James Venable

Basically, when I was real little I played piano because my grandma made me, and then I switched over to drums in high school because that was cooler, and played in rock bands and that kind of thing.  That was in the ‘80s when all the synthesizers and all the technology was really started to flourish, as a drummer at that time I kind of got into the electronic drums...

Christopher Slaski

Born in 1974, Christopher Slaski built a truly international career over the last few years by sharing his time between his studios in London and Spain. Christopher graduated in Music from Cambridge University where he studied composition with Robin Holloway, and then he obtained a postgraduate diploma in Composition from the Royal Academy of Music in...

Pierre Jansen

I started studying piano and harmony at the Conservatoire de Roubaix, and then went to Brussels where I studied with Henry Sury, a composer who had previously scored many films and documentaries. I immediately thought that writing film scores was very interesting, since it could give me the possibility to hear at once what I had written and...

Bill Motzing

Bill Motzing was born in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., in 1937. Coming out of a highly musical family, his real interest in music developed at the age of ten when he began taking violin lessons, soon graduating to other instruments. He studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he earned a B.A., and received a Masters degree from...

Simon Walker

Born in Sydney in 1961, Simon Walker began to develop an interest in music at the age of twelve, when he started tinkering with the piano. A newcomer to the film music scene, he began scoring short films in the late 70’s, graduating to feature in both Australia and America in 1982. Interviewed in 1985, Simon Walker describes his background, his own...

Alan Menken

I was born in New York City, in Manhattan. When I was very young we moved to New Rochelle, which is above New York. My dad is a dentist, and all the men in our family were dentists. My father’s father was a dentist, my uncles were dentists. I somehow disappointed them when I showed an interest in music instead. At a very young age I began playing...

Toru Takemitsu

This public conversation between Toru Takemitsu and Karsten Witt (General Manager of the “Konzerthaus” in Vienna) took place during the Contemporary Music Festival on Nov.4, 1993. The interview was recorded and transcribed by Wolfgang Breyer, and edited for publication by Randall D. Larson.

Bruce Broughton: A Walk Through a Film Music Career

What were some of your first experiences in scoring TV? In the early 70s I was working for CBS Television in the music department. Though I wasn’t hired as a composer, I did get the opportunity to do a lot of writing, and so my earliest scores came from that time. The first credit I ever had in television for a score was on an episode of GUNSMOKE called...