HOW DOES THAT SOUND – The soundtrack of your favorite thrillers & TV shows
By: Chloë Bellande – mtltimes.ca
Photos courtesy of Claude Foisy
Ever wonder what a horror movie would be like without its soundtrack? Try this at home: watch a scene of JAWS, but make sure you hit the MUTE button. How does it look…? Scary? Hilarious? I bet you just discovered your favorite new comedy by doing this test. In fact, horror and thriller films are not the same without the sound effects and dramatic music building up the tension throughout the scene, taping into instinctive fears.
Montreal born music composer, Claude Foisy, tells us about his work, as he is the original composer behind the TV dramas “Beauty and The Beast”, “The Outer Limits”, among many others, and Stan Lee’s new animation “Stan Lee’s Mighty 7”.
“I started seriously writing music when I moved to Los Angeles in 1994. Up to that point I had written very few compositions, none of which were published, except for a song that I wrote for a Montréal boys band called Konnexion”, he said. Claude Foisy graduated from McGill University in Jazz Performance, and completed with Honors a second Bachelor’s degree in Classical Music Performance at the prestigious Ecole de Musique Vincent d’Indy. The first film he ever composed music for, was a TV movie called “Hart to Hart: Two Harts in ¾ Time, starring Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers. He is mostly known for his work on horror genre, as his credits include “White Noise”, “The Boogeyman” and Fox Home Entertainment’s series “Wrong Turn”.
“When it comes to composing I think versatility is essential to surviving. A genre I have scored a lot of is horror, I would love to do another series like The 4400 though”, said Foisy when I asked him about his versatility in music composing. But I couldn’t help but wonder…what inspires him to compose for TV or movies?
His answer: “When working in film and television, picture is always my first inspiration. The location of where the action is set also inspires the feel. If it is set in Texas it will obviously have some influence of how it will sound. The writing and acting also help set the tone for the project and as a composer you want to support that and not fight against that. When that fails, listening to other people`s scores usually does the trick.”
But then, I had to ask him:
Do you have those weird moments where you wake up in the middle of the night and have a new melody in mind and feel the urge of writing it?
“All the time actually. Though my time for that is always just before waking up. There is always a solution to something that has been pestering me the day before. An example of one of these situations was when I scored Bruce McDonald’s Pontypool. One morning it occurred to me that you could tell the zombies had infected people when they started repeating themselves which inspired me to compose a score with a minimalist approach, meaning repetitions of motifs and cinematic material. So it was kind of subliminal.”
So next time you watch your favorite TV drama or movie, take a look at the music credits, and whoever’s name is there, blame THEM for your screams and chillers.
Claude Foisy’s complete credits can be found on his website: www.claudefoisy.com
For news and daily updates about his work, follow him on Twitter: @claudefoisy2