Composers panel: Natalie Holt, Branford Marsalis, Aska Matsumiya, Daniel Pemberton
It’s very easy in any field to stick to one’s preferred style or way of doing things, but one of the first things our four panelists on our Meet the Experts: Film Composers panel — Natalie Holt (“Herself”), Aska Matsumiya (“I’m Your Woman”), Branford Marsalis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and Daniel Pemberton (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”) — look at when considering a project is if it presents a challenge. Click on each of these names to watch individual panels with each scribe.
“Life would be boring if every job were the same. It’s the variety that keeps it interesting,” Holt states. “Creating a different palette, using different instruments, maybe challenging yourself, using instruments that you haven’t worked with before. That’s the kind of thing that makes me interested in a project. And the director as well — having a collaboration, someone who’s really interesting to work with and brings out a different side of your musical personality is always great as well.”
For Marsalis, there’s also an extra element in play as he has a day job as a musician and front-man of the Branford Marsalis Quartet. The Grammy winner, who’s usually on tour in pre-COVID-19 times, is “wowed if anybody calls” and asks him to score a project. “Because you guys are composers and you do this a lot more than me and a lot better than me, so anytime I get a chance to do it, I’m already intrigued,” he says. “The more different it is, the more I’m into it. This has just been a blast for me. Last year has been a lot of fun.”
Watch our full panel to find out what scores they listen to all the time, why Pemberton didn’t initially read the “Chicago 7” script and more.