FILM SCORING AND OTHER MEDIA
Lucia Caruso began scoring films in 2007. Her experience as a performer and composer and her vast vocabulary of musical styles and genres informs her penetrating ability to integrate music with the screened arts.
“LE VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE”
A TRIP TO THE MOON 1902
New score 2016 by Lucia Caruso and Pedro Henriques da Silva
The most famous of Georges Méliès’s films, “A Trip to the Moon” is actually the world’s first sci-fi film. Méliès’s ingenious special effect techniques hold their own, even more than a century later. To create this new score, Lucia Caruso and Pedro Henriques da Silva were inspired by the music of the time period, namely Debussy, Ravel, and R. Strauss, with influences from later composers such as Stravinsky. It is written for full orchestra with mixed choir highlighting the more fantastical aspects of the story: when we first see the face of the Moon as a rocket descends into its eye, when it begins to snow on the Moon, and for the film’s climax.
GEORGES MÉLIÈS’S MASTERPIECES:
“JEANNE D’ARC” JOAN OF ARC 1899-1900
New score 2016 by Lucia Caruso and Pedro Henriques da Silva
One of Georges Méliès’s first masterpieces, “Jeanne d’Arc” is the first narrative film in history, and therefore an extremely significant work of art. It was shot in black and white and painstakingly colored by hand. It is also one of the very first films with special effects, the first being Méliès’s own “The Vanishing Woman” 1896. Lucia Caruso and Pedro Henriques da Silva created a new score for full orchestra and mixed choir, using the texts from the Requiem mass to parallel the different events in Joan of Arc’s life.
“THROUGH MY WINDOW”
Original composition 2012-2014
Lucia Caruso and Pedro Henriques da Silva were commissioned by visionary Korean artist Ahae to write the music for his photo exhibits at the Louvre Museum, Paris; Palace of Versailles, France; Grand Central Station, New York; Magazzini del Sale, Venice; and Kew Royal Palace, London. Close to two hours of music was composed and performed with the composers as soloists with Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris, and with a string quartet formed by members of Orchestre de Paris and the assistant concertmaster of London Symphony Orchestra. These works were recorded with London Metropolitan Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios. The entire project was cinematic in scope: instead of scoring a moving picture, the music needed to convey movement in static photographs. The composers painted the narrative of these nature photographs with their music. Other composers commissioned for this project were renowned Hollywood composers Michael Nyman (The Piano), Ilan Eshkeri (Young Victoria), and prominent contemporary classical composer Nicolas Bacri.
Composed by Lucia Caruso and Pedro H. da Silva Performed and recorded by Lucia Caruso at British Grove Studios, London UK
This work was recorded at Mark Knopfler's British Grove Studios in London, UK, with renowned producer Steve McLaughlin, premiered at an exhibition at the Louvre Museum, and performed at the Palace of Versailles. Commissioned by the Ahae Foundation, the piece was performed and recorded by Lucia N. Caruso on piano. Composers throughout history have used the soggetto cavato technique, pioneered in the Renaissance by the great Josquin des Prez. The technique consists of transforming letters of a name into musical notation. The best-known example of this is probably the transformation of the name BACH into the musical notes B-flat, A, C, B, which has been used by many composers as a tribute to J.S. Bach. It is in this tradition, and as a homage to these past masters and to photographer Ahae, that we wrote a piece based on the four letters of the latter's name, which in musical notation reads as A, B, A, E. These four notes as both melody and harmony are used throughout the work in numerous transformations. As fate would have it, five of the six double strings of the Portuguese guitar are tuned to these notes, and therefore many harmonies naturally include these intervals. While this piece is for solo piano, the harmonies are inspired by the Portuguese guitar and are identical to the harmonies that can be heard on “Snow” and “Birds in Winter.” The work starts with an arpeggio followed by a melody, both based on the name Ahae, and which establish the main material for the composition. The various forms in which Ahae captured water in his photographs – still, undulating, with rain or snow – are all present in the various sections of the piece, as are the reflections of trees, clouds, light, and animals on the water. The first section is rather gentle, growing to a brilliant arpeggio that brings us to a delicately undulating melody in the Dorian mode – the favored musical mode of the Renaissance. Inversions of this melody, and of the theme on the name Ahae, pervade the piece. Since an inversion is a mirror image of musical material, we decided to use it as the main tool to represent the reflections on the water. In many instances, the right hand is playing the original versions of the melodies while the left is simultaneously playing their inversions – a difficult technique to achieve, and one that is another tribute to J.S. Bach who was arguably the greatest composer to create these types of musical puzzles. Sometimes these musical reflections are superimposed, sometimes juxtaposed, and often one can perceive slivers of the sun shining on the waves of the pond across from Ahae's window.
“OVERTURE: BIRDS SOARING IN AUTUMN”
Composed and recorded by Lucia Caruso with London Metropolitan Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, London
This work was recorded by London Metropolitan Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios with renowned producer Steve McLaughlin and premiered at an exhibition at Louvre Museum, with two special concerts at Tuileries Garden by Orchestre Lamoureux, under the baton of Fayçal Karoui. The piece was commissioned by Ahae Foundation. This was the first piece commissioned for “Through My Window” series. The overture is the opening of this musical project and some of its themes will repeat in other compositions. The structure of this overture is in three movements, which are played without interruption: I- Birds at Dawn; II- Autumn; III- Birds Soaring.
