It all started with an email in November 2021 from Levent Altuntas, a student studying film music at the Royal College of Music:
“I recently read your interview with the Harry Potter Fan Zone, which I immensely enjoyed, and thought I’d reach out to see if you would be interested and able to speak to the Film Scoring Society about your music and film scoring career. We would love to learn about the numerous projects you have been a part of such as The Future Is Wild, State of Play and, of course, your involvement in the Harry Potter franchise. We’d love to learn about your varied career, your creative process and get to ask questions.”
I was a student myself at the RCM in the early 1970s and wrote my first film score there – a collaboration with students from the Royal College of Art – so I was fascinated to see how things had progressed there in the intervening 50 years.
We arranged a date for me to come and talk to the Film Scoring Society and I arrived at the RCM to be greeted by a small group of students who took me down into the bowels of the building to a teaching room filled with enthusiastic composers ready to ask me questions. Levent and Grigor had put together a series of clips featuring my music – mainly from the Potter films and I spent a happy couple of hours answering the students’ intelligent and perceptive questions about my music, process and views. I don’t think that I have ever enjoyed speaking publicly more than I did that day. What a great group of students and how appropriate to be back at my old college talking about how I developed my career!
“I spent a happy couple of hours answering the students’ intelligent and perceptive questions about my music, process and views. I don’t think that I have ever enjoyed speaking publicly more than I did that day.”
And here’s the photo that they kindly sent to me. It sits in pride of place on my desk.