Composed by Eleni Hassabis and Lydia Ashton, ‘War And Conflict‘ (EVO325) is a brand-new collection of dramatic, percussive driven orchestral underscores shine a light on the emotive and human nature of conflict of all types. Created for storytellers and content creators in human documentary, non-scripted & reality TV, and sports documentary looking for an expansive and absorbing soundtrack.
We caught up with FirstCom Music Producer Jason Rudd to learn more about this beautiful album and what sets it apart from more bombastic production music aimed at similar audiences.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this album?
‘War And Conflict’ was inspired by large scale film score works of Alexandre Desplat, John Powell, Rachel Portman, and especially the great Thomas Newman. The goal was a collection of underscores for deeply dramatic storytelling, with a strong emotional tone. The album is perfect for telling of war and other large-scale human turmoil, such as a pandemic, ethnic conflict, natural disaster, and the like. We hope it will be useful for documentary, as well as current events, politics, and more.
This album is laid out in a narrative, chronological fashion starting with thoughtful and serene scene-setting pieces. It then leads to more dramatic undercurrents, perfect for news of distant war or other impending turmoil. We start building up the percussive elements here, slowly adding tension. We move next to action, conflict, larger more intense pieces heavy on orchestra and pounding percussion. Finally, resolution and acceptance. Time passing, moving on.
You worked with some great composers on this one, can you tell us some more about how that relationship was formed?
I was lucky to involve two fantastic female composers on this project, who I feel brought a heightened emotional insight and urgency to the pieces.
Eleni Hassabis is a British composer who has an amazing list of awards, accomplishments, and placements. She first came onto my radar in 2011 with some work for our Music House label. It stopped me in my tracks! I contacted her and began email correspondence, and we did a few songs for our EVO library. I’ve wanted to work more with her for a long time so when this opportunity came up, I jumped on it.
When looking for a good complement for Eleni, I turned to Swedish-American composer Lydia Ashton. I knew Lydia through her husband Nathan, a sound design and foley specialist, as well as through fellow composer Matt Hirt. Lydia is a very accomplished composer for film, TV, and advertising with many placements and awards. I had been trying to find a good fit for Lydia, and this was the perfect opportunity to try working with her.
I’d also like to note the wonderful cover art was done by a fantastic female graphic artist, Heather Glenn at Black Market Creative. The result is an album that we’re really proud to promote as part of our ‘The Future Is Female’ initiative thanks to the amazing creative talent of the women who made it happen.
What sets this album apart from other production music albums of its type?
War music commonly focuses on the strong and powerful aspects of warfare. These works, on the other hand, occupy a unique space where the power is present, but the complex feelings and moods drive the narrative toward being more human and universally understandable and relatable.
We are living in tumultuous times. Do you feel this album is timely or relevant right now?
During production of this album, we could not have foreseen impending events like the global COVID-19 pandemic or worldwide protests for racial equality that have dominated our reality this year. Coincidentally we barely finished recording string parts before quarantine began. Fortuitously, stories of the important human elements in both recent situations can be very well told with this collection, from the urgency and seriousness of the topics to the emotional toll they take on us all.
Are there any standout tracks you’d like to highlight?
“A Prelude” is a favorite of mine. It juxtaposes a very warm string section against the primal power of drums and percussion. Great for deep emotional stories. “Ready For Battle” brings the power and strength of war with a determined insistence. And finally “Letters From Home” combines complex feelings with the passage of time, for images of change and acceptance.
Find Out More About Our Composers
Eleni Hassabis is a British composer who creates original music for all media. Her extensive credits include commercials for brands such as Song, Ikea, and Land Rover, award-winning films and documentaries, additional music for Peaky Blinders season 5, and the BAFTA-winning series for Nickelodeon, ‘My Favourite Bedtime Story’.
Lydia Ashton has specialized in writing music for television and film the last 15 years. Educated both in Sweden and the United States she brings a fresh approach to the art of music for media.
Her music can be heard in hundreds of television shows, films, and documentaries. Some of Lydia’s more notable credits include the main title theme for The Nate Berkus Show (syndicated) and a fanfare which was used as a bump by NBC during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Rio 2016.