Interview: Joby Talbot, Composer for “Sing”

Posted on December 19, 2016 at 3:20 pm

When a movie is called “Sing” and it centers on an “American Idol”-type amateur singing competition — with animal characters — it presents something of a challenge for its composer, who has to figure out a way to tie together a wildly and often hilariously disparate bunch of songs and singers. So it was a lot of fun to talk to composer Joby Talbot about how he managed to create a lively and engaging score that meshed with a bunch of iconic tunes from many different genres.

“The film is directed and written by my old friend Garth Jennings,” he told me. “I wrote the music for both of his other films, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Son of Rambow, and when he asked me to do it I completely leapt to the chance to work with him and with Illumination, one of the absolute greats in this golden days of animation that we’re living through at the moment. I love “Despicable Me’ and ‘Lorax,’ and all those other movies they have made. Garth explained what it was and he said that they made the decision early on they were going to keep the whole score and song elements quite separate. They do overlap occasionally but Harvey Mason Jr. and his team were in charge of the songs and I was in charge of the score. We realized very early on that the score was going to have a lot of work to do. It’s really important that in this film it is necessarily broken up by some numbers but there’s something that’s really a central kernel, and impetus of the film that really takes you through it. The score really helps you leap between the different storylines or the different characters but most importantly really helps you identify with the characters, helps gets across their kind of emotional journey and who they are and helps you really care for them and fall in love with them. That’s what I was setting out to do with the music. The music cues in the score, even though sometimes they are quite short when they fall in between songs just taking you from one to another, that doesn’t mean they are small or not important. They’re doing so much work all the time. The themes being developed and a whole number of different emotions being thrown at you — that is the work of the score, so it’s actually a huge challenge but I really enjoyed it.”

Talbot met the director in the 90’s, when he was playing in a rock band and Jennings was doing music videos. “I used to play in a band called Divine Comedy way in the 90’s in England and he was one half of Hammer and Tongs who made their name doing promo videos for pop songs. He’s one of the really famous directors in the golden days of the pop videos back in the day when there were enormous budgets and MTV ruled the world. Garth was one of the main guys and we met through our mutual friend Nigel Godrich, the producer of Radiohead and Beck, he’s got great, amazing talent, and Garth was directing actually a commercial for British telecom, the big telecommunications company in Britain and it was supposed to be like a sort of 90 second mini disaster movie with all kinds of objects falling out of the sky. Nigel suggested me for the music and although I hadn’t met Garth I actually knew his wife quite well. She had been in charge of the clothes we wore on a particular pop video that we did.

Copyright 2016 Illumination
Copyright 2016 Illumination
And we met and instantly we got on really, really well. Garth had never worked with a composer actually scoring in any of the films he had made and I felt incredibly lucky to be the guy who got that gig because and his approach as a director is inspired by people like Billy Wilder. He likes that kind of old-school moviemaking and he was adamant he wanted an orchestral score and he wanted it to function in a way those great orchestral scores of yesteryear worked. With my background in classical music that absolutely chimed for me and we just hit it off and never looked back really. Working with him is always a complete joy. I have a couple of collaborators in different fields who I really, really love working with and Garth is one of the best. He such a thrill to work with. We just get each other; it’s great.”

This film has animal characters that include a pig who is a housewife and mother, a shy teenage elephant, and the ape son of a crime boss. There are dramatic incidents which could be quite intense in another kind of film like a robbery, a parent in prison, and a fire. Talbot spoke about finding a way to musically reassure people that it’s exciting not too tense or scary. “There was one cue where they go to the visiting room at the prison and they were aware that that might be rather scary and alarming sequence for a little kids, so that was the one cue where they said, ‘If you could try and reassure us with the music rather than amping up the scariness but everything else, that would be great.’ I just was going with my feeling as to what the emotion of the scene was meant to be. The big robbery sequences were really kind of full contemporary action. So we brought in some really fantastic guitar and drum and bass players and overlaid it with big, bombastic orchestra. But those sequences don’t last that long, so you are just like catapulted into that world and then you are spat out the other end and you get on with the rest of the film. One thing I’ve learned pretty quickly, there was no putting any kind of intro into anything, it is just like, blam! We’re into the cue, here we go. The film actually lives or dies on whether or not you believe in these characters, believe in their motivations and care what happens to them and really root for them. The music has a huge role to play in that. For example, Meena the elephant is so paralyzed with shyness. It isn’t until later in the film that she sings and so the music really has to tell you what she’s failing to tell the world until finally of course in the end she has the opportunity to tell the world that she’s absolutely great. Tori Kelly has amazing vocal power. She’s incredible.”

