Film Music and composition workshops with Guy Gross and Lior
Guy Gross is an Australian film music composer with credits including 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert', 'Blinky Bill' and 'Farscape'. Guy spoke with students from various secondary schools about evoking and emotion and the various types of tools composers use to comment a scene. Here are aome of the quotes from the day. Some are slightly different as they were transcribed in real time but they are respectfully reproduced here.
'Create music that follows the dialogue."
'Any music you write is sending a message to the audience.'
'You can be creative but it may not connect with audience. I work mainly in styles we know and haveheard before. Own the cliche.'
'Do not be afraid of writing cliche when composing film music.'
'Ostinato is a good launch pad'
'Chromaticism is a very simple device to create interest to our western ears. Even though it has been around 50-100 years'
(Feedback to student work)
'High string tonal clusters with dark tonal low chords tells the audience you are not going to know anything about the upcoming scene.'
'You have to anchor the audience into something they can associate with. Try not to deviate too far from standard accepted listening conventions.'
re: motif development in a song: 'Be environmentally friendly. Recycle notes and motifs. Don't throw stuff away'
Lior is an independent Australian Singer songwriter who also discussed his creation, structure, planning and organisation of his compositions with an emphasis on lyric content and word painting.
'A lot of young singer singer writers have many unfinished songs because they write line by line. You need to have a reason to write and stick to it.'
'A chorus can be a snap back to reality.'
'Always start with an idea'
'For me, lyrics are king and dictate the arrangement and what comes after is the melody and then the puzzle happens'
'Songwriting is about keeping the audience engaged for the whole 3 minutes'
'Don't give the listener to much in the first part of song. Leave a few things open at the beginning of the song and then possibly have a twist in the end verse. This is called the emotional reveal.'
'A great song strikes the right balance between familiarity and surprise.'
'When you are starting to write your song, Think about what the emotive function of the song you are trying to write is?'
Question asked: 'When you write are you thinking about your audience?
Response: 'That thought does creep in. The best results from when you zone in to what you are feeling as you the songwriter. It is a Strange duality. If you move yourself when writing its great and better if that translates to audience.'