The musician in the dark room who loves silence

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He is a candidate for the Goya for Best Original Score for the film ‘Las niñas de cristal’. He is a workaholic and early riser and even makes melodies out of stones. He considers himself a madman who is fascinated with the stars and cooking

This conductor and composer knows his terrain. A conscientious worker, he is accustomed to visiting the shoots to imbue himself with the spirit that the film sets and plots exude. Iván Palomares, 45, specializes in designing soundtracks for film and television. He is aiming to win a Goya for Best Original Score for his work on ‘Las niñas de cristal’ by Jota Linares, a film with a touch of tragedy that addresses the universe of ballet. To achieve a unique tuning, he had a New York luthier build a euphone, an instrument made of glass rods that is played with wet hands. Before embarking on a musical career, Palomares tried his luck as an actor, although he would have preferred to be an astronaut. Palomares finds harmony in the most unexpected sounds, such as the song of a bird or the sound of a fountain. Look for the suspension of silence so as not to go crazy.

Monday

5:00 a.m. I drink two cups of coffee in a row as soon as I get up, because my awakening is quite lethargic. I like to get up very early, in those early hours I am most clear. There is practically no life on the street and that sense of silence gives me a lot of freedom, which allows me to use the time. So I have two or three hours of rest without calls, WhatsApp and emails, things that distract me a lot.

12:00 You should see inspiration at work, but sometimes it surprises you with two beers. I say this because after not finding the main theme of a movie for a long time, I decided to meet someone to relax. And just as the person I was waiting for arrived, inspiration came to me, which was the result of all the work my brain had done hours before. I quickly grabbed a napkin and started writing the score on an improvised stave. Now I always go with a tape recorder.

1:00 pm. Depending on the project I am working on, I work with pencil, paper and staff or with a computer. There are pieces that look better on a screen. They are two different ways of composing, although for me they are complementary.

Tuesday

11am. When I compile a soundtrack, I visit the recordings. A composer should not work alone, he should know the team and be part of it. This way I also have more time to understand the film and I can disconnect myself after the images. Because it can be set to music based on the story itself and depending on the director’s vision. I think matching the image with the music is the final stage.

1:00 pm. Silence is very necessary for me. We live in a society bombarded by noise. In fact, with the pandemic, we decided to move, and I’m used to noise pollution having lived in major cities in the US, Belgium and France. Not only is it dangerous to the ear, it is also aggressive. After waiting hours for the equalization of a sound and its timbre, I have to take a walk and try to find the greatest silence.

2:00. I really like cooking, it’s something that relaxes me and it has a lot to do with music. Dressing up a dish is like orchestrating. Some things, most of them actually, were inedible to me, but I’m fascinated by the simple fact of mixing things up, trying to find the process to make the best pizza dough or French pancakes. The older I get, the more I enjoy food.

Wednesday

5:00 pm Painting, especially contemporary art, inspires me a lot, it brings me back to the state of mind I was in when I was studying at the conservatory. Contemporary art is a highly intellectual and structural expression, where the forms are not defined. As composers of soundtracks for the audiovisual sector, we have to make certain stylistic concessions to make the music understandable, my thinking has to renew the aesthetic references so that it is modern and current.

7:00 pm. I should practice more yoga, it gives me peace. Sometimes we composers boycott ourselves, and for this work, which is highly intellectual, we must have a very well oxygenated brain. Over the years and then with giving birth, I gained more weight than I should. That’s why I’m going to exercise again with a little more intensity, to have extra energy and stamina. When I was young I practiced martial arts but got injured during an exhibition and had no choice but to quit. That is why I now basically focus on aerobics, combined with exercises to maintain muscle tone.

Thursday

12:00 am I am always busy with something related to music. I teach composition for audiovisual music at the Escuela Superior Reina Sofía once a week, and from time to time they call me to give masterclasses and conferences. Right now I’m working on a television project that I’m going to start soon that I can’t talk about yet. When such a job comes along, I have virtually no schedule and can easily work 15-16 hours a day.

6:00 PM A musician doesn’t disconnect from his work like he flipped a switch. Composers analyze everything we hear in order to translate it musically. We are surrounded by music. The song of the birds and the sound of water in a fountain are the soundtrack of every day. Of course there are times when we are not aware of everything due to fatigue, but there is always something that catches our attention.

Friday

5:00 PM Being in a library is very stimulating because of the silence they convey. I have always been fascinated by the sound of concentration inhaled there. When I was a student I went a lot. Thanks to the fact that I haven’t changed my car in years, I have bought good music books and sheet music, which are usually very expensive. I like to read and analyze them. I have some very old, but also contemporary, by living authors, and other rare, very strange editions. Recently I found for a very good price the score of the orchestra for the opera ‘Divine Words’ by Antón García Abril, a spectacular work.

Source: La Verdad

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