Interview with Felix Braxmaier
I was interviewing the young composer Felix Braxmaier from Switzerland. The interview was made in German, I translated it then to English. I didn’t changed his words or opinions. Enjoy.
Felix, you’re a young composer from Switzerland, specialized in film- and trailer music. How did you learnt trailer music?
I always was listenting much to music when I was younger and I always got goosebumps of epic filmhighlights, where the music went loud and epic. Eventually I found ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and I started to listen to film soundtracks. Certainly I always was watching out for epic pieces until I watched the trailer for ‘Twilight: New Moon’, which played ‘Moving Mountains’ by Two Steps From Hell. Immediately I was searching for Two Steps From Hell on YouTube and I found enormous many epic music, which I never head thought, that this would excist. Since that day I fell in love with trailer music.
Would you count Two Steps From Hell to your favorite company?
Definitely, they are for sure one of the most known and especially Two Steps From Hell has something special. They always produce new styles and they have many tracks which are completely different, for example the albums ‘Dreams & Imaginations’ and ‘Legend’, this albums are totally different. But there are of course other companies which I like to listen.
Thereupon, Two Steps From Hell is your example that you started to make your own steps into the compositions? Or was something else responsible for it?
Two Steps From Hell definitely is my example, but this was not the only reason, that I started to compose by myself. The other reason also was that I more and more got ideas which I wanted to hold, but never publishing. All has begun with ‘Melodie zum Träumen’, which was kinda successful at my friends. Therefore I thought, well, then continue, if you and the people like it. Since that time I couldn’t stop anymore and I tried to produce always something new, searching for new melodies and so on.
Did you teach this to yourself or do you take some musical lessons?
I play piano for 3 years, where I mainly play other pieces. Composing is something different, you can’t just learn it that easy. For me it’s a kind of expression, like ‘A Magical Night’, where I had a picture in mind the whole process and I tried to explain it with the music. Of course there are special tips and tricks, especially when you want to right down the piano music as an epic orchestra, but a special talent for finding new melodies is necessary in my opinion.
That means… you do improvise a lot with your music? Especially your first piece ‘Melodie zum Träumen’, was that improvised?
Most of my melodies were born of improvisation, mostly there happen nothing in one month, but then I realize a melody and when I have luck, I can bring it to perfection. Then the trying starts. What does sound good, which instrument is missing and so on. In the beginning it was really hard with the whole big amount of orchestra instruments finding something which sounds sensible. This was the point of my life where I always ,when hearing music, tried to spereate the track into single lines and instruments, which was really helpfull building a solid matrix. But I often try to avoid it then, because I am afraid that one time my tracks are all have the same sound. Therefore I try to invent something new with each track. ‘Melodie zum Träumen’ was actually a whole improvisation, like ‘The Waterbender’.
Well, that’s intention, which many composers, especially young ones, should have. Variation is the key word which makes each track unique. This you can hear especially in your track ‘Gloria pro Viktoria’, one of your most successful tracks, or? Can you tell us something about this piece?
Yes, I think it is important not to be in the 08/15 category. Yes, ‘Gloria pro Viktoria’ is not my most successful, but it is more of the more known tracks by me, that’s correct. ‘Gloria pro Viktoria’ was a really long process, actually this track would have been done 3 months ago yet, but I didn’t have enough money for buying for example the choir and so on. It’s just like now; I have 3 amazing tracks in mind, but the needing libraries are missing. The track title of ‘Gloria pro Viktoria’ has a special meaning, translated in English it means ‘Honor for Viktoria’. Viktoria is a character in my fantasy book, she’ an evil witch namend Viktoria. I dedicated the track to her because while composing I always had her involved in a big battle in mind. That’s the story of the name of this epic track.
Why, that’s sounds really like a battle soundtrack. You do also writing, interesting. First of all, which libraries are you using at the moment, and which you want to buy? Do you have maybe a tip for beginners, which library should be bought?
At the moment I use ‘EWQL Symphoniy Orchestra’, ‘Requiem Light’, ‘Desert Winds’, ‘Forgotten Voices Francesca’ and ‘Epic Taiko Ensemble’. I want to buy many many more libraries, especially ‘Rythmic Aura Volume 2’, a good piano and ‘Cinematic Strings 2’ aswell as a microphone. I am thinking of ‘T-Bone 450’. The software for producing is ‘Cubase 6’. For beginners who also want to compose film soundtracks, I really recommend ‘EWQGL Symphonic Orchestra’. It is not that cheap, but you can have a free and boundless work with it. You can build your own orchestra and you are totally free, every idea can be implement which is not understood. Even ‘Requiem Light’ is great, especially for epic track which needs a big, heavy and loud choir, but also for the lighter sounds. But I also recommend to listen to the demo tracks of their website, because I didn’t test anything else except the above listed ones.
So the goal is working with a real orchestra then. Do you have already companies in mind, which you lovely would work with in future, except Two Steps From Hell?
Well, my favorite of course would be a corporation with Thomas Bergersen and Nick Phoenix, but there are many other good trailer music companies, which I like, for example audiomachine, Immediate Music or Future World Music. The best would be an own company, where I of course won’t be the only composer, I already was talking to so many composer. It is always hard earning money with it to life with this. But it would be a dream, having his own trailer music company. Definitely.
