Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Can You Make This Sound Like An Italian Romantic-Comedy?"

Joe Hardtke

I'm a very lucky fella with a wildly creative job. As Technical Director, part of my gig is to find sound and music that supports and compliments Jean's conversation. But this often leads to some pretty odd discussion all by itself.

Carly and I were talking just this afternoon about how we could enhance Friday's show with author Guilia Melucci on her book I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti. I'm paraphrasing, but it went a little something like this...

(For added fun... Links are included to give you an idea of how my mental jukebox might have reacted to Carly's suggestions.)

Carly: "We need sound and music that feels like cooking."
Me: "What kind of cooking?"
Carly: "Like you're making a classy dinner for a boyfriend..."
Me: "OK."
Carly: "...but no matter what you cook, things seem to go horribly wrong."
Me: "Horribly?"
Carly: "Yeah, horribly. But comically at the same time."
Me: "So is this like a romantic comedy."
Carly: "Yes, but based around spaghetti."
Me: "Got it, so it's an Italian romantic comedy."
Carly: "Kind of. But not too Italian. We should avoid cliches."
Me: "OK."
Carly: "You know, it could sound a little like the music in Amelie."
Me: "...but not French. Italian."
Carly: "Yeah. Italian. It should just feel like Amelie."
Me: "Like Amelie. Got it. So maybe the music should feel a little befuddled, too. Like no matter what the protagonist does, things always go wrong. Somewhat like a Woody Allen film."
Carly: "Sure."
Me: "So let's sum things up... Music for an Italian romantic comedy based around spaghetti that sounds a little like Audrey Tautou on a horrible date with Woody Allen."

So what exactly does that sound like to you? I actually think I might have an idea. Mid-70's Italian pop/M.O.R. music. Somewhere along the lines of Paolo Conte. He's witty and comical, but dry. He's Italian, but his roots don't show as much. He's romantic, but melancholic and sarcastic sounding. He's classic, but has a down-on-his-luck kind of feel.

I might try to find instrumental versions of his songs, though. His lyrics might distract from the conversation and instrumentals are always easier to talk over.

It's always a fun challenge to set the mood for listeners. I feel I'm pretty good at this, but I'm always open to suggestions and I'm still not sure about this one. Any ideas?

No comments: