5 December 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Composer Steve Lynch Discusses Scoring New Irish Feature 'Finky'
03 Jul 2019 : Nathan Griffin
Dara Devaney in 'Finky'.
IFTN caught up with Irish composer Steve Lynch to find out more about scoring Dathaí Keane’s new feature film ‘Finky’, which makes its World Premiere at Galway Film Fleadh later this month.

‘Finky’ follows the story of a musician and puppeteer seeking to escape his past by stealing an envelope full of cash and departing for Scotland with his childhood friend Tom to start a new life. On their first night in Glasgow, Finky has an accident and is left paralysed from the waist down. He hits rock bottom, but is given a chance at redemption when he is recruited by Carnival Chaotica, an avant-garde circus troupe. As his journey becomes increasingly hellish and surreal he realises that he must confront his tormented past if he is ever to find peace.

Dathaí Keane directs the offbeat, mysterious, fantasy drama, which stars Dara Devaney, Ned Dennehy, Diarmuid De Faoite, Fionnuala Gygax and Eoin Geoghegan. Steve Lynch composed the score for a script that was penned by Dathaí Keane and Diarmuid de Faoite. Produced by Pierce Boyce, Bríd Seoighe and Eileen Seoighe of Abú Media, ‘Finky’ is a celebration of life, love, and death, and the transformative power of art. Cathal Watters features as DoP, editing by Dermot Diskin, production design by Mark Kelly and Costume Design by Triona Lillis.

The film was developed and funded through the new Cine4 initiative; a TG4, Screen Ireland, and BAI partnership. ‘Finky’ is produced by Abú Media Film Productions with funding from TG4, Screen Ireland, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and Section 481.

IFTN journalist Nathan Griffin caught up with the IFTA nominated composer to find out more about developing the score for ‘Finky’ and the creative process.

How did the opportunity to get involved with Finky come about?

“I had worked with director Dathaí Keane on two seasons of the western drama An Klondike, so he came to me with the idea for Finky. That meant I was involved with Finky from a script level, which really helped with the musical ideas.”

It’s quite a quirky film –did the subject matter alter your approach to the score for this project?

“Absolutely, we knew the music would play a big part in the madness, and a big part in evolution of the characters. I also knew that musically it would be a genre hopper, from 90s techno to choral.”

Can you talk me through the creative process of developing the score for screen?

“It was actually quite unusual as the score started at a script level. That doesn't often happen, but in this case there were a couple of musical elements that would actually be played on screen, so we needed to nail those before shooting. Once I got the first rough cut it was a case of trial and error between Dathaí and me. After a while we started to see where the music needed more emphasis and which story arcs required thematic help. It was great, as a composer, to be involved so early on. More directors and producers should consider it. “

How did you find the experience of recording with the Budapest Scoring Choir?

“We decided early in the process that a particular sequence needed a full orchestra, so that was on the cards from the beginning. Then late in the process, Dathaí started pushing for a choral piece for the ending. The choir and orchestra in Budapest were wonderful to work with, we had enough time to record multiple takes so I was able to get the emotional performance we needed. The whole team out there are incredibly professional, from the conductors to the recording engineers.”

You recently collaborated with the renowned Slovak choir Lucnica Chorus for a Klastorna ad campaign – How did this opportunity come about?

“I've been scoring commercials in Eastern Europe for the past 5 years, so know a lot of people in advertising over there. A director called Nieto got in touch with me about the Klastorna project, and the agency came up with the idea of collaboration with Lucnica choir. Lucnica are renowned all over that region, regularly selling out massive halls. I couldn't make it over to Slovakia to meet with them, but we emailed and talked a lot, then did a studio link up using Source Element software. That allowed me to effectively be in the recording and to give feedback moment to moment, even though I was actually in my studio in Galway.

“It was an interesting week as, due to deadlines, I recorded the Klastorna piece with a choir on a Monday, and the Finky piece with choir on the Wednesday, it's not every week you get 80 singers to record with!”

‘Finky’ makes its World Premiere at the 31st Galway Film Fleadh this July.

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