Zorro Swashbuckling News and Updates

Zorro Swashbuckling News and Updates

Monday, October 22, 2012

Interview With New World Zorro Composer Jay Asher

Jay Asher | The Complete Zorro (Soundtrack)

Interview With New World Zorro Composer Jay Asher by Mary-Jo Sawyer.

     It's so hard to believe I had found my New World Zorro VHS tapes I'd made when they were on TV, in 2010. From there I found, then lost (due to copyright issues),the episodes on YouTube.  Then the series became a reality on DVD in January 2011.  While we were discussing the episodes in this group (http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/New_World_Zorro/), we tended to focus more on the acting and dialogue, with just an occasional nod to the music.  Even back in January 2010, Daryl was hinting at the possibility of the soundtrack for the New World Zorro becoming a reality...and it's now available on CD baby!  Take a listen if you haven't yet at  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jayasher2

Listening to the music takes you right back to the series.  When I heard first heard Track 6 ( Mendoza the Magnificent ), I could immediately visualize Senor Mendoza walking  around  and hosting  his first dinner party in  "Ghost Story" (Disc 4, Season 1).  And the beginning of Track 13 (Remembrance ) transported me to the dream sequences in "Explosive Situation."  There are so many little snippets, that I know many of you will relate to different episodes.
One of my favorite songs is track #12 (True Believer).  While I recognize the beginning, the second part is beautiful, I just can't place it in the series.  I'll keep looking, but if anyone knows in which episode it occurs, please let me know!
Jay Asher, the music composer of the series was kind enough to answer my many questions (those in bold) about the music.

1- Could you tell us about the process of creating the music for NWZorro? Did you have a copy of the scripts so you would know what type of music to write, or were you just given general ideas?Or did you have the actual film and wrote the music after they finished shooting? The music seems to fit the scenes so well!
Originally I created a library from nothing but my imagination, which they digitally edited in. After that, once a year they would give me a few partially finished episodes that i would compose to, which was much more satisfying and they then became part of the library.

2-Did you have any say in how the music was used in the episodes, or did someone else do the editing? 
Ron Franklin did the editing, and quite well IMHO. If it were now, I would do it myself but back then I did not know how or have the equipment,which was very expensive. 

3- During this time period, how was music recorded for TV series, especially one filmed in another country? 
I recorded it here in Los Angeles.

4-Did you write the musical scores only, or did you have to gather the various musicians to play the scores before it was considered for the series?
I did write the scores and recorded the live players, which was later supplemented MIDI based samples and synthesizers and mixed with my engineer.Then Ron edited it into the show. (MIDI is a set of instructions that tells a synthesizer or sampler what to play, which then generates a sound either by triggering a sample or a MIDpatch meant to emulate a sound). 

5-What were any influences or inspirations you had for the different tracks?  To name a few...Track 20- Rocky Mendoza, Track 21-Legend of the West, Track 6-Mendoza the Magnificent, Track 13- Remembrance, and any others you care to mention.
Well Rocky Mendoza clearly was a spoof on the "Rocky" theme."Legend of the West" is Aaron Copeland lite:) The rest was just me doing my gringo version of Spanish music in the vein of the original Disney series. Not terribly original but people seemed to like it. (Yes, we liked it!)
6-Were there any specific Spanish music influences for the different tracks? Did you use any particular instrument or combination of instruments to give the music more of a Spanish flavor?
Not really although trumpet, nylon string guitar, Latin percussion,and strings were frequently featured.
7-Do you have any favorite tracks? 
Sorry, I don't remember. It was a long time ago and I have rarely watched any of it since. I really should though.(Yes, you should because the music is wonderful!).

8-Were any of the tracks (or partsof the tracks) on the CD not actually heard on the TV series?
Probably. "Legend o the West" almost certainly was not used. There was so much of the music that is lost as I only had my copies on DATs and some of them no longer worked. Lord knows what happened to the originals that were kept at a place called Interlock. So I just rescued and edited for the CD all that I could find that I could make interesting. (DAT stands for Digital Audio Tape, which was the hot media in the early 90's).

9-Both theme songs are beautiful! I know many of the NWZ fans have a definite preference. Do you prefer one version over the other? Why did they choose Track 1 over Track 2 for the series?
I greatly prefer the original because the show was a period piece but Terry Botwick of The Family Channel wanted a modern arrangement to appeal more to younger viewers. He probably was right, but I still prefer the original.

I hope everyone gets a chance to listen on CD baby then order a CD or get a download. It's only $13.99...and Christmas is not that far away, or it would make an excellent birthday gift.  Or, just go out and buy you're a fan and you deserve it!

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