VOL 2: LIMITED EDITION (2-CD SET) – LLLCD 1352“:

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3
The Judge
Force Majeure
Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions
The Fourth Horseman
Through a Glass Darkly
The Sound of Snow
Seven and One

Mark Snow is also composing the music for the upcoming X-Files revival. Keep that Mark Snow music coming!

La La Land Records : The X-Files Volume 2


After Volume 1 was released on May 10, 2011 and came to fill a gap for audio(X)philes everywhere, who were waiting for this since 1996’s The Truth and the Light, we were waiting for a second volume that was then promised for 2012.

Meanwhile, Volume 1‘s 3000 copies went out of print, in August 2012. An in-depth music selection process and a busy schedule for La La Land pushed the release to 2013, first to Q1 2013, then May, then August/September. Dan Goldwasser revealed it would be a 4 CD set at the Festival Internacional De Musica De Cine (International Film Music Festival) in Cordoba, Spain, in June 2013. And eventually, the date for the release of Volume 2 was set for September 10th 2013, to coincide with the show’s 20th anniversary (thanks to a message to LLL from yours truly) — this marked the only official (i.e. not fan-initiated) XF-related event on that anniversary date.

Leading up to the release, LLL teased us with a list of the episodes that were selected for Volume 2 on Facebook and the FilmScoreMonthly message boards on September 3. LLL also promised that a Volume 3 is “most likely unless sales of Volume 2 are terrible“. For 2014? LLL also did not close the possibility of a release of a complete score for Fight the Future.

The press release for Volume 2:

Music by Mark Snow
Limited Edition of 3000 Units


ORDER “THE X FILES: VOLUME TWO: LIMITED EDITION (4-CD BOX SET)” starting Sept 10th at 12pm PST at www.lalalandrecords.com and get your CD tray card (clamshell front cover) autographed by composer Mark Snow at no additional charge. Autographs are available while supplies last and are NOT guaranteed.

La-La Land Records and Twentieth Century Fox mark the 20th anniversary of the beloved television series THE X FILES with this second, 4-CD volume of Mark Snow’s original score to the award-winning landmark program. More than 5hrs of incredible X-Files music, complied from many episode favorites, have been assembled in this strikingly attractive collection, produced by Mark Snow, Nick Redman and Mike Joffe and mastered by James Nelson. The 40-Page CD booklet contains exclusive, in-depth liner notes from film music writer Randall Larson and features comments from show creator Chris Carter and writer/producers Frank Spotnitz, Glen Morgan and James Wong. Limited to 3000 units, the set’s CD Booklet and 4-CD Clamshell case are housed in a hard cover slipcase, in the same fashion as our acclaimed, sold-out first volume. The truth is in here – this is truly some of the most daring and enthralling music ever created for television.

The 400 autographed copies were sold within 10-15 minutes of the release!

Compared to Volume 1, the tone of the selected cues is consistently darker, where Volume 1 had a mix of dramatic/horror music with interspersed lighter/comedic cues. This makes Volume 2 a more coherent and enjoyable listening experience — but it’s not music that you might listen to hours on end! Nevertheless, there are some of my most awaited pieces here, making Vol 2 an instant favourite! Many cues are also often longer and more immersive than on Volume 1, very atmospheric and nearly more sound design than music — especially from the first two seasons.

Again, some statistics, to be compared with Volume 1 (considering all these early episodes apart from E.B.E. as stand-alones, and F. Emasculata as mythology):

Episodes Tracks Length
Season 1 5/24 13 40:26
Season 2 6/25 13 50:38
Season 3 5/24 9 24:37
Season 4 6/24 11 75:56
Season 5 4/20 7 40:31
Season 6 2/22 3 10:55
Season 7 2/22 3 16:23
Season 8 2/21 5 26:34
Season 9 1/20 1 09:00
Miscellaneous 7 04:00
Total 33/202 72 299:00
Mythology 20/72 39 208:10
Stand-Alones 13/130 26 86:50

For a grand running total of:

Episodes Tracks Length
Season 1 10/24 26 69:28
Season 2 10/25 27 93:11
Season 3 9/24 16 52:19
Season 4 10/24 20 114:23
Season 5 8/20 12 71:19
Season 6 8/22 18 57:50
Season 7 8/22 13 45:30
Season 8 5/21 9 36:32
Season 9 5/20 9 45:05
Miscellaneous 16 14:41
Total 40/202 166 600:18
Mythology 22/72 80 355:39
Stand-Alones 18/130 70 229:58

That’s about one CD per season, which is what most TV shows get nowadays. Season 4 is particularly well-treated!

