Interview with Brand X Music 作曲家专访

Author: Clothilde Lebrun

Brand X Music 是由 John Sponsler 和 Tom Gire 创建的成功的预告片音乐目录。他们的音乐曾出现在许多大片电影预告片中,例如 哈利波特 或 蝙蝠侠侠影之谜。他们刚刚发行了他们的第一张公开专辑,  The Best of Brand X Music您可以在Facebook、  Youtube 和 Twitter上 找到Brand X Music

Trailer Music News:可以介绍一下Brand X Music吗?您何时以及如何创办公司的?

Brand X Music:  2002年我们正式推出了目录,包括1-3卷。这些音乐几乎完全是我们在过去三年中编写的定制预告片乐谱的副产品。广告活动结束后,我们有很多非常酷的音乐,而 Brand X Music 成为了它的完美出路。

TMN:这美妙音乐背后的作曲家是谁?

BXM: 在最初的十年里,每首歌曲都是由 John Sponsler 和 Tom Gire 创作的。2008 年,Josh Lynch 加入我们,担任我们的助理兼首席技术专家,但也成长为另一位作家。

TMN:你们两个是怎么认识的?

BXM: 约翰和汤姆是通过一个共同的工程师朋友认识的。当时,John 正在为“B”级电影和电视节目配乐,而 Tom 一直在为亚洲流行音乐市场做混音和编曲工作。约翰接到一个人的电话,他正在为一部名为 黑客帝国的开创性新电影制作预告片。当时,从来没有一部电影看起来像 《黑客帝国》,电影制作人也希望为该活动采用不同的音乐方法。这是我们一起开展的第一个大型活动,也是我们自此以来持续时间最长的活动之一。我们在工作室里花费了无数个小时进行处理、反转、脉冲和处理,以尝试捕捉与这部电影的独特风格相得益彰的声音。

对于预告片,预告片的制作人让我们创作了一个名为“Eliminator”的声音设计作品。发布的预告片没有对话或音效,只有音乐!您可以在此处查看预告片。

TMN:你制作过哪些预告片?你经常做定制提示吗?

BXM: 好吧,在《黑客帝国》活动取得成功之后  ,自定义配乐电影预告片的大门就敞开了。从那时起,我们为 100 多部主要电影活动评分,包括 《美丽心灵》、 《最后的武士》、 《终结者 3》、  《特洛伊》 、  《极地特快》、 《蝙蝠侠》、  《 300勇士》和所有八部哈利波特电影。近年来,我们减少了自定义乐谱的数量,以便将更多时间投入到图书馆中。但是,我们认为进行一定数量的自定义评分很重要,这样才能保持最新状态并处于我们行业的前沿。

如需更完整的列表,您可以 在此处潜伏。

TMN:你所有的音乐都是现场录制的吗?你在哪里记录它?

BXM: 大部分音乐都是混合样本和现场音乐家创作的。我们有三个相同的作曲装置。我们的主要写作室位于圣莫尼卡的 Remote Control Productions。此外,我们家里有相同的写作室。所有曲目都是使用合成器编写和完全实现的,然后我们决定将增加或替换的内容。我们能够在我们的远程控制设施中录制配音和独奏,并在西雅图、布拉格和洛杉矶录制管弦乐队和合唱团。

TMN:Brand X Music 与Magic Box Music有何不同?

BXM:  Brand X Music 是图书馆实体。Magic Box Music 是约翰和汤姆的制作公司。除了为 Brand X Music 作曲并成为其合作伙伴外,我们还以 Magic Box Music 的名义为电影和其他项目担任作曲家。

TMN:你有特别的灵感来源吗?

BXM: 嗯,当然是我们这个时代伟大的电影作曲家:Williams、Zimmer、Newman、Elfman、Powell、Rabin 等等。多年来,我们有机会与我们的几位英雄共事,他们的才华、情感和职业道德在许多层面上都给了我们灵感。除了那些人之外,我们还深受一些流行/摇滚人的影响。Trent Reznor 总是在写一些很酷和有创意的东西。Celldweller、Coldplay 和 Linkin Park 是极具电影魅力的乐队。我们也受到所有在卧室工作的年轻创意人的启发,他们打破所有规则,将音乐推向新的方向。

TMN:你作曲时最大的挑战是什么?