The first movement represents the awakening of birds singing in the early morning. I have always been deeply touched by birds, so my eyes were drawn to the photos of birds to start composing for this series. Birds are the musicians of nature, closest to the Divine, and therefore the most perfect of all. This piece starts with a soft tremolo on the strings in a high register representing the graceful movement of wings, while the harp plays a theme that will be fully developed in the second movement. The inspiration for two of the main themes of this overture comes from endless walks in the woods, listening to the singing of specific birds of North America. The black-capped chickadee, always sings perfectly in tune, a minor third down followed by a major second down, as if it were playing an instrument. I quoted this bird’s motif and developed it into a full melody. The second bird, as yet unidentified by name, sang an unusual descending quick motive in double notes, producing mesmerizing harmonies. I represent this second bird with a rapid motive played by the harp and the flute together.
The second movement represents autumn. The colorful photos inspired this overture. It is the calmest of the three movements, representing the contemplation and the passing from the more youthful and warm summer season, to a more meditative and older winter. Personally, the harp produces two sensations in me: enchantment and warm colors. I decided to paint the red, yellow and orange leaves in my imagination with the warm sounds of the harp, which is the protagonist in this movement. The fast tremolo accompaniment on the strings represents the breeze, which makes the leaves fall, while the rest of the melodies represent the calm pace of a colorful autumn day.
The third movement is the most climactic and powerful in terms of orchestration and thematic development, combining most of the themes from the previous two movements and transforming them in various ways. This is the moment when birds take flight. I represent this by inverting the first theme of the black-capped chickadee, which is originally a descending motive, into an ascending, slower, and majestic melody. The work ends as it started, with the autumn melody transformed to the Dorian mode on the harp, while the strings create a peaceful and quiet background to the second bird’s mesmerizing call.
“BIRDS IN WINTER”
FOR PORTUGUESE GUITAR AND PIANO
by Lucia Caruso and Pedro Henriques da Silva; Performed
and recorded by Caruso and da Silva.
This Ahae Foundation commissioned work was recorded at Mark Knopfler's British Grove Studios in London, with renowned producer Steve McLaughlin. It premiered at an exhibition at Louvre Museum and was performed at Palace of Versailles. Inspired by the photos of birds playing and flying in the snow, it is a co-composition by Lucia Caruso and Pedro Henriques da Silva for the unique combination of Portuguese guitar and piano. It uses several themes from other pieces written for photographer Ahae's photos: the ‘falling snow’ motif and main melody from “Snow” by da Silva, and the ‘autumn’ and ‘birds taking flight’ themes from “Overture Through My Window: Birds Soaring in Autumn” by Caruso. Trills on the piano, and the arpeggios and light tremolo on the Portuguese guitar, represent the flight and wing movements of the birds, while the harmonics in the Portuguese guitar, the calm rhythm and frequent high register on both instruments represent cold and serenity in a white winter landscape.
“The Grey Woman” Scene
New score by Lucía Caruso
Lucia Caruso composed this score for a scene from the short film by A. Sayeeda Clarke. It was recorded live by the New York University Orchestra.
New score by Lucía Caruso
This new score to the short film by Zoya Baker was recorded live by the Manhattan Camerata.
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” Dragon Scene
New score by Lucía Caruso;
Recorded live by New York University Orchestra
Lucia Caruso composed a new score to this famous scene from this feature film.
“How To Seduce Difficult Women” Scene
Original score by Pedro Henriques da Silva with additional music by Lucía Caruso
This is a scene from the feature film theatrically released in 2009. Lucia Caruso composed the music to this scene, which was recorded live by the Manhattan Camerata. She co-composed the rest of the film with Pedro H. da Silva.
“How To Seduce Difficult Women” In-store Scene
Music by Lucía Caruso and Pedro Henriques da Silva
This is a scene from the feature film by Richard Temtchine, which was theatrically released in 2009. The score was recorded live by the Manhattan Camerata. The film has eleven main characters, and the director asked Lucia Caruso to compose in a different style of music for each character (jazz, blues, classical, hard rock, techno, hip-hop, among others). The inclusion of all these styles in a single film was a challenge, so her solution was to have one melody pervading most of the styles through extensive transformations.
RECORDING FOR FILM
Recording at the state-of-the-art Dolan Studios at New York University, the Manhattan Camerata has the flexibility to record anything from a small chamber ensemble to a full orchestra (winds, brass, percussion, harps, keyboards, and strings) as appropriate. Projects range from small independent films to large studio productions. Working in multiple styles including orchestral, electronic, jazz, and rock, Manhattan Camerata also undertakes projects for dance, theatre, performance art, video games, and television.
Recording Option A
Music: Composed by Lucía Caruso & Pedro Henriques da Silva
Performed by: Manhattan Camerata
Recorded at: NYU Dolan Studios
Editing and Mixing: NYU professors - leaders in their field
This option results in the highest quality recording from solos to chamber orchestra, at the state-of-the-art Dolan studio at NYU. Fees are highly discounted due to faculty affiliation..
Recording Option B
Music: Lucía Caruso & Pedro Henriques da Silva
Performed by: London Metropolitan Orchestra or other symphonic orchestras
Recorded at: Abbey Road Studios
Editing and Mixing: Steve McLaughlin and other Abbey Road engineers
This option results in the highest quality recording with a full symphonic orchestra, at legendary Abbey Road Studios (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings movies recorded here). A special arrangement with Abbey Road, Grammy-winning producer Steve McLaughlin, and the London Metropolitan Orchestra keep the fees reasonable and affordable.