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Marathon Man / The Parallax View

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Michael Small, Composer: Marathon Man

In July and August of 1989. Michael Small spent five days in Munich, recording his score for Bob Rafelson’s MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON, their third collaboration after THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE and BLACK WIDOW. The 70-piece Graunke Symphony Orchestra performed Small’s grand score, his first orchestral film music to be released on record and CD. MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON is a romantic drama depicting the ambivalent relationship between British explorers Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890) and John Hanning Speke (1827-1864) who both explored Africa. The story is based on a book by William Harrison, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Rafelson.

Meeting a film composer and having a conversation is never just a mechanical question-reply game – at least it never ought to be. Even when you’re asking silly questions, there are human emotions as well as artistic sensibilities involved. A film composer is a human being, as I am. So you always try to make a conversation as natural and relaxed as possible, depending of course on your mood and the more nerve-racking mood of the film composer. In the case of Michael Small, we instantly got along well with each other. He is a mild-mannered and warm-hearted man whose way of speaking and total behavior reveals a serious devotion to his profession along with a vulnerable and modest artistic personality. I immediately felt that with Michael Small it couldn’t be just a question-reply game. It had to be more, however silly or provocative my questions would be. And it was.

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An Interview with Michael Small by Matthias Büdinger
Originally published in Soundtrack Magazine Vol.9/No.35/1990
Text reproduced by kind permission of the editor, Luc Van de Ven

An Interview with Michael Small by Matthias Büdinger
Originally published in Soundtrack Magazine Vol.9/No.35/1990
Text reproduced by kind permission of the editor, Luc Van de Ven