BXM: 作曲最大的挑战是打破沉默。一开始,每个作曲家都面临着同样的挑战,那就是我们都是从一张白纸开始的。这个过程可能既痛苦又令人羞愧,因为随着截止日期的临近、计算机崩溃和灵感的减弱,你想知道你是否会得到一个不错的想法。当你看到像约翰·威廉姆斯和汉斯·季默这样的人自我怀疑并非常努力地做他们所做的事情时,就会有远见。因此,您开始将自己完全投入到计算机中,而没有过多考虑自己在做什么。当你的想法用完时,你会清理它,看看是否还有什么值得开发的。对于每一本新的 Brand X 卷,我们最终都希望带来一些新鲜的东西。我们尝试为每个新专辑赋予独特的声音,这是以前从未有过的。这是一个永远无法满足的挑战……一个永远无法完全实现的目标;但这正是我们所做的事情如此引人注目并让我们不断奋斗的原因。

TMN:你什么时候决定向公众发行专辑的?

BXM: 从历史上看,我们的行业一直是“仅限内部人士”。随着我们意识到越来越多的公司发布公开版本,很明显我们也该这样做了。一位歌迷 (Derek Hendrickx) 对我们发行这张专辑的方式和原因提出了真正的意见。我们实际上都是“艺术家”。编写预告片音乐的不利方面是,我们制作的曲目大多数人在为其创作的电影之外永远听不到。我们所做的事情的匿名性有时会非常具有挑战性。整个职业生涯都可以用来创造价值数十亿美元的票房,而没有任何业绩记录或任何信用。随着预告片音乐的流行,向你们展示我们的音乐是一个绝佳的机会,可以与一群喜欢我们所做的事情的人建立联系,而不仅仅是作为用户,

TMN:你是如何为这张专辑选择线索的?

BXM: 我们查看了所有粉丝在 YouTube 上制作的视频,看看哪些曲目最受欢迎,然后将其与我们自己的一些最爱进行平衡。这并不容易,无论您多么努力,总会有人说: “为什么 ________ 不在那里,这是我最喜欢的曲目!” 我们希望我们至少涵盖了一些要点,但是,嘿,总会有下一个版本!

TMN :您是否为The Best of Brand X Music编辑或重新编排曲目?

BXM: 是的,不是很彻底,但我们想让这张 CD 成为一种完整的聆听体验,而不仅仅是目录。我们花了很多时间在专辑的排序上,并在需要的地方重新混音和编辑曲目,使它们流畅地融合在一起。我们为这里的一切感到非常自豪,希望每个人都喜欢它!

TMN: The Best of Brand X Music的线索用于哪些活动?

BXM: 嗯,这些曲目中的大部分都被多次使用,但此版本中的一些自定义乐谱包括:“复仇者联盟的崛起”,为 蝙蝠侠侠影之谜而写;“龙之子”,为 哈利·波特与 混血王子而写;和 “无所畏惧”,为 300 人而写 ,仅举几例。然后是拥有多个许可的目录作品,如“带来痛苦”  用于 Fright Night、  Inglorious Bastards、  Taken和 Beowulf; “不可避免”,用于 天使与魔鬼, 守望者, 波斯王子、约拿海克斯和 女巫季节;“失乐园”,用于 来世、300、王国、杀手和 救援黎明; “All or Nothing”,用于暮光之城:破晓第 1 部分和 哈利波特与死亡圣器第 1 部分;“Spawn”,用于 三月的 Ides、地球停转之日、地狱男爵 2和 Jumper。CD 上还有一些未被广泛使用的提示,但我们喜欢它们在音乐上所说的内容,并且也希望将它们包括在内。

TMN:你对未来有什么特别的计划吗?接下来会发行哪些专辑?

Brand X Music: 我们正处于Brand X 第 15 卷的收尾阶段 ,并且已经在计划第 16 卷。至于公开发布,我们会看看这个进展如何,如果反响好,我们打算在未来继续公开发布!

TMN:你还有什么想和我们分享的吗?

