Interview for Jerry Goldsmith Awards 2011–2-

Second interview about the nomination for best Music in Promotion for the trailer of the movie “Hyde’s Secret Nightmare” By Domiziano Cristopharo

Short Biography of the Composer

Born in Loreto (Italy) in 1976. He starts studying piano at the age of six. At twelve he starts making his first experiments in electronic and computer music, which will lead him to form several ensembles of modern music with such points of reference as Stockhausen, Cage and Zappa. He attends the DAMS (Department of Music and Performing Arts) in Bologna, directing his studies towards Musical Education, Music for Images and Anthropology. In 2001 he wins a scholarship of $5000 awarded by the Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He takes a Jazz degree with full marks at Pesaro’s Conservatory studying Composition and Arrangement. At the same conservatory, he studies Classical Flute and Music Pedagogy. He’s now scoring the latest movie by Domiziano Cristopharo, “Hyde’s Secret Nightmare” and also has scored the movie “Butterfly Rising”, by Tanya Wright. Last year he was nominated for the Jerry Goldsmith Awards with the Documentary “La Fano dei Cesari”.


Which are your main musical influences, in and outside film music?

I believe that music is just… music, so my influences come from everywhere: Jazz Composers (especially Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus), African, Middle East and European Popular Music, Classical Composers (such as Debussy, Satie, Bartòk, Ravel), Rock Musicians (Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and The Beatles of course). In Film Music my reference points are Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Alan Silvestri, John Williams. As a composer I strongly believe that the time I spend outside the studio has the same importance as the one I spend recording or composing at the piano. Lots of inspiration comes from stories: stories I hear from people, stories I read in books or see in movies. I like to think that in some ways I can convert those stories in feelings through music. The world itself is an inspiration, with its variety and the continuous interchange between horror and beauty.

Which what orchestra or musical instruments have you worked with in this work?

I usually like to work with small combos, I think that if you’re lucky enough to find a good melody and some interesting rhythmic/harmonic solutions, a piece of music can sound great just using an acoustic Piano. Of course this helps to keep the soundtrack budget low: in this case, even if I had a budget for a big orchestra I chose to keep a sound that wasn’t too much “boombastic”, as that was perfect for this kind of project. I’ve played all the instruments, but of course the orchestral parts (especially the strings) are the result of the use of samples libraries like Symphobya and Miroslav Vitous Orchestra. As a main sequencer, I usually use Steinberg’s Cubase. Other digital instruments I use are Heavyocity Evolve, Synthogy Ivory, Ik Sampletank, Project Sam Symphobia, Xln Addictive Drums. These have become the standard sounds in the film music industry, used by film composers as John Powell, John Ottman, Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, Jesper Kyd, Angelo Badalamenti, Brian Tyler, Bill Brown and of course myself. In the end, digital sounds were mixed with real accoustic instruments I’ve played and recorded.

How did you get to be involved in the promotional?

After composing some cues for his latest movies, Domiziano Cristopharo asked me to write music for the trailer of his upcoming movie. I will compose the full soundtrack as soon as the movie is completed.

What were the main indications of the director?

The main idea was to follow an alternative direction rather than the orchestral sound or the “metal rock” of classic horror movies. Considering the tradition of the Italian horror films from the 70’, we found interesting to explore this vintage sound of great bands such as Goblin.

What has been your main creative motivations and what have you intended to create with your music?

My first love, when I was a young keyboard player, was progressive rock (Yes and great Italian groups from seventies as PFM or AREA), so the idea of composing music for a trailer with a prog-rock band as a main ensemble was really exciting. Composing music for a trailer is really difficult: as you know, most of the times the music we hear in trailers is taken from “music libraries” or from other soundtracks. So the main purpose was to help images to create a mysterious atmosphere and let the music grow in a sort of disturbing way, with some musical “coup de theatre” and a lot of dynamics and power. The point was: “let the people be curious about this movie, and immerse them into a powerful vintage prog-rock sound”.