Welcome to Node Records’ new series 5 Questions!
Composer Jeff Beal takes us through his Light Falls score, and we learn some fun facts in the process! Stream Jeff’s score here, and stay up-to-date with PBS for screenings!
Tell us about scoring Light Falls
I’m a real science nerd, and had read several of Brian Greene’s books, esp. The Elegant Universe – when the call came, it was a no-brainer. I love history and documentary film making. The way Brian created this, it’s really like a part live-action recreation of Einstein’s life story; crossed with a heady, visual trip into the world of his theories and discoveries.
What or who were your musical influences for Light Falls?
Light Falls was very much about early 20th century Europe – there is a nod to 2nd Viennese School-type harmony, esp. that of Alban Berg whom I’ve always loved; plus a more minimalist mathematical approach, which is a nod to physics expressed as music. There was a recurring theme of the relative nature of time, clocks moving at different speeds, etc. – I tried working that into the score as well. I feel Stravinsky was an early master of that, and a lot of John Adams works often do that effectively as well.
Like a lot of geniuses, Einstein had a gift of humor and never seemed to take himself too seriously, so there are moments of lightness, in a more neo-classical style.
Which director would you love to work with?
There’s a few, and I’ve been very lucky to already cross a few off the bucket list. I’d love to work with Pedro Almavodar, Christopher Nolan, Sam Mendes, Brad Bird, Terrance Malik, Alejandro Iñárritu, Spike Lee
If not a composer, what would your career be?
Architect, or Painter?
Favorite place in the world and why
Inside a concert hall, for a dress rehearsal of a new piece. It’s kind of like having a private magical music laboratory – all the things you imagined (and many you didn’t) come to life. Aside from that my wife and I just vacationed in the Amalfi coast of Italy – I could spend lot of time there composing, living, and eating!