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Steelpan musician & composer
Sune Borregaard on the Move

In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks (WST), Danish recording/artist/ panist/arranger/composer Sune Borregaard speaks on the Hollywood film “Finder of Lost Children” which features his original pan score.


Sune Borregaard

WST: The film “Finder of Lost Children” will feature an original pan score by you - how did this come about?

Sune: Actually, I think it came about through the old WST message board, where Ricardo Scipio, the director, had posted a message telling briefly about the project and that he was looking for a pan composer. I responded to his message and sent him some examples of my previous work. He was  especially turned on by the music I recorded with the trio SUMI, which is based on real-time processing and sampling of our instruments’ original sounds. However, Ricardo said he would like some entirely new music written for the film, so we decided not to use SUMI’s recordings.

WST: How did you approach writing the music for this project?

Sune: I approached the task of writing the music pretty much straightforward. I wanted to make the music reflect one of the underlying themes in the film: that the atmosphere often identified with the tourist-myth of Caribbean culture with sunshine, happy people with enough love for everyone, also could have a flipside to the coin. That a lifestyle that on the surface seemed unconcerned and happy (of course) may not necessarily be all that it appears to be, that there are consequences to one’s choices and actions. So my main idea was to compose music that on the surface had the texture of a steelpan because that is the instrument most associated with the Caribbean, but also hinted at a darker and more troublesome expression.  I obtained this notion through various effects, processors and samplers through which I manipulated the steelpans’ original sound.

I had some phone conversations with Ricardo, where I told him about my ideas, and it turned out that we were pretty much on the same page.

WST: Was there something particular that moved you about this project?

Sune: What I liked about this project and what turned me on, was the possibility to write some music for the steelpan that (hopefully) could spur people to embrace the versatility of both the steelpan as an instrument in its own right, as well as a conveyor of more than “happy sunshine music,” which it is always associated with. The film itself also tells a different story than what most people associate with Caribbean culture.  No matter what the subject is (Caribbean or American, steelpan or guitar), embracing a fuller picture is always a goal in itself.  I’m definitely into projects that can broaden my own horizon:-)

WST: Who performed the score?

Sune: I performed all the instruments in the score. The steelband tune, “Family” is recorded in layers, where I began with laying down drum/percussion tracks, then bass, chords and melody.  The other music is created on my double tenors, and run through various equipment.

I recorded and produced everything myself.

WST: What are your expectations for this project - or what would you like to see come from this project?

Sune: Well, obviously I would like the film to become a success, ha ha:-)
Other than that, I hope that it will contribute positively to give people a broader perspective on both steelpans and the culture that it originated in. Generally, the story is of course also a generic one of the issues all diasporas’ populations are dealing with: identity, family, mix of cultures, relating to one’s roots, etc.  And that is always a fascinating schism.

WST: What is Sune into musically these days?

Sune: For the time being I am working on a Sonic Steel tour to Lithuania this summer, where -  amongst other places - we will be performing as the main act at the country’s most prestigious music festival, the Kristupo Festival.  We were there last year as well, as the first steelband (to my knowledge) to perform in Lithuania. They welcomed us extremely well with great interest in steelpan music, and we hope to be able to live up to it again...
We are working on a pretty serious jazz repertoire, and plan to record our next album with that in late August 2009.

Thank you for your interest in my work!

Click for more on Finder of Lost Children

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Contact Sune Borregaard at http://whensteeltalks.ning.com/profile/SuneBorregaard 

Sune Borregaard
+45 2370 2939

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