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January 26, 2008

 

Composers Kaveh Cohen and Michael Nielsen
Splinter Cell: Composition - Page 2

 

MICHAEL NIELSEN
Biography


Graduated from UCLA in 1997

Has worked with composer Brian Tyler

In 2000 formed the Triangle Production Team

Has produced James Brown, The Pussycat Dolls, Kenny Loggins, The Bahamen, and music for Lenny Kravitz

Official Web Site
 

Composition Credits
 
(Film Trailers)

No Country for Old Men
Saw IV
Beowulf
Hitman
300
The Bourne Supremacy
Superbad
Live Free or Die Hard
Eragon
Borat
V for Vendetta
Superman Returns
Poseidon
The Island
X-Men 2

Composition Credits
(Game Trailers)

Age of Empire 3
Prince Caspian
Splinter Cell: Double Agent
Black
Spy Hunter 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Interview: PAGE 1 | PAGE 2
  7 Exclusive Tracks  from
Wolverine and the X-Men | Full Tilt | The Bible Experience
 


 

All Music Used by Permission

 

WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN is scheduled to begin airing on the UK's BBC in the Summer of 2008

WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN is scheduled to begin airing on the UK's BBC in the Summer of 2008

 

Forrest Whittaker, Blair Underwood, Denzel Washington, and Angela Bassett provide some of the voice-work for THE BIBLE EXPERIENCE - underscored by Kaveh Cohen.

Forrest Whittaker, Blair Underwood, Denzel Washington, and Angela Bassett provide some of the voice-work for THE BIBLE EXPERIENCE - underscored by Kaveh Cohen.

 

 

  Interview: PAGE 1 | PAGE 2
 

Composer Kaveh Cohen and Michael Nielsen

CC: Now library-music seems to be becoming a more competitive arena. Hans Zimmer and co. have had their DIRECTOR'S CUTS out for years, E.S. POSTHUMUS, YOAV GOREN are well known for it as well, so what was the attraction of this niche for you two to produce and release FULL TILT?

KAVEH COHEN: Michael and I, individually, had exposure to the trailer industry early on through a mutual friend of ours who was fairly entrenched in the industry already. So we both had the sensibility to do trailer music. I believe trailer music has a very particular sensibility. It is huge, bombastic and it tells a pretty substantial story in a short amount of time. Now we were both fairly successful at it individually, but at one point we decided that it would be a good idea for us to team up.

CC: What was it that made you think it would be a good idea?

KAVEH COHEN: Well, based on our individual backgrounds, what we each brought to the table was different. We saw that if we put it together it would make for a very good team-up. We could go after this industry together.

CC: So what is it that you each bring to the table that compliments the other's skillset?

MICHAEL NIELSEN: It's sort of funny because Kaveh and I have been doing FULL TILT for about four years now. We were best friends before FULL TILT and are probably even better friends now. When we started though, Kaveh's strength was the orchestral side, while I came with a edgy, rock strength. Now both us could do both types of music, but if you had to nail down our strengths, that is where they would be. We fairly quickly adopted the best qualities of each other. And now its pretty hard for people to tell what Kaveh has written or what I have written.

KAVEH COHEN: What's really great, because of our backgrounds being different, when you hear Michael's orchestral work or when I do rock, electronic, or industrial music, there is a very particular stamp on it. Our music will have an interesting twist on it because of our perspectives. I think this is why FULL TILT has been successful - because of the merging of these perspectives.

CC: How many volumes have you produced?

KAVEH COHEN: We've done 5 so far and that number should grow by 8 or 9 by January of next year.

CC: Are these thematic volumes or volumes simply based on chronology?

KAVEH COHEN: There's two series: FULL TILT, of which there are 3 volumes, and each of them have various categories on them: Orchestral action, drama, thriller, rock etc. and then another line, TRAILER TOOLS has all the various elements to editors need to put together their trailers: hits, big orchestral rises, sound effect drums, big, percussion cues.

CC: WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN is another project you are working on, which is support to start airing on the BBC sometime this year. With the X-MEN having a pretty rich musical history already, what sort of challenge did that present you?


MICHAEL NIELSEN: When we came in the tone was already set by the lead composer, our good friend, DEAN GRINSFELDER. Again, they were going for full, movie music. They didn't want it to sound like a cartoon or tv-show at all. So there was already a sort of template set for the music, but we wanted to bring our own perspective to the music as well. The biggest challenge though was simply the amount of music which must be done. We have half-hour episodes that had close to 28 minutes of music. So each week we get episode after episode that is almost wall-to-wall music. It's just such a different mindset to have to score to picture

KAVEH COHEN: Yes...I'd have to agree. For any television projects I've been involved in, the volume of music needed in such a short period of time has always been the biggest challenge. Also it's a challenge to keep things fresh...especially for a show like X-Men, because it has such a heritage and such a huge fan-following. This show is great and very well written. There is a lot of action every week and that is a challenge too - to keep it fresh an exciting. It's very fun though because it's a totally different process. You end up writing music that you wouldn't have - had it not been for what you are seeing in the picture.

CC: Are you going a different direction, musically, from where the X-Men have been in the past?

MICHAEL NIELSEN: It's definitely a departure from where last animated series went. This is much more along the lines of the last three movies.

CC: How far along are you on the show?

KAVEH COHEN: We've done about 10 episodes but have another 16 to go!

CC: Let me end with this question. You have written the music for the 2007 Audio Book of the Year, THE BIBLE EXPERIENCE. Now, this really intrigued me. What was that experience like compared to writing for movies, TV, video games and trailers.

KAVEH COHEN: That was a very interesting experience for me. First, because of the subject matter - we're dealing with the Bible, which is so important to so many people, of course. So being brought on to service that sort of material was a pretty big challenge. To be able to interpret the stories of the Bible musically and have the music have the same sort of weight that the words themselves have, was a heavy responsibility.

Second, as far as the process - since I'm not versed in the Bible myself, I had to sit down with the producer and he would give me the story-arch of say, The Gospels. He'd give me markers within the story of the Gospels, painting me a little road map of where to start and where we would end up. Then he'd give me all the story-arches in between the beginning and the end of the main arch. I'd then go away and then write music based on that template.

CC: Now is there a big market for writing music for audio books?

KAVEH COHEN: I actually have no idea! (laughs). I happen to know the producers who are very big within different aspects of the music industry. I think this was somewhat of an odd project, even for them. I don't think they had done anything like this before, but they were able to get support of so many actors like: Denzel Washington, Angela Basset, Cuba Gooding Jr and this huge cast of actors. They were all so intrigued by the project that they all came on board right away and helped to make this really special.

CC: Well Kaveh and Michael, I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing more from you both in the near future.

MICHAEL NIELSEN: It's was fun and looking forward to seeing this up on the site!

KAVEH COHEN: Thanks so much. Take care.

 


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Miho Nomura (2008)
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David Robidoux (2007)
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