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24 October 2022

Benji Bower – Composing for ‘I Am Kevin’

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“In this process I am a slave to the story, my job as composer is to help tell the tale through the music”

Over 18 months I worked very closely with Mydd to realise the musical vision for I AM KEVIN. Very early on we decided that it would be a recorded soundtrack, partly due to wanting to create a cinematic underscore, and to give us more scope musically than a roaming band of acoustic instruments. Also, the nature of the show, having multiple stages, we wanted to have the opportunity to make different soundscapes for each, and we felt that a live set up would limit us in achieving this.

Mydd was very clear in his musical choices, the process for me normally begins with conversations with the director and seeing where the sound world is, creating a pallet of instruments to play with. Because of the mythical nature of the show, we wanted to create a theme that was steeped in folk music, a timeless song passed down through generations. This was the base to start creating the other musical themes and motifs that would weave through the show.

For some of the bigger cast tunes like the song for Scylla, Mydd was very keen to get a very retro vintage diva ballad for Aminita to sing, taking inspiration from old 60s records and artists. Also, the influence of eastern European/Baltic States music was a driving force for the song ‘Out There’ which underscores the section where the child grows up.

The use of orchestral strings runs heavily through the score and I wanted to compose an epic and emotive bed for the cast to lie on. I am always trying to get to the heart of the story through the music being brave and not shying away from the darkness.

In this process I am a slave to the story, and my job as composer is to hopefully help tell the tale through the music.

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