My name is Panagiotis E. Tsafos and "Found in the Attic" is my nom de plume / band name / music production company
a little background
I started writing music in 1992 when I was in high school, mostly on the Commodore Amiga 500/1200/4000 and my purple Sony Vaio laptop - and the amazing "mod trackers" available at the time. For those who don't know, a "tracker" is an early version of music writing software that looks nothing like music software today. In fact it looks more like Microsoft Excel than Logic or Cubase!
On the right you can see what trackers looked like -- those were some of the most popular trackers and quite advanced compared to the earlier generations. The last song I remember writing with a tracker was "The Stakeout" which I wrote around 1997 when I was 20 -- as I have lost all the original files this is the only recording that remains!
"The Stakeout" is the last song I wrote on a tracker (ca. 1997)
This is how I wrote music in the 90's (stock photos)
My recent interview on the "Find your escape" youtube channel - about writing escape room soundtracks.
why I love writing music for media
Although it's not uncommon now, when people asked me (back in the day) what kind of music I like/write - I always told them "soundtracks".
If I was unlucky they said - "oh, like Celine Dion in Titanic?"
If I was somewhat lucky they said - "oh, like The last of the Mohicans?"
If I was very lucky they said - "oh, like Danny Elfman and John Williams?"
To be fair, I think that writing good pop music is as hard as writing a complex symphony -- it just depends on what music you immerse yourself in.
The very first soundtrack music that I can remember liking, and which gives me goosebumps to this day, is the soundtrack from the Amiga game "Shadow of the Beast" from 1989 composed by David Whitaker. You can listen to the soundtrack on the right. Imagine listening to this 30 years ago when game music was "bleeps" and "blops".
I think that subconsciously, this is the music that opened my eyes and ears to what I wanted to write musically...
This is the first soundtrack I remember liking
how I started writing music for media
If there is something I love more that writing music for an image/video, is writing for live/evolving images -- and that is why I spent the first part of my career writing for theatre and live performance art. There is something about writing music for a live performance that is intimate and yet liberating -- both at the same time.
When wathing a film, the visuals and the music are imprinted on a video, and (other things being equal) the end result should always be the same. But with live theatre, the actors' moods, the audience's openness, the pace of the story etc. are all factors that affect the music and vice versa.
Although I mostly focus on music for film/TV now, I will always find time to write music for an interesting theatrical project.
what's better, writing with or without rules?
Creative freedom has always been a double-edged sword for me. Whenever someone asks me what I want to do as a musician/creative person, I never felt the need to say "I want to write whatever I like, and have complete freedom to do only the things I like".
Instead I prefer to say "I want to write the best possible music to serve the picture, by being creative within boundaries. My job is to serve the creative vision of the director first, and my own second."
If you've managed to read my bio so far (kudos!) you will note that I really appreciate good pop music, because it managed to push boundaries that are very rigid. I feel I am more productive when I try to push boundaries, than when there are no boundaries at all...