Writing The Original Score for The Haumana – 4 Strings and All

The Haumana, Music ComposerI’m not one to post up on blogs.  As a matter of fact, this is my first one on this site.  But today I’m excited and nervous at the same time.  The debut of the film The Haumana is a few days away and the local publicity machine is churning like an out-of-season cyclone here in Hawaii.

For me this is my first major feature film as a composer and first time that my name as been recognized outside of my Fathers name, Jorge del Barrio (composer, orchestrator, conductor).  What a wonderful thing it would have been to share this with my father who passed away last year…….

The musical score for The Haumana was something that I had not considered a possibility since I moved to Hawaii in 2002.  I just never thought that there was any indie film production out here that would need my creativity. 

There is a TON of very talented musicians here in Hawaii and most of the local production had Hawaiian themes so I just figured that I was the odd man out so it never crossed my mind that I would EVER score a local film…..guess I was dead wrong.

Keo Woolford wrote/directed the film.  It’s a great pop-culture story about the current Hawaiian Halau existence and the different types of personalities that the characters bring to tell a great story.  When Keo asked me to write the score for the film I was really stoked just to be a part of it.

When he presented me with his thoughts on how he wanted me to go about creating the film score he said that all he wanted to use for instrumentation were Ukuleles, Guitar, Hula implements, strings and occasional pop percussion, I knew that I had my work cut out for me.

There were three custom source cues (custom source is like mini songs or custom written songs for a movie) that I composed for the film.  Keo wrote the melody and I composed around it.  We had three really fun scenes where “Johnny Kealoha” sings live to his Waikiki dinner crowd.  I loved working on those tracks because the styles were totally different; one was traditional Hawaiian, the second was old school Tiki style, and the third had a Hawaii Five-0 vibe.

Needless to say, the score took a few months to complete.  It was a dance of less-is-more with Keo and I.  I never lost site of the type of sound that Keo wanted, and his presence during a lot of the basic tracking, was a gift.  At times, my composer ego would burn a little zing in my head for wanting to be more colorful in some of the cues, but alas, Keo knew what he wanted and I was able to make it all work.

So here it is, October 16th and I’m jittery.  What will they say about my work?  Will this be the beginning of something new or………….ah screw it – I’m freaking myself out!  I shoot and I SCORE ;P

 If you wanna check out one of the cues it’s the first one on the streaming player on my music samples 🙂

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