Composing music is hard work.
As a youngster, I never dreamed there could be a career actually earning a living writing music.
So much of what we do is ephemeral and quickly forgotten, even by ourselves, so it's gratifying to have something you have done linger in people's memories.
I was never that into the movies. Never. Even as a youngster. I became interested in movie music only because of the studio orchestras in Hollywood.
Any working composer or painter or sculptor will tell you that inspiration comes at the eighth hour of labour rather than as a bolt out of the blue. We have to get our vanities and our preconceptions out of the way and do the work in the time allotted.
When you think about Boston, Harvard and M.I.T. are the brains of the city, and its soul might be Faneuil Hall or the State House or the Old Church. But I think the pulsing, pounding heart of Boston is Fenway Park.
I'm happy to be busy. I'm happy to have a wonderful family.
There are occasionally eureka moments - off the top of my head, maybe Darth Vader's theme, you know, the imperial march.
The Olympics are a wonderful metaphor for world cooperation, the kind of international competition that's wholesome and healthy, an interplay between countries that represents the best in all of us.
I always wrote music for my friends, but my focus was on playing piano. I didn't think I'd be quite good enough to be a soloist, but I believed that if I worked hard enough, I could work as a player, a teacher.
I, over the years, have always felt more comfortable if I could go into a projection room and look at a film and not really know what to expect. If you read the script first, you form all kinds of preconceptions about how things look, what the location's like, what the actors are like.
For me, there is a strong family connection to Boston and anything connected to Boston, which includes Fenway.
I think of myself as a film composer.
I'm not a frustrated concert composer, and the concert pieces I've done have been a small part of my work. What I've sought there is instruction, variation from the demands of film and relief from its restrictions.
As a young pianist in Hollywood, I began orchestrating for others, and I just felt really comfortable doing that.
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