An own company means a lot of responsibility. Some young composers already founded their own company, like Novem Music. Why didn’t you do it yet?
Yes, Novem Music is greast. Why I take my time, I don’t really know it. I think, first of all I have to produce much more and have to improve before founding a company. Also, I like people knowing my name. This mabye sounds megalomaniac, but I don’t want to hide myself behind the company. I want to be founded of my name, Felix Braxmeier, not a company.
You are right. You already told it, you like Novem Music. Are there someone else you appreciate?
Definitely. Everday I have contact to new people and I already know many great artists. One young composer, which I really appreciate is Hugo Tromp, who is already pretty known. Julian Ayacannoo, who is not that known yet with his track ‘Victiorious’ is one, which I really admire, or Steve McLoy with his track ‘Conquest’ counts to my favorite tracks. Also many other, more unknown composers.
Do people excist, which you don’t like their style, maybe you really dislike it?
I don’t like music by people, who do have this 08/15 epic style. Music, which is not special, just loud and so on. Music must have deep roots, and every track by me tells his own little story, a little film chapter. I don’t like people who produce music for quantity, not quality. I already know many people who said: Well, mainly I post one track per week on YouTube. That’s wrong I guess and it gets boring very fast. Therefore I wait until I am completey happy with my track. With ‘Epica Titanium’ I was working about 2 months. Everytime some new detail came to my mind, because I still wasn’t happy with the end result.
Talking about variations again: what’s your favorite trailer music track? Does it excist actually?
Well, I was listenting to many tracks and there are bunch of tracks I really enjoy listening, they never get boring. But this feeling isn’t only with Two Steps From Hell. It’s also with many other companies. A really favorite track I can’t tell you, but I can say, that I am a big fan of Thomas Bergersen’s solo album ‘Illusions’. There you realize that he was working for it for a very long time. At the moment I really enjoy listenting to the preview track by Two Steps From Hell Show Reel 2012. This song is really amazing.
Ah, the SkyWorld Preview. That really sounds nice. But I have to say, their last album ‘Nero’ was quite disappointed to me. Do you like it?
Well, I have to say this album has some really great tracks, but I don’t like everyone. Some are amazing, some are inconsequential in my opinion. It’s not their best album, but nevertheless a great album, but it’s not beating ‘Legend’.
Is ‘Legend’ your favorite album?
Yes, I think so, but on every album there are tracks, which I like. I also really like ‘Nemesis’, ‘Invincible’, ‘Archangel’ and especially ‘Illusions’.
You said, that you are writing a fantasy book. Do you often write stories? And what’s the plot of your fantasy story?
The fantasy book is done. At the moment I am concentrating of compositions. I only wrote the first part of my fantasy story, but I planned to write 3 books of it. I didn’t like the story, it was not special enough, until one evening an idea came to my mind, which no one else every had in mind, I believe. I don’t want to tell it at the moment. Unfortunately, I can’t tell much about the story, just that’s about magic and power and many magical features will be in it, which never was written before.
That definitely sounds interesting. Concentrate more to compositions – do you plan releasing an album?
Essentialy, I am planing something like this, but I still have no details. For 2012 I just planned to improve more but when time is coming, an album definitely will be published. For the summer vacations I have a great project with an american friend, called Kashia Vu. And we are making a track together, which won’t be tat epic actually. It will be done at the end of summer I guess.
What does your friends and family tell about your passion? Are they also fans of trailer music?
No, they are not. My friends more likes the calm and pop tracks by me. They are fascinated about my trailer tracks, but they aren’t that addicted to it like me.
So you are forever alone with your taste in music, like many of us?
Yes, most of the people are listenting to chart tracks. But I also have made the experience, that when I presented a track by Two Steps From Hell, some people kinda liked them, a few really were fascinated about it. It was that successfull, that some people were putting those tracks to their mobile phones or iPods (yes, Apple pays me for making promotion for their product iPod – creator’s note). There are still people, who also appreciate this kind of music, when you are presenting it to them.
What do you think, how will trailer music develop in the near future? Will it become more and more popular?
That’s hard to say. It of course is great. More and more I read that how people are asking for the played tracks in movie and video game trailers on YouTube. Even I was one of them, who didn’t know, that something like this is excisting. After founding it, I was enchained. Maybe it won’t take too long, until the people will more listen to Thomas Bergersen, then to Justin Bieber. But I really have no idea, how things will go on.
Do you have some conclusive words to our fans and readers?
Well, please check out my work on YouTube, you’ll find me when you search for Felix Braxmaier. Comment on them, I would really appreciate it. You can also download my music, I always provide a link in the description where you can download it for free in high quality. For all trailer music fans out there, thanks that you like my music, you are pretty cool and it is amaing talking to you, because there are many people on earth, which appreciate the same music genre like me.
Thank you to Felix Braxmaier for taking his time for the interview.
At last I want to try something new, the ‘5 Quick Questions’. Felix Braxmaier was the first one, who tried it out, and he liked it. Check it out:
Female or Male Choir?
Hybrid or Orchestra?
Globus or Les Friction?
Thomas Bergersen or Nick Phoenix?
Archangel or Invincible?
Thank you reading Trailer Music Vibe.
Felix Braxmeier Facebook pages:-
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