Not many music creators can sustain a four-decade career in music, let alone remain relevant the entire time. Then again, ASCAP member Mark Isham isn't your average creator. Not content with his past glories (among them, pioneering new age music and performing with Bruce Springsteen and Joni Mitchell), this Grammy, Emmy and ASCAP Henry Mancini Award-winning trumpeter/composer had an incredibly fruitful 2011, anchored by his scores to the films Warrior and Dolphin Tale and the successful first season of Once Upon a Time, all of which were scored by Isham. But Isham's also got more on his mind than traditional film and TV scoring these days. Just days after Isham's music for Warrior won a Hollywood Music in Media Award, we spoke with him about the fascinating places his career has taken him - and continues to take him.
First off, congratulations on your Hollywood Music in Media Award for Warrior. Are you particularly proud of the work you did on the film, distinct from other projects?
I am quite distinctly proud of it. I am proud of the whole project. I’ve know Gavin [O’Connor, Warrior writer/director] for a long time and we’re friends. This is the third picture I’ve worked on with him, and so I take pride in his accomplishment in this film. First of all, because it’s so well-written and so well-directed, and it’s just a matter of pride to be a part of that. Not that I don’t try to demand absolutely the best of myself every time, but when you care so much about your director, and you care about the story and the whole artistic quality of the project, I think that it ensures that nothing gets past you that you don’t really feel completely super-fantastic about. I think Warrior was just one of those. It was not necessarily an easy project to score. All the answers to the artistic problems were not readily available. We did a lot of experimenting and a lot of back and forth. I think when you end up doing that, there’s a sense of pride about having pushed through a lot of “unknowns,” a lot of trial and error. A lot of error [laughs]. A lot of lack of success, until you get that moment of success where you personally know it, your director knows it, and certainly the people that have seen the movie know it. The movie has received a tremendous critical response so that’s also a point of pride.
Can you point to an example of one of those artistic problems that you and Gavin worked together to overcome? Maybe something that changed shape musically from its conception to the final cut of the film?
The first general one was, what do you do with a film and a story that, emotionally, is capable of being Rocky 2011? And yet at the same time is much subtler, much more complex. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Rocky is a wonderful film and I enjoy it every time I see it. But it is sort of a black and white type of story.
It’s the archetypal story of this kind.
Yes. This is a a similar story of a triumph. There’s a point in this film when I know for a fact that every person in the audience goes “I have no idea how this is going to end, and any ending that I can imagine would be unsatisfying.” And then 35-40 minutes later, however much longer the film takes to end, you are completely satisfied. That’s a hard thing to establish, story wise. When you have a film of that [level of] emotional complexity, how are you going to score that and yet not give up your Rocky moment? Because that’s important too. You want those moments of pure, visceral triumph of just [screams] “I did it!” [laughs] You know, jumping up and down screaming for joy and exhilaration. So we came up with a vocabulary that can handle all of that.
Its starts at the beginning of the film, which is intensely compressed and suppressed. These characters are so inhibited and tortured and can barely speak to each other, and they think they hate each other. The feeling is so oppressive. How do you score that and keep encouraging people to stick with this, because it’s going to blossom into this fantastic…emancipation? The music vocabulary is very constricted. It’s very minimal, it’s very atmospheric, but at the same time there’s a very subtle theme that continues to push through and hang on the emotional storyline. As the characters come through, actually enter the ring and start training, and the emotion of the movie starts to kick in, we needed to find that. Then we could look towards the moment of this pure, violent triumph - how big do we get? What vocabulary is it? Is it orchestral? Like Rocky, does it have a big pop music backbone to it, [while] still at the same time very cinematic? The answer to that is sort of a “yes” in its own way. It’s got drums, it’s got guitar, it’s got big thrash beats, but it’s got an orchestra in there as well. Consequently you would never equate it to Rocky. It would never be on the same page with a score like that. It has its own world, its own triumph, and it has big themes put in there at the same time. A pop music background, but [also] a very strong, traditional thematic score.
Would I imagine that a movie like Warrior presented some logistical problems for you? It’s about mixed martial arts, so there’s going to be a lot of punches and kicks, loud noises all over the place. Did you have to work a lot to not be intrusive, or get your score balanced frequency-wise so it could exist in the same space as all those sounds?
