Mermaids strive to achieve their dreams, and genies long for freedom. With this release we bring you into a world of magic and wonder. Soaring melodies, shimmering woodwinds and strings will give you the feeling of being a kid again spending endless hours in front of your VCR.
Check out the full album on YouTube!
Zev Burrows – Velvet Green Music Artist Interview
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) of choice
Favorite Media Composers
Vertigo, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, North by Northwest, Hangover Square, Psycho, Fahrenheit 451, Citizen Kane – Bernard Herrmann
The Natural – Randy Newman
Three Colors: Red, The Double Life of Veronique – Zbigniew Preisner
Rudy, Total Recall, Basic Instinct – Jerry Goldsmith
The Mission, Once Upon a Time in America – Ennio Morricone
Raiders of the Lost Ark – John Williams
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat
Miller’s Crossing, Fargo, A Serious Man – Carter Burwell
Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin – Alan Menken
Back to the Future – Alan Silvestri
Little Women, The Shawshank Redemption, How To Make An American Quilt, Meet Joe Black – Thomas Newman
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm – Shirley Walker
Romeo and Juliet – Nino Rota
How to Train Your Dragon – John Powell
The Lion King, The Prince of Egypt – Hans Zimmer
The Cider House Rules – Rachel Portman
Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke – Joe Hisaishi
Kubo and the Two Strings – Dario Marianelli
The Adventures of Robin Hood, Captain Blood – Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Pinocchio – Leigh Harline, Need Washington, Paul Smith
Mary Poppins – Sherman Brothers
Lawrence of Arabia – Maurice Jarre
Casablanca – Max Steiner
The Iron Giant – Michael Kamen
Discuss your personal creative workflow
I like a balance of writing film scores, musicals, production library music, and incidental music for plays. In each case, I usually like to start by getting a theme down on pencil and paper (either in lead sheet form or grand staff) and then go to Finale or Digital Performer and realize the mock-up.
Define you personal sound
I try, whenever possible, to bring a sense of theatricality to my film music, and a cinematic quality to my musical theatre work.
Outline your approach to scoring to picture
Carter Burwell once said “when music pointedly ignores the actions of a film it implies something else is going on underneath, something maybe more important.” I’m positive Bernard Herrmann and Thomas Newman also felt similarly, and it has greatly influenced my own approach to scoring. I like to have the director involved as much as possible, and have them talk in dramatic terms as much as possible, more than musical terms.
Describe how you tackle a creative brief
For me, listening for instrumentation and harmonic language are the most important aspects. Absorbing those first usually helps me devise a melody and chord structure as well as a tempo.
Discuss the theme of your Artist Series album
My Artist Series release is in tribute and homage to the film scores of Oscar winner Alan Menken, one of my life long heroes and the person whom I’ve modeled my career the most on as both a film and musical theatre composer. I devised several song-like themes to help tell the story as if it were a movie musical, much like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. I love writing material that’s highly melodic, and I couldn’t find an album in the catalog that had yet covered this unique subgenre of film scoring.
Discuss your approach to time management when composing
I often enjoy juggling multiple projects. If I’m working on a musical, then I enjoy taking a break from it every so often to score a short film or work on a few library tracks. It helps keep my brain cells working, especially if I run into a creative block with my main project.
Discuss gear that is important to your workflow
I’ve been a Digital Performer user for nearly 5 years. It’s my go-to piece of software, namely for the Chunks and V-Rack features, which are ideal for housing multiple cues (or songs for a musical). My template is a combination of Cinesamples, LA Scoring Strings, the Vienna Symphonic Library, Spitfire, Cinematic Studio Strings, and many other instances of Kontakt, as well as some of my homemade samples.
Offer any advice to fellow artists
Being early is way better than being on time. Also, when dealing with constructive criticism, leave your ego at the door, and show that you are open to improvement, whether it be in composition, orchestration, or programming. Also, if you are signed with a library, if you have nothing to do, you can always work on a library track.