Matt Constantine is a crossover electronic, classical and contemporary composer and cellist working primarily with film and new media from his base in west London.
Matt Constantine is a crossover electronic, classical and contemporary composer and Cellist working primarily with film and new media from his base in west London. He trained at Trinity College of Music in London and has composed for picture in many forms from audio-visual live shows to international feature films. His work has been shown in cinema, on television, on national radio and on stages across the world.
As a cellist he has played venues of all sizes from the Sydney Opera House to the Bandshell in Prospect Park New York City. He has played or recorded for a number of artists including Suzerain, DJ Tigerstyle, Nathan 'Flutebox' Lee, Drugstore, and has played in support to acts including Franz Ferdinand, Talvin Singh, Asian Dub Foundation, Trilok Gurtu and many others.
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Interview with Matt Constantine
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Mother India 21st Century Remix. I co-composed this project with DJ Tigersatyle and toured it across the world to much critical acclaim. Live I played the cello and keys and it was great to be part of such a fantastic project.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A multisample instrument, comprising cello articulation samples that are currently overlooked by the well known sample houses.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Well the cello is analog, there's no real alternative to that and I use an analog preamp as I think you should get the best possible sound before you enter the box, but I use high quality RME AD converters to record digitally and the convenience of having the sound down on hard disk outweighs any benefits of tape.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will get the sound that they want and deserve.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Getting to play a wide variety of music and getting to play different music every day.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Cello, ipad with tons of scores on, a mic, headphones and a chair.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been remote recording for about 6 years. I also compose music for sync and remote recording for other composers and bands was a logical step when I already had the setup to do it.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Olafur Arnalds - I love his strings.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Library music, folk, minimalism and classical.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: A full bodied bread and butter sound to bring a tear to your eye.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring my strong warm and emotional sound to a track. I can work from a score, Improvise or take a part from MIDI files.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I use Cubase to record in my dedicated acoustically treated live room. The cello is close mic'ed by an AKG C414 which then goes through a Focusrite ISA Preamp and an RME audio interface. I can also record with electric cello when requested. I use a Yamaha electric and this is sent through a SansAmp preamp/DI into the Focusrite ISA Preamp.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mainly it tends to be simple lines to add that cello emotion to a track. Sometimes it is adding a big solo to a sync track or occasionally doubling sampled string lines to give them an air of realism in the mix.