Interview with German composer Valentin Boomes (Immediate Music & RSM)
When we met Yoav Goren a while ago here in Germany he mentioned a composer called Valentin Boomes. He spoke about him as a German composer who got contracted recently by Immediate Music due to his great talent. The name wasn’t new to us but we never took the chance to get in touch with him and to listen to his tracks carefully. When we did so it was not only a pleasure to write him due to his openness and kindness but we were also massively impressed by his compositions.
But he did not only blew us away with massive sounds getting louder and louder as we like to hear it in the Trailers but also with the calm strength his tracks consist of. This strength dominates his calmer pieces but is also the basis for his explosive compositions. He’s a big fan of serious emotional neo-classical compositions and that’s what you’ll hear in each of his tracks. You’ll listen to several instruments you’re not used to hear in Trailer Music tracks as well as Soundtracks. Enjoy now reading how everything started, what motivates and moves Valentin Boomes and everything around his Trailer Music and Soundtrack compositions.
How did you become a composer?
That was a long process. From early ages on, I have felt that music is a key part in my life. I experimented with many instruments and styles until I figured out where I feel at home most in the musical landscape. One day, I must have been 13 years old, I coincidentally got an old demo of a really simple DAW from somewhere. That was when I started my journey. Step by step, I learned everything I would need for being a composer. I started composing music for student projects, short films, even audiobooks. Soon I got my first commercial jobs for big names like Carl Zeiss, Bosch, Mercedes, and first requests for documentations and Feature Length Films. I think that is how I started as a composer.
What awoke your interest in Soundtracks and Trailer Music pieces?
In the beginning I did not really have the intention of being a film-music composer. I was just pleased with making emotional music and I loved the fact that by means of the technology I was able to be a “whole band” or a “complete orchestra”. In the course of time I realized that I was always trying to tell stories with my music. I love painting pictures with music. So I noticed that this is actually what film-music does. Later I learned about Trailer Music and I realized that it allowed me to unfold a colorful fan of a wide spectrum of emotions in really a short time.
Tell us something about your inspiration while composing.
When composing for motion picture, the movie itself is what inspires me. Most of the time I just dive into the feeling and the emotion of the world I want to create. First of all I build the scenery, then I try to feel which story wants to be narrated. When I am inspired, I mostly know from the beginning where I want to go and how It should sound like in the end. So finally, for me personally, it´s a question of how close I can come to what I have in mind with my current skills and technical possibilities. Once I have finished my journey I start polishing the piece to perfection. I am very demanding on that.
Is there a special story you’d like to tell us about a specific track?
“Memoria” in some respects was the one piece which opened the doors for me to the trailer music scene. For my personal development, it represents a leap and a milestone. Through “Memoria” I got to know many talented composers and I was given the opportunity of making valuable contacts. Last year I was able to achieve the third place in the “8DIO standout composer contest” with this work. Furthermore, it is one of my first works to be taken under contract by Immediate Music. During the process of creating, I was full of inspiration and memories of wonderful experiences of my past. Hence the title “Memoria”. I’m a big fan of Ludovico Einaudi, whose influence may be heard in this piece.
What’s the track you like the most from your own tracks?
I don´t have one single favorite track. In most cases, it is the last one I did. But there are some really special tracks for me like e.g. “Aurora”, “Mana”, “Evolve” or “fuse”. I have also composed quite sensitive cues which belong to my favorite list like “Golden Fields”, also being a piece that will be published by Immediate Music. Others are “Our Nature” and “Alive”.
What is it that makes them special for you?
My inspiration guided me to the right direction during the composing process. They are really close to what I had in mind and I was able to give them something really personal from me, with an unique character, which is not always the case. Therefore they are special.
Probably you don’t collaborate with singers often. How was it to work with Julie Elven? Please, tell us something about the process.
Oh, that was actually a great collaboration for “Mana”, my first release with ReallySlowMotion. Julie works really intuitive with her voice and thus she was able to dive deeply into the emotion of “Mana”. As a matter of fact, with her lyrical voice she attached real life to that piece. We talked a long time and tried out different things. Beside the lead melody parts she experimented a lot and awoke a new energy. She discovered a potential in “Mana” I hadn’t been able to imagine before. So generally speaking, working with her has induced a great synergy effect. Thank you again Julie :-)
How do you define the word “epic”?
For me it is strongly connected to peoples’ history, to monumental old stories of their hidden past, which is covered by the Greek word “epos”. That fits perfectly to what I connect with emotions in some kind of music. So for me epic music must have this spirit to be titled epic, it doesn´t have to be medieval nor to be related to fantasy, it even can be modern. But it has to be epic in its original meaning: having a narrative, monumental character.
How many instruments do you play? What was your first instrument?
