Rolfe Kent is one of the most sought-after young composers in the movie industry. Kent was born in England and, like his mother, is a psychologist by training, with a degree from Cambridge, but since childhood he wanted to compose music for the movies. ScoreTrack's Viviana Ferreira interviewed the composer, as follows:
Viviana Ferreira - Hello Rolfe, I'm glad to make this interview with you! Well, first I wanna ask how did you know that you wanna be a film music composer?
Rolfe Kent - At the age of 12 I was really into movies, and I loved the music. I was already a composer then - I had been composing for a few years, but that was when I thought film music would be great.
VF - You are British, which English composers were influential in your work?
RK - Delius, Handel, Vaughn Williams, John Rutter, Gustav Holst...
VF - You worked many times with director Alexander Payne. How do you define this relationship, and how do you interact in the movies which you both work together?
RK - We are good friends. We work very well together, and he encourages me to experiment and try out new ideas. He then shifts through the ideas to find the ones he likes. It is very collaborative.
VF - You are in demand to compose scores for romantic comedies. How do you get your inspiration for writing these types of scores?
RK - I always get inspiration simply from the film itself, and from my own emotional reactions. It doesn't matter if it's a comedy or a dark thriller. It's the film itself that inspires my ideas.
VF - Talking about dark thrillers, you composed the Main Title for one of television's most acclaimed shows today, "Dexter". How was your experience working on this series?
RK - That was a wonderful process. The producer called me and asked if I would write the music for their theme. I loved the first episode, and they knew that they wanted a quirky and interesting theme with a sense of fun, but also a little twisted. It was also to have some latin flavors as it's set in Miami. So I composed 2 themes and they liked one but liked the energy of the other. So then I reworked the tune they liked with the rhythm and pace of the other, and that's what became the final theme.
VF - In 2009 you composed 5 scores: "17 Again", "Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past", the documentary "Troupers", "The Men Who Stare at Goats" and especially the Jason Reitman's hit "Up in the Air". What do you think of the past year?
RK - Well in fact I only composed 2 film scores in 2009, as I composed the rest in 2008 but they were not released till 2009. But for work it was a good year. A sad year for me as my mother died in an accident, so it was very traumatic. But working on UP IN THE AIR was a good distraction from my loss.
VF - We are truly sorry for your loss. And about your next projects? Can you tell us something about them? What comes around in 2010?
RK - I have a new film with Alexander Payne and George Clooney, so I am looking forward to that.
VF - Among your body of work, which of the scores is your favorite?
RK - ABOUT SCHMIDT is one of my faves, as is THE HUNTING PARTY and UP IN THE AIR. Also THE HOUSE OF YES.
VF - And finally, there's something special at film scoring that you want to do?
RK - I want to do more dramatic films, more dangerous ones, and to keep experimenting with music.
Special thanks to Mr. Rolfe Kent for make this interview possible.