Frank Sartain

Composer and arranger

Author

About

Franklin Robert Sartain (b.1993) is an aspiring composer of epic cinematic music. His interest in composing was first discovered when he was an instrumental music student at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) in Houston, Texas. He studied music composition at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) in Nacogdoches, Texas, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree under the direction of Dr. Stephen Lias, Dr. Maria Grenfell, and Dr. Charles Halka. He also studied under the direction of Dr. Maria Grenfell at the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia. His music has been performed by fellow students and colleagues at SFASU and internationally in England and Australia. Frank’s musical influences include David Travis Edwards, Two Steps From Hell, Mark Petrie, Brian Tyler, and Hans Zimmer. He is currently furthering his music education at Loyola University New Orleans.Aside from composing epic music, Frank is an Eagle Scout from the Sam Houston Area Council (Texas) and a Guinness World Record Holder.

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is a world in which each listener can choose. If he/she wishes to be in a world of peace, they can select a song to listen to that captures that feeling. On the contrary, if the listener wants to immerse him/herself in a place of energy, then the music the person selects can do that. I personally have used music to relax and motivate myself. This has been particularly helpful in completing challenging school assignments. I especially can be relaxed and/or motivated by music that I hear in the movie theatre.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Not all music is about fantasy, some of it is to reflect historical moments and important life events. The Happy Birthday song is a prominent example. This song is sung to indicate the end of one year in a person’s life and the beginning of a new one. Similarly, The National Anthem is about the United States of America. The song is sung at numerous sports games every year to show respect to the country.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

If I wasn’t a professional musician, I would have been an owner of an ice cream shop, video rental store (back when it was popular), or a history teacher.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

While this is a concern, this also presents me with the opportunity to think differently on how to market the genre. For instance, creating orchestral versions of today’s popular hits can help connect with younger generations. Overall, I am not too concerned about this matter.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I envision the role of classical music to be a huge support in emphasizing the mood in movies, tv shows, and video games. The music in these mediums help capture the appropriate mood on screen. Without them, something would seem out of place to the consumer.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

Classical music is having to be presented in different ways to attract younger listeners. It’s no secret that genres such as pop and rap are huge in today’s society. Therefore, it is key for pieces in the genre of classical to be used in this manner to help inform younger generations of this style of music.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Creativity has always been essential as a classical musician, even more so today. In my musical process, creativity has guided me with creating melodies, harmony, and determining logical yet interesting arrangements for my pieces.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

We can absolutely take action to attract younger generations to classical music concerts. In fact, this is already occurring. Many orchestras have had and continue to hold performances of movie soundtracks with or without the film being shown simultaneously. In addition, performing covers and different arrangements of popular songs can help with this matter. I personally will proceed by composing epic cinematic orchestra arrangements of these tunes.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favorite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

As a composer, when I’m writing a new piece, I will often start with the melody. This will often come to me as I’m about to sleep. Followed by this, I will determine the harmony at a piano or keyboard. One of my favorite pieces that I have composed is titled, The Fight Begins, which was inspired by the movie trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story. In contrast to the usual, I began with the accompaniment lines in the string parts and the percussion rhythm. After that, I created the french horn part as well as the choir and upper violin line.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

I am a huge supporter of classical music being combined with other disciplines, especially cinematography. In the majority of movies, music is needed to enhance the mood on screen. In an unnoticeable way, it helps draw the viewer into the world the film presents.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

If young people wish to discover classical music on their own, I would suggest searching for classical music on Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud. In today’s century, it is very easy to access lots of music. It is just a matter of taking a moment to conduct an online search for the topic.

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

The rules of supply and demand are important, especially nowadays with classical music. With orchestra music, there's quite a demand for movie and video game soundtracks to be performed. As a fan of live orchestra music, I have seen this demand increase over the past several years.

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

I expect that most of my target audience is people who are around my age who enjoy action movies, video games, and epic cinematic music. However, all people interested in the genre I compose are welcome to purchase and stream my music.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

In October (2018), I will be releasing an orchestra album of epic cinematic music. I am still experimenting with the music production aspect for my music. I do this by learning new mixing techniques and trying new things in my composing software pertaining to this aspect.