Brand X Music: 我们只想感谢大家(TMN 和广大粉丝)对我们所做工作的支持和热爱。虽然我们确实拥有有史以来最伟大的工作,但这是真正个人的艰苦工作——我们很多人都投入了音乐。当它在全世界受到赞赏和分享时,它会让我们继续写作变得更加甜蜜!

想来一点?

此外,我们在整个宣传方面都是新手,感谢预告片音乐社区接受和传播这个版本!

TMN: 如果预告片音乐作曲家是超级英雄,他会拥有什么样的超能力?

Brand X Music:他必须不受拒绝,能够靠咖啡因、糖和小睡生存,拥有钢铁般的耳朵,并且永远不会——永远不会谱出一首低沉的旋律。

TMN:非常感谢你们,伙计们!

Brand X Music is a successful trailer music catalogue created by John Sponsler and Tom Gire. Their music has been featured in many blockbuster movie trailers, such as Harry Potter or Batman Begins. They just released their very first public album, The Best of Brand X Music. You can find Brand X Music on FacebookYoutube and Twitter.

Trailer Music News: Can you introduce Brand X Music? When and how did you start the company?

Brand X Music: In 2002 we officially launched the catalogue, which consisted of volumes 1-3. This music was almost entirely the byproduct of custom trailer scores that we had written over the previous three years. We had a lot of really cool music that was just sitting around after the campaigns were over and Brand X Music became the perfect outlet for it.

TMN: Who are the composers behind this wonderful music?

BXM: For the first ten years, every track was composed by John Sponsler and Tom Gire. In 2008 Josh Lynch came on board as our assistant and chief tech guru, but has grown to become another writer as well.

TMN: How did the two of you meet?

BXM: John and Tom met through a mutual engineer friend. At that time, John was scoring “B” movies and TV shows and Tom had been doing re-mix and arranging work for the Asian pop market. John got a call from a guy who was producing a trailer for a ground breaking new film called The Matrix. At the time, there had never been a movie that looked like The Matrixand the filmmakers wanted a different musical approach for the campaign as well. This, our first big campaign together, was also one of the longest we have been on since. We spent countless hours in the studio mangling, reversing, pulsing, and processing to try and capture a sound that complemented the unique style of this film.

For the teaser trailer, the trailer’s producer had us create a sound design piece called “Eliminator”. The trailer was released with no dialogue or sound effects, just the music! You can view the teaser here.

TMN: What trailers have you worked on? Do you often do custom cues?

BXM: Well, after the success of The Matrix campaign, the door to custom scoring movie trailers swung wide open. Since then we have scored over 100 major film campaigns including A Beautiful MindThe Last SamuraiTerminator 3TroyThe Polar ExpressBatman Begins300, and all eight Harry Potter films. In recent years, we have cut back on the number of custom scores we do in order to devote more time to the library. However, we believe that it is important to do a certain amount of custom scoring just to stay current and on the cutting edge of our industry.

For a more complete list, you can lurk here.

TMN: Is all of your music recorded live? Where do you record it?

BXM: Most of the music is created with a blend of samples and live musicians. We have three identical composing rigs. Our main writing room is located at Remote Control Productions in Santa Monica. In addition, we have identical writing rooms at our homes. All the tracks are written and fully realized using the synths, and then we decide what will be augmented or replaced. We are able to record overdubs and soloists at our Remote Control facility, and have recorded orchestra and choir in Seattle, Prague, and Los Angeles.

TMN: How is Brand X Music different from Magic Box Music?

BXM: Brand X Music is the library entity. Magic Box Music is John and Tom’s production company. In addition to writing for and being partners in Brand X Music, we work as composers for film and other projects under the name of Magic Box Music.

TMN: Do you have particular sources of inspiration?

BXM: Well, for sure the great film composers of our time:  Williams, Zimmer, Newman, Elfman, Powell, Rabin, and so on. We have had an amazing opportunity to work with several of our heroes over the years, and their talents, sensibilities, and work ethics are an inspiration on so many levels. In addition to those guys, we are also influenced heavily by some of the more pop/rock guys. Trent Reznor is always writing something cool and innovative. Celldweller, Coldplay, and Linkin Park are bands that have a very cinematic appeal. We are also inspired by all of the young creative guys that are working from their bedrooms breaking all the rules and pushing music in new directions.

