Screen Sounds: Rising Dance Music Producer Maison Ware on Film Scoring

Dance music producer Maison Ware is a progressive musician whose work captivates and intrigues. His latest mau5trap release “Bring Me To Life” ft. Fluir is a tale of intoxicating lust and straddles the line between warehouse banger and dancefloor bop. 

Besides producing, Maison Ware is a rising film composer, scoring the film Spree which was executive-produced by Drake and premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Recently, in a partnership with Extreme music, the budding composer collaborated with deadmau5 to create music for film and television. His ability to conjure music for the screen speaks to his adeptness in creating a cinematic experience through sound, something listeners will find within his music releases as well.

The artist spoke to me about what inspires his film score work and his music, read the interview below!

How did you get into film scoring and at what point did you realize you wanted to be a composer?

I’ve always been fascinated by the way sound can enhance a film and set the mood for a scene. I often draw inspiration from films and often watch movies in the background when writing music as well. Friends I would play my records to would often describe it as ‘cinematic’ so I think becoming a composer was something that happened organically for me. 

How was the collaborative process like between you and the filmmaking team for Spree?

Scoring Spree was a lot of fun. The director, Eugene, and the music supervisors had a clear vision for the film. The role of bringing that vision to life was both exciting and challenging. 
We worked on multiple scenes per day and bounced back and forth between ideas over FaceTime—the time difference between the US and Australia made this hard, but we worked around the clock to make sure the audio was delivered in time.

How long does it take for you to finish the final cut of a score versus an LP or EP? 

It’s hard to put a time limit on composing, some ideas flow effortlessly and others take a little more pushing. In both scenarios, sometimes version 1 just works and other times you find yourself at version 27 before it feels right. 

How are these similar (or different), and at the moment, are you enjoying one more than the other?

It often depends on the objective of the score or record. For me, music is a feeling, so every record and composition has a different message depending on what I’m trying to achieve. 
Although the process is very similar, I’d say the biggest challenge between composing music for film versus an LP or EP is that often the visuals take priority over the audio in film, meaning that you often have to push musical boundaries and make music that fits what’s on the screen rather than music with traditional theory or structure. I often use instinct to decide how to piece a composition together.  

What is your approach to making music for a film when it comes to instruments?

I like to use a variety of both light and harsh, real and synthetic instruments depending on the energy of the scene. I’ll often use organic instruments but then couple them with something a little bigger for when there’s a significant moment on the screen. 

Can you give us a little insight into how you compose—the methods you use, how things come to you—perhaps something on the nuts and bolts you use to compose?

When composing, I’ll often watch the scene on loop for a few minutes until an initial idea comes to me. Using instinct, I’ll translate colors into a musical tone and visual moments into musical theory. If something is dark and moody on screen I’ll pick chords and melodies that represent that and so on. I don’t follow any specific recipe, every composition should feel like its own and come from a different place within.  I do love using the KORG and Moog synthesizers though! 

In terms of composing, who inspires you, and which scores do you love?

Lately, I’ve been loving Ludwig Goransaon’s scores in TENET and Black Panther. 

Your latest single is quite dark, gorgeous, and features a masterful sound design. What inspires your music lately?

Thank you! I draw inspiration from everywhere and everything in my life. The main objective is to tell a story and allow the listener to feel something when listening to my music. I wrote my latest single after a breakup, a moment in my life where I was feeling slightly lost, but it’s about being to climb out of that and looking to the bright dawn on the horizon.

What kinds of films do you enjoy? Who are some directors you’d like to work with someday?

It would be a pleasure to work with Christopher Nolan someday. I enjoy all of his films.

What is your dream composing gig?

I’d love to score a film for Marvel!

What’s next for you in terms of music &/or composing?

I plan on releasing at least one new record each month. There are some exciting sync opportunities in place for me at the moment and I have a feeling the next film score gig is just around the corner.

Follow Maison Ware on Spotify.

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