Ken Evans, with Georgina Emery, is the principal member of Australian synthpop band, Tycho Brahe. He recently completed the film score for the dance film “Love Song” by award-winning Australian choreographer, Claire Marshall, who has choreographed music videos for some of Australia’s biggest acts. He talks to Grace McCallum about what it’s like to score for films using Reason.

 

 

Tell us about the project and how you got the gig?

 As the band Tycho Brahe, we’ve worked with Claire before for some choreography on one of our music videos. For this project she initially approached Tycho Brahe specifically to create a song for a nightclub scene in the film, she had some temp music with an early ’90s techno vibe so we went with that and created the song “Love Blind Love”. I was migrating our workflow to a new iMac soon after that, and as a kind of lazy test run of the new setup we created the song “Make Me/Feel Free” using much of the same sound palette as “Love Blind Love”. Claire heard that and asked to incorporate elements of that song into the film. This was all working really well so Claire asked us to do the entire score; specific songs are credited to the band Tycho Brahe, the score overall is credited to my business, Tycho Sound Design.

 

 

How did you incorporate Reason into your workflow with this project?

 We took our usual approach with everything accomplished centrally within Reason, relying heavily on virtual instruments/RE’s, along with a selection of hardware instruments to add some out of the box textures, in particular for this project a vintage Sequential Prophet 5, Yamaha TX81Z, Oberheim DMX, Korg MS2000, Emax sampler, and a Devil Fish modded Roland TB-303. The backbone of the overall sound of the project relied very heavily and consistently on Reason’s PX7, Subtractor, and Korg’s MonoPoly and Polysix RE’s. We used multiple instances of ReDrum, with a selection of 808 and 909 samples plus our own curated library of late ’80s/early ’90s drum samples, some of which had been created for my work with Peter Hook and The Light for his touring of New Order albums. After we completed the first song, “Love Blind Love”, Algoritm became available and that was also used on everything going forward. We used the VidPlayVST and VidRenderVST to run video within Reason sessions and also render out low res versions of scenes with our music in context for Claire’s feedback; the majority of the music was composed directly to the visuals.

 

 

 

And you really experimented with instruments you don’t usually use. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Unusually for us, we also incorporated a lot of live percussion, using live tambourine, cowbell, guiro, agogo, triangle, chimes, plus some scrapes and noises made with knives and cymbals; these were augmented with some TR-727 percussion samples, and you can hear this most clearly at around 3:20 on Make Me/Feel Free. We’re not great percussionists, so we recorded sections of played percussion, applied some light quantisation to tighten it up a bit, but only lightly so it still had some movement and human feel in it, and from that created a bank of loops to use across the project.

 

What can we expect to hear in the score when we watch the film?

The score runs from ’90’s Eurodance, through to electronic minimalism but restricting the selection of instruments helped maintain a sense of consistency in the overall sound across the project. It’s a dance film, so there’s no dialogue, the story is communicated through movement, so there are cues in the music that support and amplify the mood and that communication through the physical movement of the dancers.

 

 

When do we get to see the finished product and what’s up next for you and Tycho Brahe?

 

The film “Love Song” has been showing at film festivals all over the world through 2022, and has won awards in France, USA, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Germany, and the UK so far. Claire also cut three music videos for us from the film footage, and the unreleased video for Make Me/Feel Free was recently selected for the prestigious San Souci Festival of Dance Cinema in Colorado, in September, which we’re thrilled about. We’ll be releasing an EP of the music from the film later in 2022, but the first single and music video from the project is Love Blind Love.

 

 

Tycho Brahe Bandcamp

Download Love Blind Love

Claire Marshall’s Choreography site