Comforting Skin Nov.30 2010
Derek, the director of Comforting Skin, gave me a call a couple of weeks ago and asked me if I would be willing to just improvise the whole score with piano.
He had really enjoyed when I started improvising during the spotting session. So did I, actually, it’s rare that something like that magical moment happens during spotting. Actually, that was a first for me. (Read previous post for more info on that.)
And so Derek wanted to have this rough first pass at the score to see where it would be and be able to react to it. This fits Derek’s personality, to take his time on things; slap some clay on, step back, take some away, step back…
So I did it, I improvised the whole score. Well, about %95 anyway. I also put in some music in it from Pendercki and other lesser known composer that supported my piano improvisations well.
And then Derek and I met last Friday and Saturday and went through the whole score! It went very well!
The large majority of the score was a great fit and only a few did not work. We were very much on the same page.
Most interesting were the few cues that were not what Derek was expecting. A bit faster and louder and more melodically-driven than he had expected.
It was interesting to see Derek thinking about one cue in particular that occurs at a pivotal point in the story structurally.
I explained my reasoning, how the music makes a stronger statement because of what will happen next, how I broadened the texture and dynamics to create variety and also support the film’s structure, and provide some foreshadowing.
And it all made sense to Derek and he is now considering recutting the scene to put the music slightly earlier in the sequence. That made sense to me too, so with a bit of music editing I cut the cut to fit differently and shorten the scene and voila. The beauty of modern tools.
This is a very different process than usual for me, but is working out great. By improvising the score with piano only I have saved time and quickly built up a strong concept for the score.
So when comes time to sit down and write the whole thing, I will already know where I am going with the themes and textures.
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