My first instrument was a recorder-flute that I played in my early childhood. Therefore I probably have the passion for woodwinds. That instrument touched me so deeply that I always had to cry when listening to it. Then I had violin training for about 4 years. But that should be paying out much later as I was so bored during the lesson and alway dreamed away with the music. Music theory had no chance with me. After that I had two years trumpet and tin whistle training. I always wanted to play straight away perfectly and just as it sounded in my imagination, so I mostly skipped the exercise part. Today I play all kinds of woodwinds, preferably the exotic ones. And I am into learning how to play the piano well. Whatsoevea, all these experiences prepared me to what I am doing now and trained my musical ear.
What’s your favorite instrument?
Piano, Fujara-flute, Voice
What do you bring to the music business? What is special about your compositions?
That should perhaps judge others. What I can say is that I like to surprise. So you listen to a track, feel like you know what it is about but then there comes an unexpected change. I don´t like much repetition. I try to achieve huge contrasts that awakes you. I try to be unique and to keep my own stile. I don´t strictly follow the musical rules, concepts and styles but I always follow my overall rule of a superior aesthetic.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years…?
I always try to bake small buns. Last year I couldn´t even imagine where I am now. I have a great trust in that everything comes at the right time. But to have a comfortable living from my passion would be great!
…and in 10 years?
…to far for my little brain :-)
What has been your biggest success so far?
That I got where I am right now. And the fact that I have the opportunity to work together with a great person like Yoav Goren and companies like Immediate Music and ReallySlowMotion.
How is it different for you to compose for either of them?
Well, one big difference is that many of the guys from ReallySlowMotion I had known before and we have a great trustful friendship. It feels like a composer family that encounter again in ReallySlowMotion. Working for Immediate is amazing. You can really feel the experience of 20 years. There is a big confidence in my Skills and they take much time to polish my Tracks in the post-production and bring my composition to another level. Yoav Goren helped me a lot to get into this all. Composing for both is great , and yes, there is a difference.
How does it feel to get licensed by a big company?
Amazing, its like experiencing for the first time that what you have been doing so far is good and all the hard work finally pays off after more than a decade of training. Finally my music is being heard and valued by someone else then my family and friends. That really feels great!
Will you focus on writing Trailer Music or Soundtracks in the future?
Hard to say. I am flexible and open to everything that comes. Both styles do have qualities I don´t want to miss. Right now I am definitely more into Trailer Music.
Tell us something about upcoming projects.
I am currently composing a lot of stuff for upcoming Trailer Music releases. Some of the compositions I am preparing for live orchestra recordings. I am really exited to introduce my latest pieces, but we will have to be patient as they will be released to the industry first. I am also working on some great feature length films. One of them is “Listen”, a sci-fi- drama-romance directed by F.C.Rabbath. For this movie I have provided music together with great composers like Ivan Torrent, Ryan Taubert and Sean Beeson.
Another exiting project I am currently scoring is “Roulette”, a thriller- horror- drama by Film Fatal. It is about a girl that ends up in prostitution and gets kidnapped by a secret society of rich and influential persons who bet on life and death while the girls have to shoot each others. Heavy stuff. Then I have some promising projects running in collaboration with “Avinth Film Berlin” and last but not least I have made some music-productions for upcoming commercials.
How do you see the usage of choirs in Soundtracks and Trailer Music pieces?
I personally don´t like it too much. In my opinion, it has been overused too much recently and has become a little bit outworn. Sometimes it’s just too hysterical to me and I feel like “come on, calm down, take a break and relax”. Especially when the choir is so euphoric, it runs the risk of depriving itself the dignity and beauty and sounds like fanatic and just overloaded. But of course I love choirs when they are well balanced and load-bearing in the composition, always keeping a secret in itself.
Hans Zimmer or John Williams?
Well, I feel more attracted by the way Hans Zimmer composes. I have a lot of respect to the more traditional, classical way, so I really appreciate Williams‘s art of composing, but I have always loved mixing electronic and organic instruments and therefore I feel more familiar with Hans Zimmer. But I like many other composers too such as James Horner, Ennio Morricone, or Thomas Newman to name a few.
You’re a 90s child so: Backstreet Boys or *N Sync?
Neither the one nor the other. I have never had a sense for boygroups and teenie-pop. These things have gone completely past me. Until today in most cases I have big problems with commercial mainstream popmusic. Of course there are incredible talents, just as in all other areas where creative and inspired people are at work, but in general I don´t like the shallowness of the lyrics, the easy knitted arrangements and the chord progressions likewise. A really cool group that I like a lot is Dirty Loops!
Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for giving me this space to be heard.
I also want to thank to everybody who support me and my music. I am just overwhelmed about all the kind mails I have received in the last Year! That motivates me a lot and gives me confidence that I am on the right way :-)