In 2010, LLL had released a preliminary list of episodes they had opted for release. Sure enough, many of them are in here: Young at Heart, E.B.E., Blood, Soft Light, The Blessing Way, Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose, Talitha Cumi, Home, Redux II, The Red and the Black, All Souls, S.R. 819, Biogenesis, Theef, Requiem, DeadAlive, Existence, 4D.

Volume 2 is much more focused on the first, “classic”, seasons of the show, whereas the first volume was much more evenly spread: 7 episodes from the Los Angeles era in Vol 2 against 19 in Vol 1. This is also reflected in the number of photos in the booklet. Clearly, what fans have requested and what the show is associated with resides much more in these early seasons. Actually, all of the opted music from seasons 8 & 9 from the 2010 list has been included here — which makes me wonder whether future sets will focus exclusively on earlier seasons!

Vol 2 is also much more focused on the mythology: two thirds in Vol 2 against half in Vol 1. In essence, all mythology two-parters have been covered, apart from Duane Barry/Ascension and certain parts of two-parters (Apocrypha, Patient X).

Over seasons 6-8, particularly for the mythology episodes, Mark Snow mixed his music with recordings he made for Fight the Future, and whereas running time could be saved on those they are featured in both volumes (One Son, Essence). If there are more volumes down the road and we come closer to a complete music collection, we can’t complain!

Finally, apart from the episodes not yet covered, there is still some very interesting music that was not selected in the episodes already covered — it’s difficult to satisfy rabid fans! For example: Paper Clip, Grotesque, Talitha Cumi, Redux II, The Red and the Black, Requiem… more on that on a separate post.

Full tracklist follows (reordered for some tracks in seasons 8 and 9, which were out of order for reasons of listening experience):

Episode # Track Name Time
1.1 THE X FILES Main Title (Season 1) 0:47

Season 1

1X11: Eve 1.2 Swinging Dead Daddy 1:26
1.3 Meet Your Clone 1:19
1.4 Attached 0:53
1X16: Young at Heart 1.5 The Eyes Don’t Lie 1:46
1.6 Ain’t Dead Yet 4:03
1.7 Youth 3:37
1.8 Shot in the Crowd 2:29
1X17: E.B.E. 1.9 Swimming With Sharks 5:14
1.10 Here We Go 2:42
1X21: Tooms 1.11 Druid Hill 2:42
1.12 Rats & Babes 1:59
1.13 Toilet Tooms 5:49
1X22: Born Again 1.14 Psycho-Electric Attack 6:27

Season 2

2X03: Blood 1.15 Drive for Blood 3:26
2X14: Die Hand die Verletzt 1.16 Prayer 0:45
1.17 Suicide Exam 2:34
1.18 Snake Hold 1:22
2X16: Colony 1.19 Hypothermia 2:43
1.20 Alta 2:35
2X17: End Game 1.21 Scully’s Discovery/Mulder’s E-Mail Message/Skinner Helps Scully 8:19
1.22 Showdown/Saving Mulder/Faith to Keep Looking 1:18
Disc One Total Time: 74:49
2.1 THE X FILES Main Title (2nd Season) 0:49
2X23: Soft Light 2.2 Eaten by Light 2:44
2.3 Spontaneous Combustion 4:39
2.4 Shadow on the Wall 2:21
2X22: F. Emasculata 2.5 Flesh on Bone 4:31
2.6 Pustule Package 3:21

Season 3

3X01: The Blessing Way 2.7 Blown Up and Beaten 2:50
3X02: Paper Clip 2.8 Smoky Gets in Your Eyes 2:52
2.9 Outmined 2:23
2.10 Sacrifice/Skinner Gets Skinned 4:04
3X04: Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose 2.11 Yappi 2:18
2.12 Dumpster 3:00
3X14: Grotesque 2.13 Disarmed 1:28
3X24: Talitha Cumi 2.14 Fries and Faith 2:38
2.15 Discreet Distance 3:04

Season 4

4X01: Herrenvolk 2.16 Needle Neck 6:54
4X02: Home 2.17 Newborn 2:11
4X09: Tunguska 2.18 Worm Rock 2:48
2.19 Chicken Wire Wrap 7:57
2.20 THE X FILES End Credits (Extended #1) 0:35
Disc Two Total Time: 74:23
3.1 THE X FILES Main Title (7th Season) 0:35
4X10: Terma 3.2 Black Vermiform 6:03
3.3 Fire of Terma 8:47
4X17: Tempus Fugit 3.4 Pieces 6:28
3.5 Nine Minutes 3:24
4X24: Gethsemane 3.6 Trails 5:37
3.7 Thawed 1:30
3.8 Deep Dupe 4:17

Season 5

5X01: Redux 3.9 Little Vials of Proof 8:23
5X02: Redux II 3.10 Remission 5:42
5X14: The Red And The Black 3.11 Red Letter 2:46
3.12 Resist or Serve 3:45
3.13 Lil’ Cabin in Quebec 8:42
Disc Three Total Time: 76:35
4.1 THE X FILES Main Title (9th Season) 0:36
5X17: All Souls 4.2 Baptism 3:45
4.3 Four Faces 7:28

Season 6

6X09: S.R. 819 4.4 Orgell 2:26
4.5 Bill of Health 4:29
6X22: Biogenesis 4.6 Map of the Genome 4:00

Season 7

7X14: Theef 4.7 Voodoo Doll 7:19
7X22: Requiem 4.8 Déjà vu 3:55
4.9 Ray 5:09

Season 8

8X15: DeadAlive 4.14 Deep Six 2:53
4.15 AliveAlive 1:03
8X21: Existence 4.11 Something Feels Off 3:03
4.12 Replicant Revolution 6:21
4.13 Under Investigation 3:14

Season 9

9X04: 4-D 4.10 Pulling the Plug 9:00
4.16 THE X FILES End Credits (1st Season) 0:30
4.17 I Made This/20th Century Fox Fanfare* 0:08
Disc Four Total Time: 76:04
Total Set Running Time: 298:27

Elsewhere on Eat The Corn


Twenty Years

As the Placebo song goes…

Twenty years ago, a show nobody would have expected to last more than a couple of seasons started broadcast, and put the channel FOX on the map of the large US television networks. It was a simple beginning, with a humble budget but big ideas and ambitious production values that kept being pushed towards the better by showrunner Chris Carter.

The beginning of The X-Files is now as far away from the present as was The Night Stalker, the show that inspired Carter to do his series, from when The X-Files began!

Twenty years later, many people still remember it as an important show for television history. The greatest gift that one could hope for at this day would be that the people involved in this small part of history are still active and creative. And indeed, Chris Carter, after a long period of absence from television and all things cinema, is returning with several creative projects simultaneously! The pilot for one show, “The After“,  has been ordered for production, and the pilot for another, still untitled, is in advanced writing stages. Here’s to hoping that Carter’s creative batteries have benefitted from a decade of surfing and of discovering the world. Quite unsurprisingly, no word on X-Files 3 from Carter, although Spotnitz still strongly promotes it in interviews.

Tributes to the X-Files for its 20th anniversary have been many in the media. The best, by far, that I have encountered is in French: Sullivan Le Postec’s series of 20 articles is perhaps the most complete history of the series, be it in print or online, that one can find!

