After many years of composing for a feature and animated films, theatre, ballet, etc., composer, producer and a singer Anita Andreis, who graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, majoring in music production for film and gaming with an emphasis on orchestration, announced an interesting conceptual work.
Her first album “Chapter Three: Continuum” is the third sequel to a series of three albums to be released in reverse order. At the beginning of the year, she attracted attention with her undeniable composing talent, winning, deservedly, the Grand Jury Prize for the best music at the 27th Days of Croatian Film for the animated film “Bobo”.
She opens her first album, created in recent years before moving permanently to New Zealand, with the phenomenal song “Follow The Music”. It is a song in which the author perfectly combines all her skills of composing, performing and singing into her own musical ideas and frames, with a visible influence of rock, and which could comfortably exist on many world charts. In addition, it is a great continuation of the previous singles with which it was presented to a wider audience and which will be found on the first of the three announced albums.
The voice is extremely warm and emotionally appealing, brilliantly harmonised with the music and the arrangements. At times, the strength of Kate Bush could be felt in the songs. The other songs on the album are of a slower tempo with accentuated emotions, but incredibly appealing. Anita Andreis is a great composer and musician of fantastic talent and it is a pity that she is moving to New Zealand.
She should be preserved, caressed and cared for as an intangible cultural heritage. I am convinced that we will read a lot more about her in the world media and follow her successes on the global stage.
Nakon višegodišnjeg skladanja za dugometražne i kratkometražne igrane i animirane filmove, kazalište, balet itd., skladateljica, producentica i pjevačica Anita Andreis, koja je završila prestižni Berklee College of Music, smjer produkcije glazbe za film i gaming s naglaskom na orkestraciju, objavila je zanimljivo konceptualno djelo. Njezin prvi album „Chapter Three: Continuum“ treći je nastavak serije od triju albuma koji će biti objavljeni obrnutim redoslijedom. Početkom godine privukla je pažnju svojim neospornim skladateljskim talentom, osvojivši, zasluženo, Veliku nagradu žirija za najbolju glazbu na 27. danima hrvatskog filma za animirani film „Bobo“. Svoj prvi album, koji je stvarala posljednjih godina prije trajnog preseljenja na Novi Zeland, otvara fenomenalnom pjesmom „Follow The Music“. Riječ je o pjesmi u kojoj autorica sve svoje vještine skladanja, izvedbe i pjevanja savršeno spaja u vlastite glazbene ideje i okvire, uz vidan utjecaj rocka, i koja bi komotno mogla egzistirati na brojnim svjetskim top ljestvicama. Osim toga, odlično se nastavlja na prethodne singlove kojima se predstavila široj publici i koji će se naći na prvom od triju najavljenih albuma. Glas je izuzetno topao i emotivno privlačan, sjajno ga kroz aranžmane usklađuje s glazbom. Na momente se u pjesmama osjeća snaga jedne Kate Bush. Ostale pjesme na albumu nešto su sporijeg tempa i naglašene emocije, ali nevjerojatno pitke i privlačne. Anita Andreis velika je skladateljica i glazbenica fantastična talenta i prava je šteta što se seli na Novi Zeland. Trebalo bi je čuvati, maziti i paziti kao nematerijalnu kulturnu baštinu. Uvjeren sam da ćemo u svjetskim medijima još puno o njoj čitati i pratiti njezine uspjehe na globalnoj sceni.
Anita Andreis is a talented artist from Croatia. She has developed a very distinctive approach to music. Her music has a special flavour, and it almost has a visual colour to it, thanks to Anita’s expansive personality and distinctive character.
Her most recent studio release is actually taken from the soundtrack of a movie, and it is titled “Bobo.” This stunning instrumental composition kicks off with a rather simple and understated introduction. However, the piano arpeggio picks up in terms of pace and intricacy, making for a really beautiful sonic soundscape. The song is very rich and detailed in its performance, yet it is strikingly simple and minimalistic in terms of production aesthetics and recording.
