Editor’s note: “Meet this Member!,” is an interview series that spotlights AIRsters doing outstanding work in the audio and media industry. This week we feature composer and audio producer, Elliott Peltzman.
1) Where are you based and what do you do?
I am a San Francisco based Composer and Audio Producer with a particular interest in scoring and sound designing podcasts – the weirder the better!
2) A piece of yours (in any medium!) that you would like to share? (And why?)
I’m really proud of this one piece of mine called “Couldn’t Find A Way”. It’s part true-crime, part smoky tiki lounge, part cumbia?? Not really sure what I’d call it. I wrote it outside of any project – just for myself – and to me really showcases my ability to play with tension and release within just a few notes, only two chords. I’m always most proud of one of my pieces when it incites that amazing feeling where you can’t decide if it’s more major or minor and leaves you wanting to dive further in to find out. Also I absolutely love the tone of the guitar I went with 🙂
3) What draws you to storytelling?
The Fiction. There was a certain point in life when I started realizing that the best storytellers are not the most accurate storytellers. And I want it to stay that way. The re-coloring, the erasing and augmenting of storylines; it’s not just juicier and more interesting – it’s the stuff that art is made of! What I love most about composing is creating pieces that incite complex emotions that have the power to guide and influence the narrative when played alongside the spoken word.
4) What’s playing on your radio/audio streaming service right now?
This group Khruangbin have really stolen my heart. They’re really moving mountains for (mostly) instrumental music right now.
5) What’s the most underrated tool (technical or not!) you use in your creative practice?
The standard Marimba sound in Logic is where almost all of my compositions begin and where a lot of them stay! I like anything that helps me move past tech and spend most of my time in the compositional headspace.
6) What is something you want to see more of in the industry?
This is such a self-serving answer, but I’d honestly love to see more podcasts feature the same composer(s) for the entirety of the show, or at least the entirety of each season. I believe most shows would really benefit from the cohesion and composers like myself would create much finer work knowing they can create repeated motifs, unique instrumentation per episode / per character. Delivering one-off themes and/or ambiguous pieces is fun, but I wish there were more positions that would allow me to go as deep as I’d like to!
7) Who’s your radio/audio idol and why?
On the same note as the previous question – my favorite composer to tune in to each week is Sean Real who composes original music for every episode of 99% Invisible. Sean has my dream job and does a very, very good job at it. Always subtle, but never innocuous – quirky as all get out. And most importantly, always very well-suited to the narrative.
8) What’s the best method for people to connect with you (including social media)?
I share new works to my website pretty often and prefer to be reached out to through email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please don’t hesitate to reach out – that’s why we’re members of AIR!