Interview with Brad Fiedel

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Welcome to a Cinematic Sound Radio Network Interview Special featuring film composer, musician and writer Brad Fiedel.

Raised in Bayville, New York on Long Island on March 10, 1951, Fiedel graduated from The Barlow School. After college, he became a popular and progressive composer, and in the 1980s, he worked on several successful movies, predominantly in the action and thriller genres, and pioneered the use of electronic instruments and synthesizers—almost disappearing from the mainstream at the end of the 1990s. He was the keyboardist for Hall and Oates.

He began his career in film in the late 1970s, and wrote extensively for television films and minor cinema releases, until director James Cameron hired him to score the science fiction film The Terminator in 1984, setting the wheels in motion for a successful career.

Since then, Fiedel has scored many popular and successful movies, including FRIGHT NIGHT (1985) and its sequel FRIGHT NIGHT PART 2 (1988), THE BIG EASY (1987), THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (1988), THE ACCUSED (1988), BLUE STEEL (1990), TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991), BLINK (1994), and TRUE LIES (1994).

His last major theatrical score was in 1995, and although he enjoyed a brief period of renewed interest following the release of TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES in 2003, when Marco Beltrami wrote an orchestral arrangement of his TERMINATOR theme, Fiedel shows no sign of returning to the film music field.

In recent years, Fiedel moved on to other creative areas, which has included writing original musicals. His latest is FULL CIRCLE. Based loosely on events from Fiedel’s grandfather’s life. The story centres on Sarah, a teenager who is stuck in her New York City Apartment. She is so sensitive and empathetic that she is no longer able to tolerate going out in public. She absorbs the feelings and thoughts of others so deeply that she loses control of her body movements, causing intolerable pain and embarrassment. The appearance of her mysterious estranged grandfather creates a possibility for them to work together trying to solve a mystery that has haunted the family for years and is the cause of much suffering. Working alone in his home studio, Fiedel was able to assemble various recordings he had of the songs, scenes and narration to create a complete audio experience of the show

When plans for this spring fell apart including a trip to London for the premiere of his iconic Terminator score to be played live at the Royal Albert Hall, Brad Fiedel had a lot of time on his hands. “ Stuck at home, I decided to take the opportunity to complete this musical that had been needing my attention for a long time. It’s a project that’s very close to my heart and imagining people at home experiencing it really made the whole process feel worthwhile.”

FULL CIRCLE, the two-act musical was released on all digital platforms on June 24th.

In June 2020, for the Cinematic Sound Radio Network, Jason Drury talked to Brad Fiedel, via Zoom at his home in Santa Barbara, California.

During the interview, we talked extensively about FULL CIRCLE as well as his film music career, his work on the TERMINATOR movies, working with James Cameron and why he decided to retire from film and TV music.

Also during the show, we will hear songs from FULL CIRCLE, as well as music from the film scores of Brad Fiedel, in particular, from his 2 iconic scores, THE TERMINATOR and TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY.

Enjoy!

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