Composer Glenn Finnan is from Wilmington, Delaware and has been composing and arranging musical pieces for more than two decades. He has done film scoring for New York University, worked with many producers and holds a bachelors in music education and masters in clarinet performance from West Chester University. Finnan has been coming to the Keys the last couple years, performing with the South Florida Symphony and finds the islands inspirational, even composing songs inspired by the island chain. I got a chance to sit down with him the other week and discuss his craft.
Q: How did you begin playing with Jack Warner, the studio guitar player who is on your new CD “CityScapes”?
A: A couple of years ago I joined a music networking website called the Grammys. Not long after I joined, Jack contacted me. He is a recording artist who plays in Los Angeles and our music has chemistry together. It is an album of guitar music with instrumental arrangements. I spent the next year or so making the album and just finished it.
Q: What was the most difficult part of making your latest CD?
A: The hardest part was wanting each track to sound different. I consider myself to be song driven. Since I knew the basis was guitar I wanted each track to sound diverse enough that I could enjoy the CD the whole way through. I picked a bunch of ideas for accompaniment. There is everything from classical and big band to just guitar and percussion.
Q: How do you compose your pieces?
A: I am old fashioned and create my original scores with pencil and paper. I find freedom with sheets of paper as opposed to using a computer. It’s a long process getting it from the paper to a full track.
Q: Is there a kind of film you would really enjoy making the music arrangements for?
A: I would like to do music for a big space epic. I would like to establish musical sound for the environment of the film nobody has seen before. To hear music that goes with it and says a lot without dialogue.
Q: What music moves you?
A: I listen to everything. I know all the pop music and, of course, I am a classical fan. I listen to a whole bunch of film and classical composers. When I do film scoring, I look to John Williams. (John Williams is the composer of the music for “Jaws,” “Family Plot” (Alfred Hitchcock’s final film), the “Star Wars” series, “Superman,” the “Indiana Jones” series, “E.T.,” the first two “Home Alone” films, “Hook” and the first two “Jurassic Park” films.)
Q: How does the Florida Keys inspire you?
A: When I go over the bridge from the mainland to Key Largo, all the stress that I had is gone and I feel relaxed and I can focus on just music. I stayed in Key Largo before, but my favorite place is Key West. I plan to move down next year.