Bobo is a beautiful soundtrack project and the whole concept is really emotional and touching, and it is even more impressive when you enjoy it in addition to the visuals of the actual movie, which matches the melancholic twist of the music with some beautiful art direction.
With this review, I am violating my rule not to write about incidental music and I’m doing it with the utmost pleasure. The score composed by Anita Andreis for the animated film Bobo is more than a companion – it is genuinely an intrinsic part of this piece of art.
OST by Anita Andreis adds a crucial emotional and intuitive layer to the film. Without her score, the story about an unadapted boy who, in his imagination, overgrows his community and eventually even the planet, would not be complete.
Orchestral classical music approach to this score was an ideal choice. Any other genre would lack the wide dynamics range needed to highlight all the key moments in Bobo’s journey to the stars.
Brilliant mastery of Andreis’s score coloured each of the segments of the movie with the supreme precision articulating the right ambience and emotional tone, at times achieved even with a minimal composing aesthetic. There are no overly abundant arrangements that might suffocate the basic emotion. Everything in this score is pure as a child’s imagination, which, ultimately is the main story of the movie.
It would be unfair not to mention the extraordinary animation of Andrej Rehak, who is also a writer and a director of this animation film. Some scenes are truly breathtaking. If you haven’t watched this movie, I highly recommend it. It deserves your attention.
Drage volje kršim običaj da ne pišem o namenskoj muzici – onoj koja je pratnja nekog drugog umetničkog uratka, jer je muzika Anite Andreis za kratki animirani film „Bobo“ Andreja Rehaka, autora scenarija, animatora i režisera, više od proste pratnje – ona je sastavni deo tog umetničkog dela. OST Anite Andreis je filmu dodao jedan veoma bitan nivo, intuitivno-emotivni. Bez njega priča o neprilagođenom dečaku koji u svojoj mašti nadrasta sredinu (pa i planetu) ne bi bila kompletna. Izbor klasične muzike je pun pogodak, jer bilo kojim drugim žanrom bilo bi mnogo teže postići dinamiku kojom se naglašavaju svi ključni trenuci u Bobovom putovanju ka zvezdama. Majstorski je Andreis bojila svaki od segmenata filma traženim raspoloženjem i to sa skoro minimalističkim pristupom kompoziciji. Nema (pre)bogatih aranžmana koji često znaju da uguše osnovnu emociju. Sve je svedeno i čisto kao detinja mašta o kojoj se, na kraju krajeva, u filmu i radi. Ne čudi što je na 27. Danima hrvatskog filma dobila nagradu za najbolju muziku. Nepravedno bi bilo ne pomenuti i izvanrednu animaciju Rehaka – od nekih prizora bukvalno zastaje dah! Ako vam se ukaže prilika, pogledajte obavezno – tih petnaestak minuta prođe za tren.
Source: Nacional (Croatian Weekly)
It is not very often that soundtrack for a Croatian film merits being given proper attention. The soundtrack to the short animated film “Bobo” by Andrej Rehak composed by Anita Andreis truly deserves to be praised.
Anita Andreis is a composer with years of experience and is far from being a newcomer to the trade. She has composed music for feature films, short and animated films as well as for theatre and ballet productions, among other things. She is a composer, music producer, singer, and a musician who holds a degree “Orchestration and Production of Music for Film and Games” from the prestigious Berklee College of Music.
So why is her music for this utterly delightful film so good? Because she managed to express a whole range of emotions through her music, which facilitates a better understanding of the story and gives the film yet another dimension.
Her effort was acknowledged at the 27th Days of Croatian Film whose jury awarded her with the Best Music Award, explaining their choice in the following way: “at the time when electronic music prevails, it is really refreshing to hear a classical piece of music, especially when it resonates with the nostalgic, supernatural film narrative. In the manner of Erik Satie, there are passages that take us back to childhood, creating a feeling of great comfort.”
Had this been the case of music composed for a Hollywood movie, backed by a powerful film studio, Anita Andreis might have even won the Oscar together with the compliments, thereby joining the film score greats the like of John Williams, Hans Zimmer and others.
