As we continue to celebrate our 40th Anniversary, we wanted to hear from some of our friends who've had the torch passed to them as they continue composing great film and TV music. Some of these composers have worked with the greats. Today, our dear friend Christopher Lennertz joins us as he talks about #MichaelKamen and #BasilPoledouris. Chris, take it away...
"I have been fortunate to work for and with many of my musical heroes and legends in the world of filmmusic. It was a love of sailing that originally opened the door to working for Basil Poledouris. What started as an offer to help on his boat led to studio assistance, and eventually many years as his assistant, and many more as his friend. I knew his music from Conan, Red October, and Blue Lagoon…and was amazed to find that he was just like those very scores: larger than life, majestic, but at the same time, very down to earth and a spectacular and heartfelt storyteller. He and his family always included me in their lives and it was a lunch in between sessions with he and his wife that eventually led me to my first studio scoring job. In later years, he was always supportive and encouraging beyond measure…and even helped me pick out the sailboat I owned and loved for years.
I met Michael Kamen, a few years later also through Doreen Ringer Ross at BMI. Watching Michael work was very different from Basil, much more of a showman and rock star, but every bit the consummate musician. Again, like Bas, he was at his heart a passionate storyteller. He tirelessly strove to get to the heart of a character or storyline. He also had the most amazing gift for collaboration and making magic with musicians and filmmakers alike. It was Michael who trusted me enough to give me my first orchestration assignment on a major studio film. It led to many more and a wealth of experience watching another true master handle the pressure and egos involved with blockbuster films, all while never sacrificing the only real goal…and that was that the story of the film and the music in the hearts of the characters was everything.
I am forever indebted to both of these titans for everything they taught me and every experience they shared. I wish I could still talk to them, ask their advice, and share with them some of my music as they shared theirs with me. At the end of the day, I miss them very dearly, and I truly hope I am making them proud."
-- September 2018 - Christopher Lennertz