Below, you can read our interview with Pablo Embon and listen to his album The Symphonic Jazz Fusion Collection. Check out our full music review of The Symphonic Jazz Fusion Collection here.
Q: Welcome back to The Ark, Pablo! How have things been since we last spoke in 2021?
A: Hello Jess. Things have been quite busy in my music Arena. Last year, especially going through significant artistic breakthroughs with music collaboration and composition skills development. In 2022 the music album “Shining Brighter”, an experimental Jazz Fusion collection started showing more orchestral music engagement, with tracks such as “While Everybody Sleeps (Original Strings-based version), “Genesis” and “Creaking of The Soul”. Symphonic music has become a strong component in my music since then and it provides much more potential for musical expression, creativity and exploration of different sounds and forms. From that moment on I decided I wanted to be involved in an orchestral music project and find my way out to collaborate with multiple musicians. That is when I made the decision to be engaged in Film Music Scoring , which provides possibilities to compose music to enhance movie watching experience. Music expressivity must be at its maximum to connect with the film world and be an intrinsic part of the scene.
Q: Your upcoming album came about during your participation in the Film Scoring Academy of Europe Online Program in collaboration with the European Recording Orchestra. What got you involved with that program and what was your experience like?
A: Yes indeed. The Online Program allows composers to develop compositional skills essential for Film Music Scoring, as well as other Media applications such as Games Music Development. It is a completely new world to me, but it has been attracting me all my life. In addition, the Program is fit to collaborate with the European Recording Orchestra in which I have composed several cues for film. These cues have been written and orchestrated by myself and recorded live with Orchestra Session in the studio in Sofia, Bulgaria. The new album includes the final masters of many of these cues.
Q: Tell us about the recording process for “The Symphonic Jazz Fusion Collection”—quite a different approach than several of your previous albums where you were the only performer.
A: “The Symphonic Jazz Fusion Collection”, is different from my previous album, and represents massive collaboration work with other musicians, orchestrators, music arrangers and supervisors. The quality and the depth of the music is a totally different experience. The orchestration development has been optimized for the mood, the intent of the piece, so has been the Music Production process I took on for Mixing the Orchestra Session and Mastering. The album is full of descriptive music content, adaptive in many cases for the specific film scoring compositional purposes to transmit “musical images”. Different from previous albums, this one includes hybrid orchestration pieces such as in “Blossom”, “While Everybody Sleeps”, “Resilience”, “Aisling”, and others in which the music production involves the combination of real and virtual instruments. This approach has been massively used already for the last decade in film music to augment the music span of real orchestral instruments or to produce intended effects when combined with virtual libraries, If done properly the music production acts as a whole seamlessly.
Q: We all know that it can be hard to choose a favorite track, but does one stand out to you on this album? Or perhaps one track that you feel the orchestra brought new life to?
A: As mentioned before about the hybrid music production, in my mind it is where the maximum expressivity potential the music has, as there are no limits on what can be achieved by combining real and virtual instruments. Such examples can be heard on the new music arrangement and production of the 2022 piece “While Everybody Sleeps”, “Enter My Soul”, “Look What We’ve Made”, “The Longing Nights”. “Look What We’ve Made” was recorded by a full 52-piece Orchestra in Studio 1 of the Bulgarian National Radio Station , which was augmented by virtual instruments in my studio such as Piano, Hand Percussion, a Supplemental Brass Section and others. I also keep my inherent Jazz Piano Compositional nature of pieces such as ” Impro in Some Major Key” recorded also in the Studio. “Look What We’ve Made” was composed as a film music suggestion for the last scene of the movie “The Theory of Everything”. The scene with the alternative score can be watched on my YouTube channel.
Q: Now that you’ve experienced working with an orchestra on your compositions, do you foresee more projects in the future featuring large groups of musicians, or do you plan to return to solo recording?
A: Recording and collaborating with other musicians has had a huge effect on the way I see music moving forward. I am likely going to explore further Film Scoring compositional applications, which is a new and fresh start for me and very exciting indeed. Nevertheless my own music production has been part of myself for so many years and it defines me who I am, so in this sense I still need this music focus time. Since the development of my skills for Music Production and Orchestration has been so enriching, I foresee applying these music experiences to enhance my own, beyond what has been listened to in my previous albums.
Q: What’s next for you after the release of this album?
A: There is a time now for me to absorb and recap this last year of music. Since I moved back to Argentina after several years, I’d like to find myself as an artist here and contribute to the music local environment of such great international talents there are in this country.
Q: What advice would you give to a younger individual looking to get started composing music?
A: Compositional skills requirements have significantly changed throughout the last few decades. What was needed before has evolved to a different vision of what music represents nowadays. My first piece of advice is to understand the business environment one is leaning towards to contribute as an artist: what the Media needs, what a Director needs, what the audience feels is more appealing. This consideration does not go against exploring and promoting creativity in this art. We still owe to ourselves to develop a personal style – for which audience and music curators are interested in a sense of musical identity or signature-, but combined with the need of understanding the business environment.
The second piece of advice is learn the music language, make it your own to express yourself and never give up on reaching out to this complex and difficult world for a musician.
Q: Any shout-outs you wanna make?
A: I am very grateful for my time spent at the Film Scoring Academy of Europe. My big thanks to the educators, orchestrators, musicians, technicians. I feel lucky I had the opportunity to spend 9 months interacting with them: Phillip Simmons, the Program Lead, Norman Ludwin, the Orchestrator advisor, the FSAE Recording team and the incredible musicians of the European Recording Orchestra to make this project happen.
(Want to be interviewed by The Ark of Music? Click HERE.)