The fact that it is the score for a short animated film makes no difference when we are talking about magnificent music that should be praised and pointed out because it deserves all the compliments. Furthermore, perhaps these nine beautiful, albeit short, musical moments could serve as a starting point for a more comprehensive piece of music.
To conclude, such beautiful and sincere emotions conveyed by wonderful music can rarely be heard in Croatia.
ZAGREB – The second soundtrack of internationally acclaimed film composer Anita Andreis, has been released by Clever Trick Music/ASCAP.
The album’s name is “Bobo (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).
After scoring music and releasing the soundtrack for the extremely popular Croatian movie “The Brave Adventures of a Little Shoemaker”, Andreis accepted to compose music for animated film Bobo’s directed by Andrej Rehak. This animated film was already well covered in the media. Now, it is the time to steer our attention towards the music in the film. Since the film has no dialogue while it follows the fairy-tale transformation of the smallest boy in the world, the scenes required a rather demanding musical expression.
Andreis, who is a well-known composer of powerful emotions,
successfully follows the personal and social transformation of a boy Bobo. Her music provides a three-dimensional pleasure as well as the key to understanding metaphors.
SEEbiz had the honour to listen to the whole soundtrack of the movie “Bobo”. Andreis manages to awaken the whole spectrum of emotions in a listener, which gives her film scores a precise and brilliant feel. From grief to tenderness, compassion, insurgency, excitement, the feeling of complete freedom and the supremacy, the undying strength of peace and finally reconciliation within their own existential habit.
Many of us, from today’s perspective of constant economic rivalry, hide our weaknesses and helplessness. Bobo (Original Motion Picture Music) remarkably communicates those haunting feelings and develops all the necessary soundscapes that delight the listener and fully support comprehension of the animated film.
The track “Mountains” inspired the strongest emotional response of mine, nevertheless, each of us has to find our own emotional explosion zone in this musical rhapsody and an artistic score of composer Andreis.
I wholeheartedly recommend that you listen to this soundtrack.
Author: kazaliste.hr, Tomislav Kurelec
“What made this show less stereotypical are some very original music solutions by composer Anita Andreis.”
Source (Croatian): https://mojtv.hr/m2/magazin/
In the category of music, Anita Andreis was awarded for music composed for film Bobo.
“In these days of electronic music, it was quite a refreshment to hear the classical film music, especially when it is in harmony with the nostalgic, supernatural story of the film. In a style of Erik Satie, some themes takes us to a childhood creating a sense of great pleasure “, jury explains.
Author: dr. sc. Irena Paulus, Cantus 197. June 2016.
Andreis’s music is “emotional with the intellectual depth which results in subliminal power that plunges into the narrative character of the film both with her haunting melancholic and ethereal expression or dense orchestral textures forming a rather brutal and aggressive experience”.
Music themes on the soundtrack spill one from another so the listener can not stop listening to them.
Action numbers such as Fire in the Village and the Death of a Black Man contain dense orchestral texture. The impression is as if several orchestras play simultaneously, each in their own tonality, each in a different harmonic and rhythmic environment. The experience is brutal and aggressive, a sound that even the greatest Hollywood composers such as Jerry Goldsmith and John William would not be ashamed of.
However, in the eyes of Hollywood producers (but not the audience!), Goldsmith and Williams are a bit out of fashion, which Anita Andreis is aware of. For this reason, Andreis offers her musical spirit, which is primarily ethereal but also follows the elements of contemporary streams in popular music. And even that, as it can be heard on a CD, can at some point change into something quite new and different.
This is rather usual for Anita, who explores the music world with the curiosity of a child and the wisdom of an experienced musician.