Yes we did, and we also had to conceptualize how we were going to do those. That was one of the realizations we came to quite quickly. Yes, when some of these fights or training sequences come off, if I’m rhythmically with them and they hit I and I go [makes sound effect], that’s okay for a while, but the scene needs to progress and I don’t need to help him after that. I can get you kickstarted into that, but then let me do what only I can do, what sound effects will never do for you. That’s perhaps music’s greatest contribution - to bring the subtext. You see these guys pummeling each other, but what’s really happening here? There is something else going on emotionally here. Lives are being changed, not only the individuals but people at home, etc., etc. So let me step back and communicate that. And so we would drop out of the hard visceral music, and start to state something juxtaposed 180 degrees in an interesting blend. And that became my job, really. We recognized it early. It was really [different for each] particular scene, the balancing act, the percentages or how much of which you need to make the scene progress the best.
What are the other movies you worked on with Gavin O’Connor?
We did a movie of his called Pride and Glory which was a great police drama, and then we did the big sports movie Miracle. We have experience with Miracle of fighting sound effects and big, visceral, hard-hitting action-type violent sports scenes.
It seems like all three of the films you did with him have very archetypal stories, each in its own way. Is there something about the way Gavin directs, or the stories that he chooses to tell, that attracts you to him?
I think Gavin brings a level of passion to his movies that is unique. I don’t want to say other directors aren’t passionate about their movies, but his movies themselves become passionate and I think that is a wonderful quality. The movies themselves express the passion for their stories. I mean certainly Pride and Glory, the sense of betrayal in a family and the sense of standing up and doing the right thing – they’re very big themes, and Gavin wants to hit you in the face with those themes [laughs], passionately tell you that, have you passionately experience those things. In Miracle, he wants you to be in the stands, in the third row, watching that game and experiencing what everybody in America experienced when that happened.
That’s the beauty of his films. He is willing to pull you down to the bottom so that you can come up. In a sense, in order to have that triumphant emotional experience, you have to experience what this is coming from. If you start happy and get happier, it’s not that big of a deal, but if you start off feeling completely depressed about the economy, your life, your government and your place in the world as an American citizen…the government is betraying me. What am I doing? Why am I even going to work anymore? Then this group of college kids comes out and beats an unbeatable opponent. That symbolizes something for our country, and if you can express what that meant to every American at that time, that’s a passionate story. So Gavin just does whatever it takes to get that quality of emotion across.
When you were talking about that triumphant experience, I was reminded that you did theme music for the Army Strong campaign. Is that narrative of triumph also one of the things that appealed to you about doing the Army Strong campaign? Or was it just another gig?
It started off as another gig to be honest with you, an opportunity to write for a 110-piece orchestra [laughs]. And I gave it some thought before I did it, because I am not a war guy. I’ve never served, and I probably been conflicted as anybody about the position of the military in our culture. I was a product of the first lottery. The first year of the draft was abolished when the lottery came in, and my number was not called so I didn’t serve. But the position of the military in our culture is a very interesting one. It’s necessary, and then at the same time their purpose is to kill people. But it is by no means a black and white issue. The people that have chosen to serve have my undying respect, so I went into the project with that. That’s what I wanted to communicate. There is nobility about the choice to do that, you know. The time and place will always make the details of that choice different, and that’s always going to be a very personal thing to everybody that has to make that choice. But fundamentally, the idea of answering that call is a noble one.
So writing for that kind of campaign involved setting aside the reservations you feel towards the role of the army, and focusing on the aspects of it that you really do respect.
Do you feel that a respect for the subject is necessary for any work that a music creator does?
A certain percentage, yes. The first time I ever had this question, I called a director. I had agreed to do this film, because it was an offer of work [laughs]. I really liked the director, then I saw the first cut of [the film] and found it so violent that I actually had to call him up and say “What are you trying to do here?” Granted this was the first cut, and it was long and ended up a lot shorter and a lot tighter, and it ended up quite good actually, a cult classic. This was the first Hitcher movie. But I’ll tell you, that first cut was rough, and I really didn’t get why you had to do it that way…he explained to me what he was trying to do with it, and I think at the end of the day, he got there. He got what he was trying to do without the stuff that felt gratuitous about it. So my respect grew with his communication to me, and over working and making the film better.
So pretty much every film or TV project you’ve worked on, even if you don’t love the movie, you jive with the director’s vision?
Yeah. I have to be able to duplicate that vision and be able to agree with it enough to find that I want to contribute to it. There has been stuff that I have walked away from that I didn’t feel that was possible.
