Bratislava, for those who are unfamiliar with the geography of Europe, is the capital of Slovakia which nestles between Hungary, Austria and Poland. It is a city of contrasts; on one hand you have the old ex Soviet Union drab but functional architecture, on the other you have the pre-twentieth century beautiful old city. Slap bang in the middle of Bratislava is the ‘Slovakia Radio Building’ which provides public service radio for the country. It also houses the recording studios for the ‘Bratislava Symphony Orchestra’ whose musical director and conductor is David Hernando Rico. Having had the pleasure of working with him on a previous project, I was confident that they were the right choice for the recording of the new show reel I had been working on. My goal was to produce ten scores in various different styles.
The orchestra comprised of eighty three musicians including live percussion, which is not common in today’s modern film orchestra ensembles (percussion is usually added in post recording). The state of the art mixing equipment is housed in a booth which overlooks the grand ‘Studio 1’ stage and from this vantage point I could oversee the performance and communicate with David via an intercom. The pure sense of exhilaration of hearing your music performed live that first time is hard to describe; it marks the high point after slavishly working for hours, days, weeks and months on the compositions. No sampled, sequenced, digital playback can compare with the majestic beauty of a live orchestra performance; there is a special quality when every musician is working as one harmonious entity, each player instinctively feeling the mood of the music and providing their own expressive qualities. There was one moment in the recording which will live long in the memory. After the performance of a piece called ‘Honour the Fallen’ the orchestra started clapping which is not a usual custom during a live recording so I felt truly honoured and privileged to receive such a compliment. The professionalism and quality of the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra surely rivals even the most well known orchestras in the world and I feel very fortunate that I was able to write for them.
Please click on the following link to hear the results: Listen here