Take Aim: iZLER vs. Amy Sciarretto
Mon, 07 May 2012 10:49:02
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For this edition of Take Aim, the eclectic artist iZLER goes up against our own Amy Sciarretto. He holds his own. He's scored a film and he loves food. We like him. A lot.
If you were not be doing music, you would be...
Tough question since it's pretty much all I've done since I was a very young kid! I do love to cook though, so maybe I'd be an aspiring Mario Batalli!
Do you have any non-musical skills or talents?
I'm a huge fan of regional Italian cooking, and I've been known to hunt around restaurants in Rome say for one perfect plate of Carbonara, so hopefully as a result I'm a half decent cook. Although, I've been that busy that it may have been a year since I've actually cooked anything!
What was your favorite thing about scoring On the Ice?
There were so many. I think mostly just the sheer spirit of originality and heart in the film and the production. It was incredibly tough to shoot for the actors and crew and you could really tell how much they put into it watching the raw footage. Everything from the photography to the predicament of the characters was inspiring. I had the most fun just trying to create a sonic landscape that sounded like what I was looking at, a sort of frozen score.
What, in your opinion, are the quintessential elements of a quality score? What were you hoping to do when you started this project?
For me it's all in the melody. Atmosphere, sound palette and concepts are obviously important, but I spend more time on finding the right five or ten notes that musically embody the story and the characters than I do on almost anything else. Once you've found that, you're halfway home - and you just know it when you hear it. With on the ice I was very lucky that the main theme melody came to me really early on. That's not always the case. I can often spend the most time on a film just looking for the right theme, but with this one it was as though it had always been in my head waiting to be let out. Pretty handy when you've only got a few weeks to complete the score!
You have worked with a diverse array of artists. Can you share a story about one of them, perhaps a favorite?
Well, there's quite a few that should never appear in print ...... however, I will say that a defining moment in my career with Robbie Williams was playing at Glastonbury in 1997 or 98. Glastonbury was so hypster-ish compared to what we were doing that we didn't know if we would be embraced by the audience or get bottled off the stage - All I remember is Rob and I standing backstage in absolute terror and hearing the crowd chant some indistinct slogan that we were convinced was "wanker! wanker! wanker!". Luckily it turns out we were deaf as well as terrified ........ from the first note, all I remember is 80 thousand odd people in a field bouncing up and down in time to the song and it was just amazing from there on out.
Tell us about your work with Revenge and Natural Selection.
Both VERY different projects and both very close to my heart. Revenge, is just a BEAST of a score to do. Every week I have to crank out between 30 and 40 minutes of score and every week we record with a live orchestra which is really rare in TV now. It's not uncommon for me to be writing the last cue at 4am the night before a session and then to be conducting it at 10am the same morning. Working with those players is the most fun, rewarding part of that process, they're just so gracious and talented and good to me and it elevates the feel of the show so much. I actually feel like people are starting to realize the value of live music even in TV as the quality of production goes up and also that it's really not that prohibitively expensive - big TV shows would often spend as much money per side on a single song license as it would take to hire a small orchestra, so why not!
And Natural Selection was just my baby - I had a great time collaborating with Curt Schneider on that one and Robbie Pickering just has impeccable taste in music, so just talking about it was fun, let alone scoring it. It's a beautiful film and I'm very proud of it."
Do you dig iZLER?