Interview Lisbeth Scott.



Lisbeth Scott was born in Boston, Massachusetts. From a young age she was interested in music, studying a classical pianist career. Later she discovered the interaction of music with the scene, participating regularly in different cinema productions along with completely consecrated composers, as John Williams, Harry Gregson-Williams or James Horner. She not only has practised like singer in the movies, but also she has dared with the composition. Her albums of not cinematographic music, have brought her a lot of successes, offering multitudinous concerts.


How did your relantionship with film music?

I grew up as  a classical musician… studied piano and was headed towards a concert career… When I realized I had more to say than the piano would hold. When I graduated from college I headed out to Los Angeles. I had grown up watching my ballet star sister in rehearsals and performances almost every night of the week so the marriage of visuals and music was always a big part of my life…, I was playing for dance classes when I first arrived on the West Coast. I was in the hills of Idyllwild playing and singing for a modern dance class when a man who had been playing for the class next door came up to me and told me he worked for a film composer who was looking  for a vocalist with a voice like mine… Would I be interested?

Ha! the film composer was Hans Zimmer. Jeff Rona was the composer who was working with him at the time.
I went into a straight run of three weeks working with Hans on a film called Toys and after that the work flowed. One film after another… I was so lucky… as I began to record my own songs and music I would bring it with me to vocal sessions to let folks know that I was a songwriter as well and then I started to place songs in films… It was all quite lovely!!
How was working with John Williams on Munich?

Working on Munich was spectacular! John was so inspiring and gentle as was Steven. We rehearsed once at John’s studio on the Universal lot where he played me the music just on the piano (I still have a recording of that!).  We all talked about the voice being the voice of atonement for humanity. They did not want one particular language so I created a language out of latin, sanskrit, aramaic and arabic… I chose all words that had to do with peace and love and then carefully cut up the syllables to fit in and flow with John’s melody. The session was live with orchestra at Sony and was magnificent. We did three takes and we ended up using the first one. I couldn’t really see John conducting as they placed me behind him but once the music started it didn’t matter… Funny I had never heard the orchestral part so each moment was a surprise, but I just stuck to my part and all was well! we were all crying and laughing and hugging at the end. John told me I was a great artist and did I realize that? I said  I would treasure his words always.

What composer is easiest for you to work whit?
These days I don’t do a lot of session work but there are a few with whom i will always work: John Debney of course, Nathan Barr, Harry Gregson Williams, John Williams and several others like Rob Duncan and Kim Planert. With all of these people I have an instant artistic connection. We all get lost in the creation, in the world of sound , in the flow of the melody, and in the expression of the emotion we are aiming for… to go to the deepest possible place in the heart is what is most important to me and to help those who hear the work access that place.
What film composers you admire most and why?

Too many to answer this!!! Each composer has such a unique and singular style and approach. I love them all from Philip Glass to Thomas Newman to John Williams and John Debney and Nathan Barr’s  work is dear to my heart and more and more….

Do you know any Spanish composer?

I love the work of Alberto Iglesias, especially his Constant Gardener score. In my travels to Spain I have met many talented Spanish composers as well!

In some of your films, in addition to singing, also you compose a theme. Can we see any film with music composed by you completely?

Yes I have composed for about 6 or 7 films in the last few years… a film called Caroline and Jackie, a film called DRY, several films directed by Louie Schwartzberg, I did additional music on The Boy Next Door and am currently composing for the Amazon children’s series Tumbleaf for which I’ve already done 25 episodes. So composing is very much in my life now!

Tell us a little about your not film music: Albums, concerts, ect.

I’ve been writing songs for years and have released about 10 albums, the most recent called Bird. I’ve written many song for film and they all seem to be connected. Words have always fascinated me. I won lots of poetry contests in school and have just been in love with language my whole life so writing lyrics is natural. Songs land in my head so I write them down and record them!! i love it, and also of course performing. i’ve toured a lot, am in Australia now!  and have also toured singing music from the films I have worked on.

You were recently in Spain, Córdoba, where you played music by John Debney for The Passion of Christ. How did you live through this so special moment? And how was it like working in the original project with Debney?
Singing the Passion in Cordoba was an incredible experience. I performed with Pedro Eustache the incredible world woodwind player, as well as two excellent solists from Cordoba. The wonderful Kevin Kaska conducted. The choir and orchestra were amazing and we all felt that we were elevated to another level!!! Just blissful. The beauty of John’s music transported us all to a deeply emotional and transformative place. There were 6000 in the audience and we have 6 or 7 curtain calls… a lot of weeping!! Just so beautiful! Working on the original film score with John was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Our work together is very organic and effortless… his score is simply breathtaking!

What composers, with which you haven’t worked yet, would you like to work?

I’d love to work with Thomas Newman, Dario Marianelli and Alexander Desplat.

What are you working on currently?

I am currently working on the Amazon series Tumbleaf and two broadway musicals which I’ve been hired to co-write, as well as touring my own music. Fun!!!!

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