The movie has a sensational collection of great songs, from “My Way” to “Shake It Off” to “Baby Got Back” and even “Bad Romance.” I was able to persuade Talbot to confess which is his favorite: “I am a big Steve Wonder fan, so ‘Don’t Worry ‘Bout a Thing.” But he adds, “The things that’s really nice about it is that you might go there knowing full well that you don’t like some song or kind of music and then you find yourself with a big smile on your face tapping your foot.”

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Interview: Nicholas Britell, Composer for “Moonlight”

Posted on November 4, 2016 at 8:00 am

It is always a pleasure to catch up with composer Nicholas Britell, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to ask him about his gorgeous score for one of the best films of the year, “Moonlight.”

The movie includes three very different time periods with different moods and locations as the main character — played by three different actors — goes from child to teen to adult. How do you keep the score distinct, locate the audience in the time and place, and still keep the consistent context?

That’s a great question. It was very important that there be a real cohesion across the chapters in the film. Yet, at the same time, Barry and I wanted to make sure that there was a musical transformation taking place as Chiron’s life unfolds. Early on in our conversations, Barry told me about his passion for “Chopped & Screwed” music. This is a style of Southern hip-hop where you take tracks and slow them way down; in the process of doing this, the pitch goes down and you get this real deepening and enriching of the musical texture and the sound quality. This style of music is really woven into the film’s landscape, and we then had an interesting idea of how to bring it into the score. At one point in our discussions, Barry and I wondered: “What if we chopped and screwed my classical score to the film?” In other words, what if I wrote and recorded instrumental and orchestral music and then we chopped and screwed it? We both got really excited by the possibilities that this aesthetic approach presented. We thus started a two-part process of scoring the film. First, I would write music inspired by the film and record it with live instruments. Then, I would take those recordings and chop and screw then, bending them, slowing things down, morphing the whole audio of the pieces.

The results of that process were fascinating: slowed-down violins started to sound like cellos, cellos started to sound like basses, piano notes started to sound almost like weird bells – the possibilities were just huge.

So, over the course of the film, one element of the score’s evolution is that the recordings are chopped and screwed and transformed. In the beginning, we hear Little’s Theme, which is a piano and violin piece. This comes back in chapter two, as Chiron’s Theme, where it is modulated down, a bit lower and deeper. Then, for the scene inside the schoolyard, Chiron’s Theme is totally chopped and screwed; I slowed it way down and it is pitched about three octaves down. Then I layered the track on top of itself and ran it through a vinyl filter. It comes out almost unrecognizable, and yet you feel it rumbling in the subwoofers of the theater. The result is this total transformation of the piece – at times you might just barely be able to make out Little’s Theme from the beginning of the film within it, but you feel it. So those ideas of continuity and transformation across the chapters of the film were really at the front and center of our collaboration.

The beach and ocean play an important part in the film. How did that influence your score?

That’s an interesting question. Actually, I was very moved by the soundscape of the film when I first saw an early cut. Barry and I spoke at that time about the sound of the ocean. I was very into the idea that there is this symmetry that happens where the movie could start right from the beginning with the sound of the ocean, as you are sitting in the theater, and then at the end of the film you come back to this sound.

The ocean brought to me certain ideas about the sensitivity of the approach that we could take. There’s something so beautiful and hypnotic about that sound of the ocean. And the ocean is significant to Chiron, and is at the center of many important life moments for him.

When I read the screenplay to the film, and after watching an early cut, the first word which came to my mind was “poetry.” There is a true poetry to the way that Barry created this film: there is a feeling of beauty, of tenderness, of intimacy and sensitivity. When I started work on the film, I said to myself “What is the sound of this feeling of “poetry”? “What is the musical analogue to that?” Among the first pieces I sent to Barry was a piece I wrote called “Piano and Violin Poem”, which became Little’s Theme. In some ways, the beach and the sea, the natural world — all of those things were influential in my trying to evoke a feeling of beauty, and tenderness, and poetry.