INTERVIEW – Lately I find myself listening to soundtracks more and more. Nonetheless, no matter how hard I try my ignorance remains huge and boils down to a narrow circle of composers whose names brightly shine on the golden Oscar statuettes. Aware of my shortcomings, I was referred to a brilliant film music composer. Anita has received recognition from around the world as a film music composer. And not only that, but she is also a singer-songwriter with exceptional vocal expression. Having done a little research on Anita, I realized that she is one of those modest types of an artist who prefer to let their works speak for them. Unpretentious as she is, I am sure that one day her music will garner the statuette for the Best Original Score. If you listen to her work on Soundcloud or at https://www.anitaandreis.com and you will soon realize what a musical talent she is and why the movie industry has recognized the quality of her work a long time ago.
SEEbiz: You were born and bred in Zagreb. I was instantly intrigued by your surname, I could not tell if it was your actual or stage name.
Andreis: The surname Andreis comes from Italy, where even today there is a place in the mountains by the name of Comune di Andreis. It was founded by noblemen who had been living there since the year 998. It is presumed that my ancestors from Italy arrived on the island of Korčula, in Vela Luka, where my father was born and where I used to spend all my childhood summers. The musical gene has always been present in the Andreis’ family, the most famous of them being Josip Andreis, a great Croatian musicologist and the author of a popular book The History of Music, which is used as a text-book at the Zagreb Music Academy.
SEEbiz: Where did the music background come from? Who or what is to blame?
Andreis: The first culprit was my dad, a great music lover. He played the guitar and the trumpet. His guitar or “the Old Gibson” as he used to call it, was my first instrument. As a child, I would discover it in secret every morning and after that, I began to learn it in guitar lessons and that love has never faded away. Later on, it shifted focus onto the piano. The second culprit was Basil Poledouris. When I heard the score to Conan, I completely fell in love and promised myself that that was what I would live for and that one day I too would stir such emotions in others.
SEEbiz: You composed your first song at the age of 9! Music became your world but it seems you did not have any inclinations towards conventional music education.
Andreis: The composition for two guitars was completed when I was 9. Before I learned how to read or write, I had created some shorter pieces. I even designed my own way of writing music in order not to forget my ideas. Precisely because of that spontaneous inspiration that took the form of music constantly playing in my head, one layer after another I uncovered the need to learn what I was missing in order to bring my ideas to fruition.
The music playing in my head always included the whole orchestra so for me as a child it was pretty difficult to remember the whole structure with its every segment, instrument, articulation, relationships between different parts. Thus I came to the conclusion that I needed to learn music theory and orchestration. It became my obsession and enabled me to imbibe an enormous amount of knowledge so quickly that the formal education system would have only held back my music passion. That is why I opted for private tutoring.
SEEbiz: You studied at the renowned and esteemed Berklee College of Music. A pretty demanding and self-disciplined path to music maturation, was it not?
Andreis: When you find your path in life then it rarely looks difficult to you. Berklee puts a great deal of focus on originality, improvisation and personal expression. Music theory covers classical and to larger extent jazz, and learning is designed so that you can do wonders in a relatively short time – this manner of studying fully corresponds with my personality. Right after passing the preliminary tests, I enrolled in the Production and Film Scoring Orchestration Specialization.
SEEbiz: You recorded your first album at the age of 19. Was it in a way a sign of destiny pointing you in the direction of film scoring?
Andreis: Yes, it was. It was the first album with 10 compositions, which I sent to many American Publishers. Some of the compositions ended up in classical radio stations’ charts, some were published as a compilation with other authors. I was looking for a professional critique and received excellent, constructive advice and support that I had not expected. When I was contacted by an agent from the William Morris Agency, who saw a great film composer potential in me, I began to build my professional career. Afterwards, I transferred to two music composers agencies.
SEEbiz: You received several important awards, too.
Andreis: They are important in terms of recognition. At the Croatian Animated Film Festival, I was given the award for best music for the film Guliver directed by Zdenko Bašić. I also received 6 international awards, some of them in film scoring competitions, some for songs. Although awards are nice, they tend to have a limiting effect. When you get an award for a film of a specific genre as a result, you are labelled as a composer for that particular genre. So for a time, all the offers you get are of a similar nature and I do not like to stroll through familiar terrain because it stops the creative juices flowing.
