Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mark Chait ("The Power of One" Co-Writer) Interview-Part 1

In the first part of our interview with Mark Chait (co-writer of "The Power of One" by Donna Summer), we discuss how he got into the music industry:

In the next part, we'll discuss the writing and legacy of the song "The Power of One". Will one (or more) politicians be mentioned? We can only hope.
Mark's web site


Steven: Hi, I’m Steven Reich here at the Poke Press Studios in Madison, Wisconsin. I’m on the phone with Mark Chait, who co-wrote “The Power of One” song from the second Pokémon movie. But Mark, before we get into that, why don’t you start at the beginning? How did you get involved in doing music?

Mark: I grew up in South Africa as a child prodigy of music. I actually have a Masters of piano performance and violin. So, I was an early start at music. And classical music, I actually represented my country at 15 years old. So, I traveled the world as a classical musician. So, I was a very early starter.

Steven: So, that was your education in music. How did you get involved in the music business itself?

Mark: Well, I actually went to Columbia University for 5 years. And when I was in New York, I started playing around with film music. And I had met a lot of people in the industry who forwarded my music to Los Angeles where I met a lot of film producers who saw that I had a talent for doing film scores. So, that’s how everything started. And that was Steven Segal, the actor, who actually gave me a big piece of music to write for a film that he ended up not doing. Basically, that’s how I ended up having a big large orchestra score that ended up in my first film, which was 1992 in a small short film for Sony Pictures that had Brad Pitt staring in it. It was a very interesting way of entering the film business.

Steven: What were some other pieces you worked on during the 90s?

Mark: I wrote a lot of film score music in the style of Ennio Morricone, because the first film that I did that actually went to the Oscars for Best Live Action Short, was a film that Morricone was going to do. He told Sony Pictures and the studios that they would have to wait 9 months. So, the director wanted somebody that could do him. When I first started, a lot of the film music that I wrote for the various films that I did work on in the 90s, were of that genre-the very melodious, similar orchestration pieces. And I also wrote a lot of piano and violin, but they weren’t published at that point. So, I just mainly did my work for film score music. And this is way before I started doing songs for films.

Steven: What eventually led to you doing vocal songs? How did that get started?

Mark: It was a lot of interest from record producers, actually. Like David Foster and Charlie Midnight, who said that my music has a very good song quality and we should try and put vocals to them and see how I am writing songs. I wasn’t sure that that was the way I wanted to do it. But I, nevertheless, tried it. And I have a good talent for summing up a feature film in 4 minutes in a song. I originally started working with Randy Goodrum who wrote a lot of hits in the 90s as well. He took me under his wing like a lot of other film composers did as well.

Steven: Keep listening for more from this interview…

Transcript by

Additional information for this video comes from the Wikipedia page for Ennio Morricone.

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