Do you use any unusual instruments or sound effects?

Absolutely. This is something that I really explored in depth in “Moonlight.” In fact, one of the pieces that I wrote utilizes certain sounds from the world of the characters, not just typical instruments. For example, just before the scene where Chiron is going into school to fight back, we see him looking into a mirror over a sink. Many of the “musical” sounds that we hear in the music are actually sounds that I drew from earlier in his life. There’s this sort of rushing-air texture in the music, which is actually the sound of the water from Chiron’s bathtub from when he’s a little boy in chapter one; I took that sound and wove it into the piece of music that I was writing.

Another example is where there’s a percussive drum hi-hat-like sound that plays with an insistent rhythm throughout the sequence when Chiron is going back into the school. That sound isn’t actually a drum, it’s the sound of Chiron and Kevin high-fiving earlier in the film. I was imagining that he’s about to go forth into this very intense moment of his life, and his memories and his thought processes are so wound up with his relationship with Kevin, so he might almost be hearing certain symbolic sound memories like that in his mind. There were quite a few places throughout the film where would I would take sounds from one part of the film and weave them into the musical landscape of another part.

As for specific musical instruments, to some extent their sounds are linked with the idea of the Chopped and Screwed music, where we were taking real instruments and morphing their sounds into unique textures. There are musical sounds you might not hear anywhere else, because they’re sort of impossible to create in the real world. But, after recording a cello and bending the sound lower and deeper, you get some very fascinating textures.

This film’s main character is silent and isolated for much of the film. How does that affect the responsibility of the composer?

That’s a good question. I was cognizant of the fact that there are many places throughout the film where Chiron isn’t speaking, and the film really embraces the quietness of certain scenes. I think it’s a beautiful thing when characters don’t need to speak in order for the audience to understand them and feel their emotion. There are moments where, for example in the third chapter, Kevin and Black are looking at each other in silence. I find those moments incredibly poignant, and there aren’t any words being spoken. So if there is music in those places it might be able to express an idea of what the characters are feeling. The music can connect us with unspoken thoughts. From the very beginning of the film, I thought about how certain types of music might be able to get us into Little’s point of view.

Along the same lines, while choosing the places where music goes in a movie is important, in many cases, an equally important choice is where doesn’t music go. Where should there be silence? This was something that Barry and I spoke at length about as well.

I have to ask about the theme music you did for Slate’s Culture Gabfest. How did you combine all of their ideas in such a brief piece? Is that harder than creating a feature-length score?

For those who might not be familiar with that theme music: a few years ago, I was asked to write the theme music for the Slate Culture Gabfest podcast show. The specific assignment entailed combining many different “ideas” and creating a sonic identity for the show. It was certainly a fun challenge to try to combine so many ideas into a sonic one-minute “signature” for their show! I would say the main difficulty with combining the ideas into 1 minute is in finding a way for the ideas to “blend together” in an interesting way. This can be tricky, as you don’t want the ideas to just be a noisy jumble! Writing a sonic signature like that and scoring a film are thus really two very different activities. The biggest difference with writing a feature film score is that the approximately 90min-120min of a feature film give you so much space to explore the musical ideas. As opposed to “compressing” them into a short span of time (as in the Gabfest theme’s 1 minute length), with a film score one is able to focus on the architecture of the film and the geography of where the musical ideas go within that architecture. One of the most exciting parts of the process of film scoring is getting the chance to develop ideas over the length of a film. A lot of the joy of the process is in seeing how things evolve.

My previous interview with Nicholas Britell was about the beautiful song he wrote for “12 Years a Slave.”

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Middleburg Film Festival: Salute to Composer Henry Jackman

Posted on October 24, 2016 at 9:14 pm

The Middleburg Film Festival had an outstanding line-up of films, many with filmmakers present to answer questions. But unquestionably the highlight of the festival was the concert tribute to composer Henry Jackman. Middleburg is unique in its annual recognition of film scores with its Distinguished Film Composer award, and they do it right. The Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of maestro Jan Wagner, performed the world premiere of suites from films scored by Jackman. The finale included the Freedom Choir singing with the orchestra the haunting score from “The Birth of a Nation.”  Hearing the music without the sound effects and dialogue demonstrated powerfully how essential the score is to establishing the mood, direction, and character of the story.

