Vis-a-Vis with Composer Emiliano Mazzenga: “I Have Turned My Life-Long Passion into a Real Job”
From Rome to Los Angeles to pursue a dream, this is the story of Emiliano Mazzenga, composer of soundtracks for films and TV series.
Inspired by the film The Legend of 1900, Emiliano Mazzenga began playing his first musical instrument at the age of 8. Notes, music, and colors that have accompanied him throughout his life, radically changing its course.
Despite his young age, at only 31 years old Emiliano Mazzenga can be proud to have won more than fourteen international awards and to have created soundtracks for major films and TV series, from the clips of the comedy duo Minimad to the film Hangout, available on Prime Video and Disney Plus.
With his technical background and sensibility, Emiliano Mazzenga tells his story to the readers of E-goTIMES:
Can you tell yourself in a tweet… use only 280 characters
I am a film and TV soundtrack composer based in Los Angeles and active in the American, European, and Asian film industries. I have been playing and writing music since I was a child, and I can happily say that I have succeeded in turning my life-long passion into a real job.
How did you start your career?
My musical career started by playing saxophone in different ensembles, mainly jazz. My career as a composer began by writing music for the theatre. It was in fact natural to combine classical and jazz for the compositions of these early soundtracks.
What inspires you to compose new soundtracks?
Most of the time, inspiration comes from watching and watching again the scenes of a film and connecting with the emotions, the characters, and the stories told. Often doing this brings me back to similar emotions or events I have experienced personally, so it is not uncommon for me to start from those emotions to compose the music.
What do you want to communicate with your music?
One of the most important things I pay attention to, both in my film music whenever possible and in my music in general, is that emotions come and go. I am less interested in music that focuses solely on the technical, aesthetic, or entertainment aspects.
How do you continue to learn to keep up with the times within this musical world?
Always being curious and open to learning new things in the infinite musical universe. Not settling on a style that you have mastered by now but venturing into lesser-known territories. Working with directors from different parts of the world has helped this process; being confronted with different cultural, musical, and aesthetic aspects has definitely broadened the horizons of my music.
What is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge at the moment is to find a good balance between the time I spend in my studio writing music and the life I live outside those four walls. I think this is an important factor for most artists, not to get so lost in your art that you forget to live your life to the fullest because it is from these experiences and emotions that the best work is usually born.
What is the most beautiful memory of your career?
I would say equally my two ‘firsts.’ The emotion I felt the first time I heard my music performed in a theatre and the first time I stood at the Synchron Stage in Vienna in front of a 50-piece orchestra to record my music.
Any new project insight?
I recently finished the music for the pilot episode of a TV comedy series about the adventures and misadventures of an actor trying to make it in Los Angeles. There are four other projects in the pipeline: Like Poison, a psychological thriller, High Caliber, and Darling of Sins which are two feature-length dramas, and Disaster Girl, an animated series.
You moved to Los Angeles for work, how do you find it? What differences do you notice with Italy?
I really like Los Angeles, it’s a great place for a composer. The film and television industry is very active here. The biggest difference I notice compared to when I was in Italy regards the many opportunities to be involved in one of these many projects. It is also quite common here to meet people working in this field in everyday life, even when you are off the clock.
A greeting to our readers?
A warm greeting to all the readers of E-goTIMES! If you like you can follow me and listen to my music on social networks (Facebook, Instagram) and on my website.
by Francesco Evangelisti
Read Emiliano Mazzenga’s interview in Italian