Created by Kenneth Rosen and Sarika Persaud at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Papito is the story of Emilio, a little boy who wants to spend time with his father Luis by showing him his homemade comic book. Although it is a computer animated film, the visual design is inspired by clay animation, resulting in a down-to-earth, intimate and warm atmosphere. To match, the music had to stay simple and was written for two acoustic guitars, each in its own range and style yet ultimately blending—thereby mimicking, if at least in a symbolic way, Emilio and Luis’ places in the family. The music was performed by John Storie and Roberto Montero (who had previously collaborated with Leroy on his score to Golden Hour).
This is a great opportunity to thank Amanda Sparso for making such a special film and entrusting me with creating the music for it. I also have to thank the wonderful soloists who performed on the score: Gina Luciani, Michelle Packman and Lara Somogyi – they brought their soul to this score and it made all the difference.
Milan Records released my score to Killers Within last week, and it is now available on all major digital stores and streaming services.
From Randall D. Larson’s liner notes:
Killers Within dabs into a variety of genres: fantasy, horror, thriller, action… so it was key for Bushe and O’Neill to have a score that could evolve over the story’s course while blending all those genres into a cohesive whole. “We discussed creating some straight-up horror music, how far into electronic and percussive elements we might want to go for the action scenes, as well as the part of the film which borrows from heist movie tropes,” Leroy said. “But the main point of conversation, really, was what kind of musical atmosphere we wanted to create for the moments in the mansion—which is where a majority of the film takes place—and how we were going to sustain tension during those scenes.”
Leroy’s first tactic was developing a theme for the central character of Amanda, with whom the audience will likely sympathize the most. “My initial challenge was not just figuring out how to go seamlessly from an action/thriller film into a monster/fantasy film mid-way into the story, but also how to create a sense of overall identity for the film. Having a theme for Amanda and very subtly bringing it back at key moments in the score was key. At the end of the day, this is a story about a mother trying to save her son, and we really wanted that point to come across among (or in spite of) all the other elements in the film.”
To accommodate the extremely varied palette necessary to follow the film’s shifting genres, Leroy utilized a phalanx of electronic and digital tools. “The score ended up calling for a huge amount of analog and digital synthesizers for ambiences and textures, processed strings and reversed percussions, old school keyboards like Rhodes and Hammond organ, electronic pianos, layered acoustic and electronic bass to add rhythm and tension, EQ’ed digital pulses, and a wide array of risers, hits, and percussive sweeps,” he explained. “All of this backed, when necessary, with more traditional orchestral groups like string pads, brass effects, and processed woodwinds.”
I’ve been impatiently waiting these past 6 months for the day I could reveal this one—so it’s kind of an understatement to say that I’m very proud to announce that in the summer of 2018 I got to write music for my first major video game: Jump Force. Now available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC, this fighting game from Japanese mega-publishing studio Bandai Namco takes place in a crossover universe featuring characters from various manga series originally featured in Weekly Shōnen Jump, such as Dragonball, One Piece, or Naruto.
It’s a true honor to be a part of this game, as I have been a fan of Jump’s manga franchises for two decades. A few excerpts of the soundtrack have been posted on YouTube; you can take a listen below.
Finally available on all download and streaming platform: my score to Aqsa Altaf’s beautifully reflective film The Long Farewell.
With no dialog and minimal sound effects, the film relies on music to create a profoundly poetic atmosphere. Written primarily for synthesizers with piano solos, the score sometimes blends with the director’s bigger-than-life shots of the luxurious surrounding landscape (thick forests, tall trees, wide rivers, big gray skies…). At other times, it reaches for the ethereal by opening up the emotional range to depict what is not directly seen on screen—the deep, everlasting bond between the two main characters.
The music was written freely, without a constant tempo or a bar structure to box the music in. Harmonies start softly and grow slowly, and eventually disappear back in the ether. Various textures and instruments are layered in over time to lead the story to its climatic point, and ultimately pull back to leave the audience reflecting about childhood, friendship, and the loss of innocence.
My score to Matt Cerini’s animated short film Dear Alice won Best Music at the Jelly FEST Film Festival as part of their FALL/WINTER 2019 selection. Thanks to Matt for having me on board and to musicians Patti Rudisill, Michelle Packman and Lara Somogyi for their beautiful performances.
My score to Matt Cerini’s animated short ‘Dear Alice’ is now available on all download and streaming platforms.
Directed by Matt Cerini at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Dear Alice is an animated short film that tells the story of Anthony, an unconfident artist, who must inspire a wide-eyed young girl, Alice, to see the beauty in her sketch before the bus they’re in reaches his stop.
The film, which was completed in 10 months time and included a team of 15 artists in production, deals with artistic growth through self-doubt and reassurance, thanks to a chance meeting with someone dealing with the same issue as yours. The director’s ultimate goal was to pull at the heartstrings of anyone watching, to make them shed a tear when the little girl felt completely abandoned, or crack a smile when she lit up as Anthony nodded for her to give it another try.
The score, written as a duet between solo violin (performed by Patti Rudisill) and solo cello (performed by Michelle Packman), plays on this newfound relationship where each character inspires the other. Both instruments are featured first by themselves, then start answering and supporting each other, to finally join together in a warm and uplifting ending. Harp (performed by Lara Somogyi), piano and strings provide the emotional backing.