Composer Ilan Eshkeri wrote and conducted last year’s Christmas hit The Snowman and The Snowdog together with Andy Burrows, of Razorlight fame. They will be performing this soundtrack live to picture along with the London Metropolitan Orchestra at the Union Chapel on 12, 13 and 14, December, 2013. We caught up with Ilan to find out about the man behind the music…
Can you tell us a little about what you do for a job?
I write music mostly for films, but sometimes for classical concerts or with bands
How and why did you get involved with the Snowman and Snowdog?
The film makers asked me if I was interested and because I had grown up loving the original Snowman I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in it
What is your office environment like?
When I’m thinking up melodies I like to be on my own so I normally work from home, but there’s a another side to it which is through checking the printed music, preparing files for the orchestra to record, budgeting etc, Normally I do all of that at my producer’s studio.
Do you have such a thing as a ‘typical’ day?
Not really. That’s why I love my job, one day I’m at home writing, the next day I’m visiting a film set, the next I’m at Abbey Road studios with a band, or I’m in LA on a studio lot or Paris giving a concert. It’s kind of chaotic, but it’s exciting and I enjoy it.
Did you always want to do what you do now, for a job?
I always wanted to be in the music business, but originally I wanted to be a guitarist in a rock band!
What was the first thing you wanted to be ‘when you grew up’?
I just rang and asked my mum to check, and she says that I wanted to be a spaceman.
What is the best thing about your job?
Creatively I start something and get to see it through to its end. It’s very satisfying to be able to look back on the different completed works I created.
Are there any downsides to your job?
There’s a lot more paperwork and management than I ever imagined
How do you come up with creative, original ideas?
I try to not be too demanding of myself. If I decide to try and create ‘the most amazing theme since Beethoven’s 9th symphony’ then I freak out and can’t write. So I say to myself, ‘just try and write something ordinary… something that isn’t exceptional – you can always improve it later’ Once the pressure is gone I can enjoy being creative and then good stuff comes to me
What is coming up, work-wise, for you and your business? Any new ventures?
I’m about to release a film called the Invisible Woman, directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes. The music is a duet for Violin and Cello, and I’m really proud of it.
Would you want your children to follow in your footsteps?
I’d want my children to do whatever made them happy.
If you had superhero skills, (flying, invisibility, super strength), what would be your dream job?
Can I be an evil mastermind and take over the world?
Tickets for The Snowman and The Snowdog concerts at Union Chapel can be purchased online at Gigs and Tours