Let’s talk about Once Upon a Time, the other big thing you’ve got going on right now. This isn’t the first time you’ve provided music for fairytale stories - there’s all those Rabbit Ears Storybook Classics that you scored in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Is there something about those kinds of stories that is appealing to you as a creator?
There definitely is, and I noticed it doing the Rabbit Ears series. They allow you to be more direct. I find that if I am doing real world drama that there is usually enough complexity in it, and that if you hit those emotions over the head too strongly or too directly, it doesn’t work as well. I don’t feel that is the best way I can contribute. But if you’ve got Snow White in the coffin, and the prince has to wake her up by kissing her…he’s supposed to kiss her, we know he kisses her, and I’m allowed to say “Goddamnit, kiss her!” And then he kisses her! It’s just perfect, and the best and the only thing that can happen there. There’s no real subtlety about it. And I like that. For me, it’s license to be a little more flagrant and…I don’t know what the other right words would be, but it opens me up for a different type of writing that I don’t think I’d do for other types of stories.
At the same time though, Once Upon a Time isn’t a cartoon or an actual picture book. It’s a live action TV series. So did that force you to approach the storybook elements differently than you would have done otherwise?
Yeah. I think that the themes that I would use when Snow White actually gets kissed by Prince Charming, and when those two characters in Storybrooke are sort of flirting, have to be useable in both places. It can’t be wrong in either place, it has to fit perfectly. So those themes had to have multiple purposes and be flexible enough to exist in two different settings. One could take the point of view that the music in Fairy Tale Land is completely different than the music in Storybrooke. But I said “No, no, the whole point is, if Snow White is over here and then she’s over here, the music has to communicate that she is having the same emotional experience she is having here as she is there. She is the same woman. Those emotions are connected.
Do you have leitmotifs for the characters?
Very much so. We could have a two page chart at this point! [laughs] We’re enough episodes into it now, and they have their budgetary [limitations], so there are the five to six every-week characters, and then there are the guest stars. And when I see the guest stars coming up, I know I have to write up a new theme for the guest star. But our normal characters have their themes and of course for me, the best themes are the ones that talk about the things that are really going on. Unrequited love, treachery, betrayal, those themes. So when you play the treachery [theme] over the evil queen [theme], but then you also play it against the mother [theme], that’s a big emotional hookup. That’s what music brings.
Is there different instrumentation in the music you use in the real world versus Fairy Tale Land?
No, it’s all the same. Fairy Tale Land tends to get bigger. I mean, if you‘re driving a dragon, it’s not the same as driving a Chevy, [laughs] so we tend to have more brass and percussion when the dragons are there. If they are driving in a big convertible, the music’s not as big.
You have never been content to focus just on one aspect of music making. Are there parts of your career that are closer to your heart than others?
I think that has shifted over the years. A lot was just opportunity. Obviously I was a recording artist for a number of years before I thought of becoming a film composer, then I was offered the opportunity to score a film, and I found out I was really good at it and that I really enjoyed it, so I pursued more. Then there was a time where the careers were about 50/50, and I would be on tour every summer or spring. Then children started arriving
They just knocked on the door one day.
[Laughs] As they do. The lifestyle choice started to interfere with this. I didn’t want to tour as much, and the music business was shifting as well, and it was easier to make a living staying at home than to tour more and more and make less and less. Record sales, especially for jazz musicians, became an issue. So I think it became a practicality issue more than anything else. Film composing was just as enjoyable, and then some opportunities in film allowed me to do some tremendous projects that really inspired me and spurred me on to say “This is a great career. I really need to throw myself into this wholeheartedly, 100%.” And it vacillates. I’ll get the horn out and do a three or four-month run, but it gets harder and harder to do from a logistical point of view.
Are there recording projects that you could do while you’re in town?
I do them occasionally. I’ve done other types of music than film music, but the thing that’s hard for me is that I am a trumpet player. The trumpet, as an instrument, is probably the most athletic instrument…or at least one of them. If you put it down for three weeks, you’re in trouble, and if you put it down for three months you are dead. It takes two months to pick it up to get back to where you were before, if you can even do that. I think that’s the problem I have with it. If I put it down for too long, it takes me too long to play. Just physically. I know I can play…it’s a physical problem.
Sure. Back in high school I had this social studies teacher who was friends with [jazz trumpeter] Freddie Hubbard through a series of interviews that he had done. I guess by that time, Freddie had sustained a serious lip injury and wasn’t able to play his horn…it was exactly like what you’re saying, that there are all kinds of physical things that can go wrong that can prevent you from practicing your art. The mind may be willing but the body can give up.
