Above and Beyond
I discovered the wonderful world of music for theatre. It seems my love for music was not going anywhere […]
Our writing about the world of visual arts allowed us to interview so many amazing artists, but this time, we thought that we ought to invite a handful of musical composers to share their stories, too. One of the first people we chose was Eyal Goldstein, a freelance music composer for films, documentaries, games and more. For the last 8 years, he’s been producing original music & specializing in orchestral compositions.
In the interview, he told us that,
Ever since I was a kid, I was always fascinated with cinematic music. I remember watching my favourite films and trying desperately to re-create that full orchestral sound with my very old, tiny Yamaha keyboard. I guess these days I am still influenced by the great film composers of the ’80s and ’90s, which is reflected in my work […]
We’ve listened to a whole host of Eyal’s compositions and discovered soundscapes that can be incredibly tense, serene, or maybe even inspirational. Whatever the director is trying to achieve with each scene, this composer will always be there to support it through great sound.
Keep on reading if you’d like to find out more about how Eyal got into this, what challenges he had to overcome, or what he plans to do next!
Tell us about your time as a music composer so far.
My adventure with music began at the age of 9, back home in Israel, when my parents made me take piano lessons – since that day, there was no stopping me (thanks mum and dad!).
I discovered very quickly that I can learn how to play songs and melodies by simply listening to them. I then started to develop a love for composing my own short compositions. Growing up, music, for me, was always considered as a hobby and never a full-on profession. Instead, at the age of 23 I decided to study acting for 3 years, but by doing so, I discovered the wonderful world of music for theatre. It seems my love for music was not going anywhere.
Years later, I moved to London and this is when my music career really started to bloom. I started developing my own musical signature, learning more and more, gaining experience and basically growing as a composer.
Eyal Gold – Music Composer
What is your musical background and what kind of influences do you bring to a project?
I am mainly a self-taught musician. I learned the basics of piano-playing as a kid but most of the things I know today, I learned on my own through years of trials and (many) errors. These days, knowledge is everywhere. It has never been easier to pick up a book, google whatever it is you want to learn or even watch a you tube tutorial. Knowledge is there and it’s accessible – use it whenever you can.
Ever since I was a kid, I was always fascinated with cinematic music. I remember watching my favourite films and trying desperately to re-create that full orchestral sound with my very old, tiny Yamaha keyboard.
I guess these days I am still influenced by the great film composers of the 80’s and 90’s which is reflected in my work.
These days, you can’t be too picky about your projects, but I would say that I specialize in big cinematic orchestral compositions, and this is where the influence of those composers can really be heard in my music.
Caminandes 3 – Llamigos – Submission for the Indie Film Music Contest
What does the life of a composer look like in today’s day and age?
These are crazy times, and in order to survive, we all need to adapt to the new reality. My typical “work day” can look different every single day. I would usually review my on-going projects and prioritize them (which project is the most urgent one, which is the most complex one, and so on).
In days when I do have a film to score, I would probably prioritize the film and start working on it first. In other days, I will probably work on on-going projects like writing tracks for different music libraries I work with.
I always try to keep busy and keep creating and producing new music, even at times where there are no new projects at all. I find that these are the best times to let the creative juices flow and just go crazy – that’s when I get really creative (not always though).
Could you tell us a little bit about the first track/song you composed and were genuinely proud of?
It’s always funny for me to listen to music I wrote years ago… back then, I thought that track was the best think I’ve ever done, but obviously today, it just sounds… well, let’s just say “not good.”
I remember it clearly, that track had no title, I just named it “My composition”. It was supposed to be a cinematic orchestral track. It started off with a very simple melody which I was desperately trying to build on by adding more and more musical phrases… it was kind of a mess. But! I couldn’t be prouder of myself for doing that. I remember I used to listen to it over and over, thinking to myself “wow, I actually created this!” This for me was the moment I realized I could really do this.
What kind of equipment do you typically use to compose your music? Please walk us through your workflow, I’m sure most of our readers aren’t all that familiar with what goes into composing a new song.
I create all my music using a “Komplete Kontrol” keyboard (like a small piano) that is connected via MIDI to my sound card. The track itself is created in a digital audio workstation (or DAW). I personally use one that is called Cubase.
