Since I can remember I have always been passionate about film music
When the internet times began (who remembers times before internet?), I was so pleasantly surprised, I could find information there about people who were inspiring me. My first contact with film music, as probably for most of us, was in a cinema. Real touching experience gave me listening to the film scores multiple times, which deeply impacted my senses. The first time I heard soundtrack to “Cinema Paradiso” movie by Ennio Morricone, I felt it was music for the soul. Why for the soul? It’s because it was touching mine. I found it hugely inspiring. Another one was music for film “Mission”. Theme “Gabriel Oboe”, which is frequently played on weddings, is so moving. I remember also listening (a whole night) to Forest Gump soundtrack. It is brilliantly composed, very melodic and diversified music. I was also completely enchanted by Ennio Morricone’s scores to “Once upon a time in America”. The music plays an important role in this movie. It has a narrating role. It is a record of main character’s memories, who is travelling into the past. After watching the movie I came to the conclusion that film score does not only have an illustrative function, but can be autonomous. I have suggested this question as a topic of my dissertation to my supervisor.
Working with a director
When working with directors I am convinced that music shouldn’t just form a background to a movie, but should also have “something to say” by itself. The scores shouldn’t just act a as highlight of a stage, but sometimes need to tell a story on their own. An example: I was writing music for a computer game few years ago. Picture editor was expecting that the soundtrack prepared by me would contain all the special sound effects. I understood his request, but I was trying to convince him, the special effects, which play an important role in a computer game, should not dominate the entire content. A movie syntezatorwhich is enriched by music, instead of having direct references to the content becomes an interesting narration, can have an important role to play. I think it is more difficult to convey a message by music than a direct sound effect. A sound effect, which will introduce a right climate in a scene is completely different to a film score, which can awake recipient’s imagination and make their senses more sensitive.
We are entering a new issue here: synthesizers. Since I was a child I dreamt of world’s top quality instruments. I now have few types o synthesizers, which have very inspiring sounds, especially that modelling synthetic sounds is a very interesting task.
I was always inspired by the sound of symphonies. I have been enchanted since I was a child by brilliantly sounding scores by John Williams or “adventure melodies”. Today seeing John William’s scores I appreciate how many interesting composing technical measures have been used by the composer. There is a lot of references to program music (Claude Debussy) and great Russian masters: Siergiej Rachmaninow and above all Pyotr Tchaikovksy. They give the best possible examples. I am aware that these classical composers are the source of my creative inspiration and the greatest repository knowledge about composing tactics. I value them very highly.
Examples of film music from the film “Dzik”
I value partnership when working with a director or a sound editor. I like to take through a movie scene beforehand and have time to compose. I don’t like working in a rush, but I appreciate that this industry often works this way. Everything needs to be done for yesterday, due to various delays of different levels. Film is after all a huge challenge. There is no point working on music, until the whole movie is completely edited, because scores have to be perfectly synchronized with the picture. It makes sense, on the other hand, to start writing the music for the closing credits first.
What should a good film music be like?
I think it depends on many factors:
- Creativity and sensitivity of the composer
- The length of time that he is given to complete the job
- Quality of cooperation with a director/sound editor (managing expectations, agreeing joint and individual goals)
It is more common now to invite musicians to record the scores. Live music enriches movies. It’s worth pondering about.
If you like my style of work?
I am always keen to talk about music. I am flexible to work in commercial or non-commercial area. If you are interested please call me or send me an email – Grzegorz Seweryn.