You’re going to have to let it go, eventually. If you are doing that kind of stuff, I can guarantee you they are watching their health because it’s a physical activity and you better be in training.
What about scoring? I would imagine that even if you let go of your other instrumental passions, you’ve got to watch yourself to make sure you’re actually getting exercise. Otherwise you might be sitting down in the dark all day.
[Laughs] that’s true. Composing is a very lonely and sedentary profession. You sit a lot in a room by yourself.
I hear more and more stories these days about music creators having to become more diversified just to make a living - a producer who is also a songwriter who also does jingle writing who is also in a band and teaches voice lessons, etc. etc. When you moved from artist mode into scoring mode in the early 80’s, was there any aspect of it that was spurred on by economic necessity?
Obviously I have to work for a living and for my four children. One has the same requirements as any parent, so I have always just strived to stay very gainfully employed in fields that I can contribute to and do good work doing. Those are the main requirements, and I have been fortunate enough to keep finding stuff. I mean, I did the first commercial for the first electric car commercially sold, so that was a fun enough aspect to pull me in to advertising, and I’ve gone on to do a huge Revlon campaign with Halle Berry and some of the most beautiful women in the world, and that was fun. Besides, we were taking Ella Fitzgerald tracks and remixing them, so my experience with advertising has been fantastic. One might say that’s going way off to the left or something, but at the end of the day the projects themselves had so much interest for me, and just had their own exciting qualities. It never occurred to me it wasn’t the right thing to be doing.
Would you say you are as busy as you ever were at this point?
Right now I am, because I’ve got this television show that we’re organizing. But I’ll tell you, in those first two weeks we didn’t feel very organized. [laughs] I was pulling my hair out. Plus another movie, an actual film, at the same time.
How would you say your experience as a jazz trumpeter has impacted your writing for brass?
Good question. I think I know the power of a trumpet and what it can deliver. I am ruthless about the brass, because I know exactly how I want it phrased, and a lot of the time I write it in the computer and then it has to get translated to the page. That’s an interesting translation process, just purely technically. Sometimes I’ve got to go to the brass section and sort of sing the way that I want it phrased, because it hasn’t made it through the translation process.
Do you usually insist on being in the room when the musicians are recording your music?
I try to be. With certain budgets and certain types of scores these days, it’s possible to do remote recording sessions, and then of course I am not in the room, but I still try to have that same quality of communication to the orchestra.
When’s the last time that happened?
Warrior was the last time it was remote. That was a low budget score, and there were a lot of guitars and all that sort of stuff, which I did at my place. We didn’t really have time, nor did I want to spend the money on tickets and motels…plus it was more pop music type of writing for the orchestra itself. There were big thematic moments but they were fairly simple. We weren’t relying on the complexity of an orchestral orchestration for that to work. It was more on-top-of-a-rhythm-section-type work, which is simpler for an orchestra. I felt like we wouldn’t be losing any quality [by doing it remotely].
What strikes me most about your earliest solo records on Windham Hill, and what you did with Art Lande, is how open-ended and spacious they are. It seems that they are so far removed from an action-packed score that you might write for a big budget film, but I can sort of see where they would interact. Would you say your sensitivity to sonic space has aided your work as a film composer?
Yes. Quite frankly, I think it was that sense of space that convinced [director] Carroll Ballard to invite me to score the first film that I ever scored. I think he heard the thing that piqued his attention towards meeting me and eventually offering me the opportunity. He could see that vast open tundra of that film, Never Cry Wolf. And he said “Look, just bring me that and a couple of good melodies, and we’ll be fine.” It took a long time. Having no experience doing it, it’s one thing to hear the ability much less come up with the actual product. And in a sense I think my biggest challenge over the years as a film composer is to write music that isn’t that. To write a full-fledged cop/gun battle type movie that’s compressed and fast and dense.
Do you remember the first time that you scored a film like that?
I think the first time that it really hit me that I had to do something like that was in Point Break. I mean, it had its moments of openness as well, but there were a couple of scenes in there where it’s just police drama, gun battle stuff. And I went “Wow, okay. I’ve actually got to shift the way that I write music, for the better of the film and these scenes.” Then of course the skydiving scene…that’s probably why she hired me in the first place! But boy, I really needed to learn something there, I needed to teach myself that aspect of writing for film that I never had to buckle down and learn.