In between clips from Jackman-scored films that ranged from “Monsters vs. Aliens” to “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and Seth Rogen’s “The Interview,” Jackman spoke with Middleburg Film Festival Advisory Board member John Horn about the “weird and nasty noises” he includes in some of his compositions. He said that the first film that made him think about the contribution made by the music was, of all things, “Predator.” He was still in school, studying music, and was captivated to hear that the “Predator” score was “very harmonically sophisticated music with tritone chord changes.” He laughed that years later, when he told composer Alan Silvestri how much that music had inspired him, Silvestri responded, “I didn’t even try with that one!”

Despite the fact that his music teacher told him that “Film music isn’t real music, dear boy,” he decided to pursue it.

He said that one advantage to working on animated films is the longer lead time.  He often has a couple of years with updates on storyboards and character designs, while with live-action features, he hopes for as much as three months.  He is happy when the director has a sophisticated understanding of music (Edward Zwick impressed him by asking whether “the da capo should start here”), what he really appreciates is a director who will be clear about the mood and story.  He is glad to have direction with terms like “stress, kinetic, and narrative.”  He emphasized more than once that a film composer has to understand story as well as music.

A composer can help a movie’s problems, but can’t fix them, he told us.  “Music can sneak you past things” and “when characters are off the screen you can add some narrative.”  He said that Hans Zimmer told director Ron Howard that he could convey all of the dense historical background for “The Da Vinci Code” by writing music that “will make the audience feel devastated and know that what happened was really unfair,” and that would be enough.

He talked about working in different genres and with different directors.  Paul Greengrass like “ruthless realism.”  But in a movie like “Puss in Boots,” there is “no point in trying to be subtle.  It’s not often you get to see an egg sword fight with a cat.”  And for  the provocative satire, ‘The Interview,” instead of going for the comedy, he created a big, pompous classical score, “something Kim Jong-un might approve.” And for “The Birth of a Nation,” he asked “Why wouldn’t Nat Turner get the same compositional and orchestral accompaniment” that Mel Gibson had in “Braveheart?”

He said that matching the score to the film can be “chess-like problem-solving.”  The festival’s award, then, was the equivalent of designating him a grand master.



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Interview: Composer Jake Monaco

Posted on September 30, 2016 at 3:56 pm

Jake Monaco is a multi-talented composer who has worked on a variety of projects for film and television. His music will be featured in Fox’s highly-anticipated action comedy “Keeping Up With the Joneses,” starring Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot, Isla Fisher, and Zach Galifianakis. He is also currently scoring three family-favorite animated series, “The Stinky and Dirty Show,” Netflix’s “Dinotrux,” and Warner Bros. Animation’s “Be Cool Scooby Doo.” As a producer and composer of additional music for Christophe Beck, Monaco has contributed to the animated magic of “Frozen,” the record-breaking laughs of the “Hangover” trilogy, the furry hijinks of “The Muppets,” and the award-winning documentary “Waiting for Superman.” What he loves about composing for movies and television is creating music that tells the story. He took time from his busy schedule to answer my questions.

What was the first instrument you learned to play?

Copyright 2016 Jake Monaco
Copyright 2016 Jake Monaco

I started taking guitar lessons when I was 6, but after a year of not wanting to practice, my parents let up. Then my freshman year of high school, my family moved, which left me with a lot of free time. I started getting more into music in general at this point and so I found that same guitar from when I was 6 and started teaching myself. I think it’s still in my attic actually… I should go and get it at some point 🙂

When did you first realize, watching a movie, that someone composed a score that helped tell the story?

My favorite movie as a child was Ghostbusters and although I didn’t know anything about Elmer Bernstein at the time, I remember the music being an integral part of the story.

What was the first composing job you got paid for?

I was accepted into the USC film scoring program 2006-2007. My first paid gig was with a director named Zeus Quijano on the short “Point of Entry”. A few years later he turned this 5 min short documentary into a 20 min version, which I was also lucky enough to work with him on. He is hoping to turn it into a feature eventually. Fingers crossed!

At what stage do you usually come into a project? Before or after filming has been completed?

