The Scoring Stage Vol. 01: Interview with Lorenzo Piggici

The Scoring Stage Vol. 01released by Cavendish earlier this year, offers evocative and melodic music, filled with adventure and magic.

The album was entirely written by  Italian composer Lorenzo Piggici.


Trailer Music News : Tell us a bit about yourself. When did you start to compose, and how did you get into production – and trailer music?

Lorenzo Piggici: My first approaches to music at age six gave me the first opportunity to experiment with composition. I would say that the initiation to the world of composition started with my first plastic recorder, way before my piano, clarinet and composition studies. I composed my very first melodies with this simple instrument, and after more than 25 years I am happy to say that I can still remember some of them. I hope I never lose that genuine sense of discovery and experimentation that you get by developing your own music ideas step by step. For me it is still something related to my childhood. The move into music production and trailer was progressively activated by my additional passion for Motion Picture, which led me progressively to compose original music for independent films, commercials and video games. Through this experience I discovered the powerful narrative of music. By watching many film trailers I was charmed by the sense of expectation they were able to create. I clearly understood the powerful role that the evocative music could play in terms of creating great excitement and an engaging sense of expectation. Imagem gave me the first opportunity to be part of the trailer music world.

TMN: What’s a typical day as a composer like?

LP: My day starts with a good Italian coffee whist I look out the window to check what the new day will be like. This is fundamental because all of us are influenced more or less by the weather, and our music is too. This is my first action before I sit down to check emails and manage my projects deadlines. For a media composer the most typical day is the one surrounded by his technical equipment. Of course we have collaborations with producers, directors and musicians and this is a lovely part of our job, but at the end of the day being a composer means that you also spend a lot of time on your own. I think it is a pretty intimate job.

TMN: What genre(s) do you like to compose in?

LP: My preferred genre is the cinematic orchestral one. I have always felt and recognized the huge potential of the orchestra, that is, how the different nature of the instruments can perfectly work together in the universe of the possibilities. Moving all this hugeness into a cinematic evocative atmosphere gives me unparalleled emotions. Moreover, I love dressing all this with electronic contaminations that create an engaging and edgier hybrid style.

TMN: You have written music for several albums for Cavendish – particularly the Action/Thriller series, and The Scoring Stage Vol. 01, recorded with a symphony orchestra. Can you tell us more about it?

LP: Yes, I started my collaboration with Cavendish some time ago with the production of the first Action/Thriller. As over the course of the years trailer music has evolved and expanded, the subsequent action thriller series have tried to follow and be a part of this evolution. The scoring Stage Vol.01 has a different approach. Working with producer Iain Roberton the objective was to create something cinematic that could remain current in the long term. The album is a cinematic journey inspired by the film music panorama. Each track is different with each representing a different mood and a different evocative imaginary. The importance of creating a distinctive theme for each track was crucial. And all the dynamics, accents, shades achieved through the live recording in Budapest have contributed to generate a sound quality designed and performed with the right expression score. The scoring Stage Vol.01 is definitely my favourite album.

TMN: Do you have a particular creative process?

LP: No, I don’t have a particular creative process. Ideas come and go, rise, disappear and sometimes return. I consider myself quite lucky as my creative material comes rather spontaneously when I work on a project. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to factor in the time needed to experiment, select, and refine the composition to fit the project you are working on, because this also part of the creative process. The piano plays a crucial role in my creative process. Without it I would be more limited since with its broadness it represents my orchestra, my synths, and my drums. It is definitely my main development tool. Thank you Piano!

TMN: What is the most exciting part of being a composer?

It is a moment that happens during the development of your musical ideas, when you say to yourself: “yes, this is working”! It’s a specific moment when you have got the right piece of melody and you know that you’ve found the right instruments and sounds. Of course the accolade you may receive from your audiences and the people who work with you is also very important. It gives you what I call “satisfaction”.

TMN: What was the most enjoyable project you worked on so far?

LP: There are many, but one is definitely Scoring Stage Vol.01, which gave me the possibility to work on all the many stages of the project from the beginning to end, ie. From the first themes on the piano, to the first drafts of arrangements; from the score, to the recording and to the post production. When you have the chance to own your project from the beginning, you see the birth of your musical creation, you research, you live through its development, you try to refine it at its best, and finally you are there with your emotions when it is played and recorded with a full live orchestra.

TMN: What’s the worst part of being a composer?

LP: There are cases when the brief changes unexpectedly; when you are already at a good point; or cases where the edit drastically changes and all the synchronization you had created with the music vanishes. Sometimes it is hard to start all over again knowing that that work was actually a good one. If you work as a media composer it is important that you develop a sense of separation after you deliver the project. You have to accept the fact that your music may be manipulated and edited in a different way from your original idea. As composers we have to accept this, otherwise we will always have a sense of frustration. Music is one of the most beautiful Muses, but like beauty it is subjective, and we should never forget this whilst we write.

TMN: Do you have particular plans in the future?

LP: My plan is to build into music. To build my experience, my career, my music knowledge (because we never stop learning), build my sound research and combination, and letting the music be part of this dynamism without losing my personal signature style.

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

LP: I just finished working on a soundtrack for an intriguing Sci Fi short film called The Nostalgist, based on short story by Daniel H Wilson. The film is directed by Giacomo Cimini and features Lambert Wilson (Of Gods and Men, Matrix Reloaded) and Samuel Joslin (The Impossible). The soundtrack was composed in London and recorded with a live orchestra in Budapest. It was then mixed with customized electronic contamination and brassy synthesizers specifically created for the film. The result is an intensely haunting hybrid score that reflects the two worlds featured in the film. Watch out!

The Scoring Stage Vol. 01 is available to the public for purchase through iTunes and AmazonFor licensing information, visit the Imagem website. Feel free to also explore Lorenzo Piggici’s website.

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About Clothilde Lebrun

Editor-in-chief. Music-loving writer, currently living in Paris.

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June 15, 2014
Clothilde Lebrun