Estimated reading time for this article: 3 minutes

Continuing the examination of the jobs for the Cinema (or, more generally, for the creation of multimedia contents) we deal, in this article with music for video, by telling what we said with a professional in the sector.

We met Georges Pascal Marchese (Pascal, for friends) while he was moving his own studio to a new location. Pascal is a musician and composer who works making music for video, videogames, cinema and theatre. The interview will be split in to parts. The first one (this post) to talk about the approach to music composition. The second one, to be published soon, for the technical aspects of the Pascal’s job.

Georges Pascal Marchese at work on music for video

Introduction

Pascal started making his own music at the age of 13. He studied piano while attending the primary school and, later on, he self learned how to play drums. He took composition classes around his twenties letting grow his passion for electronic and orchestral music.

He has the capability to listen to all music genres without limiting the possibility to learn. Thanks to this approach Pascal has developed his sensitivity to several musical languages trying to synthesize his approach to composition blending all those components.

The first experience was, as for many professionals in this field, with theatre. Pascal has been active member of a troupe for ten years. In this period he had the chance to experiment with the only, useful, rule to create something that was well placed in the context with the scenes, the acting and the set.

The challenge was two-folded. From one side the need to score appropriate musical themes and, from the other, the capability to modify things to propose valid alternatives.

This is, finally, what everyone espects from a composer.

Music for video arrived later on with experiences with movies, documentariesand cartoons.

Composing music for video

The music for video binds you to another person (a Director, an Actor, a Producer). This link implies the need that you need to feel identified with the other person deeply understandin his/her needs and working to fulfill them. Usually a movie maker (who can be a Director but also a photographer or a videomaker) asks for a musical track based on something inspiring him/her.

The inspiration might arise from any situation, eventually not directly linked to music. The initial theme can either be the starting point of the work or something coming as consequence of a special feeling given by the story being told.
The initial theme gets developer and arranged, several versions are proposed and discussed until the final one gets approved.

Differences based on the goals

The main goal of the music for video is to comment the pictures. This can sound simple but the final requirement is this one and all the efforts must be directed to this goal.

For videoclips(Pascal never worked in this field) the movie supports the music, the approach is opposite and based on the requirements of music industry.

With documentariesthe music is bound to emotions and needs to support the images. In this case the creative approach can be easy and is usually left to the composer’s feeling.

In case of cartoonsit is a completely different story.
Music has to strictly follow every event. In this case we have a great tool consisting to assign a given musical instrument to each character to make things consistent and easy to follow. Music for cartoons demands precision and there is a continous conflict between creativity and the need to be strict to the events

A whole new world is the videogames field. Music must be cyclic but not annoying. There are software tools which enable the composer to work with loops assigning them to scenes in real time. Loops must be created according given criteria and also here there is the problem of merging creativity with strict requirements.

Closing remarks

To visually show how things work let’s give a look to this video made by Pascal with the help of Andrea Perrotta and Master 15 records. The video shows the approach used to realize the soundtrack of the animation movie East End (by Giuseppe Squillaci and Luca Scanferla – art&animation by CaneCane vfx)

Sono un ingegnere elettronico con la passione per la musica ed il suono. Mi sono avvicinato alla musica da autodidatta (salvo una breve parentesi alla University of the Blues di Dallas) e ho suonato nei peggiori locali italiani (con casuali puntate all'estero). Ho costruito la mia prima radio FM appena finita la terza media. Ho continuato con amplificatori a valvole e transistor fino ad arrivare alla produzione di circuiti integrati. Collaboro da anni con varie riviste (cartacee e web) di musica nelle quali mi occupo di recensioni di strumenti musicali e sistemi per l'elaborazione del suono. Trovate le mie pubblicazioni su Accordo (accordo.it), la rivista Chitarre (dal 2010 al 2015) e su Audio Central Magazine (audiocentralmagazine.com). Produco musica da un po' nello NTFC Studio che serve sostanzialmente per le produzioni di NTFC Band.