Out Now Magazine Spotlight series featuring Ana Ortiz Wienken for an exclusive interview
Ana Ortiz Wienken is a Berklee College of Music alumni, graduated with a Magna Cum Laude in Film Scoring, Conducting and Music Production. She began her musical training at the Russian Conservatory Katarina Gurska of Madrid, in which she obtained a Magna Cum Laude degree in classical piano performance and contemporary composition.
Tell us about yourself
I am from Iasi, a small town in Moldavia, but my nationality is from Spain. Born in Iasi, raised in Spain.
When did you start making music?
I started composing at 12 years old. I began playing the piano at 5 and while I was completing my classical piano career, I wanted to explore more about music. I used my instrument to express myself as music is the most powerful form of communication.
How do you describe your music?
My musical style is predominated by an epic and full sound. I like to use texture, a big orchestration and lots of melodic detail. I am currently creating a new fresh style, in which I am fusing the organiz sound of the classical orchestra with modern plugins and electronic sounds.
Favorite moment from your career?
My favorite moment in my career was when I got to musically assist a Warner Bros. Studios film, “Smallfoot”. I learnt alot from the Grammy Awarded lead composer, Heitor, whose strong character taught me that in order to be a successful composer one needs to strongly stick to a very organized plan and a lot of originality. Music works if we combine discipline and creativity. I also cherish the moment I got to work at the composer Lucas Vidal’s studio. While working for Netflix’s famous series, “Elite”, I learnt that technology plays a big role in musical composition.
Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
My biggest musical inspiration is the composer Ludovico EInaudi. An italian film composer who uses the technical style of “NeoClassicism”. With a very light orchestration, the use of repeated patterns (named ostinatos) and layers of textures, he creates the most beautiful soundtracks. He follows the style of “less is more”.
Another musical figure I truly admire is the Dominican composer Angel Irizarry Almonte. He is from Santo Domingo and his musical work is full of folklore, color and rhythm. His two singles “Palo tó” and “Momento” have inspired me to create more vivid soundtracks and to input instruments from all parts of the world to create the most epic film music. His music portrays the importance of our roots and reflects the origin of all great music, the African Diaspora.
What other things do you do besides making music?
Besides music, I am an active member of a school that specializes in social education. Helping children and families that are living under very difficult conditions and that risk social exclusion. I tend to create musical activities, however I also give lessons in networking and business management and orient them in how to apply for stable jobs.
What is your producing software?
I use two DAWs to work. I sequence all my scores in Digital Performer or Logic and then, once all sound is exported to mp3 and recorded, I use Pro Tools to create a unique mix and masterization of MIDI and real live recorded instruments. Pro Tools also helps me to record the electronic rhythmic bass and sound frequencies I tend to add.
What is your favorite track of all time?
My favorite track of all time is “Inspiration Excerpt” from Pollock’s Film (2002). The composer, Jeff Beal, layered perfectly each texture and musical layer rto match exactly each of Pollock’s brush strokes. For every new color in the painting, there is a new section in the score.
I also love the track “Momento” by the Dominican composer Angel Irizarry Almonte. His track is full of folklore, rhythm and color. These are the textures that I am looking for when I am writing for a feature film.
What is your best-producing tip?
Listen to the track through different devices, such as your phone, headphones, (cheaper headphones), the laptop.. DO not stick to listening to your track in your studio and rely that it sounds perfect. Remember many people listen to music through different devices, therefore when you are producing, always listen as you create, through different gadgets.
Also, for any rhythm section or rhythmic pattern you created, quantize it first before adding any other layer. By tweaking the audio latency, make sure you quantize to at least 70% but never 100%, as you might end up with way too mechanical and unnatural sound.
Why did you start making music?
I started making music because I see music as the most powerful tool of communication. It is a global language of peace and ideas in which everyone can express themselves. I also saw that music is a never ending path of learning. There are always new ways to explore and go beyond your scoring strength, there is always something new to learn from music, either personally or professionally.
What are your goals for the future?
My goals are to expand internationally my production company, AOW MUSIC PRODUCTIONS. I aim to keep working in what I love doing and to keep inspiring other artists to become who they want to be.
What advice can you give for young music producers/DJs?
Be constant in their work, never take anything personally in the industry and elaborate a business plan. Get to know your future clients. If you compose for film, go to film screenings and meet new film directors. Also, technology plays a big role in music! Learn about the newest plugins and be up to date with gear. Finally, always backup your work!
Please write a message to your fans.
First of all, thank you so much for reading this amazing interview and I truly hope all the information given inspires you to grow as a musician and professional.
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