TMN: What is your biggest challenge when you compose?

BXM: The biggest challenge to composing is breaking the silence. At the onset, every composer has the same challenge, and that is, we all start with a blank page. The process can be both agonizing and humbling because as deadlines loom, computers crash, and inspiration wanes, you wonder if you will ever get a decent idea off the ground. Perspective comes when you witness guys like John Williams and Hans Zimmer having self doubts and working really hard to do what they do. So you begin to empty yourself into the computer without thinking too much about what you are doing. When you run out of ideas, you clean it up and see if there’s anything left that’s worth developing. For each new Brand X volume we ultimately want to bring something fresh to the table. We try to give each new volume a unique sound, something that hasn’t been done before. It is a challenge that will never be met… a goal that can never be fully achieved; yet it’s what makes what we do so compelling and keeps us striving.

TMN: When did you decide to release an album to the public?

BXM: Well historically our industry has been for ‘insiders only’. As we became aware of more and more companies putting out public releases, it became obvious that it was time for us to do so as well. A fan (Derek Hendrickx) was really vocal in how and why we would release this album. We are in all reality ‘artists’. The down side of writing trailer music is that we make tracks that most people will never hear outside of the films they were created for. The anonymity of what we do can be very challenging at times. An entire career can be spent creating scores for billions of dollars worth of box office, without any track record or credit whatsoever. With the huge rise in the popularity of trailer music, putting out our music to you guys is an amazing opportunity to connect with a group of people who enjoy what we do, not just as users, but as aficionados!

TMN: How did you select cues for this album?

BXM: We looked at all the fan made videos on YouTube and saw which tracks were the most popular, and balanced that with some of our own favorites. It was not easy, and no matter how hard you try, there is going to be someone who says: “Why isn’t ________ on there, it’s my favorite track!” We hope that we covered at least some of the essentials, but hey, there is always the next release!

TMN: Did you edit or rearrange tracks for The Best of Brand X Music?

BXM: Yes, not drastically, but we wanted to make the CD a complete listening experience, not just a catalog. We spent lots of time on the sequencing of the album, and where needed, re-mixed and edited tracks to make them flow together. We are really proud of what is here, and hope that everyone really enjoys it!

TMN: What campaigns were the cues of The Best of Brand X Music used for?

BXM: Well, most of these pieces have been used multiple times, but some of the custom scores on this release include: “Rise of the Avenger”, written for Batman Begins; “Spawn of the Dragon”, written for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince; and “Fearless”, written for 300 just to name a few. Then there are the catalogue pieces that have had multiples licenses like “Bring the Pain”, used on Fright NightInglorious BastardsTaken, and Beowulf; “Inevitable”, used on Angels & DemonsWatchmenPrince of Persia, Jonah Hex, and Season of the Witch; “Paradise Lost”, used on Hereafter, 300, The Kingdom, Hitman, and Rescue Dawn; “All or Nothing”, used onTwilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1; “Spawn”, used on Ides of March, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Hellboy 2, and Jumper. There are also cues on the CD that haven’t been used as much, but we love them for what they say musically, and wanted to include them as well.

TMN: Do you have particular plans for the future? Which albums will you release next?

Brand X Music: We are in the finishing stages of Brand X Volume 15, and are already planning Volume 16. As far as public releases, we will see how this one goes, and if it is received well, it is our intention to continue with public releases in the future!

TMN: Anything else you would like to share with us?

Brand X Music: We just want to thank everyone (TMN, and the fans at large) for your support and love of what we do. Although it is true that we have the greatest job ever, it is hard work that is really personal – a lot of ourselves go into the music. When it is appreciated and shared throughout the world, it makes it all that much sweeter for us to keep on writing!

Want Some?

Also, we are new at the whole publicity side of this, and are thankful to the trailer music community for embracing and spreading the word of this release!

TMNIf a trailer music composer was a superhero, what kind of superpowers would he have?

Brand X Music: He must be impervious to rejection, able to survive on caffeine, sugar and catnaps, have ears of steel, and never – ever compose a melody that resolves down.

TMN: Thank you very much, guys!

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