It completely depends on the project. Some smaller projects, I have started working on themes or sound palettes prior to shooting, or in the case of animation, during the storyboard phase. Although on the last two features, I’ve been brought on only a few weeks before completion. I had two and a half weeks for “Absolutely Fabulous” and five weeks for “Keeping up with the Joneses.” It’s kind of exhilarating to be under that sort of deadline; adrenaline gets you through!

If you could go back in time and score any movie, what one would you pick?

Probably any James Bond film. I love them all (even the bad ones). 🙂

When you work on a film that mixes genres, like the action comedy “Keeping Up with the Joneses,” how is that reflected in the music?

I try to make the action sequences as fun as possible. While there are still stakes in the film, the music doesn’t have to play them so seriously, it’s ok to have fun! There’s a long, exciting chase sequence in the middle of “Joneses” that, while it has a driving beat and action elements, has a funk horn section and some crazy EDM synth interjections. The comedy is really all about timing; when is the perfect moment to drop out. A lot of the time, a joke plays funnier when the music pauses for it as opposed to commenting on it.

Did you incorporate any unusual instruments?

Without giving away too much, there is a running theme through the movie about the Joneses going to this little café in Marrakech in Morocco. So I did a little research and found some instruments native to that region that are sprinkled throughout the score. The two most interesting being the Sintir (or Gimbri), which is a 3 stringed mid/low register plucked instrument that has camel skin stretched over the body and the kemenche which is a bowed instrument that rests on the players knee and has a very distinct, almost nasal, tone to it.

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Interview: Keegan DeWitt

Posted on August 30, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Keegan DeWitt is a versatile and sought-after composer who has worked on a remarkably wide range of television and film projects. Keegan DeWitt is a versatile and accomplished composer, who has strengthened many stories across film and television. This October, his music will heighten the drama of HBO’s highly anticipated series, “Divorce,” starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church, and Molly Shannon. He wrote the scores for eight Sundance Film Festival selections including the current release “Morris From America,” starring Craig Robinson. I was very glad to get a chance to talk to him.

Music is a very important part of the storyline of “Morris in America,” with key scenes including rap and electronic music. How do you approach that?

It’s easy because Chad Hartigan and I have been friends since we were teenagers. I work with some really interesting people but it is great to be able to work with a close friend, especially because Chad and I grew up talking about movies and getting excited about movies. So the process of making a movie with somebody you went through that with is that much more rewarding. And this was one especially cool. One day Chad has this idea of, “Let’s figure out a way to make an international co-production in Germany with Americans and Germans,” so I was like “Okay,” and next thing I know, me and him are riding bikes across the park in Berlin to go to the production office and score the movie which was so great.

And then musically, it’s a tough double-edged sword in that when we sat down, we had to make so that when people watch it they will have no idea this is a score. We really wanted it to feel like the hip-hop stuff was totally authentic, real hip-hop. And the EDM with exactly the same. And so on and so forth.

Copyright 2016 Keegan DeWitt
Copyright 2016 Keegan DeWitt

And then when the score stuff happened, it just was like breathing in the film and it all felt really organic and at no point did you notice it. That’s an especially tough gamble when it is such a music-centered film and there is a ton of music in there.

It was a fun project in that I had to roll up my sleeves and go, “Okay, how do I do each of these types of music?” It was also hard because there are racial implications in it as well, just like Chad as the writer and director creating this narrative. I felt this huge spotlight on myself to not be just a white person imitating hip-hop.o for me I was really encouraged when I sat down to write like that when he’s 14. But I clued into what first got me really excited about hip-hop when I was a teenager which was the melodic stuff like De La Soul and Del the Funky Homosapien and people like that. The hip-hop that the character Morris creates is sort of goofy, like a goofier hip-hop that somebody who is coming from a slightly more naïve innocent place like Morris could get into. And so for me that was my little slot in the door. I was like, “Ah, I got it.” I could sneak in with this because this is authentic in my experience and I also think it could be authentic to Morris’ experience.

And we also thought that it was an important thing to choose hip-hop that was somewhat fun so that we weren’t trying to comment on or make things seem gritty. The thing that I thought was so rare about the script is actually like it’s just so thick with love and curiosity and all those things. And it’s like Chad said, “If you want that really gritty dark person, go see every other movie about what it’s like to be a bad teenager.” I think that’s really true. And I am always drawn to what somebody wants to do something that’s like very pop. And so I was excited to be able to do that on this as well. And then on that note also to make the electronic music feel scary too. We tried to make it really loud and aggressive so that when he’s walking up to that club on that night you feel that rock in his stomach that you would feel if you were stepping up and could just hear the pounding music from inside.

