Hip hop and electronic samples! Rock to pop covers and instrumentals! Arrangements of your song for string quartet! Whatever your music needs, I can bring!
I specialize in string instruments, specifically the cello. I have been playing for 15 years, and have experience in many different genres.
I can improvise in the style of your song, read the sheet music (if you have any), or create parts from a lead sheet. I will at least need a recording before I can start, or if you only want a recording for samples, I'll need a description of what kind of sound you'd like (crazy, eerie, sad, etc.)
If you would like a transcription of my part or an arrangement I've made for you, I can provide one for an extra fee.
Finally, I can even write an entire piece for you! This will take more than my usual turnaround, and it will cost more.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Cymphoni Fantastique
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Making a living as a musician. It's kind of difficult, but doable for sure! I'm trying to produce more music to increase the size of my catalogue. I want to have more music than Bach and Beethoven combined someday, lol
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Greg Lewis! He is an amazing Jazz pianist and very versatile violist! Honestly, he blew me away the first time I heard him play!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I can only promise to do my best. Anything more will cost extra (just kidding)! I do put my heart into whatever I do, so if nothing else, I'll give you my best sound.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: That I choose it! When I was younger, everyone wanted me to be a doctor and all that because they wanted me to be successful. I'm happy that I can do what I love and define success my own way! Life is much more interesting this way!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How I got my name. It's actually a pun on Berlioz's Symphony Fantastique and my first name Cymphoni (which I thank my dad for).
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I can only play the Bach Suite I Prelude and Cannon in D. A good cellist can play whatever they feel like playing! The best cellists can play everything! ...I'd like to think I'm somewhere in between, lol
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What they had in mind for the part they want me to create. I think it's the most important because you want the part to fit in with as much of the client's vision as possible. If they say they really don't know, I have to do my best to infer from the music what should be added. It's not really hard, but it takes more time I feel.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be specific. Music is pretty subjective and can go in many different directions. The more you kind of narrow down the options, the less likely you are to have a product you might be unsatisfied with.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My cello, a harp, a piano, an iPhone, and a very comfortable house.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been doing music professionally for about 10 years. It's been very interesting! I love it!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is very flexible. I kind of just mold myself to the music. I was classically trained, and you can hear it in the way I cadence sometimes, but mostly I just go with whatever flow I'm feeling.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Kareem Goode. He really helped cement me in music and taught me that cello could do more than Classical music. Plus, I like his style.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: When you mic a cello, make sure the mic is closer to the C-string. The A-string will cut easily, but usually the lower strings can get lost in a big production.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop, R&B, and Classical. Those are the top three, but mostly because it's what my clients ask for.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Improvisation. I was able to really hone it when I started freelancing. It's also when I learned that playing in "hard keys" wasn't all that hard.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Listen to recording, listen to recording while playing the melody, listen to recording while harmonizing with the melody, listening while improving and recording ideas that sound nice, synthesizing final drafts of part from recordings, record improvised part for client. This could take more or less time, but this is basically how I improvise a part. If I have the sheet music, I just practice it and then record it.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Usually, I am asked to improvise a cello part for a client's song. I always get a recording to help me make up a part. Sometimes I get sheet music, but it's not as common. I don't get many composition and requests, but I do get many arrangement requests. Mostly for a 4 part string ensemble (2 violin viola cello or violin viola cello bass).