A Really Quick Q and A with Mason Daring

Mason Daring



Marbleheaders are all proud to call Mason Daring one of their own. Daring is the much heralded and influential composer of the soundtracks for ohn Sayles’ films as well as half of the duo, Daring and Stahl. “Marblehead Morning” is the most well-known song by Daring and Stahl.

To discover more about Mason Daring, go to his website.

Tell us about your most recent music soundtrack for John Sayles’ latest film, Amigo.  The film takes place during the Philippine / American war of 1900.  Did you have to do some research about this era and about the culture in the Philippines in order to compose music that would fit what happens on the screen.

For Amigo I listened to a ton of Philippine traditional music, particularly Randallas, which is a form of folk instrumental featuring a kind of 14-string mandolin called a Banduria – as well as a two stringed instrument called a Hegalung.

When you work on the soundtracks for films, do you go to the film location and watch some of the actual scenes being shot or do you just work with the final product?

In the case of Amigos, I went to Manila two weeks before the session and spent some time with players while I finished the writing. I usually go to the sets, but in this case it was too far away – by the time I got there, they were finished shooting.

Has there been on soundtrack project that stands out in your mind as being especially memorable?

As a rule, The Secret of Roan Inish is my most memorable score – I recorded most of it in Dublin, and it remains easily my most favorite and best selling soundtrack – I had visited the set several months earlier, and felt pretty comfortable writing traditional Irish music by the time the sessions rolled around. It looks like I’ll be recording another film with John this fall, featuring Mexican border music for a movie called
Sisters he is shooting in Tijuana.

Here is a link to the title track of The Secret of Roan Inish. 

A couple years back you recorded a solo self-titled CD.  Any plans for another venture like this?

At the moment I don’t plan to record another one, but you never know.

Do you listen to much contemporary music these days? If so, do you have any favorite musicians or songs?

As far as listening to music these days, I find that mostly I listen to commercial country, or local artists,
such as Roy Sludge. Other than that, I still love classical music – I may never get tired of the nineteenth century.

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