Throughout my life there have been a handful of “stepping stone” scores that have turned me into the composing film music-loving-junkie that I am today. Yes, I had the ubiquitous STAR WARS (1977) experience almost identical to Lee’s and a host of others of my generation. My parents’ album, which I listened to as a young boy, is still hanging on the wall of my studio which I occasionally will get down and listen to. Other scores like PATTON (1970), VERTIGO (1958), EMPIRE OF THE SUN (1987), and JURASSIC PARK (1993), just to name a few were all responsible for sprouting their own branches on my tree of film music adoration.
However influential those listening experiences were for me as a child, none of them would be the score I would pick as being the score which made me want to devote my entire life to the craft.
I was in high school at the time and had, throughout my life, developed a rich passion for both movies and music. As a band nerd since fifth grade playing the tenor saxophone, creating melodies on my horn was always more interesting to me than playing those written by others. I had deep down inside a desire to compose but I never knew what that meant or what I would do to satiate such desires. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write or what I wanted to express.
Then I saw EDWARD SCISSORHANDS and a light bulb went off. Actually it was more like two speeding locomotives, one representing my love of movies, the other my love for music, had collided with such force that the resulting fusion impacted the course of my life forever.
I realized that this is the kind of music I wanted to write. This was how I wanted to express myself. The thought of sitting in a darkened theater responsible for breathing life into the dead corpse of an unscored film thrilled me beyond anything I had comprehended before. All the pieces of the puzzle fell into place and life suddenly become a lot clearer.
As for Danny Elfman’s magnum opus itself, it remains one of my very favorite scores to date. So much of it achieves a level of perfection not easily attained in the film scoring community. The marriage of Elfman’s score and Tim Burton’s story and pictures is one thought only to exist in fairy tales.