SEEbiz: You also collaborate in Croatian films. Are you happy with their quality?
Andreis: I think the quality of Croatian film is constantly growing. The sheer resourcefulness and creativity it takes to make a good film with such meagre budgets is praiseworthy and deserves respect. Talking about the collaborations in Croatian film, let me use this opportunity to inform you that the music for a wonderful Croatian movie Apprentice Lapitch directed by Silvije Petranović, is finished and is on its way to Vienna for the final sound mixing. You will be able to experience its positive and healing vibrations in cinemas from 7 November. You are cordially invited!
My collaboration with Zdenko Bašić began with his beautiful animated film Snow Story and continued with Guliver, an animated film which has received many awards and praise from the filmmaker. I also collaborated with director Romana Rožić on the film Such a Beautiful Day, composed music for a part of the Zagreb Stories omnibus directed by Nebojša Slijepčević, and so on. There are numerous radio and tv commercials, book trailers, etc. AT present, however, working on Croatian projects remains a rare exception.
SEEbiz: Does a film choose you or do you choose a film? What is in fact critical for you to accept a project? We are after all talking here about your emotions, creativity, expression…
Andreis: The rule thus far was that the film chooses me. The basic prerequisite for me to accept a collaboration is a “switch” that happens, a common resonance because then I know that it is a story I can contribute to. I am completely committed to my work 24/7, I become one with the film, I go into the background psychology of the characters, I look for the golden thread between the two functions of music, namely what it needs to express in terms of dramaturgy and its ability to give life to the invisible, which is just as important… All of this is a huge challenge which results in considerable depletion of physical, mental and emotional resources, so it is equally important for me to be adequately remunerated. I cannot worry about money if I am to do my absolute best, and I do not worry about it when I have it.
SEEbiz: While we are at the subject of emotions, I would like to know how the process of creating a film score flows. Do you watch some scenes and they inspire you or do you already get some inspiration from its synopsis, do you sometimes get writer’s block?
Andreis: I am very visual so images that support the story encourage my imagination and inspiration. With animated films, I have been known to perfectly guess the mood and atmosphere and even timeline just by looking at the storyboard.
Nevertheless, I am not an advocate of “psychic” composing based on a screenplay where feature films are concerned. By reading a screenplay you cannot get the feeling for the pulse of the film nor can you presume what the atmosphere and mood are going to be like at the end, not to mention the fact that casting and set design itself can change everything.
The process begins by watching the film several times and creating a mental outline for the entire soundtrack, all of the connected scenes or musical motifs and their logical time distribution (as a sign of excellent film direction). When all this is put in place, I take my artist’s brush and go into the creative process. It is necessary to discover the formula of a film and its prevailing instrumental colour as well as the main theme which clearly defines the direction, primary mood and the message. Very often the film “sings” to me its main theme and I know I got it right when the director with arms outstretched cries enthusiastically: “Yes, THAT’S my film!” This is followed by composing the other essential themes (for characters, symbols, situations) and actually working on each scene. After that, the music score needs to be prepared for the musicians, the recording process, etc.
Regarding the writer’s block, I think that it is something that is commonplace. There are days when it is impossible to write anything coherent, and then days when you are in an inspiration trance, you do not sleep, you do not eat, and you finish in a few days something that would objectively require at least two weeks or more to do. It is important to learn how to find inspiration when it seems there is none there. This can be trained (and works in 80% of cases) just like anything else.
The multi-talented musician Anita Andreis, in parallel with film music for projects around the world, has also entered the indie authorship. After successful singles, she is working on an album material. Much has changed in her life since I last interviewed her two years ago, which you will discover in this interview.
Do you think Croatia is a demotivating environment for the artist like yourself?
Anita Andreis: Yes and no. Since I make my living from projects and movies all around the world, I travel a lot and absorb different mentalities, cultures and energy during my collaborations, I almost do not feel like I live here.