So, now that you’re working on the new “Divorce” television series, how is it different to approach a TV series versus a movie?

I was lucky on “Divorce” because it’s HBO so it super creative and artistic to begin with. And also with this show, because everyone loves Sarah Jessica Parker and Sharon Horgan the creator, there is just a reverence for them in the work they do that there is a lot of space and a lot of grace for the creative process. When I got there they pretty much shot two-thirds of everything and we really got to spend like three months just being creative.

I don’t think it’s often on a TV series that we are a month into postproduction and it feels like hanging out on a Saturday evening. We are all just talking about music and I would play them little things and they would get excited and be like, Oh, what’s the name of that type of drum?” Yeah, the Bodhrán, okay. Bodhrán, let’s go crazy on that and experiment with that. So we did like a whole week of crazy Bodhrán music and then did crazy flute music because that show is really like in the 70’s and Jethro Tull and stuff like that.

I’ve been really lucky in that way. I’ve done other stuff where you jump in and you are just creating music and you are like, “I hope that makes sense.” But with this, we really did get to begin almost as if it was a movie and go through each episode and really choose to be adventurous. I was just really lucky, especially for a relatively younger composer, to be able to be in a room that’s got that many talented people. It was an opinionated room for sure and it was a competitive kind of “Can I meet these expectations?” But that’s always exciting as long as the people are really intelligent and excited as they were.

The thing that I know that SJ fought for and resonated with me was that it’s really important that as an adult so often things can be super dark or super sad and then in the same moment totally farcical. We had to figure out ways to mix extreme happiness with awkwardness or extreme sadness with moments of real tenderness or even silliness. And so I tried to make sure that I represented all ends of the spectrum and even if I would stay on the silly side of the spectrum, there was a real humility and a real intelligence to it and then it if was sad, it still felt a little bit like off kilter, a little bit ridiculous.

Thomas Haden Church is so good in the show. He’s so funny and has such heart. One minute he’s sabotaging Jessica Parker’s life but in the other minute he’s like this dad whose family is falling apart and he’s desperately trying to keep it together. So as soon as I walked into it I knew this is an intelligent project and I really had to make sure that I continued to meet that in terms of not giving them a cue that included all of the moods and emotions.

Do you compose on the piano? Or a computer keyboard?

My main instrument is piano to compose on but this was a crazy experience in that one day we were talking about me maybe going into the project and then the next week I was flying of the New York and literally composing in the post-production office. I was just trying to be a ninja with the computer as much as I could. So there are lots of saxophones and organic things that I try to really add some humanity. And every night I would walk to the subway and be calling a bunch of people that I know all over the United States to be like, “Hey, can you send me a voice memo of you playing this theme on the saxophone but sort of make a long?” And every morning I would be getting email dispatches from players around the United States that I would then bring in and chop up and have to work on the slide to get things together.

I always say I could divide it and these two camps; the people who are great with computer and the people who are purest with real instruments. And I’m always fascinated by what if you send me a really crappy recording of your saxophone where so it feels really gritty and interesting and breathy and then I’m going to take it to the computer, re-pitch notes of it, cut it in half, slow it down, put it in double time and then once I do that with five different instruments at once it’s this really cool mix of both of those things.

I always try and remember a limitation is not a limitation. It’s like a gift, it’s a creative gift. So this thing was like how do I compose music that I have to audition in high-pressure circumstances with like 15 minute turnaround times in a production office in Greenpoint on a laptop? It’s time to treat this like it’s a scrapbook and I’ve got a bunch of scissors and paste.

Then we sit down with Sharon and SJ and everyone. It was this challenge of one group wanted a lot of the Bodhrán because it was chaotic and interesting and crazy and the other one was flute music and I was sort of jokingly at one point, “Do you realize that when you mix Irish drums with flutes you’ve got ‘Braveheart.’ I turned the flute into a saxophone because it’s got a little bit more comedy but also when used right that sound can be very emotional. So I tried to kind of leverage all of those things together and take it one notch off of what makes sense.

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