Project: My Brother and Me
I am incredibly energized by the possibilities that this grant will bring to the score of, “My Brother and Me”. Fortunately, since the score is centered around vocal-based instrumentation and accents, the surrounding environment that grounds the score and keeps it in motion are the stringed solo instruments and at times, low brass. I like to think of the space as an electrified chamber ensemble with traditional gospel vocals along a bed of a reverberant space. This is precisely the method in which I would like to capture the music. The budget will be allocated towards the essential aspects of the score that will revitalize its tone and ultimately enhance the listening experience. Relying upon the precision and humanity of live string, woodwind and brass musicians to track parts in consonance will serve as a definitive investment into the scores performance and function. Utilizing a facility that can allow those notes to ring and mature, will catalyze its connection between listener and performer and these two components with consume two-thirds of our resources. Furthermore, a budget will be directed to the promotional materials of making the original soundtrack available on all major streaming platforms for reference, and extended publicity of the film itself. Both the director, Ryan Deforeest, and I have made considerable efforts to shape the score so that it embodies the story maintains its own unique sonic character. Because of this, we are more than happy and confident, to present the score on its “own-two-feet”.
This score is a realization into the inner world of two brothers, one more predominantly than the other; Malik. Much like a victim of abuse walks with a shadow, however small it may be, at one point or another, external triggers can cause feelings of doubt, fear, insecurity and anxiety to surface. How Malik and his younger brother confront, manage and understand these feelings, becomes the essence of the wound that the score aims to both illustrate and alleviate. On a deeper level, this score is the product of real-life experiences that our director has given us the privilege of interpreting and manifesting into a 17-minute film. I find myself at the intersection of sympathizing with the thoughts and feelings of these younger characters, and considering moments of how they reflect my own. This score has roots that go beyond that of a film, but further into the experiences of young black men everywhere who have faced trauma and are learning how to move through it, and with it. The film that has come from this idea is remarkable and, hopefully, will continue to expand.
At this time in my career, my inspiration for the score has been largely shaped by my experiences growing up in a baptist church; singing hymns and feeling enveloped by music. Moreover, the use of voice and choir in the film is in some ways a recollection back to these fond memories and learnings I had as a child. This is a small story in a world that often appears immeasurable, however, relating to these characters gives me a feeling of home; a sense of belonging. I didn’t consistently have that inner assurance within myself during my adolescence and it took time to bring attention to that. I find this is why I truly resonate with the story and those who are creating it. I’d like to help bring more clarity to the confusion these characters experience and perhaps even to my own understanding. Each time I write, I venture into the unknown, and I always end up finding a path, no matter how dark it may seem at first. That being said, the black church was my first and, at times, only place of sanctuary being surrounded by a community that nurtured and accepted me for who I was. The sanctuary Malik finds with his brother and mother is healing for him; ultimately they become what he needs most. His embracing of this, speaks to his growth as an older brother, a black man and a much-loved son. It’s my hope listeners can go on this journey with the two brothers and be reminded of the community that keeps them protected and included.
Thus far, the score for, “My Brother and Me” has only been possible with the support of my Mom and Dad, my Aunt Linnie, close friends, and most of all Ryan Deforeest who continues to welcome my ideas, creative flow and friendship. I have had an abundance of creative nourishment, and for that I am thankful.
Evan Wright is Los Angeles-based composer and vocalist with a tremendous passion for collaborative storytelling in narrative filmmaking and chamber music composition. Working as a composer and producer developing his debut album, Evan has recorded five albums, assisted working composers and musicians, served as musical director on Disneyland Resort-sponsored shows, and scored shorts. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Evan is currently working as a composer, vocal contractor at Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm and most recently was an artist-in-residence in the Emerging Composers Program hosted by the Ghetto Film School. Wright characterizes his compositional voice as one that contains, “breath and humanity in pursuit of creating an immersive experience.”
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