We had the good fortune of connecting with Rex Darnell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rex, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I believe that every genre of music has a particular, indispensable way of supporting a story. By writing in both new and old styles, I can help filmmakers conjure up any tone they want, whether it be sleek and contemporary, or classical and nostalgic. Living in our high-speed world of evolving trends, it’s easy to forget about our thousand-year history of of incredible music. I think that to write good music, it helps to understand our current sensibilities, but it’s also important to understand how we got here.
What should our readers know about your business?
My practice is that of a chameleon. I have built my network and portfolio by totally deferring to the director’s vision in every circumstance. Clients don’t hire me because they are looking for the “Rex Darnell Sound”; rather, they hire me because they know I can compose their sound of choice. And if their sound hasn’t been determined, I collaborate with them to create a sound that best reflects their story. I’ve developed my chameleon-like composition abilities over the years by practicing jazz transcription and improvisation, and by learning classical piano concertos and also modern popular music.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
On day 1, we’d park in Santa Monica in one of those garages on 2nd. Then, we’d walk south down the beach until we’ve reached Venice. We’d stay there until we’ve witnessed our fair share of chaotic street performances, then we’d make our way inland to the Arts District and get drinks, cruise around, and maybe eat a rattlesnake hot dog from Wurstkuche. The next day, we’d scout out authentic food from one of San Fernando Valley’s unparalleled taco trucks and check out the Topanga Canyon wilderness area, as well as a few of Malibu’s beaches.
Day 3, we’d get up super early to drive out to Joshua Tree National Park, check out the martian landscape, and then on the way back we’d hit some snow along Hwy 2 and throw a couple snowballs.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I will never be able to thank my parents enough for supporting my musical pursuits. My dad regularly reminded me how to maintain focus and motivation, despite the odds, and my mom supported me every step of the way.
Finding a place in the creative industry can be a challenging, competitive, and demoralizing endeavor. I’ve had friends who wanted to pursue music, but they were ultimately discouraged by folks who reminded them of the competitive and financial challenges to come. But my parents felt that the secret ingredient to life, (the way to truly find happiness), is to identify your favorite thing to do, and then to do it, no matter the odds of success, because ferocious persistence is the only way to overcome those odds. Whenever I found myself discouraged, my parents always asked me to take an step back and ask myself what I would rather pursue. Every time, I realized that there was nothing that I would rather pursue, no endeavor that might lead to more happiness.
All credit for poster images goes to Baobab Studios. (permission received)