A SYMBIOSIS ON FILM AND MUSIC An interview on film scoring with Maesa Pullman, Dalal Bruchmann & Jaclyn Bethany

Dalal Bruchmann, Dalal, Maesa Pullman, Maesa, Jaclyn Bethany, Filmscoring, femalecomposers

Dalal Bruchmann is a recording artist and composer, originally from Austria now living and working in the United States and the UK. Together with her friend, singer and composer Maesa Pullman, they are a female composing Duo and scored the theatrical feature film “Indigo Valley” directed by Jaclyn Bethany, (starring Rosie Day (Outlander) and Brandon Sklenar (Mapplethorpe)) The soundtrack for the film was nominated for Best Score at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards and the OST Album will be released on December 6th via The Orchard/Sony. Read the interview with Jaclyn Bethany, Maesa Pullman, and Dalal Bruchmann to find out more.

Jaclyn Bethany 

What do you think music adds to a film? 

That’s such a long answer. I am such a musical person, I grew up doing musical theatre, so really I was very passionate about music before film. But my first, vivid cinematic memory is watching The Wizard of Oz when I was three years old. A musical film. It transported me. I watched it so many times my dad knew all the words! Think about that film without the music. It wouldn’t be the same or nearly as impactful. Then, when I started making films and paying more attention to the cinematic experience – I was inspired by composers like Dario Marinelli, Alexandre Desplat, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Lisa Batiashvili, Mark Bradshaw, and the way Sofia Coppola placed music in her films. I think like editing, music can completely change a film. It is part of creating the world of the film and I think its importance in cinema is often overlooked, compared to actors or directors for example. 

Did you have a specific vision for the music for Indigo Valley?  

I think I did. Although it changed over the course of time. Music, specifically classical was very integral to the script from the beginning because one of our lead characters, John is a violinist. I knew I wanted to bring Maesa and Dalal together having worked with them before separately, I felt their sounds could combine and create something very special and unique. I think I was right! The film is very moody and dark, at times haunting and otherworldly – I wanted the score to reflect that. Dalal had a strong sense of the classical side with European influence and Maesa is more folksy and spiritual in style. They both have beautiful and very different voices, and when they combined all of their talents it created this hauntingly beautiful, emotional sound. I referenced Nick Cave, Mark Bradshaw’s score from Top of The Lake, and the use of Schubert in Liv Ullman’s recent Miss Julie – also a menage a trois gender struggle between two women and one man. 

What’s next for you as a Director/ Actress/Writer? 

I guess different things, in each category with some overlap! As an actor/writer, I filmed a movie called Under the Lantern Lit Sky that filmed over the summer. It is a re-imagined prequel to A Streetcar Named Desire. Also I have a small part in a new film by one of my favorite directors that I am not really allowed to discuss! It’s a Netflix film scheduled for release in 2020. I am also awaiting the release of Indigo Valley, and I am about to begin shooting my second feature (it’s experimental and improvised) called Highway One in one week. I am just directing and came up with the concept. . Plus, Maesa and Dalal are creating a very special score for it, that we are all excited about! I constantly have ideas and try to keep writing and creating. Other than that, I have a few more female driven projects I want to launch in 2020. 

You can watch my web series The Rehearsal online here: www.rehearsalseries.com – we are planning some more screenings of this project for 2020!

Jaclyn Bethany

Jaclyn Bethany

MAESA & DALAL 

Do you like more freedom or more direction when creating a score?

MAESA PULLMAN: 

I like getting an idea of what the music should be doing for the story. I like getting direction in terms of mood and intention of the music. I like listening to references and exploring what the world of the film feels and sounds like. The environment/setting of the film as well as relationships between characters really moves and inspires me to write and guides me through making the music. That is one thing I loved about working with Jaclyn from the start – she is instinctually balanced in the way that she gives direction and freedom. She knows what she likes and wants but also has trusted Dalal and I to make musical choices once we are in the process. I really appreciate that.

DALAL BRUCHMANN:

I do like a general sense of direction. There are so many, many routes you can go with a film score – the ideas are pretty much endless. I love it when a Director already comes equipped with a certain vision. Sometimes even talking about the things they don’t want to hear happen musically is a great starting direction.  

I love when I’m challenged in the process of scoring and I love it when I can sink my teeth into something new and still be trusted enough to add my signature to it as well. I write a lot in colors so mood boards, color swatches and so on are really important to me. For Indigo Valley Jaclyn had a strong musical vision of balancing the intimate and familiar with the unknown wild. I’m so very, very glad that she brought Maesa and me together on this project! It has been such an immense joy to work on this film with her and Jaclyn! 

