9 Things You Didn't Know About "Anne With An E" Composers Amin Bhatia & Ari Posner
With their most recent project, "Anne With An E" premiering a little over a week ago on Netflix, we decided to get to know the show's Canadian composers Amin Bhatia and Ari Posner a little better. Below they reveal 9 fun facts about themselves and their music.
1.Each Anne with An E episode took about a week to score, but we were also reviewing the previous episode and preparing for the next one so the deliveries were very tight. Thank goodness there were two of us to divvy up the work. We did that based on the storyline arcs and the type of music which ranged from Celtic to classical. We also had an excellent music editor, Joe Mancuso, who helped keep us organized and meet the deadlines each week.
2.In 2006 we were lucky enough to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy award for our opening title music on an animated show called Get Ed. It was an action cartoon about couriers in a futuristic world that deliver packages and fight crime while they're at it. Disney was one of the partners on the show along with a company called Red Rover in Toronto. It would be an understatement to say that it was a real thrill for us to spend a week in LA going to Emmy events and taking meetings including one on the Disney lot. We didn't come home with any hardware, but we were very honored to have been included on that short list. It was indeed, a career highlight.
3.We can reveal to you now that the rap vocal that drives the Get Ed theme was sung by Amin, a very unhip bald Indian man, lol. The rap idea was the last ditch attempt to energize the theme after several other theme revisions just weren't feeling right. So at 2am while Ari was working on other guitar and percussion effects Amin tried an idea of screaming into an old broken Shure mic and then using the computer to slow down the pitch of his voice just a bit in order to sound "tougher". We all thought once approved we'd bring a noted rap star to re-sing it but everyone loved Amin's rough vocal. So that stayed ...and we got a nomination from that. Hilarious.
My first instrument was actually the tape machine. At nine years old I was in charge of the family tape recorder and figured out how to splice and overdub tape to make my voice into many voices. The piano came afterward, and then, once synthesizers became affordable I was totally addicted to that, trying to create my favorite orchestral pieces on the synthesizer. I hated piano lessons as a kid but in high school my music teacher discovered that I had perfect pitch. So with his guidance I started to get into music seriously after that.
5.ARI: I started piano lessons when I was about six or so. My parents tell me that I was pretty self-motivated from the beginning and they never really had to be on my case much to practice. In high school I started to play a lot by ear figuring out chord progressions of pop tunes...the usual stuff - Chicago, Billy Joel, Elton John. I played in a few bands but never really considered a career in music until I moved to York University in Toronto to do a Bachelor of Fine Arts as a music major. My plan was to get my undergrad and then apply to law school. But once I started studying music in that college environment one thing led to the next and I never really looked back. I had tremendous and very inspiring professors there.
My dream project to score would be any kind of drama with good performances and a good story. I feel my best work happens when I fall in love with the characters. That being said I am a fan of sci-fi and fantasy so if I were handed a Star Trek or Star Wars project I wouldn't complain, lol.
7.ARI: Despite the kind of television work I've done, which has been mostly dramatic action based shows, when it comes to films I do quite enjoy working on comedies and romantic comedies. I find that work to be very challenging but also very satisfying when you get it right.
My favorite film score is Walt Disney's Fantasia. I was ten years old when my parents took me to see it. Hearing my favorite classical pieces brought to life on screen was a life changing experience. A year later watching late night tv when my parents were asleep I caught Planet of the Apes. I had nightmares for weeks about apes invading our house but I was already banging away on the family piano trying to figure out Jerry Goldsmith's amazing score.
9.ARI: As a kid I was completely enthralled with the songs from Mary Poppins and Wizard of Oz. I've come back to those songs and scores many times in my life only to appreciate them more and more. But when it comes to more contemporary work, I would definitely say that I love Thomas Newman's work on films like Shawshank Redemption, Wall-e and Skyfall. I'd die a happy man if I could one day reach the hem of his robe.
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