Composer ANAMOG Aims For The Stars With “Anomaly”
Introducing Ryan Taubert aka. Anamog!
After seeing “Jurassic Park” when he was just a kid, Ryan Taubert (also known as Anamog) knew there was something different about this particular film that he had never seen nor heard before. While watching the film again and receiving the film’s score for Christmas he finally learned what it was. It was the soundtrack that entranced him. He soon began to realize that film scores were a lot more than just background noise,but a passion and what he would do for the rest of his life.
Anamog started performing on the piano soon after realizing his love of composition, initially teaching himself to play by ear and then later taking lessons. When old enough, he got a job as a producer at The Control Room Studios and working as an instructor at Tonalta School of Music in Southeast Texas. Then in 2006, Taubert moved to Sydney, Australia where his musical compositions gained further exposure working with Hans Zimmer’s ‘Bleeding Fingers Custom Music Shop’. After working with Zimmerhe decided to relocate his office to Los Angeles where through his production house, ‘Endeavor Music’, he has produced tracks for a variety of films and brands such as, ‘Lincoln Motor Company’, ‘Mclaren’, ‘Red Bull’, ‘Microsoft’ to name a few.
In this exclusive interview Anamog talks about everything from his “Out of the Furnance” tv spot to scoring his most difficult and favorite project, the sci-fi film “Anomaly.”
Q&A with Ryan
When you were growing up did you always want to be a composer or did it come later on?
Anamog: Well, when I was 10 years old my father took me to the movie theatre to see “Jurassic Park”. All I did when I got home was think about the movie and the way it made me feel. I didn’t know what it was, but turns out it was the score that had such an impact on me.I received the film’s soundtrack for Christmas and would just sit there and listen to it over and over. And at 10 years old that’s when I decided creating film scores was what I wanted to do and create.
What personally excites you about being a composer?
Anamog: Ever since I was little, I loved movies in general so much. I used to get intrigued just by the making of films, even the special effects. I wanted to be part of that process in whatever way I could and for me it was going to be music.
What was the first scene that you came up with for the “Anomaly” score?
Anamog: The first scene I scored was actually the intro I think. The original draft sketch sounded a little different, it hasevolved since then until it landed in the film.
Did the “Anomaly” director have an idea of what kind of a score the film would need or did you have free reign to create the right sound?
Anamog: I think we knew what we didn’t want and worked backwards.In a sense we found sounds we really liked and then we would layer them together and figure out how to trade a melody or hook within those. It was more about establishing the world the director was trying to create, so in the beginning it was a lot of trial and error. We didn’t really know what we were doing. He flew to my LA studio for a week and literally I would press record on the microphone and we would walk around the room, recording random stuff. We were just having fun. And then it was just the process of taking all of these elements and trying to pull some gold out of it.
The opening two minutes of “Anomaly”are really intense musically. Did you score the film in sequential order or did you jump around from scene to scene?
Anamog: I actually started scoring the film before I saw any footage. These initial sounds were createdfrom conversations that the director, Salomon, and I had about what we thought the soundtrack should sound like. I recorded a bunch of cues beforehand and once Salomon started cutting things together he would use the cues as inspiration for how he wanted to cut the scenes.So we literally would just take some of the cues I had already written and try to find a home for them and I would just embellish and evolve them to work with the picture.
Was the scene with the spaceship taking off sound design or was it your score?
Anamog: It was a bit of both. Some of the score elements would ramp up to go along with the sound of the space shuttle. The lines were kind of blurred between score and sound design on a lot of those parts.
On that note how closely did you work with the sound designer?
Anamog: We were constantly going back and forth between sound design and score and then I would write the score and send it off. Basically everything was stand-out, so they could use sound design higher in the score if they needed to, but everything needed to weave in and out of each other.It was a constant back and forth effort.
Did you have a full orchestra when you were recording the “Anomaly” score?
Anamog: No, I intentionally didn’t use a full orchestra because I wasn’t going for a dated ensemble sound, I wanted to go for a big sound using smaller sections. I would record soloists, different textures in my own studio and basically just layer those up to create a bit more of an edgy feel. Still being big but not typical Hollywood big.
