As the entertainment industry continues to modernize and evolve, Tutti Music Partners sits at the forefront of such widespread, positive change. The traditional method of scoring provides a composer backed by individual contributors to support the different aspects of score creation. The composer works with those arrangers or orchestrators who have likely never collaborated with each other. Tutti Music Partners changes that traditional dynamic in new and innovative ways.
The word “tutti” is a music phrase indicating a harmony of all voices or instruments played in unison. It provides a perfect analogy for Tutti Music Partners’ collected group of the music industry’s most celebrated orchestrators and arrangers. By assembling a team to focus on a composer’s project, Tutti Music Partners can assemble a team that matches the unique demands of each project. By doing so, the music process becomes more collaborative, creative, and efficient than in standard arrangements. Their resulting successes can be heard in Us, Alita: Battle Angel, Venom, IT, Green Book, The Mandalorian and many, many more projects across film, television, stage productions and video games.
Here, Tutti Music Partners founders Jonathan Beard, Edward Trybek, and Henri Wilkinson speak with Awards Daily. They talk about their unique collaborative, its strengths and its overall benefits to the larger music community.
Awards Daily: Tutti Music Partners has exploded onto the orchestrating scene over the past year. How did you initially consider the concept of collaborating on scoring projects and forming this collective?
Henri Wilkinson: Jonathan, Ed, and I were actually brought together by Bear McCreary to do his orchestration and copying over a decade ago. Over the years, as we kept bringing each other to work on our various other projects, we found that we worked well together as a team. Eventually, we formalized our partnership by bringing all of our clients under one roof. And that is how Tutti Music Partners got started!
AD: The word “tutti” means all instruments or voices in combination. Is that your primary philosophy? Does that govern your entire body of work?
Jonathan Beard: We definitely chose the name with purpose, and it means a number of different things to us. As a musical metaphor, we think it’s appropriate, but it also highlights our philosophy of partnership and service to a bigger whole – namely to our clients and their visions for realizing their projects.
AD: How does this collaborative process work? Tell me how you get engaged in a composer’s project.
Edward Trybeck: We share the workload evenly between ourselves while also accounting for our various strengths. On every project, all of us are working, discussing, refining, and proof-reading so that the final result is of the highest possible quality. Regarding getting engaged, we are usually chosen by the composer directly (especially after we have worked together on a project). Sometimes we are recommended by other composers, orchestrators, or executives in the music department of a studio. There really is no one way, but there is definitely a high amount of repeat business. Once a composer trusts us, hopefully, they do not want to change orchestrators!
AD: What are some of the biggest benefits of working together in this fashion?
HW: As the deadlines keep getting shorter, we’ve realized that it’s often impossible for a single orchestrator to complete an entire film for a composer. So instead of one orchestrator trying to get as much as possible done and finally pulling in helpers at the last minute, we figured it would be much more beneficial to everyone (especially our clients) if the three of us were working on any given project from the get-go. That way, we can discuss our approach early on in the process. While we each bring our unique strengths to the table, the work ends up being extremely unified. Frankly, a real benefit is that everyone on our team tends to get enough sleep to be able to tackle any amount of work that comes our way with the highest possible quality.
AD: Are there any drawbacks?
JB: Well, we do have to buy each other a fair amount of beer [Laughs]. It does take a lot of trust for our partnership to work, but luckily, we have that from more than a decade of friendship. It’s funny. I don’t think we consciously thought about this at the start, but no matter whether a project does well or underperforms – whether it’s really challenging or a walk in the park – it’s almost like there’s a fraternal benefit either way. Successes are more enjoyable when you can share them and we can support each other through disappointments as well.
AD: Working in small groups toward a shared goal can be challenging. How do you settle disagreements between the three of you?
ET: There are no disagreements [Laughs] …ever! We do have differences of opinions at times though, which are usually settled with discussion. For example, there might be a recurring motif in a score that can be notated in several ways and we will discuss the pros and cons of each to reach a consensus on the best approach. Of course, sometimes it should be approached differently depending upon the context, but we always start from a place of unity and cohesion. If discussion fails, we will get together for a beer… Actually, we get together for beers regardless.
AD: You’ve recently worked on several Disney projects, including The Mandalorian. How does your collaborative philosophy help with such high-profile titles?
HW: Our partnership allows us to get a macro-level perspective of the entire process, as well as to see an orchestrational challenge from different angles. Having a team in place is an opportunity to utilize each of our individual strengths whether we’re talking about big band arrangements or programming custom plug-ins. Because of this, I think one of TMP’s strengths is that we can really cater to each client and customize our approach to meet their specific needs.
AD: Is there ever the desire for any of you to break out and flex your scoring muscles independently?
ET: We all got into this part of music-making due to our interest and love for creating music. The orchestration part of music-making is what speaks most to us. There is nothing like an orchestra. Being at the recording session is an amazing experience that is the payoff for all the hard work. But we do have our independent passions as well. Jonathan, for example, is an active concert and occasional film composer with a soundtrack album that recently released on Intrada [Heavenquest: A Pilgrim’s Progress]. Henri is a great jazz pianist, and I do a lot of conducting. Finally, all three of us have been lucky enough to compose additional music for Gordy Haab’s Star Wars scores.
AD: You work in films, television, and video games. Are you all equally comfortable jumping between genres, or is there something one of you gravitates toward?
JB: While we are certainly comfortable in all three areas, it’s hard to pick a favorite. There is a lot of similarity between working in those three mediums, but the little differences are also really exciting to us. We feel very lucky to get to work in all three, oftentimes with composers who also cross from one area of media to another. Never a dull moment for sure!