I have all these computers and keyboards and synthesizers, and I rattle away. For instance, with The Lion King I wrote over four hours worth of tunes, and they were really pretty -but totally meaningless. So in the end I came up with material I liked. We worked on The Lion King for four years, but I wasn't toying until the last three-and-a-half weeks properly. On Crimson Tide, on the other hand, I just went in and within seconds I knew what I wanted.
I don't drive, so one of my assistants drives me to my writing room, and I have a calendar on the wall telling me how much time I have left, and how far behind I am. I look at it and panic, and decide which scene to work on. And you sit there plonking notes until something makes sense, and you don't think about it any more. Good tunes come when you're not thinking about it.
I try to communicate with the musicians the way I communicate with the filmmakers. I'm not going to say to them, can we be a little bit more presto here. Hang on, this should be a bit more exciting, or I try to explain the scene to them, or I try to explain the context the notes are supposed to live in.
Information is floating around really fast. I write something, or a piece of my music comes out and I see people writing about it on the Internet as if I'm having a conversation with them. We've never met, but somehow, my music is communicating something to them. Very often, it really makes them feel something.
The thing that hasn't changed, and I don't think will ever change, is that the operative word in music is "play." You have to have a playfulness about it. As the world shifts, it's starting to understand more and more that to have a playfulness about any and everything is actually the way of having a better life, or being more creative, or being more productive.
I grew up in a house full of music, and a house that didn't have a television. We had a piano, but no television. And really, I very quickly realized that this was, you know, there was magic there, there was magic to be had, you could lose yourself in it, it was a refuge, it was joy, it was all of those things.
A violin is nothing more than a piece of wood and a dead cat. But it's a piece of technology. So when computers came along, in the '70s, I suddenly thought, hang on a second, this is interesting. These things can become an instrument. So I just became very interested in them, and started, playing with electronics.