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Interview with Composer... Ilan Eshkeri

Jeremy [The Wolf]: How does it feel to be part of "Shaun the Sheep", knowing that is part of such a popular franchise that is Aardman Animation’s?

Ilan Eshkeri: In Shaun the Sheep's TV theme song by Mark Thomas there's a lyric at the end that goes "Perhaps One day you'll find a way to come and bleat with Shaun The Sheep." When I got the job, all I could think was, " Yes! I've found a way to bleat with Shaun." I was ecstatic!  I've always been a huge fan of Aardman, from their first show called Morph, which I watched as a child, so before I got the job, they showed me around all the sets. When I left I thought, even if I don't do this, that was enough, it was a brilliant day that I will always remember it.
Jeremy [The Wolf]: How do you think you have grown as a composer working from your first project, to a film that was an Oscar contender and now with "Shaun the Sheep"?

Ilan Eshkeri: I think I've grown as a storyteller. I've learnt so much about how to tell stories through the medium of film and specifically through film music. I love narrative music work, I find the challenge of supporting and shaping scenes or performances challenging and satisfying. Film scoring has also given me the chance to grow musically, different films need different genres of music, and I've studied all kinds of music because of film and discovered all kinds of instruments that I'm sure I would have never found without the challenge of being a film composer.

Jeremy [The Wolf]: What are some of your influences in music from; inspirations, favorite composers or even a piece of score music you connect with?

Ilan Eshkeri: I'm fascinated by harmony, how the notes form chords and how they push/pull towards the next note or chord. Bach was the grand master and I never get bored of learning from his music. As a teenager, I was into grunge and played guitar, I loved Nirvana and Blind Melon. That was very formative for me. In film music I think Max Steiner created a lot of the tools we use today, I love his score to the 1933 King Kong and the way he uses the music for story telling in it. Of course, Bernard Herman and I grew up listening to the scores from Indiana Jones, Back To The Future, Aliens and many more. Working today I admire Elliot Goldenthall, I can't wait to hear another score from him.

Jeremy [The Wolf]: Which is the better feedback, being live on stage with an audience or being stopped on the street from someone who recognizes you for your works?

Ilan Eshkeri: Being live on stage. No competition, that wins hands down. Even though before I go on stage I'm always terrified, but once I'm up there I love it!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU... To find out more:

Composer Ilan Eshkeri has been writing for film for over 15 years and his CV features stand-out scores for many hit films including Layer Cake, Kick-Ass, Still Alice and Black Sea. Recent TV work includes The Snowman And The Snowdog and David Attenborough's Natural History Museum Alive.

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