Meet the Composer Behind the Oscar Winning Film Period. End of Sentence—an Interview with Giosuè Greco
Giosuè Greco is an Italian film score composer and electronic musician based in Los Angeles, where he’s worked on a number of television series and films, such as the 2018 Academy Award-winning Period. End of Sentence. about women’s menstrual rights in India. He studied Music Production and Engineering at Berklee College of Music, and is known for his multi-instrumental approach and experimentation using synthesizers. In our interview, we discuss his work as a composer and a bit about his personal approach to music.
“As a kid I was gifted with a walkman and a Mozart cassette which I would play constantly. I have been trying to figure out music in the most instinctual way possible, ever since.” — Giosuè Greco
Some of his other projects include: A Woman’s Place, Just Hold On, The Seer & The Unseen, the upcoming documentary Not Going Quietly, about healthcare reform, and his 2020 project, I Forgive You.
Andrew Cheek: First, could you describe briefly what you do and what types of projects you gravitate towards?
Giosuè Greco: Thank you so much for having me! A little about myself: I am a music producer and composer for films, tv shows, video games, and documentaries. I am proud to have worked on award-winning films such as Period. End Of Sentence, The Seer and The Unseen, and A Woman’s Place.
AC: How do you balance innovation or experimentation in music with more traditional techniques?
GG: Although coming from a classical background, I happen to be very fascinated by synthesizers and generative electronic music, in particular. I think the balance between the two is ultimately dictated by the project I am working on. Though it is easy to get wrapped in your own world while writing, it’s crucial for the music to serve the picture before everything else.
AC: Off that, what are some of the ways you like to experiment?
GG: I record acoustic instruments in my studio and then process those recordings using a variety of software or hardware samplers. These samplers will play back the sounds adding some sort of twist to them.
One sampler in particular that I’ve been using pretty extensively lately is the Makenoise Morphagene. It basically acts just like a tape recorder, you can record sounds in it and play them back at different speeds. I think there is something magical and ethereal in the Morphagene.
AC: Somewhat recently, you scored the 2018 documentary Period. End of Sentence, about women’s menstrual rights in India. Could you talk about your approach to the score, and how it fit in with the story?
GG: For Period. End Of Sentence., I wanted to convey a sense of hopeful travail as we follow the story of the women of Kathikhera. Both the director and I were set on something that sounded organic yet not grand. The result is a very intimate and crafty soundtrack, at times “scrappy.”
AC: What is the creative, collaborative process like for scoring films and television?
GG: There is no one way to go about it — every production is different. Occasionally I have the chance to start with the music before the film has been edited, other times I start composing to a cut that is somewhat ready. When the film hasn’t been edited, I have a little more free range and time to experiment with the score, can submit crazy ideas to the director, get rejected, start over, and such.
AC: In an increasingly diverse world, how does heritage influence your music?
AC: Any advice you’d give to aspiring composers?
GG: This might sound counterintuitive but I strongly advise aspiring film composers to try to expand their knowledge beyond film composing. Invest your time in learning new musical instruments, new software, experiment with recording, work with other artists, and produce other people’s music.
All these experiences will add greatly to your skillset and they will enrich you from both an artistic and technical aspect.
AC: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
GG: I wanted to thank you for having me in this interview. Stay safe!