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AN INTERVIEW WITH Hannah Hsieh, COMPOSER
As a Composer, please introduce yourself and let us know how and why you became as a musician?
I am a dulcimer performer and composer from Taiwan. I started to play the piano at 5 years old, and began studying the Chinese dulcimer
and playing it with a variety of orchestras when I was 10 years old. Before I came to America, I played many times with
Baochun Li's Peking Opera Neo-Classics Orchestra as a dulcimer and keyboard performer, and also went on tour to many cities all over China during 2009-2014. After I have experienced lots of musical performances, I started to think about what I can do more
in the musical life of my future. Then, I decided to come to America to study music production in 2016 becasue I want to try to
use the dulcimer in different musical styles. I feel it would be a great idea to feature the instrument in my own musical compositions.
Give us some more information about your collaboration with the filmmakers?
Actually, "Share the Love" which I'm currently promoting is my first film scoring, and it's advertising about being low-income families that have limited exposure to the marvelous world of cinema. My second short film was an animation, it’s called "Meow".
The story is about a dog who thinks he is a cat and meets a real dog for the first time.
What are the films or people that had impacts on you and deeply inspired you to become a musician?
The person that I’d like to talk about is Ennio Morricone who is a very famous Italian film composer and is also a significant person
that inspires me to want to become a film composer. There is a soundtrack that he made called “Playing Love” which is from
the movie called "The Legend of 1900" (1998). His compositions inspire me a lot in my music life because he makes me
understand what the most wonderful thing is in music as a composer. For me, the most significant things in his musical compositions
are emotional engagement and simplicity, and it's all I want in my musical work.
In film industry what movie do you like best and why?
My favorite movie is "The Legend of 1900", and I feel this one is the most classical movie for me so far.
After I watched the movie, it made me think about the meaning of life a lot.
What are your favorite film genres to work on? Why?
Good question. It’s a really tough one for me. As a composer, I feel I would like to work on every film genres
and I like to try the new thing to get different inspiration.
In filmmaking who do you like to work with if you have a choice in your life?
On the film music side, I would like to work with Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Alexandre Desplat. I hope that I can record
the dulcimer in their musical composition, and also composing the soundtrack with them together. That is my biggest dream!
Your music in the short film "Share the Love" was officially selected in the
"American Golden Picture International Film Festival".
What were some of the challenges you faced in making the music for the film?
I think the most challenge that I faced in making the music for the "Share the Love" is which instruments I should use in the film.
This is my first question that I ask myself when I watch the video. I hoped by composing "Share the Love" that
I could create a sense of warm empathy toward the video's subject of low-income families that have limited exposure
to the marvelous world of cinema. Therefore, I decided to feature the piano because of the instrument's ability to conjure
among its listeners a wide variety of emotions. Also, I decided to utilize the viola and bass in some parts, as these two instruments
add a beautiful, yet melancholic quality to the melody. Overall, my objective in composing "Share the Love" for the AMC Campaign
PSA was to offer through my music a gift to those who could use a little levity in their lives by experiencing the transcendent
nature of cinema; its imagery, music and storytelling, and the sublime nature of fantasy that can provide a respite to audiences.
For you what was the biggest lesson you had to learn in composing so far?
Willing to accept and respect different cultures. For me, I feel as a composer I should go outside to know people and share something
with each other or discover something which is curious through the different environments. I can tell that my musical
composition was inspired by many people who come from different countries that I have met.
To you, what part of making the music for a film is the hardest part?
In my opinion, I think the hardest part is that you need to really go into the film, and know every detail of the story deeply.
Composing the music for the film is not only music, but also need to help the film to explain the emotion.
The most important part in filmmaking and of course your music is distributing. What did you do so far for distributing your different music that you have made so far?
I‘ve been focusing on submitting my film scoring to the worldwide of independent festivals like the
"American Golden Picture International Film Festival".
I hope that I can reach out more to a wider audience so they know about what my belief is with music and connect
with more industry professionals.
What keeps you inspired to continue?
All my life and experiences. A positive attitude. Passion.
What sorts of movies would you like to get involved if you had your choice?
For now, if I get a chance, I would like to compose the music of documentary about the protests for freedom in Hong Kong.
It really made me feel so sad when I watch the videos and want to do something for them.
What are your goals as composer?
As a composer of original music, my goal is that I can compose the music by connecting with the dulcimer, and fusion the
different musical styles together in my own musical compositions.
What is your next project?
I would like to focus on creating more music by using the dulcimer because I want to accumulate more musical works
and be ready until I get a new film project.
GOOD LUCK Hannah
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