CAS Quarterly

Spring 2017

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20 S P R I N G 2 0 1 7 C A S Q U A R T E R L Y MEET THE WINNERS Pete Horner in his studio The Music of Strangers is a beautifully made documentary about the Silk Road Ensemble, a collaboration of musicians from around the world, started by renowned cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. It tells of their history and their dedication to world music and the bring- ing together of diverse cultures. The sound team members responsible for the amazing soundtrack are Peter Horner, re-re- recording mixer, Dimitri Tisseyre and Dennis Hamlin, produc- tion mixers. They did not meet each other until the CAS Awards ceremony, but their combined work on this project is truly remarkable. PETE HORNER: RE-RECORDING MIXER Did you have contact with any of the musicians, or was it mostly through the director, Morgan Neville? The director was more available, but one of the performers, Kinan Azmeh, the clarinet player, came out to the mix for, I think, two, maybe three days as the emissary for the Silk Road Ensemble. He was wonderful, obviously cared about how things sounded, but also understood some of the challenges we were dealing with. Did you work alone or did you work with a team? There were three of us total on the post sound team. I was the re-recording mixer. Al Nelson was the sound designer. He really focused on bringing an authenticity to the international locations, and also had a significant influence on the sonic tran- sitions. Andre Zweers was the sound editor. He's great at cut- ting quickly, which gives me a lot to work with, but he's also MOTION PICTURES DOCUMENTARY THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble By Mary Jo Lang CAS very musical in his approach to sound effects, having worked on the scoring stage at Skywalker for many years. In fact, all three of us have music in our backgrounds—Al Nelson even has an upright bass in his cutting room! I noticed that there were two production mixers. Were they available to you? Did they come to the mix at all? No. Actually, I met them for the first time at the CAS Awards! We talked a bit there and I got some sense of what their chal- lenges were. How did you get started? I started out in music—I went to school specifically for music recording and really thought that music engineering was going to be my career path. The first job I found out of college was in film post production and it happened to be Francis Ford Coppola's company, American Zoetrope. So, I didn't actually realize the good fortune I had and wasn't really interested in film. I thought it was nice and kind of related to what I wanted to do but that eventually I would leave it and go do music. But I had a formative experience working on The Virgin Suicides. The sound designer, Richard Beggs, pulled me aside one day and showed me what he was doing. I understood it immediately and realized that what he was doing as a kind of music. I decided, okay, film sound is what I want to do. This is a place that satis- fies the musical itch but is also a place that I can thrive. The fact that the documentary was about music, was that a plus then? I love doing documentaries about music. Morgan Neville brought us 20 Feet from Stardom. That was the first project I did with Morgan and it's just a dream project—to have music as my first love and then fully embrace film sound, but then have it come back together as a music documentary—just a pure joy. Was there any need on this project to use any special equip- ment or apps or programs? Oh, yes! Many of the tracks were very challenging. On an out- door performance, for almost a dozen performers, there were only six lavaliere mics and they had to hide them to capture all that. Dimitri did a great job with a nearly impossible task, but that was certainly one of the more challenging tracks. We actu- ally ended up overdubbing several players, particularly percus- sion. We would send the track to them and they would play along and send it back to us and we would hand sync it later. Dimitri Tisseyre, Dennis Hamlin, and Peter Horner

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