This weekend in Cape Town and next weekend in Johannesburg at the Academy of Sound Engineering is #MEX22. Now in its 12th year you can meet in person and engage with Dr Trevor Jones, one of the Top 5 film composers in the world, who returns home from the UK to open #MEX22.
Having recently received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Cape Town in July, Jones will deliver invaluable insights into his rich catalogue of award-winning compositions while unpacking music for film, television, gaming and spoken word.
He has worked on numerous well-known and acclaimed films, including Notting Hill, Excalibur, Runaway Train, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Mississippi Burning, The Last of the Mohicans, and In the Name of the Father, collaborating with filmmakers like John Boorman, Andrei Konchalovsky, Jim Henson, and Michael Mann.
Regarding what the good Doctor will deliver in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, delegates can look forward to ‘Music for Film, Television and Gaming’.
After a brief introduction, Trevor will go straight into people’s questions about what it is they’ve come to find out.
He will deal with the business aspects that define the space and bring up Media Writing techniques, defining goals and ambitions, how to equip yourself as a writer and map out your journey, as well as aesthetics and philosophy (if we want to touch on those rarefied aspects.
I chatted to Trevor on Zoom whilst he was working at Abbey Road on the 40th anniversary of Dark Crystal.
Music Exchange what does it mean to you to give back?
“Music Exchange offers the rare opportunity to find answers and ask questions about the Music Industry – local, national and international, and for frank exchange of information pertaining to skillsets, industry business and practice, with fellow musicians, mentors and eminent Captains of Industry.
I look forward to it with great enthusiasm and excitement.”
When are you happiest?
Thinking about music while mucking out the stables of our Rescue Horses – nothing like horse shit to make one realize that as fertilizer its more valuable than one is.
What does music mean to you?
Communicating emotion through organised sound.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?
Helping to make clear the narrative and bringing out the meaning of a scene by writing music with the appropriate emotional weight.
Are you Famous?
I hope not. Laughing aloud
What do you think of when you are writing a score?
Am I making the audience feel what the Screen-writer and Director intend and how can I surpass their expectations and achieve this in an original way?
What drives you…. Ego or Humility?
A bit of both
Leonardo da Vinci, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Alan Turing,
My uncle Norman.
Which living person do you admire most and why?
Sir Timothy Berners Lee the inventor of the World Wide Web.
The internet has changed communications forever and he has given it to the world freely, with no patent and no royalties due.
What is your most treasured possession?
My Steinway Piano.
It’s your round what are you drinking?
As much as possible.
What makes you stand out?
My need to educate the next generation, my interest in the world, in people, in love and death.
Dood by my grandchildren
If you were not a composer what would you do?
Stay in bed and take the fluff out of my belly-button then make films, paint, and write.
Pick five words to describe yourself?
Obsessive, Passionate, Reclusive, Dedicated, Confused
5 Favourite albums of all time?
The Dream of Gerontius – Edward Elgar
Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
Dark side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
Bridge over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
Elgar: Cello Concerto with Jacqueline du Pre & Sea Pictures with Janet Baker
Greatest Movies Ever Made?
The Third Man
Singin’ in the Rain
North by NorthWest
The Battleship Potemkin
The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Spirit of the Beehive
What changed your life?
A scholarship to the Royal Academy of music, and my mentors.
Who do you love?
Myself, my wife, children, grandchildren, Dogs, Horses and a cat called Tom.
What is your favorite word?
Favorite Fashion Garment
The award winning tie, designed by my son Caspar.
Give us some real proper slang and what it means
CRUCIAL Slang for very good
Top of your bucket list?
Spending as much time with my wife.
Your greatest achievement?
Nuturing four children.
What do you complain about most often?
What is your fear?
Dying before I’ve written my next piece.
Eating a perfect mango in a cold bath on a hot day.
If you are walking on stage for a keynote speech what song would you use
Bill Clinton in his presidential campaign would walk on stage to the Main Theme of “The Last of the Mohicans”.
I would like to have Vocalise by Rachmaninov.
The best life lesson you have been taught?
People matter most.
Where would you like to be right now?
Do you do charity work and if you do – what do you do?
Promote education and mentoring the next generation.
What is an earworm?
A catchy tune which refuses to go away.
Wishes and dreams?
I wish that everyone could get a free education, either academic or a trade.
And for my generation to leave a legacy for future generations of a plastic free, unpolluted radio-active-free planet, protected by laws controlling carbon imissions and consequent climate change.
Website – www.trevorjonesfilm.com
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