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Interview: One Hello World

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review,    

As we mentioned in our previous post HERE, One Hello World is a great idea where people can call into a voicemail with a story, observation or memory that then has a soundtrack applied to it, by a talented musician, enhancing the experience of the story.

We reached out and were able to get this interview with the website’s creator to better understand the motivations, desires for the future of the project and methods employed.

What inspired this project?
My love for film scores and my never ending curiosity about the human condition.

Where did you come of with the name "One Hello World"?
I'm one guy, and I'm asking for people across the world to dial me up.

Do you make film scores professionally?
Not yet.

If not, is this an interest you have? If so, what works have you done?
Sure! If I got an invitation from a movie house to write up a film score, I'd be happy to take it on.

Would you score your own narrative, or have you already?
Possibly, but I'm much more interested in hearing what other people have to say. Thus far, I haven't called into the number myself.

How long does a score take to make from start to finish?
The whole nature of the project is that the tracks represent my immediate reaction to what the caller is saying. Turn around time from voicemail listen to posting on tumblr averages around two and a half hours. The most time I've put into a track thus far has been "Movies When You Die", and that took me about three and half hours.

How do you choose which voice mails you will be writing a score for?
I don't have a specific method. However, I notice that the tracks that are most appealing to me have a few common characteristics. There's the obvious aspects, such as: the quality of the signal and clarity of speech. I like the voicemails that have a certain rhythm or pace to them, not so much that it's like poetry or rapping, but to where the caller's monologue has its own flow or movement. Most important is the feeling that the person is being genuine, relating their story or views much in the same way I imagine they would with family or a close friend.

How do you approach each project - from what tone to use to what instruments?
It's really all about what I hear in my head. I've discovered that these voicemails are my spark of inspiration, or the nucleus around which my musical ideas can take shape. Every track thus far has started with selecting a voicemail. Then, I chop the message up or put it on loop for me to improvise behind while at the keyboard. The harmonic colors, pulse and rhythms I select are specific to the caller's monologue: every turn in the story, or swell of emotion has its own flavor.

What tools/instruments/programs do you use?
I have an 88 key weighted keyboard, a 16 pad drum trigger, and Logic Studio Pro 8 on my laptop. For the gear heads out there: Korg Triton-TR, Korg padKONTROL, and a MacBook Pro.

Have you thought about having a video submission section?
I've thought about it, and it isn't something I want to do at this time. I think having the caller remain faceless and nameless is important. For the sake of compassion for the caller and to maximize the impact of the music, the listener's frame of mind needs to be as wide as possible.

Do you want to keep this as a project you run or do you want it to grow to include other musicians as well?
There's no solid long term plan as of yet, but I have had these dreamy ideas of touring with a close friend of mine (a very talented drummer). We'll see...

Who are the musicians/score artists that inspire you?
Hope you don't mind me tossing out a broad genre mix here. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the following:

Score: Hans Zimmer, Guy Sigsworth (producer to Bjork, Imogen Heap among others)
Classical music: Frederic Chopin, Jean Sibelius
Jazz music: Cinematic Orchestra, Keith Jarrett
Modern/popular: Sufjan Stevens, Explosions in the Sky

What is the best score you have ever heard in a film?
Up until recently, Gladiator's score has been a personal favorite. Then, Hans Zimmer came out with Inception and wow; I don't know that I've ever heard such a rich orchestral sound in my life.

What are your thoughts on modern score's strengths and weaknesses?
Interesting question! There's a small contingent of score composers who manage a fine balance between three things: homage to the legacy of orchestral music (American and abroad), accessibility and effectively creating the sound of human emotion. These are the people who are my heroes. A weak score is one that is trite, obvious or just completely disconnected from what's going on in the film.

If there was a musical score that you could tie all copies to a heavy rock and sink to the depths of the ocean which would it be?
Hah! I wish I had a good answer for you, but I tend to avoid crappy movies like the plague.

We’d like to give One Hello World our thanks for taking a very important element of film and making it something more than it already was. Good luck with the project! We sincerely hope it gets some acclaim as the work is definitely worth it.

Source of the Bitter: JAS

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