Composer Paul Cantelon on Scoring New Olympia Dukakis Documentary – Variety


When Paul Cantelon was tapped by first-time function director Harry Mavromichalis to attain “Olympia,” the documentary on Academy Award-winning actress, Olympia Dukakis, he was greater than ready to craft music that underscored her Greek heritage.

When Cantelon’s preacher father met his first-chair trumpeter mom, their household life turns into one among touring evangelical tent conferences with Cantelon rising up on couches in numerous folks’s properties. Numerous these properties belonged to Greek households the place he heard Greek music that turned a part of his musical lexicon. Over 30 years in the past, when Cantelon met his spouse, vocalist Angela McCluskey, she had a fantastic love for Greece and took him to that nation, the place Cantelon was immersed within the music.

“[Mavromichalis] has a lyrical sense for image,” says Cantelon from his Nichols Canyon dwelling studio in Los Angeles. “He was a dancer and he has a musical, rhythmic sense to the best way he shoots and edits. I had Philip Glass’ string quartet play the fragile strings and a few fantastic bouzouki gamers and conventional Greek artists whom I let reduce free and improvise.”

This isn’t to say that “Olympia’s” soundtrack is barely Greek-influenced music. The non-linear documentary has such a wealth of footage from all through Dukakis’ life, it’s like she’s been in a actuality present from beginning. The movie is organized in thematic segments similar to Dukakis’ childhood, her LGBTQ involvements, her marriage to actor Louis Zorich, her theater work, her kids, her display screen performing and journeys to Greece. Better of all is Dukakis’ present day-to-day actions together with one scene on the grocery retailer the place a fan needs to take an image together with her and Dukakis accommodates whereas asking if she is aware of the place the bottled teas are. The disparate segments are threaded collectively by Dukakis’ irreverent character and Cantelon’s rating. He employs his intensive classical coaching on the violin and piano alongside his firsthand data of Greek music to create a rating that’s his response to Dukakis’ character as portrayed in “Olympia.”

“[Mavromichalis] didn’t essentially desire a sound from a specific interval, however extra guiding pinpoints alongside her journey,” says Cantelon of the director’s imaginative and prescient for the music. “I didn’t write to image in any respect. I wrote themes that had been my take on her energy, her vulnerability and her humor, my makes an attempt to place parts of her character in numerous chapters of ‘Olympia.’ I despatched them to him and he instructed me I had the precise tone and emotion and to maintain writing. He was very exact and knew precisely what he needed. When the individual directing you doesn’t know what they need, and you retain attempting, that may turn out to be enormously painful.”

Cantelon added movie scoring to his spectacular repertoire of music actions 15 years in the past. In his intensive catalog are Julian Schnabel’s “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (2007) and Justin Chadwick’s “The Different Boleyn Woman” (2008) in addition to a number of documentaries, together with “Jane Fonda: In 5 Acts” (2018) and “Letters from Baghdad” (2016).

For the documentaries, Cantelon composes an inordinate quantity of music, though not almost all of it what he wrote made it into “Olympia.”

“She was such a towering circus herself, she didn’t want something,” says Cantelon of the documentary’s topic. “My items are usually longer. If there’s a cue with an arc that’s over three or 4 minutes or longer, the music falls out. [Mavromichalis] makes use of music like paint. I wrote massive suites of music from my coronary heart about all the weather of ‘Olympia’ that touched me. He would then reduce them up and place to image as he wished, like paint on his canvas. Writing rating to attempt to hit one thing on the nostril doesn’t produce music that’s as legitimate as writing my impressions of a personality. I used to be taught early on in scoring movie that once you write in that approach, you could relinquish the whole lot and belief the director to do what he feels.”

No matter is heard and never heard of Cantelon’s rating in “Olympia” can be obtainable by way of his Bandcamp web page as a free obtain album upon the movie’s official launch on July 10. There’s an non-compulsory donation, which can go on to the Los Angeles Meals Financial institution. That is the fourth of Cantelon’s free obtain albums because the pandemic began. The primary is “Repose,” devoted to these on the frontlines of the Coronavirus and to consolation these distressed by its results, adopted by the Wildwood EP, a collaboration for piano and harp along with his daughter, harpist Florence Astley. Final month Cantelon launched “Sanctuary,” piano and cello music he carried out with famous cellists Sara Sant’Ambrogio, Wolfram Koessel, Vanessa Freebairn-Smith and Martin Tillman.

“I’ve volumes of music which have by no means been used,” says Cantelon. “Some you’ll acknowledge from ‘Olympia,’ however you’ll understand they’re a lot greater.”


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