MWN: Alright lets kicks things of with the release of your new album My Art of Almost which was released in May of this year. How does it feel to have finally released new music?
Ben Talmi: It feels great, but as I write this I’m hiding away in Hudson NY writing my next album. I’m proud of MAOA but I have completely moved on from it mentally.
MWN: Could you tell us a bit more about your musical background? What age did you start composing?
Ben Talmi: When I was a kid my dad would blast Beethoven in the house while waving my arms around like a conductor, I’ve been obsessed with classical music ever since. I’ve been playing in bands my whole life but I started doing what would be considered professional composing work right around the end of college. Orchestral arranging, short films and commercials.
MWN: Now I read you are from Pittsfield, Massachusetts- how is the music scene like there? Did it influence you as a young musician?
Ben Talmi: There was no music scene to speak of. My bands would play in the most random places all over town. I always say my first ever tour was “The Good Will Tour” we played like 4 Good Wills all over Massachusetts to a total audience of maybe 3 people. There was however a golden few months in Pittsfield where a local junk shop called “The Source Of The Nile” hosted what I remember as the most incredible punk shows. There was underage drinking, pot smoking in the back of the store and an abundance of kids with “Western Mass Hardcore” tattoos. The whole thing was shut down as fast as it started.
MWN: Making the move to NY and creating string arrangements for bands like Manchester Orchestra and Tokyo Police Club. While also scoring films and T.V shows is pretty incredible. So far what has been the most surreal experience?
Ben Talmi: Standing in front of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as they played my arrangement back to me For Manchester Orchestras Simple Math album. My jaw is still stuck to the floor of the studio.
MWN: Speaking of your previous experiences. Is there a difference when composing for yourself and not for others- is it harder?
Ben Talmi: Its excruciatingly difficult for me to write for myself. I over scrutinize every little detail and am generally never convinced my work is good enough. When it’s for other people its just a job.
MWN: What I love about this record is how well-crafted and cohesive it is. Every song has something uniquely special yet they all tie so well together. My favorite is “Brighter in The Past” that cello part really got me- it’s pretty amazing. From the album what songs do you resonate with most?
Ben Talmi: Brighter In the past! HELL YEAH! Thats my favorite piece of music I’ve ever written.
MWN: During the process of composing this and bringing it alive did you discover or rediscover anything new about yourself?
Ben Talmi: I rediscovered my love for classical and specifically chamber music. It was the one song on the album where I didn’t play a single instrument. I wrote out every note and had all the musicians come in and sight read it. I Someday Im going to build a barn studio in the hills of Berkshire county and just write music for small chamber ensembles…
MWN: Now a few quick fire round questions coming your way- what is your favorite love song?
Ben Talmi: April Come She Will – Simon And Garfunkel
MWN: Who would be your dream collaboration?
Ben Talmi: Thom Yorke
MWN: Strings or woodwinds?
Ben Talmi: Strings
MWN: Dream stage/ stadium to play?
Ben Talmi: Tanglewood, sold out, Radiohead opens up for me.
MWN: Lastly what can we expect in the near future?
Ben Talmi: New album ASAP, these new songs have got me EXCITED.
MWN: One more time thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions.
Ben Talmi: Peace, love and pups.
Interview By: Maria Limon | Instagram: @shotbylimon | Exclusively for @Music, Why Not! -All Rights Reserved-