[Warning: Spoilers for season 2 and a sneak peek clip for season 3]
The wait is almost over. Season 3 of Syfy’s Being Human premieres Monday, January 14. To get ready for the big day, let’s get tuned in to the show’s sound because we all know that no episode of the hit fantasy-horror series is complete without the score. Helping bring the action alive is veteran Canadian composer, FM Le Sieur. Le Sieur’s creations can be sampled in various movies and TV series. In fact, he’s been nominated for every major award that honors music in television and film in his native Canada. However, it’s his contribution to Being Human that’s earning him attention here in the U.S. In 2012, he won an ASCAP award for his work on the show. And today, a digital album featuring his songs from Being Human seasons 1 and 2 hits iTunes.
TV Goodness talked to the talented composer about his musical influences; his creative process; and the Being Human soundtrack.
TV Goodness: First of all, how did you decide that scoring music for movies and television was something you wanted to do?
FM Le Sieur: When I was younger, I was playing in a band and a University film student approached me to write the music of his short movie. It all started there. At the end of the 1990â€™s I had my first TV Series — The Hunger — produced by Ridley and Tony Scott. I really enjoyed it and it seemed that I also had a knack for it. So I stuck with it and here we are.
TV Goodness: What do you consider your big break?
Le Sieur: The Hunger [a horror anthology TV show that ran from 1997 – 2000], was a big break for me because it was my first American show (on Showtime). But Being Human (on Syfy) is really my biggest break because of the success of the series and of the ASCAP award it gave me.
TV Goodness: What are your musical influences?
Le Sieur: As a guitar player, primarily I am really influenced by all the Brit rock, but more globally, I find inspiration from every major composer from the 20th Century – from Stravinsky to Shostakovich. And, also, in [the] film world, the works of Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Nino Rota, and Bernard Hermann. At University, I had a master class with Philip Glass who changed my view on the composing process. So I guess you could say that I have many inspirations.
TV Goodness: Whatâ€™s more challenging â€“ scoring for a movie or a television series? Is there a difference?
Le Sieur: Scoring a movie and a television series are very different processes. In a movie, you have one big story to tell over two hours or so. The pacing is different, both of the story and the production process. The production and the budget also usually allow me to hire more musicians, so the scale is larger. In a TV series, the show is shorter, but the pace of production is also much faster. There are more characters, and therefore more musical themes to play with. TV and Film both present their own unique challenges, which keeps it interesting.
TV Goodness: What is most satisfying about composing music for a show like Syfyâ€™s Being Human?
Le Sieur: In Being Human, you never know whatâ€™s going happen in the supernatural world. I also love this job. Weâ€™re working on season three now, so Iâ€™ve had the opportunity to create good relationships with the writers and the production, and really feel like part of a team. Itâ€™s great to know that so many people enjoy watching Being Human. Knowing that people are responding to the show is very satisfying.
TV Goodness: What is your favorite Being Human episode or scene where you feel your music so perfectly captured what was going on â€“ that a moment became magical?
Le Sieur: The scene called â€œThe Orphansâ€ in season two from the episode â€œIâ€™ve Got You Under My Skin.” Itâ€™s when the character, Suren, is trying to buy a house from the character Henry, a human. Henry owns a house where many vampire orphans live, and Suren has been asked to get rid of the vampire orphans in Boston. Itâ€™s very suspenseful because at the same time, Suren gives money to the owner of the house, and the audience knows that Aidan is in the house with the orphans trying to save them. Aidan must get out of the house before midnight, or he will burn. The music had to establish a dialogue between the two actions and keep the suspense at the same time. That was a lot of fun.
TV Goodness: Talk about the process of composing a song or a music cue for Being Human. What happens first? Do you get a script? Do you wait for a scene or an episode to be edited?
Le Sieur: When composing music for Being Human, I received the episode first and then I spot every scene with the writer and the show runner. In that process, we decide where to put music and what kind of emotion we want to express for every character. This is before any special effects have been added to the episode, so itâ€™s very helpful to sit down and say, ‘It says werewolf fight here. Can you explain the action to me so I can better write the music to the action?’ After we decide what music goes where, then I finesse it so that by the time the audience sees it, it plays seamlessly to the action on the screen.
TV Goodness: What do you have to keep in mind when composing music for Being Human? The darker the better? What usually inspires you?
Le Sieur: I have to keep in mind to find the right balance between the dark, the funny and the friendship feeling for Being Human. Itâ€™s very dark at times, but at the center of it are these three friends trying to live â€œnormalâ€ lives.
TV Goodness: Talk about the upcoming digital album featuring your music from seasons 1 and 2 of Being Human (out Jan. 8, 2013). What can fans look forward to?
Le Sieur: On the album, you will hear a lot of music from the most memorable scenes in the first two seasons. When I write music for Being Human, I write it like itâ€™s a song and like a score. My score sounds sometimes like small songs. So the listening to the score album is very much like listening to any other music album, with themes and tunes you can identify with.
TV Goodness: How about season 3 of Being Human? Is there a particular moment we can look forward to in the first episode where the music fit perfectly?
Le Sieur: Yes a lot, but you will to watch the show to know! I can say that I am writing more music for the three main characters â€“ Aidan, Josh and Sally â€“ when they are interacting with each other. That is always a treat.
TV Goodness: What other projects are you working on?
Le Sieur: As soon as I finish Being Human season three, Iâ€™m starting a cop show in Paris, France. Then I have another TV series here in Canada and feature film. So the next nine months are pretty busy, which is great.
Being Human season 3 begins Monday, January 14 @ 9/8c on Syfy. The soundtrack featuring Le Sieur’s songs from seasons 1 and 2 can be found on iTunes today. Earlier this month, the season 2 DVD was released.
Sneak Peek Clip from Being Human season 3
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