True climax of our year in Berklee and highlight of our program, going to London to conduct and record a final symphonic composition was a truly special moment for all of us, as we were standing in this mythical studio before all those musicians and engineers who were some of the best we could meet in the whole world.
I found signifiant for me to compose a piece that would deal with intimately familiar theme and subject. This is why I chose to score a movie script that I wrote out a scene from J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, the scene being the one when Peter comes to pick Wendy and her brothers and takes them to Neverland. Being personally fascinated by the story of this child who would never grow up, I’m dreaming of the day when I can score a movie adaptation of this unique novel. A flying scene would be the perfect moment to let a big orchestra sound fully, in a great lyrical momentum.
This piece that we all had to compose was the goal of the whole year. It was the fruit of everything we have learned, notably in our orchestration, conducting or analysis classes.
I’m not sure that I would know how to describe how I felt while I was standing on that podium, in front of this impressive orchestra, and supported by all the teachers and friends who were there. How could I describe the pleasure of conducting those genius musicians who, without any rehearsal and in an 18-minutes slot only, were able to wondrously give life to my composition. Here is some emotion that I would love to feel again. Deep down, I have this certainty: one day, I’ll be back there!
Recording a String quartet was another beautiful moment of this year at Berklee. Same idea as for the Brass Quintet, we were to illustrate the concept of a film, but a more comedic one this time: two men are alone in space, on a martian base. Nothing is working properly there, neither machines nor robots, screws and bolts are jumping all over the place, pipes are leaking, and there is no sign of any help coming soon…
The musicians who played our music were truly talented, it was a real pleasure to be standing in front of them and listen to them giving life to our compositions. Once again, the recording took place in the Aula Magistral of the Palau de les Arts. We were in February 2019.
This was a key step in the adventure. The news came in May 2018 that I was admitted to the Berklee College of Music, on the Valencia campus in Spain, in their Master of Music – Scoring for Film Television and Video Games.
This was big, and moments of great excitement came along with times of panic and anxiety. Whatever, I left, and for a whole year, between September 2018 and July 2019, I’ve got access to an extraordinary film scoring program and I’ve met as extraordinary people from all over the world. Friendships that were made there are amazingly enriching.
During this program, we had the chance to be able to record our music several times with top musicians, including this time with a Brass Quintet, recorded in November 2018 in the Aula Magistral of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, the Opera of Valencia. It came out of an exercise designed to make us illustrate the concept of a film taking place during the Second World War: a terrible massacre has just happened in a french village, and a young girl escapes from the killing, only survivor from these Fire Flowers (Fleurs de Feu) that have slaughtered her family and friends. You can listen this piece on my Video page: http://victorjosse.com/videos/.
I can’t describe the path I’ve been following until now without mentionning the orchestra Opus 76 of Rouen, whose members’ talent and never ending enthusiasm mean so much to me.
During a time of exchange between the University Orchestra of Rennes and Opus 76, both the orchestras joined their forces to perform a movement of my Suite Neverland, “Ronde de la Maison-Arbre”. We were then in the beginning of year 2015. The piece was very well received by our friends from Rouen, and the year after their conductor Tristan Benveniste offered me the opportunity to write a piece for them: this gave birth to a symphonic tale, “Le Petit Poucet”, premiered in June 2016 in Rouen. Both pieces (“Ronde de la Maison-Arbre” and “Le Petit Poucet”) are available on my YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/9Anf141ugkM and https://youtu.be/4fqP5obmFPQ).
Two years later, in 2018, the fantastic musicians of Opus 76 gave me this chance again, this time to premiere a bigger piece that I called “Polemos”. It is a fable for symphony orchestra and narrator, telling the story of a poetic birth of the orchestra. You can watch the video of this creation on my Videos page: http://victorjosse.com/videos/ .
I hope and I’m sure that I will keep working with Tristan and the musicians of Opus 76 for for a long time and that they will always be part of my journey as a composer.
One year only after I joined the musicians of the University Symphony Orchestra of Rennes, I was given the chance to have the orchestra perform one of my compositions for symphony orchestra. It was an orchestral Suite in 7 scenes, inspired by the universe of Peter Pan created by the genius James M. Barrie. Many things have started thanks to and with this orchestra.
What a great emotion I felt the day of the premiere (when 2 of my 7 scenes/movements were played). Indeed it was the first time ever I had one of my symphonic compositions being performed live. We were then in December 2014, and since that moment, more movements have been performed too, including the one entitled “Kidd’s Creek” that was even used as an Encore for our concert in the Opera of Rennes in June 2016. Feel free to watch the video of this Encore, in my Videos page (http://victorjosse.com/videos/). We were still only at the beginning of a long adventure.