Certainly, Croatia carries a heavy colour that has sadly become a characteristic of our people and I’m not immune to it, but it can not affect my musical expression or the way I create. A creative act is a process that is way beyond what one time or space may bring.
However, if you wonder do I fear not becoming mainstream in Croatia? Luckily, that is not my aim at all. I say luckily because, in a society where basic needs are unmet, there can be no involvement of the listener or interest towards more complex arts that require a higher level of attention and emotional engagement.
Author: Vanja Jambrovic, Gloss Magazine
’’Music Composer for Film successfully develops two careers, one in Croatia and another in Hollywood. She is a member of Venturetracks composers with other 7 notable composers from Europe and the USA. Her powerful orchestral music with rich textures and warm emotions always leave a strong impression on the audience.’’
Author: Kristina Bosno Newspaper: Jutarnji 2014
’’Film director Silvije Petranovic has been searching for the right music composer for months. Only when he was recommended a composer Anita Andreis, did he finally make his choice.
Anita reveals: “Director Silvije played me a few scenes from a movie and I knew right from the start what the movie needs. When I composed my first drafts for two scenes, music thrilled the director right from the start and I was immediately offered to be a composer for “The Brave Adventures of a Little Shoemaker”.
For some scenes, mainly action ones my approach was similar to the one I use when writing for Hollywood movies. Director then said: “Whatever fits the Hollywood movie will fit mine as well!”
‘’I will start with complementing choreographer Leo Mujic, Light artist Thomas Mika and Composer Anita Andreis who undoubtedly created an impressive work of art, for this poetic dance show.’’
CROATIAN NATIONAL RADIO Zvukopis is the radio show in which Dr Irena Paulus presents the music that was created to another artistic expression - film, theatre, and musical.
LIST OF THE MUSIC PLAYED IN THIS EPISODE: ANITA ANDREIS: Selected themes from animated film "Gulliver" ANITA ANDREIS: Selected themes composed for the ballet show "The Silence of my Murmur" ANITA ANDREIS: Selected themes composed for the ballet show "Ghost" Lenght: 54 minutes
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into film/tv scoring?
Inspired by the work of both classical and film music composers, I began composing at a young age, then slowly transforming my passion into a career. Firstly, I’ve been composing for short films, commercials and documentaries and afterwards it naturally led to bigger productions where I scored for feature movies, ballet and theatre shows, collaborating with directors and producers worldwide. I was already on my film composing path, when I completed my Master studies of „Orchestration for Film and TV“ and being awarded by the Scholarship of Michel Camilo, as a most promising Berklee College of Music student with exceptional achievements.
However, over a career, my musical journey expanded into the territory of a singer-songwriter as well. As a singer-songwriter with a clearly defined vision of a slightly “different” sound (partially because of the influence of my film music work), I quickly realised I have to improve my song production skills if I want to replicate the sound I’ve imagined. So, this area pushed me further into music production itself, creative mixing and mastering techniques (and focus to subtle nuances of the sound itself, rather than music solely) which, after initial “pain”, proved to be rewarding for writing music for movies too.
What is your niche or speciality, that makes you stand out from the rest of the audio professionals? I would certainly mention your dramaturgy instinct!
I agree. Dramaturgy instinct that digs deep into the audience’s subconscious with music and which also helps me to understand and recognise director/producer’s vision in a very precise way is crucial!
Every film composer must also have a rich musical experience and knowledge of music theory, scoring techniques, orchestration etc. but there is one special ingredient that reflects upon our music, that is often overlooked. It’s an ability to understand, pinpoint or even identify with any given emotion/mood/atmosphere needed for a scene. We have to, in a way, understand the vastness of different “shades” of a rather rich human emotional world to be able to do that. To understand someone else’s vision is not as a cerebral process as it is intuitive. Since one can’t go beyond one’s own evolution, it’s something that observing life, people, world and yourself teaches you and only then you can detect and implement it into music with that level of precision.
Can you give us a brief summary of the equipment you use regularly?
