Sean Beeson is an emerging young composer in the videogame industry. His most recent videogame credits include, "The Operational Art of War III" and "The Delicate Pearls of Pandora" among various other titles.
Some of his film credits include the popular animated short "Emelia" and two full-length Norwegan films. Sean also has featured demos for the East West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra Platinum XP sample library, and Post Musical Instrument's Hybrid Piano Technology.
Recently, Sean has worked with the Czech-based Capellen Chamber Orchestra for two upcoming videogames.
Sean's page Radio Rivendell
What musical education have you had?
I have studied music through the guidance of an instructor for ten years. Four of those were at Capital University in Columbus Ohio, the other six were under various piano and composition teachers. Prior to formalized lessons, I studied music in a somewhat blind manner. I was attracted to sounds that other composers made, and then mimicked them. However, it took years for me to finally learn.
What inspired you to start writing/composing?
The primary catalyst was the death of my Great-grand mother. She left behind a piano for me and an entire world of music opened up before my ears.
Assuming you learned how to play musical instruments, which Instrument helped you begin your composing career?
I was constantly singing as a child, and then began playing the snare drum at the age of 8, followed by the piano at age 12. Today, I still play piano and sing, but have retired as a percussionist.
Do you use choral arrangements as well as instrumentals?
Indeed! What would great orchestral music be without the occasional union of voices and vice-versa?
What instruments do you prefer to use in your compositions?
I am usually accused of using too much chromatic percussion in my pieces. (Celeste, vibes, Bells, Chimes, or anything that has that fairy-like quality to it)
How old were you when you first started composing?
As with most composers, they originally had “compositional
Experiences” before writing music. For example, I remember changing the words and melodies to songs when I was as young as 5 and 6. I used to listen to music by Michael Jackson and Van Halen, changing the melody to the song, and changing the words. I didn’t realize at the time that I was actually creating derivative music though.
What influenced your music then and how has that changed? How long does it generally take you to compose a piece?
When I was younger, other composers, and their music influenced my work. When I began to write more independently, I found that events in life and my attitude began to drive my emotions, emotions fueling inspiration, and inspiration guiding my music. After years of practice, a composer can gain more control over their ability to displace their emotions, transporting their mind to the environment in which it needs to be to write the contracted music.
I can usually write a piece in a day or two, however larger works can sometimes take hours to sketch, but a week or more to realize.
Do you think your music fits in a fantasy or role-play environment?
I feel that a majority of my music, regardless of its written intent, does and could fit perfectly into any fantasy or role-playing realm. When I write many of my pieces, I feel as if I am living in the space that I am trying to draw for the listeners.
If you could be anyone/thing in Middle Earth, who or what would it be, and why?
I would be either Treebeard or Legolas. Both are wise, respectful, and cool. They both have an aura of invincibility that surrounds them.
What music software programs have helped you further your composition goals?
I use Digital Performer 4.6 for writing, Logic Pro 7 for mixing/mastering, Sibelius 3/4 notational software for acoustic pieces, and near 1 TB of digital samples.
If you use synthesizers what do you think their use does for your music?
When I choose to use synthesizer sounds, I am careful to ensure that their place is deserved in the piece. Just as a techno-driven composer is careful to his/her palette of orchestral sounds, I too, am selective. There are a number of composers who pollinate genres/styles of music within and out of their experienced realm of composing, and the effectiveness of their ability to conjoin music can be heard.
Do you consider yourself an 'artist' in the sense you create within the realm of your own vision?
I feel that I am an artist. I strive not only to create music from my own vision, but also from the visions of others, capturing the artistry that might lie within their ears. Artists feel the need to create, regardless of medium, be it paint, music, food, the intent is to provide a conceivable product manifested from their visions.
If you couldn't be a composer, what else do you think you'd be doing?
I would either be a chef or a Parapsychologist, the latter being a paranormal investigator of sorts. I am very fascinated with the unknown and have always wished to discover the unknowns behind the unknown.
If you could work with any other composer/band, who would it be?
I have always wanted to work with game composers like Jack Wall, Tom Salta, Tommy Tallarico, Inon Zur, Velasco, and the list goes on and on. I am fascinated by their work, and would love to see their creative genius in action. I also have always had the secret desiring to write pieces and orchestrations for Dimmu Borgir.
What musical composers most influence you?
Most of the above with the addition of Claude Debussy, Van Halen, the Beach Boys, and Yanni.
What is your relationship with other composers in the field, have they been helpful and supportive?
I have found that most composers in the field are very helpful and supportive and I try my best to do the same. There are a number of very defensive composers, relentlessly protecting “their turf”, but most of the time they have no need to do so. Perhaps I am ignorant in stating this, but in the game-audio composing field, there seems to be a lot less cut-throating going on than other commercial audio fields.
Do you consider that you have a 'musical signature' of your own - if so, what are its recognizable characteristics?
This is a difficult question. I honestly do not think I even listen to my music enough to know the answer.
Who was the first person to recognize your potential in the business of music composition?
The first people to notice were my parents, but that is when I was just a child. I would say one of the most important people is Bob Rice of Four Bars Intertainment, who also happens to be my agent. He chose to represent my because of what he heard in my music, and I find that to be quite the blessing.
What place does Radio Rivendell have in the genre you compose for and what can it do for you?
RR is all about fantasy music and has been very responsive to the kinds of music I write.
Do you think Radio Rivendell gives your music a wider and more appreciative audience?
Definitely! We live in such a disposable society. Most people choose whether or not they like something after being exposed to it for only a short period of time. I have found that RR’s listeners take time to listen to the music, not just once, twice, or even three times, but have play lists upon play lists of their favorite composers.
What market holds the most promise for you as a composer and why?
The game industry. I love gaming. I have always been a huge gamer, and will always be one. I am firmly dedicated to providing music for games in the future, and will do my best to provide entertaining yet meaningful music.
What projects do you have coming up on the horizon?
I have a few that I am not sure I can mention just yet, but I will keep you updated on any breaking news.
What advice would you have for budding composers who are just starting out?
Don’t ever give up on your dreams. The path of a composer is not an easy one. There are a lot of ups and downs, but just remember the three p’s.
Make sure you always keep your ears open too.
Sean Beeson on Radio Rivendell | Official webpage