Out of the whole film what was your favorite scene to do?
Anamog: I think my favorite scene was the one at the end of the film where the comet arrives through the atmosphere. I feel like the whole score, all the themes and progressions added up to that one cue. They all kind of layered and combined together at that time. So I feel like that scene was the most enjoyable for me.
To make the score did you go back and watch any similar movies like “Armageddon” or “Apollo 13” to get inspiration?
Anamog: No, I didn’t. I really wanted to do something as out-of-the box as I could, so I didn’t want to influence myself from anything that has been done in the past. Salomon was very adamant about constantly pushing the edge and pushing the boundaries on what we could do with the score. Intentionally, I was trying to not influence myself from other works too much.
On the final scene of the film, I think the director was trying to convey a message of hope and it sounds like a harmonica was used. Was that used for the majority of that scene along with other instruments?
Anamog: It does sound like a harmonica but it actually wasn’t. It was strings that are playing right near the bridge of the strings, so it creates a bit of a harmonica type sound.
What was your experience like scoring the “Out of the Furnace” TV spot?
Anamog: That was really fun, I enjoyed that one. I worked with the director from Relativity and we were going back and forth on different ideas on how we wanted to represent the edge because it still needed to speak to the film. With that track I was allowed to go to a bit larger sound and make it a bit more impacting if that makes sense.
You’ve worked on so many amazing projects. What do you think so far has been the most difficult to work on?
Anamog: I would say definitely “Anomaly.” It has been the most difficult and the most rewarding because most things I’ve done in the past are very clear what kind of music is needed, whereas this one was completely an‘open book’ of experimentation. We were constantly exploring new ideas. It would get daunting at times because in the beginning anything I was coming up with didn’t seem to work. It was just constant experimentation until we arrived at that sound. But it was the most challenging and like I said the most rewarding.
So you might have the same answer for this question, but as a composer what project do you feel like has really pushed you to grow the most?
Anamog: Yeah definitely “Anomaly.” I would say that is probably the same answer. I think working on “Anomaly” has actually influenced my workflow for projects to come as well.
What would be your dream project?
Anamog:That is a hard question, because every project is so different. My dream was always just to score films for a living and I get to live that dream so as for a dream project, that’s a hard one to say.
That’s great. So do you plan on seeing the new “Jurassic Park” then?
Anamog: Definitely. I’ve always been a fan.
Is there a composer who inspires you or who really influences the work you do?
Anamog: I get inspired by pretty much every composer and every artist out there. They are all different, as I have certain inspirations currently. But then again, even if there are composers who have a style I don’t really care for, I still find elements of inspiration in something they did that I can apply to my music. But I also try to listen to a lot of artists as well, not just film composers because that puts my brain into a different headspace. There are so many great ones that it’s hard to say one or the other. My style is probably a combination of every artist or composer I’ve heard since I was 10 years old. (laughs)
Very special thanks go to Ryan for being so gracious with this time in talking about this special short film and to Jordan Von Netzer for the invaluable assistance as always. I can't thank you enough!
Ryan Taubert aka. Anamog Biography
"Ryan Taubert, also known as Anamog, is an American born producer and composer whose music has featured in film, tv, advertising and recording artist's work.
Born in 1984, Taubert started performing on the piano at the age of 9, initially teaching himself to play by ear and then later undertaking piano studies. In 2004, he began his career as a producer at The Control Room Studios and working as an instructor at Tonalta School of Music in Southeast Texas. In 2006, Taubert moved to Sydney, Australia where during this period, his musical compositions gained further exposure working with Hans Zimmer’s ‘Bleeding Fingers Custom Music Shop’. In 2014 Taubert relocated his office to Los Angeles California where through his production house, ‘Endeavor Music’, he has produced tracks for a variety of clientele including but not limited to, ‘Lincoln Motor Company’, ‘Mclaren’, ‘Red Bull’, ‘Microsoft’, and others.
Taubert's latest release is the original soundtrack to 'Anomaly' directed by Salomon Ligthelm and Dan Difelice"
© 2015 DANNY GONZALEZ