On Tuesday, September 29, the initiative dedicated to soundtrack recordings Sevilla Film Orchestra, led by the composer and music producer Francisco Cuadrado, took off. To bring the music to life, the experience and expertise of the Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla was added.
SoundTrackFest has collaborated and supported this initiative, and therefore, Gorka Oteiza was present in Seville in this first recording session, and he tells us about it in this article.
The Teatro de la Maestranza (Maestranza Theater) of Seville, a place of innumerable concerts, and some of them dedicated to film music, saw on Tuesday 29 of September a somewhat peculiar configuration.
The Sevilla Film Orchestra initiative had chosen this well-known venue as its base of operations, to carry out the first soundtrack recording session on its credits. The renowned and veteran Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla (Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville) – ROSS was onboard on the project. An orchestra experienced in performing film music in concert, with highly satisfactory results, that embarked on a new adventure: recording soundtracks.
The chairs properly placed, the lecterns holding the scores, microphones and cables strategically located throughout the stage, and all in full compliance with the distances and safety measures recommended by the health authorities, made up the configuration we had on stage, minutes before the musicians of the Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville appeared.
But reaching this moment was not something casual or improvised; it was the result of months of work by the Sevillian composer and music producer Francisco Cuadrado, director and promoter of the Sevilla Film Orchestra initiative. Francisco Cuadrado had an idea and a goal months ago: to turn Seville into a capital of film music in Spain (and in Europe), offering a comprehensive service to record soundtracks, which was not limited only to provide a venue and an orchestra, but to contemplate the entire process of production and accompaniment in the path of obtaining that final soundtrack already recorded and mixed; both delivering a full service after and before the sessions. And for this, apart from his experience in this field, the best was to have the Maestranza Theatre and the experienced Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville, to bring this project to a successful conclusion.
At the head of the orchestra, baton in hand, we had Juanjo Molina, composer and conductor, with many soundtrack recordings in his credits. In the hall, among others, the composer Pablo Cervantes who was going to supervise the recording of one of his pieces, the composer Ivan Martinez Lácamara, living in the Seville region and interested in the Sevilla Film Orchestra initiative, and the manager of the ROSS, Pedro Vázquez, attentive and observant, satisfied to see the register and the catalog of services of his orchestra expand. Among the technical staff that made up the team: Javier Cámara, orchestrator and musical supervisor of the recording, Jaime Cuadrado, recording engineer, and Álvaro Rodríguez, in charge of design and photography. And as usual, all of them “chased” by the tireless camera lens of our official photographer and usual collaborator in SoundTrackFest, Rafa Melgar (curiously also from Seville).
A total of 4 pieces were recorded that day, divided into two sessions in the morning. The pieces were the dynamic “Spider-Man 3” by Christopher Young, the melodic “Centurion XII” by Arturo Cardelús, the dramatic “Asesinos Inocentes” by Pablo Cervantes, and the refreshing “El amor y la luna” by Francisco Cuadrado. I don’t think it’s necessary to tell you how good the orchestra sounded, in spite of playing the scores at first sight, without any kind of previous rehearsal. The professionalism and good work of the musicians of the ROSS is beyond all doubt.
As it is usual in every recording session, several takes were made of each of the pieces, and in many cases, not of the whole piece but from a certain point, since later in the mixes the best of the performances are chosen, and all of them are put together as if it were a big puzzle. A complex sound and mixing engineering, that gives those professional results we are used to when we watch/listen to a movie or play a CD.
Both Arturo Cardelús, who was present remotely from Los Angeles, and Pablo Cervantes, who was present in the venue, offered indications and contributions about how they wanted their music to sound, and the nuances they wanted to be applied to each of the passages, with Juanjo Molina being in charge of transmitting these instructions to the orchestra.
It was a long day and a bit exhausting, but it gave very good results, and made the Sevilla Film Orchestra project pass its baptism of fire with very good results.
Here you can see some pictures of the recording sessions, as well as the video-documentary with the “Making Of”.
More information and details about the Sevilla Film Orchestra project:
Article by Gorka Oteiza