Philippe Figueira is a session guitarist. Hired by other artists for his playing and creative contribution, Philippe has also developed an interest in composing for media from his studio in Paris.
Passionate by music and especially progressive rock during his teenage years, Philippe began playing the guitar kind of late, he was 17, assisted by a guitar teacher using books from the Berklee college of music. He quickly caught up with sophisticated guitar techniques, complex rhythmic, becoming the guitarist of a band 2 years later, playing clubs and festivals. From that time on, music had become Philippe’s ambition, and this is how he started in the music industry.
Since, Philippe has worked in different settings, with different artists recording an album of his own, “One Way” in 2014, Produced by Zikinstock, the gathering of a power trio with the addition of keyboards in the rock-jazz mood, walking the same path than Stefan Ivan Schäfer from Jazz Pistols or Scott Henderson from Tribal Tech.
When composing for media, Philippe's creative process begins with his guitar. He needs to have his instrument on hand so when he thinks of a melody or a groove, he plays it and starts from there, he then records it.
Working with a Director, Philippe wants to know about the storyline of course but the first question Philippe asks is about the sound and colors the Director is expecting. To get in the right mood and inspiration, Philippe would rather see rough cuts or teasers.
He is a perfectionist and acknowledges that finding the right tune and balance of emotions is a challenge.
There are two essential compositions that have marked Philippe’s influences:
Jeff Beck's “Cause we’ve ended as lovers” and Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” which has been used multiple times in the movie industry, we all remember the last sequence of Ocean’s Eleven, actors watching the Bellagio water choreography on Clair de Lune.
Philippe likes to get out of his comfort zone. He participated a few years back in a trio and with no set music score, improvised, generating a level of satisfaction from instant creativity. It is with those moments that an artist learns and becomes better as a music career is always a work in progress. Similarly, the first time Philippe worked with a philharmonic orchestra, he was not familiarized with the way the Conductor was counting beats. The conductor noted Philippe’s confusion and helped him with a special countdown. Since then, he understood the nuances and punctuation from music of the classical repertoire.
While his music interest is large, composing in different moods and styles, Philippe sources his inspiration mainly in rock and jazz and always with his guitars.
His working setup is simple. Philippe uses Pro Tools set on a Macintosh as the engine giving shape to his musical ideas along with his guitars. He is rather satisfied with his setup but wishes he had a “Solid State Logic” mixer. Mixing is often a challenge.
Philippe mixes and masters his own music and delivers it in stereo.
Computers helping composers have revolutionized the way music is produced.
For Philippe, the reduced time to record on computer is extremely helpful, he can edit multiple times and finetune his arrangements.
His association with Music Partner, like many musicians from our team, comes from previous work he has done with our Artistic Director and CEO Philippe Falliex. Long term friendship and complicity allow for better artistic understanding.
You may listen to samples of Philippe Figueira's music at the following link.