Two Weeks with Conrad Pope
The past two weeks with Composer/Orchestrator Conrad Pope has been absolutely amazing. Conrad is an extremely experienced musician who has worked on more than a 100 feature films and has worked with composers like John Willliams, Alexandre Desplat, Howard Shore just to name a few. His score for "My Week with Marilyn" is absolutely fabulous if you haven't checked that one yet.
Over the two weeks, it was illuminating to hear Conrad's ideas on what orchestration and music was. The big take away was to write simple and always make space (sonically) for what needs to be heard (often one thematic idea/counter-melodic idea). Orchestration in its essence is writing the appropriate accompaniment and it is always important to think about three things before committing any note to paper - Emotion, Color & Execution/Balance.
We looked at scores from many films including but not limited to Harry Potter, E.T, Godzilla, Curious Case of Benjamin Button and pieces from the masters like Ravel. He also went through the sketches of our 110-piece cue for our upcoming Bulgaria recording session. We essentially got to see how he would orchestrate our cue if we had him as an orchestrator. The insights he shared were invaluable and it was a pity that we only had two weeks to learn from him! His generosity in his willingness to share was what made the two weeks such a memorable one. Wishing him all the best in his upcoming endeavours :)
Here is a photo of Conrad and me on our last day of class: