In just a few years, Joe Trapanese has earned a reputation as a successful composer, arranger, orchestrator and music producer for film, television, multimedia, live theater and concerts.
“Theater work informs my music for film, TV and multimedia, much as the different work I do as a composer, arranger, orchestrator and producer influences each of those roles,” Trapanese states. “The work intermingles and makes everything better. A lot of what I do is problem solving and dealing with clients, and the more experience you have with that, the better off you are.
“My goal is to do what I do in the best possible way,” he continues, “no matter what role I play in the process. It’s just exciting to be in a room with great artists and be called on to do what I do best, which is to blur the lines between categories.”
Collaborating with other artists is a central element that comes up again and again: “I love collaborations because it’s the art of being part of something bigger than yourself. Working with directors, writers and producers elevates my work. I’m like an actor contributing another layer, so cooperation is essential. Musically I have been very fortunate to work with great artists like M83, Mike Shinoda, and Daft Punk.”
Before he sits down with his instruments, Trapanese usually has a general idea of what he’s looking for. “I start with piano and then surround myself with old analog synthesizers and all sorts of modern orchestral sounds and sound libraries that speak back to me creatively,” he explains. “I might have one idea but a certain sound leads me in a different direction and I’ll follow that. In that sense, it’s a very interactive process.”
Besides a brace of synthesizers, computers and software, his studio in Hollywood is equipped with Adam Audio monitors. When recording, he composes with Logic then uses Pro Tools like a tape machine and records it to audio so he can deliver it in the format all of the film and post houses are using. Sometimes he uses an engineer and records with a Euphonics console.
“I’m very dependent on my ADAM monitors because the way they sound is how I will hear things, the most important part of the process. I spent a lot of time listening to all kinds of monitors and eventually found that ADAM helps me deliver all of my ideas in a way that wasn’t possible with other speakers.
“The body of the sound is much better and I can more definition in the lower midrange- with film music, that’s where the body of your music is because that’s what will carry in theaters. It’s below the vocal range where you thrill people. If you have that area of the frequency range under control and you can hear it and work with it effectively, you’re mixes will translate better to the theater. The power and clarity of the ADAM A7Xs is breathtaking.”
Currently, Trapanese is scoring “Tron: Uprising,” an animated series for TV premiering June 7th on Disney XP. Earlier this year, he contributed arrangements and orchestrations for French musician Anthony Gonzalez and his group M83’s double album “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.”