August 2021

This month, we are featuring Composer Pascal Guyon. Born in Chateaubriand, a town in the west part of France, his interest in music began as a child. When listening to the radio, he would play along the tunes on his instrument toys. His parents noticed his enthusiasm and encouraged his interest in music.

Pascal had a lot of teachers and mentors. His instrument of choice is the piano, and he enrolled in the local music school as a teenager to learn the rigorous discipline of classical music. He quickly graduated and became himself a teacher of piano Jazz studies in the same school a year later upon their request. While learning the classical repertoire, Pascal did participate in parallel to numerous amounts of workshops on Jazz and Latin music in Europe and Cuba.

By age 19, Pascal had made music his profession and continued teaching and participating to various Jazz and Latin bands. A few years later, Pascal was asked to become Musical Director for a few international artist projects. This is when he realized that he had more fun composing and arranging than performing. Today, Pascal works from Hollywood California where he built his own studio.

His creative process depends on the initial source. Whether working with images, videos, storylines or music references, his musical ideas are built around what is given to him. A Composer always needs to show a great deal of flexibility as no two projects are alike. There is nonetheless a ritual Pascal follows. When getting first information about a project, lots of ideas are coming to his mind but Pascal intentionally forgets about it for a couple of days and comes back to it later with a better focus on the music he needs to compose and the process usually flows pretty fast from that point on.

The information Pascal likes to have is not about what the Director wants, but more about what the Director wants the viewers to feel. This information is generally what will drive Pascal's inspiration. If there are rough cuts available, he will use them to test the emotional impact of his music on the images. Sometimes, these cuts trigger powerful ideas.

Like most artists, Pascal has his own vision of what a music piece should be, one of the challenges he sometimes faces is the compromising aspect between what he sees for a film and the Director's vision. When personalities click, it is easier for both parties to influence each other and work towards a great score for the film. However, it is not always the case, but if Pascal believes there is a better musical fit for a specific scene, he will suggest it.

There are many kinds of music inspiring Pascal, but one piece is on top of them all: "Daphnis and Chloe" from Maurice Ravel. His reference in scoring is John Williams' Star Wars. Just Epic!

His influences are as various as you can imagine, contemporary music composers Maurice Ravel or Claude Debussy, Jazz legend Herbie Hancock or Acapella group Take6, but also Producer extraordinaire Water Afanasieff for his special touch in Pop music.

Pascal is also a software developer and in 2017, he coded an educational video game that can be played online for free. He was invited to speak about it in various conferences to explain the concept of monetizing music online through cryptocurrency and blockchain as a proof of concept.

When composing on his keyboards, Pascal loves soulful music, regardless of the genre, as there is always a way to convey emotions with music. Pascal has worked with Anthony Hamilton and Heavy D, Leona Lewis, Alfredo De La Fe, Joe Budden and many others. He also composed 2 Hip Hop tracks for the NBA video game 2K21 with artist NoTrace. Pascal embraces the diversity of his musical activities. He has been nominated for various Grammys and his collaboration with Music Partner comes first from his friendship with CEO and Artistic Director Philippe Falliex, who has shared his own process for producing music for TV shows, and Pascal recognizes his successful track record.

Pascal studio setup is very simple: A Motu keyboard controller connected to an iMac with Logic Pro software, a Focusrite soundcard, a Rode K2 microphone and Yamaha monitors. Clients are often skeptical that the outcome of the music he produces is coming from this simple setup. In fact, the know-how is much more important than the setup, reason why Pascal wants to keep it as simple as possible. His only wish would be to work in the cloud for all his projects, allowing international connection in real time.

Pascal mixes his own music, a very "tricky" exercise for musicians. Pascal was fortunate to visit, watch and learn from Engineers at various studios and live venues. Some sessions have opened friendships such as the one he maintains with Fabrice Gabriel with whom he had fascinating conversations about mixing and mastering. Pascal shared a couple of anecdotes: a mutual friend introduced him to Heavy D, but Pascal did not know who he was. Long story short, they ended up working and produced 2 tracks the same afternoon. Another fun story is when a top Hip Hop label received a mix from Pascal, and the label was so happy with the outcome that they ended up paying Pascal more than what he asked for.

You may listen to samples of Pascal Guyon's music at the following link.!artist?id=404484