I understand you are working on a new project right now that uses music and space and the interaction between the two in a very different way. Can you tell me a little about that?
As we all have noticed, the music business has changed. Not just financially, business model-wise, but actually the position that music has as a product and as a form of exchangeable art in our society and our culture. If an mp3 that you can practically Bluetooth to your neighbor is the product itself…no wonder people think it should be free, because there is no tangible, high quality thing here anymore. You used to buy beautiful vinyl pressings, beautiful artwork, and it felt like a $20 item. Even a CD, a double CD case, felt like a $25 item. And even though if you download 5.1, 96kHz files, and it’s fundamentally the same quality of music experience, you sort of lost the idea that this is a quality exchangeable product, an item that is worth some value. So I’ve been ruminating, “How can one bring the ‘ooh’ factor back into the product of music itself?” So I have had a couple of ideas, and I have sort of been fooling around with them in a small way off in a corner, in my copious amounts of free time [laughs].
One of them was: after having spent some time wandering through art galleries for a couple of other reasons, how about music being presented as fine art, like a painting? I remember many, many years ago going to a San Francisco Museum of Modern Art exhibit of Jonathan Borofsky, who is a sculptor. He had little cassette machines in the bottom of the sculptures, and as you wandered through the room, there was sound coming out. And a couple of the endless loops actually had musical material. I believe the exhibit was called 20 Chattering Men so a lot of it was just unintelligible words coming out, but boy what an experience. I‘ll never forget the experience of wandering through this large thing with these great sculptures and a sonic element to the whole presentation.
It occurred to me, let’s take this whole thing a step further and take my experience in surround-sound music and - for lack of a better term – the New Age movement of the 80’s and my experience with Windham Hill and that genre. Maybe there is something new here, maybe I’ll leave the marketing to the marketing guys, but I can also see selling it to a corporation for their lobby. I can see it in a museum. I can see it in any number of places, but where music takes center stage as a presentation of art. I’ve been experimenting with it. We did a two-week run in a gallery in Boston and I’ve done a run here in L.A. at the Wildfire Gallery. Right now the initial setup is at home, and I am re-conceptualizing a new piece.
Musically, the thing that I am experimenting with is something that can actually just stay there. Obviously one can do a wide variety of musical things, one could have a concert in this setting which starts at a particular time and ends at a particular time. One could incorporate live musicians; all of these things have been diagramed out and I’ve actually presented these to various different symphonies for commissioned works and things like that. But the one that went to Boston and to the galleries is considered to be more ambient in nature, and to be continuous. I was designing these ways of building compositions that were infinite and non-repetitive, and therefore we could try to do the math and it would take like five billion years or something before it would ever repeat. In other words, it‘s a way of juxtaposing elements that were there in themselves long enough that they would never juxtapose against each other in the same way. They are different lengths, and still mellifluous and pleasing and interesting and provocative and not necessarily getting ugly. You’d want to stay [for] maybe 50 or 60 years in this room and listen to it.
If this idea was born as a response to the advent of the mp3, and the decline of the idea that music is something that’s worth paying for, that’s worth having as its own experience, I’m struggling to see how that connects with going to a place. Would this sort of be like a replacement for a live concert but not necessarily live music?
I don’t know. I have no concrete ideas. This is very experimental. Like I said, these two things that I have done are sort of ambient versions of this. Which could be problematic to the ultimate goal here, which is to raise the awareness of music. Because there is another project I’ve been working on at the same time. I’ve been working on the idea of writing something for Blu-ray disc in 7.1 that becomes a concert. You turn it on and it goes and it finishes. And it’s the highest quality audio content possible. There are Blu-ray audio discs available of particular compositions, but these are compositions specifically designed for that. These are all experiments of what I can do with the things that I know about to come up with something different. Presenting music in new and interesting ways.
I think the most exciting way would be to take the ambient idea that is going into galleries and juxtapose it against a concert situation. Put one of these systems into a concert hall and to use it along with live performance, so that as you enter the concert hall, the sound is already there. It’s part of the walls; it’s part of the sound of the room. But then you sit, and players emerge there, and something that actually has a finite start, a finite end appears. And when that’s over you can leave, but the other part is still there. I just want to put the “wow” factor back into music, you know?
The idea of transforming the sonic environment appeals to me because there is so much that we tune out on just a matter of course, like birds chirping, people talking around us. I love the idea of going back to the newborn infant stage where you have to attend to everything and take it in.
