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Joe Renzetti's Stories

  • Writer's pictureJoseph Renzetti

Buddy Holly to Chucky

A fan asked me how I went from doing the music for the "Buddy Holly Story," rock'n roll, to

"Child's Play" a dissonant, atonal, crunching, screeching orchestral score.

The short answer is that; as a newbie my first love was the guitar and Jazz; west coast, Kenton, Monk, Bird. Miles and everything that was out there to find.

Then I heard Ravel's "La Valse" and was blown away by orchestral music and its ability to mess with 3/4 time and "paint" pictures. I had discovered "program music" the classical music that is written to evoke mental pictures and not music for music's sake. It promoted visions of places, events, atmospheres; to set moods like fear, motion, calm, bliss. Sound familiar?

Perfect music for scoring films. In fact many of the first film composers came out of this school of thinking, composing, and I was one.

The last type of music I ran into was Doo-Wop, which I didn't like at all because of the boring aspect of the music and inane lyrics. But then at a School party one of the kids played Little Richard's

"Long Tall Sally."and I was stunned. Right then and there I fell in love with R&B. It had soul, sexuality, excitement, fun, energy. So count me in.

Then Motown hit, and I learned to play rhythm guitar in that bag. I met Dave Apple the head producer at Philly's Cameo records, they were tied to Dick Clark. Dave hired me as house guitarist and I was off starting a career.

By the time I finally got to meeting and getting envolved with film folks, I had been a studio guitarist, an arranger, and a self-schooled composer.

So I could handle it all; Jazz, Rock, Big Band, and the atonal and tonal orchestra writing, composing. And when electronics and synthesizers appeared, I jumped on that too.

So when I met rock film producers, they liked what I did in the rock area. When I met the horror film makers, I showed them I could do weird music so they liked me for that.

Like a good actor, I have range.

Yeah, Joe R


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