Ian Robertson Underwood (born May 22, 1939) is an outstanding multi-instrumentalist, best known for being a member of The Mothers of Invention after being drafted by Frank Zappa.
He is a graduate of Yale University with a degree in composition in 1961, and an MA in composition of the University of Berkeley in 1966. He began his career playing in San Francisco cafes and bars in the Bay Area with his group of jazz improvisation.
In 1967 he became a member of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention for their third solo album.
In 1973 he pursued a career as a keyboardist for studio recordings by artists such as Quincy Jones and Barbra Streisand.
He lives in Los Angeles where he participated in the sessions (mainly programming synthesizers) of film soundtracks.
To celebrate the release of Titanic in 4 CD edition by La-La Land (see our exclusive review here) we publish an archival interview of James Horner published in 1998 in the French magazine Dreams To Dream. This interview was originally published in French, English and German in issue 10 of Dreams to Dream...s. Two other unpublished interviews in English and related to Titanic will follow: one very short on the conception of the album Back To Titanic, the other dating from 2005 at the release of the Special Collector's Edition DVD of the film by James Cameron. Recall: The Words of
We are pleased to share with you six unpublished images of James Horner taken by Simon Franglen in 2009 and 2012. The notes were written by Simon Franglen especially for this article. Crater Camp - This was our base for almost a year during the recording of Avatar. You see James on the phone, with Ian Underwood, Simon Rhodes and Jim Henrikson. James & Mike Knobloch during the mixing of Avatar. Mike was head of production for Fox Music at the time, he’s now head of Music for Universal. We were at Record One mixing in October 2009 Avatar - The final orchestral
I still remember very well my first and only encounter with Simon Franglen. It was just before the Titanic Live concert in London. Throughout the afternoon during rehearsals I had seen him working alongside James Horner. The depth of their collaboration was evident. On many occasions, he had climbed the railings of the concert hall to access the back of the orchestra to ensure that everything was done properly with the synthesizers. A small detail that shows the perfectionism and professionalism of a musician. Minutes before the concert, while we each waited for friends in front of the Royal Albert hall, I
Todd-AO Scoring Stage, CBS Radford, Studio City. If you happen to carefully read the liner notes in your Horner albums, you must have noticed the name of this recording studio several times. The composer has indeed recorded more than forty scores there, or almost half his discography, from Swing Kids (1992) to Deep Impact (1998) and finally The Spiderwick Chronicles (2007). Let's go back to this historical place where the maestro's brilliant notes sounded in thousands. In the 1920s, producer Mack Sennett, owner of Keystone Studios, master of silent films and the man who famously launched Charlie Chaplin's career, moved his production
Astonishment and questioning. Such were our both reactions nine months ago, while we were waiting for Black Gold, when the composer’s long-time editor Jim Henrikson announced the possible involvement of James Horner to the new theatrical adaptation of Spider-Man. Astonishment, first, as this is clearly not a universe into which the composer is used to venturing. If we pay close attention to his filmography and if we exclude The Mask Of Zorro, out of more than hundred films he did only one film based upon a comics character, i.e. an avenger who distinguish him/herself in his/her extraordinary abilities or in
What a lovely and fitting coincidence to have both scores composed by James Horner for the adventures of Jack Ryan released in extended versions within a month. Indeed, after Clear And Present Danger (1994) in June from Intrada, it was La-La Land Records’ turn to offer us Patriot Games (1992), which contains more than thirty minutes of previously unreleased music. This is an underestimated score and, despite its cold aspect (the horns and Tony Hinnigan’s pipes and flutes are not present) and some less accessible electro-percussive parts, Patriot Games deserves a second chance. The strength of this new limited edition of
While Intrada released a 2-CD set of Clear And Present Danger a few days ago, La-La Land Records has just announced the very soon release of another Horner 2-CD album. But not any new album, as it concerns the previous opus of Jack Ryan's adventures, Patriot Games. In this score, James Horner is very close to the spirit and colors of Thunderheart in his approach on both Celtic traditional instruments (violin, flute, bodhran, drum) and synthetic materials. Maggie Boyle's voice depicts the Irish culture and the synths performed by Ralph Grierson and Ian Underwood serve the tension and the action of