The other gift, in the absence of the announcement of a BluRay set and FOX’s complete radio silence around this important anniversary of a once trademark show, is La La Land Records’ release of a Volume 2 of Mark Snow’s music for the show! Volume 1 was released in May 2011, after a long wait since The Truth and the Light in 1996, and Volume 2 has been expected since then, going through an extended production period until the date was set for today (as a result of teasing of the anniversary date opportunity by yours truly!). Here’s to hoping there will be a Volume 3! Here is the announcement and track listing:

Music by Mark Snow
Limited Edition of 3000 Units

ORDER “THE X FILES: VOLUME TWO: LIMITED EDITION (4-CD BOX SET)” starting Sept 10th at 12pm PST at www.lalalandrecords.com and get your CD tray card (clamshell front cover) autographed by composer Mark Snow at no additional charge. Autographs are available while supplies last and are NOT guaranteed.La-La Land Records and Twentieth Century Fox mark the 20th anniversary of the beloved television series THE X FILES with this second, 4-CD volume of Mark Snow’s original score to the award-winning landmark program. More than 5hrs of incredible X-Files music, complied from many episode favorites, have been assembled in this strikingly attractive collection, produced by Mark Snow, Nick Redman and Mike Joffe and mastered by James Nelson. The 40-Page CD booklet contains exclusive, in-depth liner notes from film music writer Randall Larson and features comments from show creator Chris Carter and writer/producers Frank Spotnitz, Glen Morgan and James Wong. Limited to 3000 units, the set’s CD Booklet and 4-CD Clamshell case are housed in a hard cover slipcase, in the same fashion as our acclaimed, sold-out first volume. The truth is in here – this is truly some of the most daring and enthralling music ever created for television.

 Disc One1. THE X FILES Main Title
(Season 1) 0:47

1X11 – EVE
2. Swinging Dead Daddy 1:26
3. Meet Your Clone 1:19
4. Attached 0:53

5. The Eyes Don’t Lie 1:46
6. Ain’t Dead Yet 4:03
7. Youth 3:37
8. Shot in the Crowd 2:29

1X17 – E.B.E.
9. Swimming With Sharks 5:14
10. Here We Go 2:42

1X21 – TOOMS
11. Druid Hill 2:42
12. Rats & Babes 1:59
13. Toilet Tooms 5:49

14. Psycho-Electric Attack 6:27

2X03 – BLOOD
15. Drive for Blood 3:26

16. Prayer 0:45
17. Suicide Exam 2:34
18. Snake Hold 1:22

19. Hypothermia 2:43
20. Alta 2:35

21. Scully’s Discovery/Mulder’s E-Mail
Message/Skinner Helps Scully 8:19
22. Showdown/Saving Mulder/
Faith to Keep Looking 11:18

Disc One Total Time: 74:49

 Disc Two1. THE X FILES Main Title
(2nd Season) 0:49

2. Eaten by Light 2:44
3. Spontaneous Combustion 4:39
4. Shadow on the Wall 2:21

5. Flesh on Bone 4:31
6. Pustule Package 3:21

7. Blown Up and Beaten 2:50

8. Smoky Gets in Your Eyes 2:52
9. Outmined 2:23
10. Sacrifice/
Skinner Gets Skinned 4:04

11. Yappi 2:18
12. Dumpster 3:00

13. Disarmed 1:28

14. Fries and Faith 2:38
15. Discreet Distance 3:04

16. Needle Neck 6:54

4X02 – HOME
17. Newborn 2:11

18. Worm Rock 12:48
19. Chicken Wire Wrap 7:57

20. THE X FILES End Credits (Extended #1) 0:35

Disc Two Total Time: 74:23

 Disc Three1. THE X FILES Main Title
(7th Season) 0:35

4X10 – TERMA
2. Black Vermiform 6:03
3. Fire of Terma 8:47

4. Pieces 6:28
5. Nine Minutes 3:24

6. Trails 5:37
7. Thawed 11:30
8. Deep Dupe 4:17

5X01 – REDUX
9. Little Vials of Proof 8:23

10. Remission 5:42

11. Red Letter 2:46
12. Resist or Serve 3:45
13. Lil’ Cabin in Quebec 8:42

Disc Three Total Time: 76:35

 Disc Four1. THE X FILES Main Title
(9th Season) 0:36

2. Baptism 3:45
3. Four Faces 7:28

6X09 – S.R. 819
4: Orgell 2:26
5. Bill of Health 4:29

6. Map of the Genome 4:00

7X14 – THEEF
7. Voodoo Doll 7:19

8. Déjà vu 3:55
9. Ray 5:09

9X04 – 4-D
10. Pulling the Plug 9:00

11. Something Feels Off 3:03
12. Replicant Revolution 6:21
13. Under Investigation 3:14

14. Deep Six 2:53
15. AliveAlive 11:03

16. THE X FILES End Credits
(1st Season) 0:30
17. I Made This/
20th Century Fox Fanfare* 0:08
* – Music By Alfred Newman

Disc Four Total Time: 76:04

Total Set Running Time: 298:27

Elsewhere on Eat The Corn:

