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Orchestral Record

Film score recording with the Budapest Art Orchestra

The score for a Netflix project just completed has been 11 months in the making. It has been a period initially of musical experimentation, growing in to ever firmer ideas about themes, characterisation, style, instrumentation, tone, pace and so on. The 45 cues making up the score, their placing, and the breathing spaces between them, have evolved in a fluid and highly collaborative way during this time: thousands of tiny decisions, realised, revised, reworked, and reprised until things begin to sit just right.

There is a moment in the process which stands out as having a special significance: the orchestral recording sessions.

For this project we recorded the score with the Budapest Art Orchestra conducted by Peter Pejtsik in Studio 22, East Connection Music Recording, Budapest.

The sessions were remote, brilliantly organised by ECMR’s contractor and session producer Miklos Lukacs. My studio in Bristol became a clone of the control room, with sound from the live studio conveyed via Audio Movers, and Zoom used for visuals. The film was synched alongside the ProTools sessions, with tempi, bar numbers and so on all in vision. Verbal communication with Miklos and conductor Peter was seemless. At the centre of everything: a process of detailed listening and feedback, so that the technical and expressive qualities of the music are performed and recorded as beautifully as possible.

The orchestral record comes after weeks of intense writing to picture, working with the Producer. Finally, electronic and sample mockups are developed into orchestrations, and the materials for the sessions - printed full scores and parts - are prepared for the musicians. The process is highly detailed and everything is presented with the upmost clarity, as speed and efficiency on the day are vital. But the day is special: with the writing done, this is a moment to hear the work come fully alive, as it is realised by - in this case - 42 professional musicians. Producer, Editor and other members of Production were able to sit in on the sessions and hear music for the film we’ve all been working on performed live for the first time: it can be a visceral and emotional experience hearing the full feeling of the film's story take shape in this way.

Such a project demands an experienced musical team. I was lucky to be working with some of the best in the business, and it’s thanks to their professionalism, skill and creativity that the score has been realised as it is. Not only that, they have been a delight to work with, making this such an enjoyable project to have scored.

Film due for release in Spring 2022. Details to follow.

Composer - William Goodchild

Composer’s Assistant - Dan Pollard

Additional Music - Kyle Shepherd

Music Editor - Robin Baynton

Orchestrator - Ed Watkins

Budapest Art Orchestra; Peter Pejtsik

ProTools Engineer - David Lukacs

Recording Engineer - Gabor Buczko

Contractor/ Session Producer - Miklos Lukacs

Music Mixer - Jonathan Scott


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