Saturday, May 10, 2014

Links to Excellence – Music for Moving Images

ABC’s new drama series, Black Box, leaves jazz lovers wanting more from composers, Olivier and Clare Manchon.  Their jazzy compositions interpreted from the composers’ concept of “moving images,” mesh perfectly with sensuous horns and human desires, resulting in a stimulating jazz score reminiscent of the best in cool jazz.

Photo Credit: Susan Pittard
Courtesy of the Artists

Sharing more on creating the music for Black Box, while explaining that the score will become “more broad … strings (all real) and of course non jazz stress cues,” led to an extended Links to Excellence series, as composers, Clare and Olivier articulated, “we’re very much into keeping organic elements wherever possible, to create richer more powerful textures to attach to the characters.”  Following is more of what they had to say about collaborating with the show’s creator, their recording sessions for Black Box and the musical variations to come:

Olivier and I went from the indie-rock world to the documentary world and sort of happily/surprisingly fell into the TV world.  We have so enjoyed working with the creator of "Black Box," Amy Holden Jones. She has such a clear vision and is a great leader.  She motivates everyone around her to greatness. Amy has also found a nice balance to the score she wants to hear as well.  It's really an alternative jazz score, but with room for not being blocked into one way of doing things and letting each scene dictate what needs to be painted musically. We use a wide range of instruments, keep all our strings real and use a Little Phatty Moog and a 1937 Rickenbacker lap steel, which has a world of tones and textures coming out of it.  We have weekly recording sessions with jazz drummers, bass players and tenor sax players - many of the best in the NYC jazz scene.  It's a thrill. We're just so honored to have the opportunity to make a score that's palatable, but also different from what folks are used to hearing on network TV.  ABC has been really supportive of pushing this new boundary. "Black Box" gets better and better with each episode-epic!