The Julliard Journal Online: Settling Scores: Composer Mark Snow Gives Students Tips

The Julliard Journal Online
Settling Scores: Composer Mark Snow Gives Students Tips
Kris Bowers

[Original article here]

Wailing brass, thunderous percussion, and eerie sound effects burst through the speakers while an audience of 50—Juilliard students and a few visitors—sat in complete silence as they aurally digested this unique sound world. Shifting from moments of extreme energy to others of frightening tension, this five-minute improvisation turned out to just be something film composer Mark Snow had been working on for fun. “I figured since most of you are jazz students this would be something that you would be able to relate to,” Snow told the group.

Snow (B.M. ’68, oboe) was speaking at a forum on December 3 sponsored by both Jazz Studies (through its Friday Jazz Forum series) and the Alumni Relations Office (as an offshoot of its Lunch With an Alum series). Both series give students the chance to sit down for a couple hours with some of the most amazing individuals in the performing arts and ask them about just about anything. You might assume that someone like Snow, who has won 34 ASCAP awards, wouldn’t be interested in spending what little free time he has at his alma mater, but he was thrilled to be back at Juilliard, telling The Journal beforehand, “This is great! I love this stuff.”

After his piece was finished, Snow took questions from the audience. One student asked how Snow created the piece, “especially for all of those layers and interaction between the instruments and sounds to be completely improvised.”

“It really all just came together pretty organically,” Snow answered, noting that he does all of his composing at the computer. “The days of scoring something with a pencil and paper are gone, unless it’s a traditional orchestral score,” he said, adding that “about 80 percent of big Hollywood scores today are a combination of orchestra and sampled instruments.”

He then played another track, a cue from the 1990s hit TV show The X-Files that was a beautiful combination of strings and voice, prompting a question about synthesized sounds versus the natural sound of real instruments: “With that first piece we listened to, you did a lot of things that absolutely couldn’t be done with real instruments.”

“I was glad I didn’t have to write [that piece] out,” Snow replied. “If you look at the music of Elliott Carter or Pierre Boulez, some of those rhythms look like they’re impossible to play. With this piece, a lot of it’s out of time, and there are a lot of unusual rhythms. That was part of the fun of being able to just play it instead of worrying about whether or not it’s playable.”

Back on the topic of composing by computer, Snow observed that when working on TV music, scoring at the computer is really the only option due to the time constraints. With film, he said, “it’s really a whole team working on the project. Plus, they have weeks to orchestrate, copy the parts, and record.” With TV, by contrast, a composer would be lucky to get more than three or four days to finish 50 minutes of music.

Even before he started scoring for The X-Files (which he did from 1993 to 2002), however, Snow embraced technology. He still uses a synthesizer from the 1970s called a Synclavier, which he used to create the X-Files theme. “I was thinking, and happened to put my elbow on the keyboard which had some type of delay effect on it,” Snow recalled. “I thought, ‘Wow! What was that?’” He also observed, however, that composing music for films is rarely that easy, although, he added, “When a show is mediocre, that’s when it’s the hardest. When it’s good, it’s hard to screw it up.”

When asked how someone who is interested in film scoring gets into the field, Snow replied, “For each successful composer, there’s a different story.” One piece of the puzzle, of course, is the would-be composer’s demo. “It’s important to have contrast,” Snow says. “It’s really about: fast, slow, soft, loud. For example, with the pieces I played for you, the difference between the two is like night and day! I’m not saying that’s a good demo, but if there’s a lot of contrast from piece to piece, that’s really good. It’s great if you can do seriously great contemporary stuff, but also more traditional stuff.”

