Observing Music

Last week I had the special opportunity to hang out with film score composers Buck Sanders and Marco Beltrami at their studio in Malibu, CA, for a recording session for their latest film National Geographic’s Free Solo (mentioned on IMDB.com). You might know their work from films such as Logan, Ben-Hur, No Escape, The Woman in Black, 3:10 to Yuma, and their Oscar nominated work in 2008’s The Hurt Locker.

As faithful followers of my blog know, I am a film score enthusiast. It is the music of choice to play in the studio while I do my thing with paper, pencils, and stylus. It is always a treat when music makers invite me to have a glimpse of their world. I take my sketchbook with me, and love sitting there hearing the music live, and trying to capture a little bit of it with pencil on paper, hopefully quietly enough that the microphones don’t pick up the scratching. If there is a more enjoyable environment for sketching live, I haven’t found it.

This was my first time spending time in the studio with Buck & Marco. It was a beautiful day surrounded by California mountains on the Pacific coast with a group of amazing string musicians working their magic.

Sketchbooks are where time is spent practicing the craft, so not all the drawings are worthy of display, but here are a few from the day that were successful…


Marco Beltrami working his conductor’s baton with an injured hand wrapped in a brace, though the injury was NOT musically related.


Buck Sanders as seen in the control booth during the session.


This violinist was totally absorbed in her work.


If you like the topic of film music, please feel free to check out my other film music posts by CLICKING HERE, most of which involve more of my art inspired by the art of musicians!