Edgar Arens is a Russian composer living in Moscow.
He was born in 1976 to a family of performers. His father was an actor in the theatre and his mother was an accomplished singer, with a wide repertory of varying styles, including Opera, Classical, Russian Romantic and Ukrainian Folk Music. Owing to his family’s involvement in the fine arts, he had the privilege of meeting well-known Russian composers, Oscar Feltsman and Mark Fradkin, who played their music on the piano while his mother sang their new songs at home. Surrounded by a rich musical environment at such a young age, he became like a sponge, absorbing many different styles of songs and instrumental compositions. He began playing the piano when he was four years old and started to compose only two years later. Although he never studied formally, he is a highly accomplished composer and musician.
At one point, Edgar became struck by great Hollywood soundtracks and started to work in this direction as well. His favorite composers were Ronald Stein, Bernard Herrmann, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Newton Howard, Danny Elfman, Dario Marianelli, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, Howard Shore, James Horner, Harry Gregson-Williams, John Powell, Trevor Rabin and others, virtually every composer in the film industry. Their music challenged him, distracted him and forced him in a certain definite musical direction.
In order to practice creating original musical scores, Edgar began by taking major films and composing short pieces that precisely fit into the action on the screen, very much like a professional film composer would do. Later on, he experimented with original animation pieces, posting these and other tracks on YouTube, Last FM and on Sound Cloud. These experiments were quite successful. After a time, it was obvious that Edgar had attracted a fan base of regular listeners, who came back often to listen to his newer music again and again.
Edgar creates original scores electronically- with staggeringly, beautiful orchestral effects including often choir elements and very complex and subtle percussion. To do so, he plays all the instruments himself on the keyboard, utilizing as many as 60-100 tracks. There is a grandeur, when intended, to both his film scores and the instrumental music he produces for his song compositions. He has a style of composition, which lends itself to great diversity but with an unusual richness and power.
Recently, Edgar was selected to be the lead composer in the Russian mini-series, The History Detectives, directed by Oleg Ryaskov, known for his direction of the feature film, The Sovereign Servant. The History Detectives is an elaborate period piece set in the 18th Century. Season I, consisting of eight episodes, was aired on Inter-TV in the Ukraine, beginning on May 24th in 2011. Season II has not yet aired, but both Season I and II are currently available on DVD in the Russian Language version online and in many video stores in the Russian Federation. Season I was more of a detective story, but Season II was more of an action/adventure featuring remote locations like London, Freeport, Boston and forest areas in greater Massachusetts.
According to Edgar, the music for Season I and Season II were quite different. Since the First Season was somewhat of a detective story, mingled with romance, the score was more flamboyant, orchestral, augmenting the drama and love scenes in the story. In Season II, the story, being quite action-oriented, demanded a score, which helped the audience rivet their attention on the activities in the screen. Music in the Second Season was more direct, subtle but less stagey- like an underpainting that allows the surface level of the painting to shine more brightly.
In addition to his love of film composition, Edgar, even as a child, was simultaneously drawn to popular music, His desire was to always add a certain musical depth to contemporary music, rich in various genres, but often musically and lyrically shallow. When he began to work with Johnny Blue Star, an American lyricist, he became enchanted with the possibilities for future collaborations. Their first song was “Christmas In Your Eyes,” now featured on its own website. They have currently have written fifteen or so songs together, in a wide range of styles. They are now working on a musical called, Hadleigh’s Castle. The title is named after an English ruins, dramatically rendered in a famous 19th Century painting by John Constable. Edgar and Johnny created a song with the same title, about a lover’s rendezvous in this memorable, desolate landscape.
Learn more about Edgar at edgararens.com