Not only does it take an incredible amount of dedication to create a well-cultivated library, but also an amazing amount of passion and drive. Meet the legendary creators behind the exquisite ‘2nd Foundation Music‘, Daryl Griffith (Orchestrator on Harry Potter and Bedtime Stories) and Bradley Farmer (Score Editor on American Assassin, Music Editor on Baby Driver).
Between them, the pair have worked on multiple well known and creative projects. Their passion for quality music and talent led them to create a library of their own, defined by authentic live recordings. Check out our latest interview with duo below, as they explore the creativity and inspiration behind the music.
Both of you have incredible careers in your own right, what inspired you to create ‘2nd Foundation Music’?
Bradley: We have always really enjoyed playing music. Seeing the last decade present fewer opportunities for composers to record live musicians is something which we don’t think is good for the industry. We pride ourselves on investing in high-quality production and compositional standards, which are innate in recording great musicians and also, avoiding sole reliance on computers to produce orchestral (and other instrumental) music.
Daryl: Another key pillar of 2nd Foundation is being fair to writers. Whether that is offering new opportunities to talented writers who have not found a way to get their foot into the door, or funding recordings so that composers are able to receive all their dues without repaying production loans. It isn’t a popular mantra, but it is something which we think is important to uphold in the future. There’s no reason that composers should take the risk of spending months writing music and have to pay for the recordings as well. The Publisher has to add value and sadly this is often not the case these days.
What inspires you to create music?
Bradley: In terms of inspiration, inspiration is everywhere in everyday life – everything we do has a rhythm, a phrase or a cadence. We like to find ways to encapsulate those moments in our music.
How have your musical experiences in composition and music supervision helped you shape 2nd Foundation Music?
Daryl: I have been lucky in my career, not only to have worked with top musicians, but to have worked in a variety of disciplines including concerts, films, TV and ballet. Each of these requires different approaches and different skills, but, at times, are all relevant to production music.
Bradley: We learn from each project we tackle. My experience as a Music Editor and as a member of many composers’ production teams has put me in a unique position to influence the technical and creative aspects of our productions, so that they are of the upmost use to those who cut music to picture, whether they are Editors, Music Editors, or Producers.
What is your greatest strength?
Bradley: We are certain our greatest strength is the quality of the composition and production. We limit the number of albums we produce each year so there is ample, detailed attention given to each album and to give the composers all of the support they need from their Publisher.
Daryl: From a technical viewpoint, we spend a great deal of time planning alternative versions. We know how useful 30s, 60s, stings & underscores are and how they can sometimes be more useful than the full track. We plan these early to ensure that cutdowns work as pieces of music in their own right, and are not cobbled together as an afterthought. As well as only using live performers, rather than samples, we create all of our tracks in stems. While we know this increases the cost of producing albums enormously, we think it is a necessary investment to give ultimate flexibility to the directors, producers and editors, who use our music.
In your opinion, what is it about recording instrumentals live that makes these tracks so authentic and special?
Bradley: It’s a question we’ve discussed in our company for years and prior even to forming it. We have experimented with ways of creating the lush, unique sound you get from live recording – particularly orchestras. No matter how many variables you keep the same, there is no substitute for recording a room full of players all supporting and inspiring each other.
From the depth of your catalogue, it’s clear to see you have a minimalistic and sympathetic approach to each genre you venture into. How do you achieve this while maintaining your own style?
Daryl: Between us we have very eclectic tastes, and therefore have experience of a wide variety of music. All music is a sum of what has gone before, but we always try to make sure there is that additional spark of originality that will allow our music to stand out above the more generic offerings that some other companies produce.
If you had to choose one album to listen to till the end of time, what would it be and why?
Bradley: I’ve always been a big fan of ‘Forbidden Passions’ which is truly a unique album of salacious music! It is unrivalled in its arena. That or maybe ‘Drama & Raga’ – again because it is totally different to everything else and is a high-octane hybrid of Western and Eastern music.
Daryl: I have so many favourites and they change from month to month. However, possibly ‘Cinematic Folklore’, as in many ways it is unique, but has a lot of quirky, fun-packed tracks on it.
You can hear more from Bradley and Daryl on their extraordinary compositions from 2FM.
Check out our favourites down below!