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The Official Guide to The X-Files Vol. 3 (I Want to Believe): Extracts from the Book
The third volume of Andy Meisler's X-Files guide book contains some information about Mark Snow and his scores for several episodes. Only the relevant paragraphs have been included here. Get a copy of the book if you don't already own it – it's great!
Several European promoters urged X-Files composer Mark Snow to bring himself and his nonexistent orchestra over for a concert tour.
While composing his music for the episode, Mark Snow called up an electronic smorgasbord of African drums, flutes, and chants – and admits sneaking in some samples from "The Bulgarian Women's Chorus", a recording well-known in Southern California as a pledge-drive premium for public radio station KCRW. [Teliko]
To stimulate the proper mood for Melissa's death scene, composer Mark Snow "sampled" a recording of Gregorian chants. [The Field Where I Died]
Composer Mark Snow, nominated for an Emmy Award for his music for "Paper Hearts", was particularly happy with the Tinkerbell-like motifs that mark the presence of the laser beam. "It was a different kind of texture for the show," he says. "Light, magic, nothing terribly threatening." An inspiration for this theme, he adds, was Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream".
Snow reports that he's also gotten many requests for a recording of the "Pete Seeger-like folky type of melody" he composed for the show's closing moments. Unfortunately, he says, the piece was only about thirty seconds long - so don't bother hanging around your local record store.
"El Mundo Gira" was a milestone of sorts for Mark Snow – it was the only episode in his memory during which Chris Carter asked him to throw out his entire score and start again.
"Well, when Chris saw it [with my music] he said, 'Listen, it's just too serious. You have to put in a little Spanish flavor, blah blah blah.' So I went for it – rewriting the whole thing in one day. When I was finished, there was no non-Spanish music in the whole piece. I put in some flamenco guitar and did this whole tango thing when the migrant workers run away. And it worked!"
Mark Snow, who is Jewish, says he enjoyed composing several clarinet, violin, and cello solos for the show's score. He borrowed J.S. Bach's "Little" Fugue in G minor for one of the synagogue scenes. "The aim was to wind up somewhere between a Klezmer band and Schindler's List," he says. [Kaddish]
Of all the music that Mark Snow composed for the episode – "There was a real film noir quality to it. So I thought, What a great time to use a lot of jazz-type stuff. And a lot of saxophone" – he was most jazzed by the wild, discordant riffs that accompany Ed Jerse as he drags the stunned Scully downstairs. It was, he says, a strange combination of a dance rhythm track combined with "oddball samples of alternative rock" that did the trick. [Never Again]
Source: Andy Meisler; The Official Guide to The X-Files Vol. 3 (I Want to Believe), Published 1998.
The faculty of the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston was so impressed with Mark Snow's work on "Leonard Betts" that this year, when he agreed to give a guest lecture on film scoring techniques, they asked him to concentrate on the seemingly seamless changes of mood and tempo he pulled off in the episode's opening scene.
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