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Mark Strange Interview

February 9, 2004

Myriad : Hello, Mr Strange, thanks for answering some questions. You won the First Prize of the 1st Tune Friendly Contest with your piece "Reflection" and we wish first to know who you are. Could you please introduce yourself?
Mark strange Mark : Hi everyone. I was born Mark Edward Strange In August of 1968 in Scarborough, Ontario. Canada.  I've lived in the Toronto area all my life and have been married now for eight years. Music has always been a big part of my life. I've been is bands and have played local clubs but for the last ten years or so I've mostly been working on solo projects. As well as computer music composition, I also like to dabble in 3D artwork. I'm currently employed as a production manager for a company in the window blinds industry.

Myriad : On what kind of hardware are you working?

Mark : I'm using an Apple G3 350 Mhz Computer running OS 10.3.2 Operating system. I have an Ensonic SQ1 keyboard that I keep close at hand to help me write melodies before entering the notes on the score.  I prefer this method even though it takes longer.

Myriad: Do you play an instrument (or several)?

Mark : My first instrument is Bass Guitar. I also play keyboards and six string guitars.

Myriad: What are your tastes in matter of music? You can quote artists or music genres if you want.

Mark : I like 60's & 70's Rock, 80's heavy metal, classical, big band, Surf, and Folk. Favorite artists include Frank Zappa, Yes, Rush, Dick Dale, Benny Goodman, Philip Glass, and classical composers like Camille Saint-Saen, Igor Stavinsky, Ludwig Van Beethoven, and Georges Bizet. What a wild mix!

Myriad: More precisely, what are you currently listening to?

Mark : I'm currently listening to a lot of movie soundtracks. ie: The Truman Show, The Hours, Kill Bill, Donnie Darko, just to name a few.

Myriad: If you had to chose a piece to be put into a capsule to be sent to the inhabitants of Alpha Centauri, what would be yourchoice?

Mark : Symphony #3 (The Organ Symphony) by Camille Saint-Saen. It's full of so much human emotion.

Myriad: If you had to be out of the world during a whole year, what are the two albums you would take away with you?

Mark : Ennio Morricone's "The Westerns Vol. 2" and Philip Glass's "La Belle Et La Bette".

Myriad: About the piece which won the contest, what has been the source of your inspiration?

Mark : Quite often a piece of mine will simply be inspired by fiddling with FX's on different instruments. In this case it was a shimmering effect applied to the guitar which reminded me of ripples in the water and subsequently , the reflections in the water.

Myriad: Do you have an anecdote to recount? Not necessarily related to your piece, but related to music in general.

Mark : This is a true story. Half way through writing "reflections" we experienced a power failure. I was desperate to finish the piece because I believed I had a winner for the Myriad contest. I went out in my car to see if others streets in the neighborhood were suffering the same power outage. I discovered a car had hit a hydro pole a few blocks away. I rushed back home and soon the power was restored. About an hour later the piece "Reflections" was complete and I submitted it to Myriad.

Myriad : What are your goals or your project in relation with music?

Mark : My interest in writing music comes and goes but I will never try to force it. If anything comes out of writing music (professionally) then great. If not, I only hope to enjoy it.

Myriad : Do you have a personal Web site?

Mark : My current web site is http://www3.sympatico.ca/markstrange

Myriad : Do you want to pass an advice or a message to the readers of this interview?

Mark : Don't try to imitate other composers. Write what you feel and you'll never be wrong. In the word of George Gershwin, "If it sounds good, it is good".

Myriad : Thank you for having answered these questions.

Mark : Thank you for the honor of my first interview. :-)

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