SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Blake Matthew: My name is Blake Matthew, I’m a film composer, trailer composer and electronic music artist from Vancouver, Canada. I have been writing music for 18 years, I have played in multiple bands, DJ’ed in the Vancouver club scene for 3 years and then transitioned to film scoring in 2014.
SKSM: How did you become involved with Here There be Tygers?
Blake Matthew: I was asked to score Here There be Tygers by longtime collaborator and filmmaker Mike Johnston. At the time of this film, I had known Mike for 2-3 years and have since gone on to work with him on 7 projects.
SKSM: How did you get started as a composer and what do you do on production?
Blake Matthew: I started writing music at the age of 13 focusing on rock, punk, metal, indie rock, blues and then electronic music. I began writing music for film after studying Music Tech in 2013/2014 at Douglas College. I had an amazing teaching and mentor Vince Mai that taught the Film Scoring program in college and it changed my focus of music within the first 5 minutes of that class. Since then, I never looked back and just kept pushing forward scoring music for motion picture.
SKSM: How did you get started to wrote the Soundtrack for Here There be Tygers?
Blake Matthew: I had a meeting with Mike to discuss the style of music, which was quite different than other projects we worked on together. Mike had the idea to use more orchestral instruments with dark textures mixed with some synths to create atmosphere. Collaborating with Mike is always such a great experience because he always has fantastic ideas for how to approach the music and how it will help shape the story, but he is very openminded and allows me to explore my instincts, even if they aren’t part of our initial conversation. It was really fun using brass and string textures to help amplify the tension. I also used a waterphone which you hear in alot of horror scores but it was my first time getting to experiment with those sounds.
SKSM: Is this your most challenging audio so far?
Blake Matthew: At that time, it was very challenging as I had never written in that style. It’s always challenging though, no matter what, and that’s what I love so much about writing music for film. I generally always go into a Project with the same thought – being excited to score the film, then when I actually start and I’m staring at a blank screen, the anxiety kicks in because I have no idea how I’m going to pull it off, and the not knowing is what is really exciting to me.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the music that you would like to tell me about?
Blake Matthew: When I think back to the time of writing this music, I remember feeling the big challenge ahead of me because the style was different than anything I had worked on before. I remember Mike being so thrilled and supportive of all of the ideas I was sending him and that positive encouragement is a feeling I will never forget!
SKSM: After Here There be Tygers did you write more music? If so what?
Blake Matthew: I have worked on alot of films since Here There be Tygers. Over the last 6 years I have scored over 70 films, including feature films Infeccion and Funhouse. Infeccion premiered at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood in September 2019 and Funhouse premiered in theatres throughout Sweden in October 2020.
SKSM: What are you working nowadays?
Blake Matthew: I recently finished scoring Mistress of Bones which is being played on CryptTV’s Youtube and Facebook channel. I’m also getting prepared to start scoring a feature film in early 2021 but am not able to disclose anymore information about it as it’s just about to hit production. I recently purchased a new guitar and am looking at buying an analog synth, so I will be experimenting and practicing alot in between projects!
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Blake Matthew: I grew up on The Shining and it has been a huge influence on my love for dark horror and psychological films. I think I probably watched The Shining when I was a little bit too young though, haha!
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Blake Matthew: I used to play in a band for 8 years and absolutely hated performing, so when I found film scoring, I felt it was the perfect fit for me as my favourite part of music is the actual writing and creation of it. When I’m working on films, most of the process is being in solitude, creating, getting lost in my experimentation and imagination and I seem to really thrive in that sort of environment.
SKSM: What advice would you give to those people who want to be musicians?
Blake Matthew: Don’t be afraid to ask people for help, to ask questions, to reach out to people that are doing things that you are interested in doing. Fear of sharing your music is also a big hurdle alot of people need to overcome and the best thing you can do, is get your music out there because once you break down that wall, it becomes easier and you will progress so much faster. Don’t be afraid to have your own voice, you don’t need to sound like what’s “popular” out there, do your own thing.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything else you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Blake Matthew: That’s all!
SKSM: Do you like something to add?
Blake Matthew: Thanks for taking the time to read this, I appreciate you!