Do you think that a main theme is an important part of a film score, as so many films in recent years seem to be lacking any real thematic material to introduce the movie, also what is your opinion of the fashion by many composer to employ the DRONE sound on many of their scores, do you think this can still be categorised as music?
It depends. Some characters, stories can be benefit with a main theme.
It´s true that sometimes it´s not clear the frontier between music and sound design. The most important thing is the film, not the music. If the viewer enjoy/ understand/ is excited with the film our work as film composer, no matter how music is, is done.
What are your first memories of any kind of music and when did you decide that it was music that you wanted to follow as a career?
We listened many musical genres at home, from classical to Pop, Rock Music and from all times. I did’nt decide to be film composer, It started as a hobby that become a job.
So was film music something that you always wanted to do and was in your mind or did you become involved in scoring film as your career progressed?
I started writing tv signature tunes, then in 2000’s a tv producer gave me “You´re the One” script to try a demo and send it to Jose Luis Garci, the director and producer of this film.
He liked the theme and that’s how I started scoring for films.
You have scored both feature films and TV productions, is there a great difference between the two, or is it mainly down to budget and time when it comes to working in TV?
Certainly time is the main difference between tv productions (tv movies or tv series) and feature films. However, how the music works with picture is the same in both circumstances.
You have worked with Jose Luis Garci on a few movies, does he have a hands-on approach when it comes to the score?
He is always searching for a clear Main Theme. A recognizable, memorisable theme. He doesn’t need you to work with the picture, he tells you the emotion he wants in the music for his film.
What musical education did you undertake and where did you study?
I started with private music and piano lessons when I was 13. But I am mainly autodidact. I studied a couple of years in the Seville Music Conservatory also.
What composers both classical and those who write for the cinema would you say have either inspired you or influenced you in the way you compose or approach a project?
I love themes from composers from all decades and styles, not only classical or cinema music. But to mention some of them:
Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Mahler, Gerald Finzi and from Cinema Morricone, John Williams and Thomas Newman.
There is an album recently released I think which has music from your film scores, from 2001 to 2005, did you have any involvement in compiling the tracks for this collection?
Sure. Antonio Piñero, from Rosetta Soundtracks records (http://www.edicionesrosetta.es/), and I worked on this and chose the themes.
YOUR THE ONE is a very emotive work, and sounds very John Barry-esque, how did you become involved on the project and what size orchestra did you use for the score?
Thanks, John Barry was a great composer. I love “Chaplin” main theme.
I sent to Jose Luis Garci a demo inspired by “You’re the one” script.
We didn’t use orchestra, just some violins, viola and cello with dubbing technique. The oboe was played as a midi file with sample sounds.
Do you have a preference when selecting a studio to record a score also do you tend to utilise the same soloists and musicians for your scores?
Most of my work is self-produced due to budget.
Sometimes all the music is made with samplers, sometimes I use a soloist and for some film scores I record with a full real orchestra in Bratislava.
Is orchestration for you just as important as composition, and do you try and carry out the orchestration on all of your scores for TV and Film, or is this not always possible?
Yes, it is very important. I had always orchestrate my music but I would like to work with orchestrators in the future for sure.
SANGRE DE MAYO is a powerful score, at what stage of the production did you become involved, by this I mean were you sent a script initially or did you begin with the rough cut of the movie?
I started working with the script but due to the synchronization needs in the battle scenes, I finished the score with a rough cut of the movie.
Do you perform on any of your film scores, and do you conduct or do you find it better to supervise and have a conductor?
When I work with midi and sampler I played all the tracks. When I had worked with full orchestra David Hernando from the Bratislavia Symphony orchestra was the conductor.
What is your view of the increased use of synthetic, samples and electronics in film music?
Due to budget, and above all, less time to do our job, synthetic, samples and Daws (Digital audio workstation platforms) are indispensable nowadays.
How many times do you like to watch a movie before you begin to think about the style of music or what type of score you are going to compose?
Most of time I am thinking about the music that at the same time I am watching the film but obviously I analyse the films as many times as I need to. Anyway, I usually get involved by and go by first impressions. It´s a very intuitive process.
At the moment Spain seems to be the driving force behind symphonic film scores, or at least Spanish composers, also in Spain there are many film music concerts, have you ever had any of your film music performed live?
Yes, I have. In october 2012, The ORTVE (Spanish public tv orchestra) programmed a film music concert with some film composers as Federico Jusid, Pascal Gaigne, Bingen Medizabal, Arnau bataller, Zacarías M. De la Riva, Emilio Aragón, Alejandro Amenabar and myself.
In 2014, the Malaga Spanish Film Festival programmed a concert with my music.
What should music do for a film?
Tells us the accurate message in terms of emotions (what to feel), narrative (what to understand) and structure (organization and tempo).
Have you encountered a Temp track on any of the films that you have scored, and do you think it is a useful guide for a composer, or maybe at times if the director has lived with it so long that it can maybe be distracting as the director may say just do something like this?
I always had temp tracks in tv series, and less times in feature films.
If we do not have time, temp tracks can be useful to know where and how the music should sound or be placed. It’s true that sometimes directors or producers are not capable of seeing their movie without the temp track. But this is a risk we composers have to take.
How much of an impact does a budget or lack of it have upon a score for a film or TV series?
It depends. If the film just needs a piano or electronic music, budget doesn’t have too much impact. If the film needs a huge orchestra and you don’t have budget enough maybe then you have a problem.
This year so far you have worked on four projects, one of them COMA is a short, is it more difficult creating and establishing a musical identity for a short film as opposed to a full-length feature?
It’s equally difficult to write one minute of music for a short or a feature film but as a rule a feature film needs more minutes of music.