Amelia Warner Interview
C Music TV recently sat down with neo-classical composer Amelia Warner, to discuss her wonderful new album 'Visitors'. The album consists of seven new, self-penned works, each based on a fictional female character. It evolves in that the abandoned old house in which the women have all lived at some point in time slowly releases during the night its memories of each of them: Eve, Heidi, Frances, Mary, Rebecca, Sarah and Dawn. As Warner notes, 'The house becomes a place where the music they inspired lives on, even though the people are no longer there'. Delicately scored for piano and strings, the suite is mixed and produced by Warner's regular collaborator, classically-trained Fyfe Dangerfield, of 'Guillemots' fame.
You come from a family of actors. Has being an actor influenced your approach to writing music?
I think being an actor has helped me understand the process of making a film. From reading scripts to being on set and the post production period. It's given me a kind of education and comprehensive view of film making, who everybody is, what their job entails and all the elements of telling a story which I've found really valuable.
Who or what inspired you to move in to classical and film composition?
The majority of the music I listen to has always been film score. I suppose it always felt beyond me and out of reach but then I began hearing composers such as Ludivico Einaudi, Nick Cave and Dustin O Halloran. Their music was more contemporary and had a simplicity and minimalism that felt more accessible and inspired me. I friend of mine had made a short film and asked me to have a go at writing the music and that's where it began.
You have mentioned that you have a passion for story-telling, especially through the relationship between music and imagery. What inspired this passion?
I think the inspiration comes from films. I'm a huge Terrance Malik fan and his films to me are the perfect marriage of image and music. I'm fascinated with how music can affect an image and how much it can change your experience.
How would you compare the role of a storyteller to that of a composer?
I think the writer and director are the storytellers and as a composer you are trying to facilitate their telling of the story.
Your most recent project 'Visitors' features the instrumental stories of Eve, Heidi, Frances, Mary, Rebecca, Sarah and Dawn, who have all passed through the same big old house at different points. What does each character represent for you?
It is hard for me to describe exactly what these women represent. It was more a feeling I had when I wrote each piece. It is quite intangible and hard to articulate. It's like I just felt their spirit passing through for a split second and then it was gone again.
You have decided to release one track per month in order to 'slowly populate the house '. In what ways does the order in which the tracks are released tell the overall story of the house?
The idea is that the EP takes places over one night on the house. It starts to come alive as it becomes dark. The first track is called Eve as it begins in the evening and then we end with the Dawn. When we played Dawn we had this image of everything returning to its rightful place, laying to rest and the house becoming quiet again.
How has collaborating with classically-trained indie rocker Fyfe Dangerfield influenced your sound, first on your EP ‘Arms’ and now on Visitors?
I absolutely love working with Fyfe! He is so creative and incredibly talented. With Arms we took a bit more time and experimented quite a bit but with Visitors it was just very clear how it should be. We both had a really strong sense of the atmosphere and the story and it was just very straight forward. I think having worked together on Arms we just really understood each other and he totally understood the sound I wanted to create.
In addition to Dangerfield, who else would you want to collaborate with in the future?
I love collaboration and would be very keen to do more. I'm a huge fan of Olafar Arnaulds, Max Richter, Haushka, Dustin O Halloran, Nils Frahm, Damon Albarn, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Collete, Mark Bradshaw, David Holmes. The idea of working with or just meeting any of those guys would be dizzying.
You are also composing the music for the upcoming Mary Shelley film directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour. How does scoring for a film differ from composing for an album?
It's completely different! As in the music I am writing has to function and assist the story telling. It's not just making something that sounds beautiful or that I personally would want to listen to bur rather something that supports the characters and the narrative. Also it's a bit of a puzzle as each cue is a specific length,whether it's 9 seconds or 3 minutes and so it's an art, getting it to fit everything within those very rigid margins.
How does the soundtrack add to Shelley's life and her classic tale Frankenstein?
When I was talking to the film-makers the thing we kept coming back to was that the music should be Mary. It should always be reflecting her state and her journey. So hopefully the music captures her. Her love story with Percy, her inspiration and her loss. Also we tried to hint at the gothic world she created with Frankenstein and the other worldliness she seemed so drawn to.
For more information on Amelia Warner and her new album, click here.
Cmusic News Released: 2017-05-12