Multi-tasking with Marc Papeghin, II


Continuing with Marc Papeghin (see Part I), I wanted to know more about how he puts together his impressive arrangements and videos. Speaking of which, here is the latest one that includes – among many other things – the blue horn at the 5:12 mark.

Where do you get the notes for the arrangements? Do you pick this up by ear? With your music notation, do you combine piano and mouse actions to get it done faster?

A: I use full orchestral scores, piano transcriptions, my own orchestral transcriptions, and my ear and memory. I eventually transcribe down every final horn part in Sibelius, using a midi keyboard to directly input the notes.

This is very handy and effective.

Briefly describe your multi-tracking and editing process. How long does it take to complete the audio with 8 or 12 horns?

Well I can’t say exactly. As I arrange while recording, experimenting a lot…it’s quite a long time-consuming process .. hours and hours of (hard) work for sure !

And everything’s done in Cubase, recording with headphones and a click track.

What is an internet session musician? This is a career I am not familiar with.

A: Well it’s the same as a session musician, except I do everything in my own home studio and send over my parts via internet.

For example, I work with composers who do mockups – very realistic orchestral demos for movies – and instead of putting in sampled horns, they send me the score and I record the horn parts for them.

It eases their workload, plus in the end they have a true horn sound 🙂

I can also work for rock bands who for a particular song need a french horn, Instead of hiring someone, booking a studio etc… it can be easier to hand it over to me, I’ll then record it and send it back.

Your production value just gets better with each video. How many hours would you guess that you have spent on making these videos?

When I do a new arrangement/video, my motto’s always to top the previous one.

The videos are quite long to produce too. Gathering all the particular segments I need ( in HD quality if possible now..) synchronizing and being creative takes a while.

I always want my videos to be as entertaining as the audio. I really want it to be a true audio-visual experience. I think it’d be quite boring to see me playing on a static chair for 10 minutes wouldn’t it ?

I’m quite perfectionist – maybe too much – so those videos took me tens and tens of hours to finish.

Why do you make these videos? Do you plan on making more?

A: I make these videos for several reasons:

  • First of all…I just LOVE making them.
  • I love challenging and daring myself to play some things which seem impossible at first (certain parts like violin or guitar runs gave me a REALLY hard time !)
  • And revisiting this music really is something I’m passionate about.

One other goal is to show everyone the diversity and richness of the horn sound. Of all the comments I get on my YouTube videos, there are a lot saying ” I didn’t know a french horn could sound this way or this good !”

It turns out lots of people simply don’t know what a french horn is ( like mistaking it for a hunting horn)…and I’m really glad when my videos can just show that to them. Also I can’t be happier than when people tell me my videos inspired them to pick up the horn, or in some case people who weren’t motivated to play anymore but seeing my work made them change their mind.

In the end I’m really glad my videos have this motivational effect.

Finally, these videos are simply my way to pay tribute to these amazing composers…and of course…I plan on making a whole lot more 😉

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Closing thoughts

Live where you want and play what you want. What fascinates me most is how what Marc is doing redefines what horn playing can be. 15 years ago this career would have been unheard of.

Marc does a great service to the horn community in putting these videos online. Besides being highly entertaining, they are a superb recruitment tool for future generations of horn players looking to think – and jump – outside-of-the-box.

University of Horn Matters