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Composer Interview - Bruce Rowland


My name is  BRUCE ROWLAND 


I'm aged  76 


I work from home studio – or scoring stages in the US, Europe or Australia

I've been composing for screen for  50 years

I studied music as a child, studied orchestration with various arrangers in the 60’s and then studied conducting with Robert Rosen – a ballet conductor who taught me about accuracy. A ballerina can only remain airborne for a limited amount of time so when she lands on the ground— you’d better land with her!

The instrument I'm best at is piano.

I also play I also play Hammond & glockenspiel (badly). 

I'm best known for my score(s) to The Man from Snowy River 1&2, All the Rivers Run, Phar Lap, Andre, The Cup, Lightning Jack, Anzacs, Gunsmoke 2, The Last Apache.

I’ve written over 40 movies …but I also wrote about 3000 jingles for TV & radio in the 60’s & 70’s and many hundreds of songs for The Magic Circle Club on ATVO and Adventure Island on ABC TV (with John Michael Howson writing the lyrics). Averaged 10 original songs a week for about 6 years.

A score I'm proud of but received little recognition is  Cool Change.

I compose using pencil or Logic – but much prefer writing it down & using an organic orchestral  approach.

The person(s) and/or institution that helped me get to where I am now are all the musicians I have worked with along the way - particularly the Symphonic players who would give me ‘’pointers’’as to why something I had written would sound better & be more easily played if ….. [for example] I could write a rest  somewhere in a previous bar to allow them to get a breath…etc 

The things I love about my job is everything!

The things I dislike about my job is sometimes not having enough in the budget for a bigger orchestra—but then again, it makes you try a different approach to the score & often it works out well!

My favorite piece of technology is ….don’t have one


My musical journey involved lots of learning curves & cogniscience & appreciation of lots of different styles of music


To relax  I Almost never listen to music - I never have the radio on in the car and I don’t play music ever at home unless I’m working on a project.