Roger Subirana is a composer and musical producer born in 1978 in Vilafranca del Penedés (Barcelona). Self-taught, he began composing his own creations shortly before 12 years of age.
In addition to his personal production, he has composed a variety of musical styles, compositions for cinema, TV, theater, dance performances and a multitude of audiovisual projects. He composed the soundtrack for the official film of the history of FC Barcelona "Barça Dreams" (2015) directed by Jordi Llompart and distributed by Filmax International. He composed the music for the short film "Clones", competitor in the official section of the Sitges Fantastic Film Festival (2015) and winner of the best international short film in Los Angeles IFS Film Fest (2016). It was directed by Rafael Bolliger with actor Rutger Hauer ("Blade Runner" by Ridley Scott in 1982).
In the documentary section highlights his musical contribution in "Before you shoot the salt" (2015) was directed by Natalia Armienta winner in the "Los Angeles Cinefest" in the category of Best Documentary.
His compositional work also covers the field of advertising. He has licensed and performed music for major international brands such as Shiseido, Swatch, Renault, Inverse or Ducati. On Jamendo, the world's largest Creative Commons platform, its music has surpassed 7 million listeners and more than one million downloads.
Throughout these years he has had several recognitions and awards, among which we highlight being the winner of the Jamendo Awards (2011) as best artist of World Music or the nomination for the composition "The invisible" to the Hollywood Music in Media Awards of Los Angeles (2016), composition included in his last CD "The Round Dimension" (2017).
In his concerts and shows he plays several instruments. Piano, synthesizers, keyboards, native American flute, EWI (MIDI electronic flute), Ocarina, percussion, kalimba and an instrument built by himself: "El Butáphono".
When did you start to fall in love with Music?
Roger: I think forever. I don't remember any time in my life where music was never a part of me.
Who has inspired you throughout your career?
Roger: Now, it's very easy, thanks to the internet, to be able to access all the music and all the musical styles you can imagine. But when I was a child, the internet didn't exist. The only way you had to know music was through another person, searching the record stores or listening to the few radio stations.
I was lucky to be surrounded by people who listened to very different styles. Through my father, I heard classical music, pop-rock like Beatles, Carlos Santana, Joe Cocker. With my uncles, I listened to new age (Ray Linch, Bill Douglas, Enya, Suzanne Ciani, Kitaro, Lito Vitale...), Celtic music (Carlos Núñez, Liam O'Flynn, Lorenna Mackennitt...), Minimalism (Michael Nyman, Wim Mertens, Philip Glass…) My cousin made me listen to techno/dance and electronic music such as Jean Michel Jarre or Vangelis. And with my friends in the Institute, I heard the Symphonic Rock of Yes, Emerson Like and Palmer, Genesis, Pink Floyd or Marillion.
How do you find inspiration? Can you tell us about your process of creating a new musical score?
Roger: There are many ways to compose music. I follow three major ways. First, I sit with my piano with a blank mind and start playing to see what comes up. The another way is finding ideas though drawings, covers or photographs. This is somewhat peculiar. I visualize an image in my head, imagining that it is the cover of a CD and I imagine what would like it to sound if I saw it in a store. In fact, this is how I bought many albums in the past, just for its graphic design. The third method is the one that I use the most. I try to transmit the things that happen to me internally through music. It's like writing a diary but with notes and without anyone knowing what has really happened to you.
Can you tell us about your experience when performing your first live concert?
Roger: Well, as I always remember, I was very excited. I like to play live. It is almost "mandatory" for a musician. But I enjoy composing in my "cave", creating away from the noise of the world.
How did you create your instrument called "El Butáphono"? Can you tell us about it?
Roger: Well, I wanted a Hang Drum but they are very expensive. So I saw tutorials on how to do something similar with a camping gas cylinder. You make some cuts of different measures on its surface to make each note. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsRdF7M7XPw
Which is your favorite musical instrument? How do you decide to choose your instruments for a musical score?
Roger: What I like to play the most is any percussion instrument. It's what I really enjoy. But the piano (or keyboard) is my usual way to compose, since it is the simplest way for me to introduce the melodies in my studio software. Then I change or program the sound that is most appropriate to what I am composing at that moment.
Who is your favorite musician?
Roger: It is an impossible question to answer. There are hundreds of great musicians who have their own personality. I never consider that I am better than them. As listener, I love songs or albums more than being a staunch fan of the composer.
Can you tell us about the experience when composing music for films and international brands?
Roger: It is always an interesting experience to compose for third parties. But as everything has two parts. The most difficult thing for me is the challenge of doing something very specific in that you do not have all the freedom. But it forces you to leave your comfort zone and learn a lot. Then this experience can be applied to your own compositions.
Which is your favorite songs and musical scores?
Roger: To name a few composers or soundtracks they are: OST Senna (Antonio Pinto), OST Human (Armand Amar), OST Game Journey (Austin Wintory), OST Le peuple migrateur (Bruno Coulais), OST Game Beyond two souls (Lorne Balfe), From Conception to birth, a life Unfolds (Michael Whalen). To add some more examples, I like very much Paul Mounsey, Ólafur Arnalds or Max Richter too.
Do you think music can be learnt by ourselves or is it better to go to a music school?
Roger: I preferred to focus on composing and learning the tools of musical software to be able to take out everything I had in my head. I don't do many concerts. But If I were mostly a live composer, for example, the musical skills that I have learned on my own wouldn't be enough for me and I would need someone to teach me to play better.