All composers have certain things we can do well. Our strong suit. We always go back to them and they work. Every time. It might be a certain chord progression that gets a cue going. Or an instrument we can play well. We’re lucky for these.
They can get us through a scene quickly when we’re pressed for time. Which always seems to be all the time. But, forcing yourself to change things up can breath new life into your process and inspire you immensely. And inspiration has often been the drug that got me through rough stretches of deadlines on films and tv shows.
My partner Tobias Wagner and I had a studio in East Berlin for about 6 years with 2 other composers. This was a magical time for me. I was discovering an amazing European city, meeting cool artists and lucky enough to have a lot of work. The studio was in Friedrichshain, a neighbourhood famous for clubs. Very creative district. They had been doing construction on the building where our studio was during the entire time I worked there. In fact, the building had been bombed in the war and some years later they just buried all of it underground and built a new building on top.
The construction people voiced on one occasion that they didn’t know what they were going to find when they dug it up to build a new basement floor. Some days they’d be dumping dry wall out of huge tubes on the floors above and it would crash into huge metal containers in the courtyard and fill the air with dense white fog. It was a bit crazy, but somehow charming all the same.