That’s perhaps what I’m hoping to achieve with the gallery presentation, which is ambient. It’s not going to be a guitar solo here - in fact there may not even be a melody that you are aware of - but there is something going on other like the sound of your clothes rustling. There is an environmental, sonic component here, and maybe you’d want to pay attention to that and let that be an experience for you.
Do you think that could filter outside the gallery and train people to listen to their natural environment differently?
Possibly. I have no big surety in any of this except for that it interests me. It interests me to explore and see what people think, what reactions I can generate. We haven’t done anything yet, so I haven’t talked about it, but we are working conceptually with a guy out of Boston who is part of Le Blanche, which was something they did in Paris where they did a whole light and video festival at night. You go to different locations in the city and there are things happening there and they are interactive. And they just did one in New York. I think they’ve done their second one in New York, and he’s been talking about taking some of me ideas and incorporating them as audio into the whole thing. We are now putting together a proposal for a lobby incorporation that will take information from physical motion - it could be from a dancer, it could be from the participants on the floor itself – then translates it into stimuli that then stimulates video screens and audio throughout the lobby.
That sounds amazing.
Ultimately, these smaller experiments that I am doing on my own are heading into some of these bigger multimedia projects that I am discussing with various people.
I can see it being sellable too. There is a long history of background, almost subliminal music being used in shopping malls, even at the Gap, where they have very specific aesthetic.
And why not make that a truly artistic experience instead of “Let’s dumb it down to as low a common denominator as we possibly can?” which is usually what that music is. Let’s actually raise the bar and try and make something like Music for Airports. [Brian] Eno, I mean he is the mentor for all this stuff; he’s been talking about all this stuff for years. Why not keep experimenting with this? Because it will just raise people’s ability to think in new, interesting ways, and hopefully we’ll care for it a little more.
I was thinking about Eno when you started mentioning this…the one little twist is that he intended that music to be background. You could attend to it if you wanted to, but it’s meant to be lived in, not listened to actively, like concert music. It sounds like the music you’re envisioning doesn’t have to be that way.
I want any of that open to me. I consider that background music is completely valid and beautiful and valuable, all the way up to a guy playing a saxophone solo right in your face you know. One-to-one communication to a single loud instrument for a very set period of time. It’s all part of the beauty of music, and I think the recognition of music itself as an incredibly powerful art form is really all I am trying to do.
Last question. You’ve been composing for film and TV for over 30 years, and before that you made a name for yourself in the jazz world. you’ve done pretty much everything, Are there certain composerly or musical “problems” that you’re still trying to work out, or aspects of your art that you want to explore a lot more fully?
Well I have certain goals as a film composer. I would love to do a Pixar-type film. I did Dolphin Tale this year, which is one of the few films I did where my seven-year-old and my wife truly loved it. My wife didn’t love it because she loved it, and she sat through as most parents do. I look at Pixar as being a leader in this, Disney having done it in the past obviously: here is a family film that is quality for [everyone from] a five-year-old to an 85-year-old, and they feel the same artistically, all across the generations. I think that’s become a very needed and not very often experienced product, especially for the artistic community. And I’d like to be a part of that, I’d like to contribute to that. I had a great time doing Dolphin Tale for that very reason. I found it very rewarding. So I’d love to do that, more of that on the biggest scale possible.
Certainly some of these new ideas. I still threaten to take the time and practice the trumpet to get back and do a big trumpet project. I’m not quite sure what it would be; I have several incomplete trumpet projects in the hard drives now, and I have to be convinced how to present it to the world effectively, because I don’t want to do it and then not know how to present it and receive the reaction I want to receive, having put the time into it. But I am intrigued by these new things that we have gently touched on. Large scale presentations.
This guy that I mentioned has done these projections on buildings…have you seen these things? I just think they are fantastic, and I think there is some way for music to contribute to it as well. You put people in a large theatre and you turn on a fantastic 7.1 mix and that audio experience can be just heavenly. It can be liberating, it can be something like nothing else. How do you keep going with that? How do you take that into something else without just having to tie it into whatever film hopefully opens that weekend? How do you take that same ability and technology and talent and understand everything about modern music and modern music technology? I have been able to marry it to video technology. Whatever it takes. But there are art forms in there that need to be explored and given new vitality in our culture.
Visit Mark Isham's on the web here: www.isham.com
Watch full episodes of Once Upon a Time at abc.com.
Find out more about Warrior and Dolphin Tale.