Conversations with Screen Composers is a new series of three events at The Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room where three music composers are interviewed each on a different night by host Tommy Pearson of Red Ted Productions. Wednesday the 9th of May’s event featured Rachel Portman OBE discussing her work on films such as Emma & Chocolat.
The evening started with introducing Rachel & talking through some of her influences, her main being Ravel & Bach. Rachel spoke of how at an early age she knew that she wanted to compose and so she began doing so for student films & theatrical performances. Her first break was at 21 after handing a cassette of her music to the film director Alan Parker who then recommended her to the producer David Putnam. David then had Rachel re-score the soundtrack to the film “Experience Preferred But Not Essential”.
After learning more about how Rachel started out we then got to look through some of her work & how she went about composing for it with interesting comments on her interactions with various directors. My highlight was seeing her work on a clip from “Never Let Me Go” where she showed us the footage she received, a piano theme she created & then the fully formed composition. It was really insightful as we were able to understand how she developed the composition from the initial ideas created whilst experimenting on her piano.
Her advice to aspiring young composers was to get involved in a lot of student projects composing for film & theatre to gain experience & I’m glad that I’ve already started to do so with a few more exciting projects coming up soon. If you’ve got a project that needs music, or you know of someone that does, I would love to get involved in that too, do visit my webpage at http://SamAndeMusic.com & send me an email via the contact form.