Mark Strange Interview
February 9, 2004
Hello, Mr Strange, thanks for answering some questions. You won the
First Prize of the 1st Tune Friendly Contest with your piece
and we wish first to know who you are. Could you please introduce
||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
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
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
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
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
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
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.