Song Exploder: a behind the scenes look at music

I have recently been engrossed by Song Exploder, a podcast in which musicians/composers deconstruct one of their pieces. As a musician I am drawn to the show by many aspects; the usually hidden view of an artist’s influences and methods, the inspiration of hearing a professional musician talk so passionately about their work and my love of TV and film scores, which have now appeared in a number of episodes. Read on to listen to some of my favourite episodes.

Genres span everything from pop, rap and electronica to TV and film composition and while there are a number of episodes featuring music I wouldn’t normally listen to, I still find them fascinating. One example is Joey Bada$$’s “Hazeus View” which is really not my cup of tea. But its story and the way the underlying beat was crafted is interesting.

The most recent episode while writing this, and the episode that I was busting to share is a fascinating interview with Harry Gregson-Williams about his score for The Martian, in which Harry describes his instrumental choices and his combination of synthesised and live instruments. All I can say is it’s worth a listen!

Other episodes I have enjoyed are from U2 and the composers behind Game of Thrones, House of Cards and Avengers: Age of Ultron, the last of which again gives a great view under the curtain of film scoring and the process the composer Brian Tyler used.

U2 – Cedarwood Road

Ramin Djawadi – Game of Thrones

Jeff Beal – House of Cards

Brian Tyler – Avengers: Age of Ultron

It’s a seriously great podcast and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I found the podcast in iTunes, but episodes are on the website and SoundCloud. I’d love to know which episodes you enjoy!

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