Pre course thoughts from Aidan Goetzee.

We are days away from the 2015 Sound and Music summer course. I’ve more or less chosen the films that the students are going to be working with. Each person in my group is going to be working with a different film and I have to get the variety right. Choosing and editing them takes quite a bit of time. They must be 3-5 minutes in length must have something to say, with some kind of narrative or journey.

Right now I’m working my way through writing the ‘briefs’ – this is what the director of a film wants the composer to do with their film and is often the biggest shock that budding film composers experience when they take on a commission; finding out that their work has got to do what the director wants – it must ‘serve’ the film. So I am effectively standing in for the film-makers in writing a brief; how the students respond to these is always a bit of an unknown and always generates quite a lot of creative energy. Of course the music and sound is a big part and the great thing about the course is seeing the films literally come to life through the music. I’m always knocked for six hearing what the students come up with. They’ll be working closely with a group of first-rate musicians and outstanding technical assistants, recording in the studio, processing on the computer and using all the software they need to generate sounds, letting their imagination run free. So, although our aim is to make the film ‘work’, they are going to dig deep into playing techniques, sound creation and manipulation.

There is a great event at the end of the week when we present their compositions in a concert with the musicians playing live to film and synced to pre-recorded tracks. Yes, quite a bit of pressure and great experience.

Now back to those briefs…