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Six Strings with... Edwin Wendler

Friends come into your life just as quick as some old friends fall out... I am pleased to say that is just one of those really cool friends you hope to keep. I have been working with the new sponsor "Perseverance Records" and I was looking at their awesome release I recognized Edwin's name. I am a friend and a fan from his posting on Facebook... and now I found his work. I am thrilled to be able to bring it to you and his talent.
Thank you!
-Jeremy [Retro-Z]

-How did you get started in the field of music and how did that lead you to composing?

Edwin Wendler: I've been planning to be a film composer since watching Krull in a movie theater in Vienna, at age 9. As a Vienna Choir Boy, I got a very good music education and experience performing hundreds of concerts, in Vienna and on tour (Southeast Asia, Europe, North America). After graduating from school, I would write and direct a few short films in order to give myself the opportunity to compose music for those shorts. Some of them even won awards. I later completed the Film Scoring Certificate Program at UCLA Extension. I loved those classes, and the teachers were wonderful. Once I got my first work visa, I was able to make contacts and start working in this profession I love so much.

-How much involvement do you have with any project from the first contact to the last note?

Edwin Wendler: Depending on who you're working with, your main job as a composer is either to follow orders or to offer your valued opinion, or anything in-between. I do my best at being as pragmatic and practical as possible, as far as the process is concerned. Creative ideas can, and should, go wild, but the workflow needs to be super-efficient and in control. It's important to think at least one step ahead. It'll save you time later on, and as we know, so often on scoring projects, time is of the essence.

-Musically who do you listen to from your favorite modern composer to iconic composers [Williams, Goldsmith, Morricone, etc.] and who is your inspiration?

Edwin Wendler: I just checked the "Likes" in the music category on my Facebook page: There's 316 of them! I have way too many influences! When time allows, I listen to at least one soundtrack album per day, and I enjoy Classical music on the radio. Any kind of music can be inspiring to me, and I'm not just trying to evade the question here by being non-specific. It really is true. In terms of film music, my idol is Jerry Goldsmith because he managed to be so good so consistently, always exploring new sounds and experimenting with new techniques. The rhythmic variety in his work (odd meters, mixed meters) is practically unparalleled. His music so often exudes excitement and inventiveness. It's wonderful!

-Do you feel that music downloading is hurting the industry, or do you think that artists should release their work on a personal website and include all the download rates and a very limited CD release?

Edwin Wendler: Popular music has moved to digital files long ago, of course. Film music is still in flux, it seems. Soundtrack collectors (and I include myself in that group) are keeping the CD afloat because many of us still do care about the higher audio quality and the easy access to liner notes and music credits. I always read those very carefully, and I know I'm not alone in that regard. Composers often have very little choice about what kind of soundtrack release is possible, or even if there will be an album at all. I've gone through a few album releases, and it's always a big source of stress for me. All I can remember is the constant nail biting and waiting for somebody to agree to something. On my most recent album, Robin Esterhammer of Perseverance Records was so helpful in making sure that everything was in order, and that the process went smoothly. Soundtrack labels in general deserve much more praise than they usually get!

-Walk us throughout a typical day or not so typical?

Edwin Wendler: I do my best to walk my dog twice a day, not only because he needs it but because I need it! Many other composers will tell you that there's something wonderful about being in motion: It helps with ideas. When I get back, I do some email correspondence (communication is SO important!). Once I settle down in the studio, I may finish a cue from the night before. I constantly look at the cue database to see how much work needs to be done that day and to check how much progress I have made. My favorite state is what I would call "being in the zone". It's when you forget about everything else around you, and the music just keeps flowing. It's very important to have the ability to find your way into that zone, no matter how stressful the circumstances may be. I would even go as far as calling it my "safe zone" because it does feel to me like I belong there, and as long as I'm there, I feel great. Then I glance at the cue list again, and I panic! Hehe.

-What is your schedule looking like for 2013, what can we see you being involved in?

Edwin Wendler: World peace! No, I'm just kidding. I work hard at living in the now. Sometimes, I have difficulty believing I actually composed something even if it's about to be released, and there's no time to throw out my music. Even if everybody praises my music and tells me how much they love me, I remain skeptical. It keeps me grounded, I guess. Also, I have been preconditioned by reading about all those composer replacements for so many years, long before I even started composing professionally. No composers want to talk about having been replaced, so there's no guide for how to best avoid it. It scares me that even the most successful composers have been replaced on high-profile projects. So, I never talk about upcoming work because I have become paranoid! In all seriousness, though: I really do focus on the work at hand. Anticipation is often a recipe for disappointment. I get so much joy in the work I'm doing right now, so I don't really feel a need to get excited about upcoming projects.

Thank you so much for this interview!




SHORT BIO: Edwin Wendler’s versatile composing style is evident in his frenetic action cues for NBC’s popular reality series, Fear Factor (Season 6: 2005-2006), the epic choirs of Azureus Rising (winner: Best Original Score - Animated Film at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, 2010), the haunting cello solos in the documentary The Right To Love – An American Family (2012), the cheerful melodies in the family movie, Christmas With A Capital C (2010; starring Ted McGinley and Daniel Baldwin), and the unsettling rhythms of the mystery/thriller series, The Interior (2007), for which Wendler co-wrote the popular theme song, The Gold You Seek, with Houston singer/songwriter Mike Ator.

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