Composer Spotlight - Isin Eray
Welcome back to the our latest edition of composer spotlight, the blog series in which we speak with emerging composers around the globe about their creative processes. In todays edition, we speak with London-based composer Isin Eray. Check out the full article below!
1. Can you give us a short summary of your musical background and how you became a composer? My musical journey began at the age of 5 where my parents discovered I had worked out “Twinkle Twinkle little star” on my tiny Casio keyboard which I loved and was my fave toy! they decided to introduce me to piano lessons and this is where it all began!
I was always making up little pieces on my keyboard and later on in my life at secondary school I composed my first hand written score for piano, cello, violin, voice and recorder called “Rivering” this piece was selected to be performed at a central London venue. Hearing my composition played live was an indescribable feeling from then I realised how much I wanted to continue composing. When people asked me want I wanted to be when I was older I always said “ Famous Composer” Later on I pursued a music degree at the London College of Music and Media specialising in composition. During degree years I fell in love with film music and I scored my first short film “A couple of Coffees” by Vlad martins a talented film director whom gave me an opportunity to score the original music to he’s film. My passion for film music grew and now when people ask me my future endeavours I say “Famous Film Music Composer”
2. How would you describe your compositional process?
I am inspired by visuals and storytelling and walking in nature. When I compose I find something that moves me such as art, film, poetry etc, but most often it’s a project (mostly films). My previous works have all been music scores to films which have been all selected into film festivals worldwide one of them being a feature documentary “The Living Thames” with Sir David Attenborough. I have had the privilege of working with amazing directors. Each film that I created the music to have all had a different compositional process.
When working on a film I tend to create in collaboration with the film director where the process begins with a spotting session this is when we identify music placement in the film. I then create a music mock up which is mostly composed in my studio using logic pro to create the overall soundtrack feel. Generally my initial ideas with any project begins by sketching harmonic ideas on my piano like a 4 bar theme, then which is extended to 8 bar theme. Once I have an initial idea I decide on instrumentations and structure, beginning middle and end. The whole process is handwritten before I use my studio logic pro and Sibelius. I then orchestrate the music (hand written). Which then is inputted in to my Sibelius for score handouts.
Isin busy working in her studio. 3. We worked together on the recording of your piece “Two Souls” How did you find the experience and how was it hearing your music performed by the orchestra?
“Two Souls” is one the pieces I am so proud of and means so much to me. It made it even more special working with the Northern Film Orchestra. The whole process from beginning to end was epic from composing the piece to meeting the NFO team. The recording day was extremely exciting and hearing the music live (I cannot put into words) how amazing it was. The musicians played so well and the musical direction and team were very helpful and made my experience the best!
Isin at The Stoller Hall during our recording session in August.
4. After working with the orchestra, has the way you look at writing music changed in any way?
During the process of composing for any ensemble its always very daunting. As a composer you always wonder and have doubts of what the piece will sound like live. The process is always uncertain until you hear your music live and then your whole perception changes. After the NFO experience my composition process will remain the same but with an attitude of confidence that hearing it live will be better than the music in my head! It’s given me confidence in my approach to orchestration and arranging knowing that I can be more adventurous in my writing. This is what ill be working towards in my next projects and ill definitely be working with the NFO again.
I am honoured to be offered a place at the world-renowned “The Royal College of Music” to do my masters degree in Composition for screen. As well as this will be completing scoring my music for a feature length Documentary “The living Thames 2”as with applying to film score competitions worldwide. 5. Who has influenced you as a composer?
Many Composers in film inspire me! But one in particular that inspired me from a very young age is John Williams. I discovered film music because of him and I still remain inspired by he’s orchestrations! If you would like to see more from Isin you can go ahead and check out her socials via the links below:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBC8OilL2AWxIgGihkrUs3w We hope you enjoyed this blog post!
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