In this DAW I record every instrument (using my MIDI keyboard) separately. So, for example, I will start with a piano melody, on top of that I will add a string section, on top of that I will add the brass section, and so on. I use high-end virtual instruments which were recorded live (so if I play “Do, Re, Mi” on my keyboard, we will hear the violin section, for example, plays “Do, Re, Mi”).
It is all very technical but eventually quite simple when you break it down.
After setting up my virtual workplace, I watch the scene I need to score and start to analyse what is happening there, dramatically. I then try to figure out what sort of music will enhance the drama in the scene. The purpose of the score, among other things, is to help lead the viewer to feel certain emotions in regards to what is happening on the screen. There are many different ways to achieve that, but I find that having a conversation with the director of the film, helps me understand his/her vision and therefore helps me choose the right way of composing the music for the scene.
Do you like the sound of Vox Groovy? If the answer is yes, don’t hesitate to engage in sonic adventures.
Mixing & Mastering is provided by Groovy Services.
A Wish Coming True
The connection between music and visual art—such as film, painting and games—has become so clear now. How do you see this connection yourself? What are some of the messages you want people to find in your work?
Film music is as important as any other element that goes into creating a movie. Lighting, set design, actors, make-up, music, etc. Take one of these elements out of the equation and you get a completely different scene. As I mentioned before, music helps lead the viewer to feel certain emotions. I think, when used correctly, music certainly enhances the existing drama (or comedy) that is taking place in a scene. Think of you favourite film ever. Now think of your favourite scene from this film, that one scene that makes you feel all the right feelings. Now try to imagine that scene with no music. I would imagine it would look quite different.
Music adds a different, deeper level to a scene. One that cannot be felt by seeing pictures or colours. I think film music is an inseparable part of the art of modern cinema.
Many artists we interviewed told us about how they were influenced by movies or games, especially from childhood. What are some of the most significant influences on your musical production?
As I mentioned before, I was heavily influenced by the great film composers from the 80’s and 90’s such as John Williams, Danny Elfman, Alan Silvestri, Jerry Goldsmith and many more. As a kid I also watched many of the famous Disney musicals, all composed by Alan Menken, and was heavily influenced by the way the story was told with such a magical and captivating music, with Broadway-esque influences.
I was obsessed with the cinema and especially soundtracks – those magical, adventurous, sometimes scary, thrilling tunes that made the cinematic experience complete. Whether it’s a small quirky soundtrack or a full massive orchestra – the film’s score will take you further and deeper into the adventure unfolding on your screen.
Tell us about the biggest challenge you were met with when working on one of your projects. What was it and how did you overcome it?
In the early stages of my career, I was chosen to be a “shadow composer” for an L.A based studio who was hired to score a high-end video game which was based on a big blockbuster film. Needless to say, that more than excited, I was terrified! But I was determined to try and deliver the best music I could.
They only needed 1 minute of music but they asked me to do many different things, in an extremely short period of time using many different technical terms, which back then, I did not understand. At all. I panicked and decided to tell them that they got the wrong guy for this project. But having signed the contract already, I decided to see it through. This is where help from colleagues and online you tube tutorials came in to my rescue. I taught myself all the technical terms I needed to know in order to complete this project on time, as well as some practical techniques. It was a stressful but invaluable experience!
What’s next for Eyal Goldstein?
I would say that I’m still on my way. As a musician I strive to constantly grow and learn as much as I can. There is always more to learn. Always. Gain more experience, meet more people, learn more techniques. I would say that as much as this industry can be tough, it is also extremely rewarding. At the end of the day, I get to do what I love and when you do what you love, the result will always be satisfying.
I had the amazing opportunity to work with some awesome people, on fascinating projects – from business web-pages, through war films, to epic nature documentaries. Each and every project taught me something new about the craft of music composition, dealing with different challenges and over-coming those frustrating times when you’re simply, completely stuck. I truly wish and hope that I would have many more opportunities such as these in the future and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to score the next big summer blockbuster. It’s important to dream.
By Vox Groovy staff writer;
All media used with permission by the artist
© Eyal Goldstein or respective copyright holders