Dalal Bruchmann, Maesa Pullman, Filmscoring, femalecomposers

Dala and Maesa

You both are also singers and used your voice talents in the film Indigo Valley. Was that planned?

MAESA PULLMAN:

I am not sure! What I knew about Dalal before we started working together was that she was a master composer and experienced with strings and classical music. We needed a violin and other stringed elements in this score and Dalal brought her expertise in this area to the project. The fact that she is an amazing singer elevated the whole collaborative experience and ended up informing the path that the soundtrack ultimately took. Because the story is about two sisters we knew we wanted only/all female vocals, and in this vein, Dalal and I co-wrote a few duets reflecting this sister dynamic. 

DALAL BRUCHMANN:

I feel like it naturally segwayed into using our voices. 

I heard Maesa sing prior to working with her and I absolutely LOVED her voice, style and her beautiful presence on stage. 

I was over the moon when Jaclyn suggested a composing collaboration! 

At the heart of Indigo Valley is the story of two sisters and that was a main theme that weaved itself through our score. Maesa and I also love a good Duet or 100 😉 so this film was really the icing on the cake for us! 🙂 

Your first composing collaboration was nominated for 2 Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Congratulations! Where can you hear/ buy the soundtrack? 

MAESA PULLMAN: 

Thank you! It was an honor to be nominated for the HMMAs. The soundtrack comes out on December 6th on The Orchard and available for purchase on any/all of your favorite online music platforms. You can pre-order it now and watch the Braided music video online.

DALAL BRUCHMANN:

Thank you so much! It’s all so exciting! The soundtrack releases December 6th via The Orchard. You can get it on Apple Music, Amazon Music and stream it on Spotify, Deezer and other platforms. 

If you purchase the whole Album you also get a lovely booklet with it that gives you a little more insight into the composing process, the film and so on. 🙂 

We also shot a video on Super 8mm for the main duet called “Braided”. It’s on youtube 😉 

It’s great to see two talented female composers working together! What’s next for you individually as well as a composing duo? 

MAESA PULLMAN: 

It’s truly a gift to collaborate with Dalal in music, I have grown so much in the experience of working with her and I am excited about the next projects we have lined up. Two of which are again, thanks to Jaclyn Bethany. It is exciting to build off of our experience of working together on Indigo Valley and continue to create as a team. There is Under the Lantern Lit Sky, a film set in Mississippi in the 1920s – great era for music. Then, Jaclyn’s next experimental, and partially improvised film, Highway One, which I am so excited to dive into. Personally, I will be releasing songs from my forth coming full length album, Death of the Machine, throughout the beginning months of 2020. I will be playing every Monday night in January at the Love Song Bar in downtown Los Angeles – come to show! I will also be recording with songwriters Miranda Lee Richards and my cousin Rosa Pullman and the Norwegian project The Last Hurrah!! produced by Hans Petter Gundersen. I have a UK tour in the works for the summer and will be helping to start a record label with my husband Jason Hiller, expanding the Electrosound studio services. It is all happening! 

DALAL BRUCHMANN:

Yes! Oh, it’s been the most joyous of experiences to work with Maesa! I love how she approaches music! She is an incredibly present musician that enjoys being IN the music and follows where it leads her. I always feel I’m growing as a musician when I’m working with her and her husband! I’m looking forward to each meeting and session! 

It’s not easy to find real friends in LA and to have a friend that you can work creatively with is just the best thing! 

I cannot wait to get started on our next project “Under The Lantern Lit Sky” (written by Jaclyn Bethany and Directed by Michelle Bossy) which takes us back to the South in 1920. I LOVE history, I’m pretty much obsessed with it, so to dive into the music world of the 1920s is just a dream come true! Simultaneously, we are also working on Jaclyn’s newest creative brain child “Highway One” and I’m itching to get started! I’m already so excited. Apart from that I just finished a beautiful short film called “The Shot” (directed by Adan Canto), which plays in Texas in 1844 (another history dream project) and I can’t wait for people to see it and hear what we have created!

I’m also finishing up my newest classical record “Familiars” and I’m working on a few EDM songs at the moment. I love it all so much!

PRE-ORDER/ORDER THE SOUNDTRACK FOR 

INDIGO VALLEY HERE

https://music.apple.com/us/album/indigo-valley-original-motion-picture-soundtrack/1485470469?app=itunes&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

 Dalal Bruchmann, Dalal, Maesa Pullman, Maesa, Jaclyn Bethany, Filmscoring, femalecomposers

Follow Jaclyn, Maesa & Dalal on social media

@jaclyn_bethany 

@maesamusic

@dalalmusic 

Maesa Pullman,  Filmscoring, femalecomposers

Maesa Pullman

Dalal Bruchmann, Filmscoring, femalecomposers

Dalal Bruchmann

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