Working with Ceiri Torjussen on the score for MENTOR:
Among the challenges we faced as we began to envision a score for “Mentor” was that we felt strongly that the music needed to combine two very disparate emotions that coursed through the film: Carter’s joy and excitement in his relationships with both Julia and Sanford and his early success as a writer, as well as a sense of unsettledness and foreboding about where those relationships were actually leading. Since most of the story is told in flashback, we felt that the music would also play an important role not only in delineating the past from the present, but also in supporting the notion that Carter’s past, with Julia and Sanford, was actually more vibrant and alive than his present. Finally, as with any film, we wanted the music to help define the significant themes in the script and aid in the evolution of the characters and the story.
When we began working with our composer, Ceiri Torjussen, he immediately came up with a variety of options that dealt head-on with these challenges. In our discussions with him, we decided that the score should have an ambient quality, and that it should, at the same time be unusual and distinctive. He capitalized on what we imagined were contradictory goals, in part through the use of specific instruments. He went out and purchased a variety of African thumb pianos, for example, which feature prominently in the score. He also decided to feature guitars, and brought on a phenomenal young guitarist, Andrew Synowiec, for whom he wrote terrific parts. For us, Ceiri’s score was a spectacular success, helping to bring out subtleties of story, character and structure that supported and enhanced all of our efforts in writing, producing, and editing the film.
-William Whitehurst (Writer/Producer, MENTOR)
-Simeon Hutner (Editor/Co-Producer, MENTOR)
ABOUT THE COMPOSER:
Ceiri Torjussen’s music was described by the Los Angeles Times as a “sudden bolt of creative lightning”. Hailing from Wales but now based in Los Angeles, in the last few years, he has made a sudden but marked impact on the world of film music, with an enviable list of high-profile credits to his name.
He has scored six feature films to date. In 2006 UNDOING, a noir-thriller, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and MENTOR, starring Rutger Hauer, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Most recently he composed additional, heart-thumping action music for the 2007 blockbuster, LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD, starring Bruce Willis. His music demonstrates an expansive creative range and versatility, being at home in many arenas, including horror (DRACULA III: LEGACY, SOUL’S MIDNIGHT, and additional music for UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION) and comedy (FUNKY MONKEY and additional music for SCARY MOVIE II). No stranger to television, he provided additional music for the WB TV show GLORY DAYS, the CBS network shows COLD CASE and CLOSE TO HOME, and for the series DEAD LIKE ME, on Showtime. Torjussen has also worked extensively in animation, composing music for high-profile animated shows such as NI HAO KAILAN (Nickelodeon), and for Mike Young Productions’ MAX AND THE MECHANICALS, THE MR. MEN and DIVE OLLY DIVE for which he received a 2007 DAYTIME EMMY NOMINATION for Best Original Score.
Torjussen has also orchestrated and conducted on numerous studio feature films such as THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, I-ROBOT, HELLBOY, CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, JOYRIDE, BLADE 2, WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, DRACULA 2000 and TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES. He is equally at home with the orchestra as he is with electronic music. His Wenallt Studios is fully equipped with 96-bit digital recording capabilities, state-of-the-art sound synthesis software, and an additional room dedicated to tracking live ensembles and vocals. He resides in Los Angeles.