RME Fireface UFX sound card. My favourite mic is Rode Classic II paired with Avalon 737sp preamp. I’m still loyal to my Dynaudio BM15A studio monitors, but lately, even more so to the dryer and a bit cleaner Focal Solo 6 be. I adore my Dali Helicon MK2 speakers. It’s when I switch from each pair of my studio monitors to audiophilic Dali and not hear a significant difference in sound, that I know the mix might be ok. I use Fatar and Yamaha Clavinova keyboards and digital pianos, Electric guitar Tokai Love Rock, high-quality Japanese replica of a ’58-’60 Gibson Les Paul, Levinson acoustic guitar, few different pairs of AKG and Ultrasone Pro 900 headphones etc.
What are your go-to plug-ins and software?
For DAW, Steinberg’s Cubase 10. East West Hollywood Diamond Orchestra for precise control over every line, Project Sam’s Symphobia and Orchestral Essentials etc. for quick idea sketches before the themes are approved. Output and Heavocity for adding strength, pulse and underlying electronic; Omnisphere 2 and Keyscapes pianos; True Strike & Storm Drums 3 for orchestral percussion; UAD (Neve, Studer, 1176) & Fab Filter plugins for mixing. Oh and Quantum Leap Spaces and… this could be a very long list, but these are the regulars.
When do you find you are most creative?
I am enchanted by the process of creating music for films, so whenever I watch a movie that I’m about to score, I get that beautiful intuitive chemistry that drives me along through many sleepless nights. Nighttime is inspiring by itself also.
Inspiration is always present, nevertheless, we have to choose to connect to it (nature, meditation or whatever may decrease a mental outcome-oriented chatter helps). I noticed when life brings its own practicalities into the main focus, it may appear as a temporary loss of connection to creativity, but it’s all the matter of where our mind is. You can choose that. Deadlines teach you (by force!) to choose your mental state and to dive into a creative state on will. It’s basically switching from one brain hemisphere to another. It can be practised.
What is your usual process for creating audio content for ballet films etc.?
For the film, it all starts with watching it again and again. Sometimes I find the right course straight-away, but even then, I continue to examine different approaches, until sure that what I’m creating genuinely belongs to the picture. Harmonies, melodies, choice of instrumentation colours, dynamics, sound, texture, pace, silence… I allow myself to experiment and play with these ideas quite a lot, often prolonging this phase of the process for pure enjoyment (and accidentally creating a more varied material that often ends up being used too).
The first step is defining a harmony/melody on a piano, even if another instrument is going to lead the way in a final version. It is for the purpose of connecting creative chaos with intellectual clarity that will certainly be needed for later phases. When harmony/melody/pace is defined, I then search for the right colour of the instrumentation. I never send my piano sketches to the director if I don’t plan to use the piano in a final version. No one can visualise (audiolise?) the exact vibration of the sound in composer’s head, so it’s important to make the first sketch as close to it as possible, but to do it in a fast manner for it might be refused or in case live orchestra will perform it, there is no need to spend hours into creating a perfect mock-up before the theme is approved.
I always start by writing the main theme. The main theme reflects the main mood and atmosphere of the whole movie and often employs (sometimes hidden) motives and segments that will be used for protagonists or peak moments or/and opening. The main theme is the most important “test” of whether composer truly connected with the director’s vision, hence is the most tricky moment in a collaboration. If they don’t react with over-excitement, it’s not quite right. If they react with “Yes! Now, THIS is my movie!” that’s a good sign.
The theatre is a different challenge, where a script and quality conversation with the director is the whole ground-base of input. Also, attending rehearsals to detect the pace and the sounds of voices of the actors. But, it’s a completely different process since usually I don’t even get to see the final scenography before I start composing and being mostly inspired by visuals, I really have to use my imagination to get myself in the right mood for the show.
Are there any particular secrets to your creativity?
