Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Score Is Complete!

A few days back, on the 31st August, we recorded the full orchestral score for The Last Belle. The music has been composed by the amazingly talented Stuart Hancock, who I am willing to bet will be a huge name in the film music world in the very near future.

We recorded with the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra in the Slovak Radio Building, a strangely James Bond-like structure, shaped like a pyramid balanced upside down on its pointy end. A wonderfully surreal setting for a wonderfully surreal experience: that of hearing the actions and thoughts of your film characters translated into musical moments by another group of artists.

Caught up as I was with all the preparations for this moment, the flights out, the discussions, the logistics, I took Stuart's advice and had a quiet wander around the concert hall just prior to the recording, as the string section were beginning to assemble. And in those few quiet minutes I was hit suddenly with the size of the place, the amount of talent wandering into the hall and getting seated, and the beauty of the instruments dotted around. All these people coming together for a few hours to create this huge score for an idea that started life as a scribbled note in a sketch book...

The strings begin to assemble

 The musical score is such an important part of the film making process (as it has been right from the days of so-called 'silent cinema'), but with animation it's doubly important. Even more so when there's a lot of non-verbal slapstick going on, which is certainly the case with The Last Belle. (Just imagine all those 'Tom and Jerry's without Scott Bradley's swinging, intricate music...)

Stuart Hancock, who composed the music for The Last Belle
Hearing the score come together has been one of the biggest kicks I've had during the making this project. I have no technical understanding of music and I can't play an instrument - at least not while anyone else is within earshot - so watching Stuart at work, and watching the orchestra perform is, to me, like some form of alchemy: the ability to move the air around our ears and transform it into emotions.

For more information on Stuart Hancock please click here
And for information on music production company Mcasso please click here

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