Pizzicato Pluckery is a wonderfully characterful collection of tracks by writing duo Marc Teitler and Vasco. The tracks are fun, mischievous and quirky, making it an extremely versatile album for editors and programme-makers telling a story or setting a scene.
Vasco shared a few words about the inspiration behind the music and the making of the album. He has also created a beautiful animation capturing the magic of the tracks to accompany the album, take a look below.
What was the inspiration behind the album?
The idea for writing and recording pieces for this album came around because Marc and I had already had a lot of fun writing, ‘Taking the Pizz’ (the first album in this series) and we decided we needed a new challenge – something that would work simply and effectively. Writing for picture is about utilising space, keeping things small, so as not to compete with the imagery and often, less is more. ‘Pizzicato’ crops up in all kinds of situations – I think it’s because naturally, it’s small, stays away and has space in it. It’s a tiny series of noises that suggests lots of feeling but still manages to be as minimal as can be. So, for this new album, our concept was to keep as close to ‘pizzicato’ as possible and look for melodies, phrases and rhythms that would naturally suit this approach.
How did you establish the tone?
Sometimes it’s quite fun to tie your arms behind your back as you have to be super inventive if you’re going to do a whole album in one style. Think of ‘pizzicato’ like a kind of spirit – when strings are plucked rather than bowed it can tell a story in so many ways, evoking a whole variety of emotions. So much of music to picture is about evoking a feeling and we found that often if we used the same sounds but re-ordered them and changed the time signature then we completely changed the movement.
What was your creative process?
Music is the sound of an idea, so if you can figure out what the idea is you can work backwards from there. In some ways we charted how music is used – what’s out there and how/where could these tracks get used ie: corporate, quirky, balletic. Imagine the music to a scene with an awkward conversation over a dinner table, re-order some notes and suddenly you have the perfect sound for a bank commercial. Every story is different and ‘pizzicato’ allows for versatility and can be fun, mischievous, quirky and even dramatic. The whole project was a hybrid between creativity and commercial focus.
How did the album come together?
We’d both go away and originate the pieces separately and come back together to discuss and review. We are so close with one another and work very well together so there was no ego involved.
As with our first album, it was important for us to use a live orchestra as the energy and performance of a live session can really bring a piece to life and makes it completely unique. This time however we had a full orchestra playing 12 pieces in only four hours! We had to ensure that everything was playable in a simple way – it was all about making it playable.
It being Covid times, we had to do the session remotely and I ended up taking some photos of the screen to keep a memory of the session. I used these photos as the basis for the cover that I drew for the album and I also made a short animation using my drawings that tell the story of making the album and capture the fun we had along the way.