I used to think creativity is a sort of a mystical gift from the unknown, but now I see it simply as a by-product of being in a present moment. Nevertheless, in this rushed world that’s rather easily challenged, so I often put myself off social networking for periods of time, avoiding the news and whatever might provoke fear and negativity (or simply too much needless information), or in neuroscience terms – when our amygdala fires it inhibits pre-frontal cortex and creativity as well, so I just stay away from it and creativity naturally arises.
It’s funny because for business it’s good to be around all the time, but for deep dedicating composing process it’s not. It’s like joggling with this contradicting phases for me. It works.
Do you have any audio creation techniques that resulted in something interesting?
I love emphasising subtleties in a sound.
Basically, what would naturally be almost inaudible, for instance, in case of a piano – piano scratches, pedal sounds, keys clicks I extract into a different audio track and then put it in a large room, removing the attack slightly, then add a bit of distortion and again more space to breathe. It adds interesting atmospheric noise and undefinable spacious spark to the original sound, while not sounding “reverbly” at all. imperfect and natural. I also love to play with adding trashy distortions to my piano. The result doesn’t sound distorted, but rather warm,
Another technique for adding some warm imperfections (and my personal space atmosphere) is playing my music on Dali speakers, recording it and then blend it with the original sound. Or singing through guitar preamp and distortion and get interesting effects no one would ever connect with my voice.
Not that innovative, but important to cherish, is to allow music a natural breathing pace by slight tempo variations. Besides that, of course, everything should be played (instead of using note-input), even when velocity don’t reflect dynamics (in some sample libraries that’s the case), it has to be played by our fingers to form the right sound (combining it with the expression pedal). I believe magic is in the appreciation of the tiniest of details.
Any specific “lessons learned” on a project that you could share?
Each project teaches me a lesson of some sort and all the lessons inter-wine into one great experience that improves each next project. Latest lessons were more about finding the right approach to different personalities of my collaborators, than anything technical.
However, sometimes I’m being reminded of basics.
For example, how important is to grasp a clarity of who is the boss on a project and if possible to work with him/her directly, be it a producer or director or a music supervisor.
This is especially important when all collaborators don’t share precisely the same vision of the outcome, which is quite often the case (if we go really deep, which we do with music).
Any tips, hints or motivational speeches for the listeners of Zvukopis and aspiring young composers?
First and foremost, I’d love to serve as a constant reminder of artistic playfulness. Taking things too seriously leads to harsh judgements and a blockage, rather in higher artistic achievement, no matter how hard we try. This also applies to following the rules too strictly. Rules came from art and not the other way around, anyway.
Some artists distinguish their own from commissioned work. I think that’s a mistake. Everything you create is yours and no one has ever forbidden anyone to express oneself. One just has to find a clever workaround when faced with new frames and obstacles. That’s growth! There’s always a way to create something we personally find valuable which also satisfies the client. The adventuresome search for win-win sound solutions takes a bit more time though. But where’s a joy in generic and safe approach?
Anyhow, with an adventurous approach, we may stumble upon invention and discovery. No matter how small discovery is, it may lighten up the whole perspective upon whatever our assignment is and produce a result in much higher quality. (Not to be misunderstood with overly intellectual attempts to create something original on the cost of authenticity and often, beauty.)
In addition to beautiful locations and good acting, film music is what makes this movie so poetic. Anita Andreis has composed an excellent soundtrack.
Interesting information is that she borrowed the dog for a week to directly experience and remind herself of a connection between a human and an animal. She did it in order to write music themes with the right mood and emotion for scenes with the dog Bundash.
Author: Andreja Bratic Newspaper: Globus / Culture: Ventilator
Anita has collaborated as a music composer on a feature film ‘’The Kid: Chamaco’’, a drama from 2009 starring Martin Sheen and Kirk Harris, on a short film ‘’Life in Print’’ by Bartley William Taylor while she also composed music for a Croatian Omnibus Feature Film “Zagreb Stories’’ directed by Igor Mirkovic, Branko Istvanic, Zvonimir Juric and Nebojsa Slijepcevic and ballet directed by Leo Mujic.