of publishing: 31th August 2005
Stu Phillips is a well known music composer in the industry.
He worked with the bests such BB King in the sixties and
his musics are well known by science-fiction fans and not
only them for his Battlestar Galactica theme and
Knight Rider's. These themes have been listened
all over the world for years and now are became classical
of the soundtrack music available on many CD compilations
and re-orchestrated many times.
Gilles Nuytens: Hello
Mr Philips, You have a big musical career behind you, which
are the things that the most marked you in all these years
Stu Phillips: Of all of the many projects
I have worked on, I guess I would have to say that "Battlestar
Galactica" is the one I enjoyed the most and am most
proud of. Secondly, having produced three world-wide #1
records is also high on my list.
Gilles Nuytens: The
themes you composed for Galactica and Knight Riders have
became cult themes, still today people are humming them.
What do you feel about this and what do you feel on the
fact that some of your musics are became big classics of
soundtrack music ?
Stu Phillips: I am very pleased to know
that my music has affected the lives of many people. There
is a man who was a soldier in Vietnam who had some of my
music with him. He said that he played it every day to help
keep his moral up. His story moved me and I now realize
the contribution to people's lives that my music had.
Nuytens: Some years ago
I think a singer made a reprise of Knight Riders theme,
I can't remember his name but the song got a success. What
was your feelings on this subject, did you took a part on
Stu Phillips: I assume that you are referring
to the "Busta Rhymes" rap recording that utilized
the Knight Rider theme. There was also a recording by "Timbaland
& Magoo" as well as a recent one with "Panjabi
MC with Jay Z. I had nothing to do with any of these recordings.
As long as I get paid... I am happy.
Gilles Nuytens: There's
also many various re orchestrations of the theme of Galactica
and Knight Riders for CD's compilations, what do you think
of these re orchestrations in general ?
Stu Phillips: Many of the BSG recordings
are great. I especially like the one by the Cincinnati Pops
and the one by the Boston Pops. (Actually, both of those
recordings were performed from my original scores.) As for
the "Knight Rider" re-orchestrations... I dislike
most of them. The only one, so far, that I really like is
an arrangement by Chris Waddell which is in the David Hasselhoff
album called "Sings America."
Gilles Nuytens: What
are your inspiration source for your musics ? What are the
things that allow you to give emotions ?
Stu Phillips: As a film and TV composer,
the film itself is supposed to be the inspiration that drives
you. Sometimes it does... and sometimes it doesn't.
Gilles Nuytens: How
is it with the creation of a soundtrack of a movie/TV show,
do you first create the main theme and after, you adapt
it for the different scenes of the movie ? Do you create
the music after, before or during the shot of the movie
Stu Phillips: Most of the time, with some
exceptions, the music is created after the film is finished.
I prefer to compose the main theme first, if possible, and
then integrate it into the score. There have been a few
occasions where I have written a few cues first, so as to
get a feel of the type of music I will need to write, and
then create the main theme based on what I will need in
the body of the show.
Gilles Nuytens: What
do you think about the new Battlestar Galactica TV show
Stu Phillips: No comment.
Gilles Nuytens: You
have composed some additional musics for this new show,
but did the producers have proposed you to create the main
theme of the opening credits ? Would you have liked to compose
Stu Phillips: The producers never contacted
me to do anything on the new show. What ever music of mine
from the old show that they used, was without my knowledge.
However, two weeks ago, Bear McCreary, the composer of the
new BSG, came to house to get some scores of the music to
the original BSG that he wants to incorporate into the new
Nuytens: Do you sometimes
listen to your musics for pleasure ? Working so much on
them, that doesn't weary you to hear them ?
Stu Phillips: I rarely listen to my music,
but recently that is changing. With all of the new soundtrack
CDs that are being put out of my music, I am having to go
back and listen to all of music. Sometimes I am quite pleased
with what I hear. Other times... well... I think I could
have done better.
Gilles Nuytens: Which
authors do you usually listen to relax ?
Stu Phillips: When I drive in my car I
only listen to classical music. It keeps me relaxed and
in a good mood for driving. My favorite classical composers
are: Rachmaninoff... Shostakovich... Ravel... Sibelius...
R. Strauss... Mahler etc.
Gilles Nuytens: During
the CD soundtrack creation process, usually, the musics
on the CD are adaptations of the music from the movie or
is it excatly the same without any post-work ? In this case,
you haven't really some works to do ?
Stu Phillips: Sometimes the music from
the film or TV show is used exactly as it appears in the
film. Other times it is re-recorded. Most often it is remixed
and re-mastered from the original tracks.
Gilles Nuytens: How
was it on the set of Galactica, did you sometimes visit
it or did you work always outside ?
Stu Phillips: I visited the set of Galactica
many times and became friendly with several of the cast
Gilles Nuytens: What
is your point of view about the P2P? This system has positive
and negative sides. It allows unfortunate people (poor people
that cannot buy all CD's they would like or unfortunate
countries that doesn't release these CD's) to discover another
culture, to discover new artists, etc. Some people buy the
CD's after having discovered some songs on Internet. The
negative point is that many abuse it and big companies are
hunting them and it is often students that pay for the others.
So, you have worked in the industry for so many years, what's
your opinion ?
Stu Phillips: My opinion of P2P is much
like yours. There are good points and bad. I suppose if
no one abused the concept it would be a good thing. Unfortunately,
I have been on the wrong side of many bootlegged CDs of
my music, and P2P only increases the ease with which bootleggers
can get hold of the material. I know that many companies
are starting to accept the concept of P2P and finding it
a good way to introduce the public to new music and new
artists. We'll have to wait and see how it all unfolds.
Gilles Nuytens: A
big thank you for this interview, could you tell some words
to people like me that like to hum sometimes your musics
Stu Phillips: I really appreciate the enthusiasm
of all of you fans towards the efforts put forth by we composers.
It's wonderful to get the job to write the music, and even
better when you get paid. But those things are nothing when
compared to the idea of knowing that people like all of
you are out there enjoying the music we compose. Bless you
all. Thanks for the interview. Regards,