Maddie Hanover the Australian born composer amazed us with her compositions, entertained us with her mixtape if that's not enough she then answered a few questions for us. Here's the results. Whats your name? Madeleine Hanover Where do you currently reside, live? Melbourne, Australia How long have you been composing and how did you get into it? I've been writing my own music since I was small. I learnt the piano on and off throughout my childhood, but classical repertoire never interested me too much - I was much more happy listening to music that I loved and learning to play it by ear on the piano. This then translated into composition, as I wanted to be able to play the music I heard in my head all the time! I had a break from the piano for 8 or 9 years when I formally learnt the flute, but I came back to the piano and began to play more seriously and frequently. I was a bit of a movie buff when I was younger, and I loved listening to the scores. For me, scores make more sense musically and emotionally than classical music. Looking back, I think I composed in this way because I lived in my head a lot. I had so many creative ideas for music at such a fast pace that film music, which can be quite fragmented, was a perfect fit. What inspires your best music creation moments? When I sit down at the piano, I usually just start playing whatever comes into my head. Sometimes I'll walk past the piano and just think I'll quickly play something - and then I'm there for hours. Often I will go on and on repeating things or changing from one piece to the other. I'll suddenly realise that I'm playing something new or different and have no idea how I got there! What was the thoughts behind your track choice and placement for your playlist? I tried to create a playlist that flowed well. I’m a huge Thomas Newman fan, so I included a lot of his work. I wanted a strong opening, and ‘Orchard House’ is a beautiful, joyous track. I wasn’t conscious of creating any particular narrative or story, but I wanted each piece to flow on from the previous one in a way that made sense musically. A lot of the music I’m fond of is very minimal or subtle, or has its own ascent and descent, beginning and ending on a pensive, thoughtful note. I tried to work up to a peak point around the three-quarter mark with some faster-paced music, such as Hans Zimmer and Clint Mansell, who both combine electronic elements with classical instruments really effectively. I then wanted to come down from the extreme tension in ‘Summer Overture’ and release some emotion with ‘Locke’d Out Again’ (anyone who is a Lost fan will understand just how heart-wrenching that track really is!). Then ‘Finale’ works up again but in the last 30 seconds or so just releases all that tension and finishes with that beautiful Vaughan Williams-like theme that we heard earlier in ‘Balloon Music’. It wasn’t as hard as I expected finding places for my pieces in the tracklist. ‘A Call to Open Spaces’ worked well in between ‘Cathedral’ and ‘Angels in America’ as they all have religious themes in their composition or context of the films/scenes they’re from. I placed ‘Submergence’ following ‘The Cannery’ because there is a strong water theme running through the ‘In The Bedroom’ soundtrack and I felt they fit well together. Finally I put ‘On the Shore’ as the penultimate piece because it’s very meditative and pensive – working really well before the last bit of excitement in ‘Finale’.
Tell is who you are? Tell us what you do?
My name is Dexter Britain. I compose music for use in film and television, sometimes I write specifically for content, but mostly I like to create albums based on stories or ideas I imagine myself.
Which part of world are you from and what’s so good about it?
I’m from Hertfordshire in the UK. It was a quiet place to grow up but had quick access to London to get the best of the suburbs and capital. Now I live on the coast which is a pleasant change. The pace seems slower and the atmosphere in the sun is gorgeous. London always feels like home though. Having only lived there for a year, the melting pot of society and culture is enthralling.
How did you get started in composing?
I’ve always been musical, and from before I was a teenager I wanted to be a soundtrack composer. When I was 15 I began writing music at home, posting it online to Myspace. I went through a phase of wanting to make pop songs, so I pursued electronic music for a little while. By the time I was 22 I knew that more classical/ orchestral music was my forte and I followed that. I began posting new soundtrack inspired music online under Creative Commons and eventually I was noticed by a couple of blogs who set my career rolling.
Do you record live instruments much in your compositions, tell us about an instrument you love to record and how you do it?
I am yet to record any instruments live. The dream is to record a full orchestra, but for now I am planning a session with a string quartet and piano, and some solo cello work.
Do you listen to a lot of music? where do you find new artists/composers?
Music is constantly playing. I listen to countless hours each day. Everything depends on mood as I listen to pop and electronica, to classical and soundtracks. I often find myself deep in the a YouTube rabbit hole. Lately this had led to Ukrainian pop and French electro.
Tell us a bit about mixing and mastering, how do you get to the stage that you’re happy with your final mix?
To be honest, I am never happy with the mastering of my tracks. My mixing and mastering skills definitely leave something to be desired. However, I do listen to a track on multiple speakers and headphones to make sure that the sounds and the emotion is still conveyed in the way I originally intended, even though the overall finish isn’t as polished as I would want.
What’s the latest exciting project you’re involved in?
I was very happy to be placed in the new project by L’Oreal and The Princess Trust. The projects aim is to promote self confidence and features some famous faces including Helen Mirren. At the moment I am working on my first short film project that will be the basis of my summer release. It’s effectively a complete soundtrack album, with a short film presenting the emotional content of the music.
Favourite composers, producers or DJs at the moment?
I’ve been enjoying Lorde’s new single, and Lana Del Rey (plus too much pop music, it’d be embarrassing to say). I like to listen to the playful scores of Johann Johannsson, Rachel Portman, and Thomas Newman.
Any words of inspiration for people reading?
I spent a decade trying to make it in something I have no knowledge of, and no experience or education in. Took a bit of time, but finally I was able to make it happen for me. There is always a way, but the age old formula of sacrifice, hard work and perseverance are key. In this instant age there is more competition for everything than ever before, but with that comes new opportunities.
How can people find out more about your work?
My website (dexterbritain.com) has all my current releases and information, but my
Soundcloud is where I post new music that is not yet released (soundcloud.com/ dexterbritain)