For music students, who work hard to perfect their orchestration skills and knowledge of each instrument, it was refreshing to hear Mark Snow talk about the technological side of music composition. Learning and perfecting traditional compositional skills is important, but Snow was proof that, especially in today’s world, embracing a little technology now and then can’t hurt.

Kris Bowers is a master’s piano student in Jazz Studies and the recipient of the first Luther Henderson Scholarship at Juilliard.

Beyond The Sea: Frank Spotnitz and Mark Snow for an Italian thesis

Frank Spotnitz and Mark Snow for an Italian thesis

[Original article here]
[Video montage of the thesis presentation here]

Frank Spotnitz and Mark Snow

Virgil, a friend of ours, received a degree few weeks ago.
His thesis is about Motion Graphics and during its work Virgil interviewed two guys we know very well: Frank Spotnitz and Mark Snow.

Click on the title of this article to read the complete interviews.

Congratulations Virgil!

Intervista a Frank Spotnitz

Your work as screenwriter for “The X Files” has evolved in some way in the course of 8 years? I mean, you had to modify your original style adapting it to the series?

I can’t overstate how important “The X-Files” was to my development as a writer. I worked as a news reporter for the wire services and various magazines, then studied screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.  “The X-Files” was my first professional job in Hollywood.  I think I had good storytelling instincts, and a strong sense of what I liked and didn’t like, but I had an awful lot to learn in terms of craft. Fortunately, Chris Carter is an amazing craftsman, and I learned an enormous amount about interior scene writing and storytelling economy from him.

Some Italian critics believe that TV shows have the power to  exercise influences on TV viewers’ thoughts, even if they are considered harmful; there are some articulated shows, like “The X Files”, that lead people to intelligent attitudes and opinions. Do you think “The X Files” is for everyone?

I wish it was, but I don’t think “The X-Files” is for everyone.  You have to be interested in these kinds of stories and this type of subject matter. I don’t think “The X-Files” tells people what to think, however. I don’t really think any good entertainment does. Propaganda is about pushing a particular line of thought or opinion; for me, the best entertainment keeps you interested and then gives you something to think about. It’s left up to you, the viewer, to come to your own conclusions.

Some narrations obliged screenwriters to elaborate the stories many times to be understandable, particularly in sub-plotted episodes where the viewer is compelled to get information deliberately hidden; how do you go into these kind of choises? Which is your own method during the draft of a script?

In the case of “The X-Files,” we were always looking to make the viewer think: How much do we need to say? To show? How long can we wait before answering certain questions that we’ve raised? We were trying to engage the viewer in the show, raising provocative questions, both in the mythology episodes and the stand-alones. Sometimes we wouldn’t realize until after we’d written and shot an episode that certain pieces of information weren’t necessary, or were better off delayed, and in those cases we would make the change in the editing process.

Television images can’t stimulate viewers’ imagination as the reading of a book does, in its textual form, but it’s also true that we partially solved this problem with modern technologies. How hard it was for you to write imaginary stories remaining in the feasible limits?

I think the secret of “The X-Files'” success was that it made the outlandish seem plausible. The believer-skeptic dynamic made it necessary for Mulder to overcome Scully’s doubts each week — to show her how what they were seeing could be possible, or deny conventional explanation. In the process, it made each story more believable to the audience, and therefore scarier. From a production standpoint, there are many things we wanted to show or do that simply wouldn’t be possible budget-wise. As is so often the case, though, those limitations forced us to become more creative. It’s true that what you can’t see is scarier than what you can.

Talking about the x files opening credits, they were realized leaving absolute freedom to the designers or Chris Carter suggested scrupulous guide lines? I mean, they had their own script?

I wasn’t on the show when the original opening credits were designed, but my understanding is that they went through a lot of last-minute changes that somehow ended up being just perfect. In the last few years of the show, Chris made the decision to finally change the credits, both because David was on and off the series, new characters were being introduced, and, by Season 9, it felt like the images could benefit from some refreshing.

Intervista a Mark Snow

What connection is there between the video image and music? Do you think they have different values?

