2008 Sundance fellow iZLER (pronounced "eye-zler") is a Czech born, English raised composer and multi instrumentalist, living in Los Angeles, who has scored a variety of films including Robbie Pickering's Natural Selection (winner, Best Picture, Best Score 2011 SxSW) and Andrew MacLean's thriller On the Ice, (2011 Sundance Film Festival, winner Silver Bear, Berlin 2011). He was nominated for the "Discovery of the Year" award at the World Soundtrack Awards in 2011. In the world of TV he has written various songs and score for shows such as ER, Thief and Chicago Code, and has scored selected episodes of Showtime's Shameless
iZLER started his career as a recording and touring musician / collaborator with Robbie Williams and many others, before coming back to studying conducting and orchestration in LA. An authentic voice in both the rock and orchestral worlds, he brings a cinematic and thematic edge to ABC's Revenge, as well as collaborating on songs for forthcoming episodes.
Take a behind the scenes look at the scoring of Revenge -
ABC Music Lounge Exclusive: We asked iZLER, "What are your musical influences?"
Here's what the Revenge composer had to say!
Lists like this are always a bit risky since there's no real way to sum up one's musical education in 10 artists. So many of us much share some common ground musically that a basic list of 10 is going to seem either trite, or bizarre, depending on if you included the obvious ones or omitted them in favor of the more eclectic stuff. I always find it's better to start with some influential works rather than simply saying "I love Gorecki or Mozart" and leaving it at that. With that in mind, here are 10 albums or works that changed my life in no particular order and by no means all inclusive.
1. Anything by The Beatles - OK, this for me is the one exception. I could fill a book with my thoughts on the Beatles, but I believe it's been done ... I can find genius in almost anything they ever recorded (Almost ..... raise your hand O Bladi O Blada)
2. Gorecki Symphony no 3. - This is a more recent discovery for me, but the pure outpouring of emotion somehow never gets melodramatic and remains incredibly dignified, dark and powerful.
3. Bernard Herrmann - The entire score to Psycho. Anyone who thinks of this score as just the famous slashing motif clearly hasn't been listening. Limitations are one of creativity's best gifts and a true artist flourishes under such circumstances - Herrmann limited himself to only a string orchestra on this one with stunning results. Some of the smartest orchestration in film to date.
4. David Bowie - Hunky Dory. Nuff said.
5. NWA - Straight Outta Compton - Easy to forget how groundbreaking this was at the time and what SONGS they had. Real songs, not just an excuse for some beats and nice bling packaging (I'm talking to you 90% of current hip hop).
6. Elvis Costello - Armed Forces. This is basically the songwriting bible if you ask me. Outside of The Beatles I don't think the 3 minute pop song gets any better than this.
7. Beethoven - Symphony no 7. OK calm down classical pundits - like I said, it would be wrong not to include a few things that have become cliches, but there's a good reason they became so - they're only ubiquitous because they are works of genius. The second movement (yes I know everyone and their dog is "influenced" by this) is the purest distillation of simple melody and counterpoint without ever resorting to showiness in order to get the point across.
8. John Williams - A composer friend of mine recently said "we're all chasing Star Wars" and it's hard to disagree with him. Obviously there's a mountain of debt to Holst, Wagner and Strauss, but it's about assimilation of influences to come up with a unique brand all of your own. Nobody writes a memorable melody like Williams. You can't teach that.
9. Stravinski - Rite Of Spring. Again, not much to add to this debate and yes I know it's obvious. So what.
10. Rage Against The Machine - The first album was and remains the most visceral, original thing I had heard in ages and I'm old enough to remember the tour that followed it. I've never been the same since.
Way too many things omitted here, but like I said, it would be wrong not to start with the classics.