Composing Outside the Box in Bierges
Bruno Misonne – Artist Biography
There is a creative cliché that states we should always think “outside the box.” Bruno Misonne takes this expression very seriously. This is because he not only thinks this way; he composes music this way! This figurative container cannot restrict the unique stylistic sounds that make up Misonne’s muse. This is because he always composes “outside the box.”
Misonne’s musical style is challenging to label by any comparison. He even invented a genre he calls Aviation Music. His arrangements are best described as an avant-garde amalgam of classical, electronic and instrumental music. The music critic, Serge Kozlovsky, described Misonne's music as “A breath of fresh air on a journey to new unknown lands.” Others have called him Belgium’s most innovative composer.
Indeed, Misonne takes the listener on a journey. However, Bruno’s own musical expedition originates in Bierges, Belgium. Bruno calls this petite and picturesque village near Brussels home. His rare musical forte is the culmination of a lifelong interest in classical music, which began in childhood. Bruno explains, “My parents had classical music playing everywhere … it was in the car, the living room, the kitchen. I could not escape it!” Indeed, this exposure to classical music along with an innate creative talent laid the foundation for Misonne’s career in composition, arrangement, and production.
However, Misonne was also a master of self-study. He has spent decades acquiring knowledge of music theory and composition from a wide variety of sources. He read books such as Samuel Adler’s Study of Orchestration and scrupulously examined the works of his musical idols. Some of these included film score writers Hans Zimmer and James Dooley, as well as video game composer Nobuo Uematsu. In addition, Misonne attributes Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s piano suite entitled Pictures at an Exhibition, as having an enormous influence on him.
Perhaps the most important influence on Bruno Misonne’s development as a composer is his love of aviation. It was during his training as a pilot that he realized the sounds aircraft create could be used as instruments to make music. Taking sequenced sound bites of air traffic control, and other sounds of aviation, Bruno added traditional instrumentation to a seamless blend of an aviation orchestra. The finished product was entitled Aviation Music which was released in 2007. It contained twelve tracks in a compilation that soared as high as the melodies. Misonne was flying high with the success of Aviation Music which was featured on the television show Living in Style.
The sky was not the limit for Misonne, however. He continued to think outside of the box and quickly noticed that space was the next frontier for his compositions. In 2009 he began to experiment with the sounds of rockets. He had a new musical mission - his goal was to bring the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster to a new generation. In the summer of 2010, Misonne launched himself into a new “creative orbit” with the release of “Challenger” as a tribute to the Space Shuttle disaster. He focused on the lives of the seven crew members. He memorialized them in an emotional instrumental musical score and video tribute.
Misonne’s musical evolution continues as he begins to compose musical scores for film. He always had interest and gleaned inspiration from the music in movies. Whether it is a movie like Top Gun, or The Aviator, he’s attentive to the way the soundtrack is synchronized with the images. He will watch scenes over and over, stopping the movie abruptly to replay certain parts. It’s not only about the storyline for Bruno; it’s all about the musical cues, the orchestra, or how the movie’s music makes it come alive. Bruno states, “I can hear film scores on a DVD or even a music CD and I listen carefully because it helps to find inspiration for when I need it most!”
One example of Bruno’s inspiration occurred during a 2009 visit to Wickhambreaux, England. He spent a week in an old cottage near a 14th Century church. It was there, while in the church cemetery, he heard the song of a Blackbird. Bruno found the bird’s call to be uncanny and fascinating. He noticed it was singing a short melodic pattern, with the correct pitch for each note. This was different than the random notes one would normally expect from a songbird.
The Blackbird’s call intrigued Bruno. He took his MP3 player to record a sound sample. In 2010, using this inspiration, he went on to compose the melodic track entitled, “Wickhambreaux.” With a movie-score theme, the intro of the song used the solitary call of the Blackbird. From there the composition progressed into a complex orchestration. With horn and string sections, “Wickhambreaux” created a surreal soundscape in an instrumental piece for film and music.
For Bruno Misonne musical secrets and inspiration are hidden in movies, airplanes, rockets and even cemeteries! His creative boundaries have no limits. Where will his next idea come from? The only thing we know for sure is that they won’t come from inside any box. For this innovative Belgian is a rare artist - composing “outside the box” in Bierges.