Whilst studying Composition
for Film & TV at Kingston University I had to write about
and I chose to write about Queen's music for Flash and
As part of my research I contacted
the Queen Fan
Club to ask them for help. Luckily,
Brian May had some spare time and
wrote back. (Brian also published it at his website).
Kamen died in 2005 (2004?) at the age of 55.
I'd like to thank Brian
for taking the time to write/send this and Jacky for asking Brian &
forwarding his response.
From QFC, Mon,
9 Jun 2003. Hi Rupert! I asked Brian, and he managed
to send you the following, I hope it's useful!!
"Briefly the story is this:
The director Russell Mulcahy asked us to
contribute songs for the film, and Michael Kamen
was already retained
to write the "Score". Now these things are often a lot more
you might think.
There was really no provision made for coordinating
the two inputs. It was only
and I developed an instant
friendship that we were able to devote a lot of time,
way beyond the call
of duty, to interact and bring the material into an organic whole.
Michael had originated a nice subtle, haunting
figure as a signature for the Highlander
would obviously be something to be used at key points
in the film to evoke
with the character. And of course the themes we had written
had to become motifs throughout the film for the effect to be cohesive.
So we were able, for instance, to put a lovely
little reference to Michael's highlander
into the end sequence
Who Wants to Live Forever, and there are references
Wants in his orchestral backdrops, notably during the various love
I also went in and played 'instinctively' to make the
strange 'banshee sounds
you hear when
the Kurgan prepares for battle,
and Michael & I improvised
together to make parts of the Battle music
The director was mostly too busy worrying
about editing, and budgets and the like
a very close watch on
how we were developing - I like to think there was a
lot of trust there!!!
But he was very happy with the results I know - since we all
hours doing the final mixes into the film.
As a postscript, Michael and I were pretty
disappointed that we were not asked to do
I know the decision
was influenced by other considerations than the purely
did less well than the original film, and many people have said that
of the reason
the 'magic' got dispersed somewhat was the fact that
music no longer had its original soul. Cheers Brian"
Love jacky xx
Jacky Smith; Official International Queen
Fan Club, The Old Bakehouse,
16A Barnes High St, London SW13 9LW, Ph:
020 8392 2800, email@example.com, queenworld.com.