It is always the video that comes first. It is the inspiration for the music. Writing music for TV and film, is a very distinct art form, that cannot be easily taught. I feel the composer must have a deeply honest emotional reaction to the film, be it a fast chase scene or a heart braking sad or romantic moment. I think you will agree that some of worlds best film composers, have written some of the most beautiful and thrilling music, from John Williams, Hans Zimmer and the great Italian master, Ennio Morricone. But to answer your question, the video is the “master” and the music is the “slave”. It is very rare that the music is written before the video, but sometimes happens as in “The Shining”, when the director, S. Kubrick, used modern classical music as the score for the movie. I remember Frank saying to me once, that he thought my best scores were written for the best shows, showing you how much its the picture that drives the music.

What are your musical influences for the production of your works?

For the X-Files, I was heavily influenced by modern classical music, composers such as Bartok, Stravinsky, Ravel, Prokofiev, Xenakis, Stockhausen et c., and the film music of Jerry Goldsmith and Ennio Morricone. Chris Carter and Frank, were always encouraging me to be different, and let me be as creative as I wanted, and I took full advantage of that.

What are inputs required by the production to create a soundtrack?

You must have a collaborative personality to be a successful film composer. The producers and directors have a hard time of telling you what they want since music is such an “abstract”, you must be able to interpret there desires, at least 90% of the time. Some directors could want no melody and all synth pads, while others are the exact opposite. Minimal verses elaborate, fast V. slow and so on. The successful composer must have many different musical identities in his or her arsenal.

Do you think the audio remix’s aesthetics is also used in television for the re-mix videa? Or maybe they are two unique and distinct things?

There were many re-mix versions of the X-Files theme. Sometimes there were only “beats” added to the theme and other times, like the end credit version of “I Want To Believe”, they could be intense elaborate versions taking elements of the theme and doing variations on it. Most re-mix’s were quite one-dimensional, while there were others, from a piano solo, to an accapella chorus, that almost created something new.

Beyond The Sea: Mark Snow speaks to 'Beyond the Sea'

Mark Snow speaks to ‘Beyond the Sea’

[Original article here]

Mark Snow

Mark Snow doesn’t need any introduction. For all the X-Files fans, he is just the man who wrote the extremely famous TV show theme and who emphasized all the Mulder and Scully’s stories with his music, from the Pilot to the “I Want To Believe” movie.
When you think to “Existence” finale, don’t you hear the “Scully’s Theme” in your mind? Speaking about one of the last pieces, how many of you were moved by the “Home Again” theme in the “I Want To Believe” last scene?

From the first arrangements created using a synthesizer and samples to the classic orchestras and live instruments, the pieces and the genius of this composer were an extra values for X-Files since the beginning.

X-Files, Millennium, The Lone Gunmen and Harsh Realm. All these TV shows created by Chris Carter have the voice of Mark Snow and it was just one year ago when Frank Spotnitz officially announced, at the WonderCon, that the second X-Files movie would have had the same voice again.

Mark Snow kindly answered some questions we made him and he told us about his work for X-Files. He talked about the pieces he made for the TV show, the music he composed for both the movies, and how it felt like to write once again for a new chapter of this incredible story after a very long time. These are just some of the issues we talked about. Besides, he revealed us that a 4 CD boxed set of the X-Files TV music from the TV shows only will be released this spring.

Many moments of the show are still vivid in all fans mind thanks to the music, for example the “Scully’s Theme” that plays during the pregnancy story arc. In order to get to orchestrate music like this, do you get inspiration from pictures or is that a separated creative process?

I was inspired for “Scully’s Theme” from the incredible emotion of the story. I actually felt like part of Scully’s family, and it was almost a religious experience for me, and how great that I was able to use a live singer!

The “Teaser” from “Trust no 1” episode, which music is based on works such as Tchaikovsky’s “Barcarolle”, or also “We Wanted To Believe” from “Little Green Men”, based on Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F”, are just a couple of examples where classic music, joined with some of the X-Files characters voices, creates a style that perfectly fits with the show. Why did you choose to use classic music for the score?

