My foremost intent is to drive the on-screen story, but not overpower it. I like to look at it as if the notes and rhythms I write are supporting characters, making their purpose in the film as fitting as possible. I graduated from the 2014 Grammy Music Revolution Project and occasionally work remotely with HBO/Showtime.
My main genre focuses are scifi, thriller, and anything experimental. I will write a powerful score that propels the on-screen story and give a truly all dimensional impact. I have over 12 years of experience as a guitarist, drummer, songwriter, and composer. My background is in hybrid scores, including elements of blues, jazz, prog rock, and traditional orchestral. I started out primarily as a singer/songwriting and have been showcased at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN.
I'm a visual thinker and my ideas are 3D. Always curious about and inspired by Hans Zimmer's score for the 2010 film "Inception", I jumped in with both feet and followed that curiosity. This, in turn, redefined how I felt about music and the creation of it. With each new texture I record, the instruments become the characters on screen. Their interactions with each other painting colors throughout the composition. I have no doubt that film scoring is right for me and that I have a valuable service to offer.
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Interview with Remy Styrk
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I wrote the opening and closing cues for "CHIOU" - Sled Hockey Short Documentary. It's about a gentleman who lost his leg to lower leg gigantism and now plays sled hockey. It's so refreshing and uplifting. No matter what life throws at you, you continue to grow and conquer. I knew the music had to be intimate and have an appeal to anyone who watched to make them think about a situation in their life they grew from, all while respecting the on-screen story. I had to create a further personal connection between the viewer and the main actor. Not everyone can do that and I'm proud of what I've created.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on creating without limits, restrictions or judgments. I just finished scoring a documentary called "CHIOU".
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Chase Horseman and I would absolutely recommend him.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Colors and sounds can come from anywhere. It's about how, when, and why you use them that stands out.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I've put everything I can physically and mentally into the project and at the end of the day I'm beyond proud of it and excited to share it. All within the client's vision, of course.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: It never feels like work. It never feels like "Oh today I have to do this or today I can't do that". It's always "I get to do this, I get to think in a new way or learn something new."
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: What do you do? I answer every time with: I write and compose to change the way people look at, feel, and hear music. I'm a film composer looking to tell a story.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I think a lot of people don't pay attention to film scores, due to the fact that they're supposed to be underneath the film, but in almost every case the film would be something entirely different without the music. Film scoring is storytelling in the form of audio.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is the overall story of the project? What is going through the character's head in this particular scene? Are there any underlying themes you want to portray?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: There's obviously the option of hiring a composer who's well known and can bring serious attention to the film. I'm a composer who's early in their career being known as a film composer, but my music, personality, work ethic and attention to detail brings a value like no other. I want to tell a story, my story, as well as your story.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Laptop with Spitfire Audio libraries, midi keyboard, midi cable, interface, headphones.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: If you would've asked me my career path several years ago, I would've said: "Get money and be famous". That has changed drastically, as well as my understanding of famous. I'm looking to be successful, to support myself with no worries, to steadily and consistently meet my personal and professional goals. My goal at the moment is to score a feature short film. I've discussed with myself multiple times about do I keep the day job or not. This is what I want and this is my career path: to make film scoring my primary source of income. It doesn't have to be the only thing I do, but I want it to be the main way I support myself. I've writing, recording, composing for over 12 years. I've written in every genre from folk to heavy metal. This is what keeps me grounded.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is free-flowing. I'm very open-minded and curious about so much in life and philosophy. I'm all about personal connections and getting to know people on more than just a client/contractor level. I'm not into showing off with nothing to offer. I believe your work speaks for itself. Respectful and well-deserved charisma is where it's at. If we share the same ideas and creative tendencies or don't and inspire one another to branch out, that is the most valuable part of all this. Your net worth is your network. So my style, I'm determined to create the best I can in the moment and learn from it down the road.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Once again, Hans Zimmer. I would honestly love to just sit down and have a conversation with him. Outside of music, I have no doubt he has a plethora of wisdom, knowledge, and hard truths to share.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Anyone can create, write, produce, make music. What we often forget is that while that's vitally important, there's only a few that can step back from the creation and then work on it as an outside source. Not everything you create has to be the best thing in the world. Not everything you write has to bring an entire theatre to tears or entice an entire audience to rise to their feet in awe. We all have to create, it's a need and want. We don't need to create under pressure 24/7. Have fun with it and if the project is not turning out to what you thought it would take a step back and breathe. You're human, not a robot, not everything you do is technically perfect.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I love to work on scifi and thriller pieces, anything with heavy intrigue.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Creative problem-solving. Whether that's within the actual score, the relationship between the notes or the big question of "where do I start?"
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring a new way of thinking about the notes and rhythms. They are as human as the characters on screen. They all must have a purpose. Would you watch a movie with poor character development/relations? It's the same for music.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I watch every video/film/trailer without the sound on first. I don't anything influencing me other than my intuition right off the bat. It very much depends on the project, but sometimes I start with the melody and sometimes I start with the chords. I find it's a bit easier to start with melody for an important background cue. This way you know you're melody is strong and the chords underneath will tell you whether or not they want to be there. I add in elements one by one, always checking if the on-screen story agrees with my decision.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Small home studio with a couple analog synths, electric and acoustic guitars, a bass, preamps, mics and virtual instruments. I believe I'm the key factor in making my work stand out, not any high-end piece of gear. I work in Pro Tools. Record in a Focusrite Scarlett interface.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Hans Zimmer is my biggest inspiration. The way he listens to what the film needs and wants over what he thinks the film needs and wants. He is a true artist in profession, discipline, and creation.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Cues for documentaries, short films, trailers, and teasers.