Those classical pieces that we used, I chose them because they just seemed so right, and as a former classical musician, I had a lot of classical repertoire “spinning” around in my head. That Brandenburg Ct. #2, is a piece that I use to play as a student at Juilliard, as an oboist. So, working on those shows was especially great because I was able to delve into my past life.

Mark Snow, Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz at the I Want To Believe premiere in Los Angeles

In many pieces from “The Truth and The Light” you used the music with the insert of some voices from the X-Files dialogues (Mulder, Scully, Deep Throat) that made these pieces unique and original. How did the idea to use this approach come to you?

The idea of using the dialogue from the shows in the “Truth and the Light” CD, came from my music editor Jeff Charbonneau, who thought it would be very original to do this, and in a way, to make it sound like a radio show, that without watching it on TV, it really got you into the moment of the experience.

Sometimes in X-Files we can listen to very famous music like, for example, Cher’s or Moby’s. How was this music chosen? Have you had to adapt them to the show?

The Cher piece as well as Moby, was chosen by Chris Carter, who thought they would be especially effective. I think he was right. I also know that at the time, Chris was a big fan of Moby’s, and when I did the theme for Harsh Realm, he requested that I do something like Moby.

How did you feel to go back to write music for X-Files after many years? Have you tried to get back again to the old ‘classic’ X-Files style or did you just watch the movie and then began to orchestrate the soundtrack?

It was very easy and exciting to do the film score, especially being able to use the full orchestra and the singer. The music did not sound so good in the movie because it was mixed too low, but at least on the CD it sounded good, I hope you enjoyed it.

Has Chris Carter, or someone else, given you some input about the “I Want To Believe” music?

For “I Want To Believe”, Chris asked me to compile a CD of some of my favorite film music, and /or any music that I thought might have the right mood for his movie. He seemed to like what I chose, and it helped me to come up with a sound for the movie.

Were there any differences to orchestrate “Fight the Future” and “I Want to Believe”?

I thought that “Fight the Future” was much more of a traditional score then “I Want To Believe”. “I Want To Believe”, was I think more modern, and reflected more the sounds that are current now. The “Fight The Future” score was more heavily dependent on electronics and samples.

Is there any difference in writing music for a movie and for a tv show?

Writing for a movie you usually get more time, and have a much bigger pallette to work with. The modern film score today is made up of huge orchestra’s and tons of samples. In fact in “Bat Man: The Dark Knight” Hans Zimmer used 1000 tracks of music in his score, sampled orchestra , live orchestra, electronics, and anything that can make a noise!!

Mark Snow working at the I Want To Believe score

I think “Home Again” and “The Surgery” are very emotional and moving. Compared with the rest of the soundtrack, they have a sort of more positive “breath”, they are bright, less oppressive, less dark… less X-Files, maybe just to point out the new style Chris Carter gave to X-Files in the movie. What do you think about that?

Those are some of my favorite pieces that I ever wrote. The idea of writing beautiful melodic music in X-Files land, is really great. Yes, Chris wanted these emotional pieces in the movie and made it a point to make sure these were included. Thank you for noticing.

Is there a music you wrote for X-Files that after many years it’s still your favorite one?

That’s easy. “Surgery” and “Home Again”. (also, “Post Modern Prometheus”, “Beyond the Sea”, “Scully’s Theme”, hard question to answer)

The X-Files Theme is famous all over the world and people can connect it immediately to the show. Was there a moment in which you understood that your music contributed to create the X-Files phenomenon?

I didn’t think that my music and the theme were that great until after show #6, people started talking about it, and people were telling me how great the music was. All that music I wrote for the show, came so easily for me, that it was such a gift to have it be so successful, and I doubt that it will ever happen, a miracle!

Frank Spotnitz told in his blog that some of your X-Files works will be released in a new album. Could you say us something about that?

In this spring, La La Land records will release a 4 CD boxed set of the X-Files music from the TV shows only. It will have all the shows that I have been nominated for plus probably pieces from episode, I’m sure some of your favorites will be included.

Our huge thanks to Mark Snow for the helpfulness and niceness he showed us upon this occasion.

Last, but not the least, a special thanks to two users of ours, Virgil and Bittersweet, who made all this possible through their “behind the scenes” work.