Future Composer Interview, Feb 27, 2014
Written By John Presley
One would think that being an Emmy award-winning composer and sound designer is more than enough of a creative outlet for any artist.
But for Roy Harter, music and sound is just the beginning.
Podcast listeners and SiriusXM fans recognize him as "Roy Shaffer" from the Davey Mac Sports Program, a one-of-a-kind radio show breaking new ground in an otherwise lifeless format.
Seriously, what sports talk show doesn't need a live keyboard player as a sidekick?
When he isn't moonlighting as a radio co-host, Roy keeps busy delivering award winning music and sound design from his post-production facility SkinnyMan located in New York City's Times Square.
Tell us about your studio. What hardware and software do you use?
"Here at SkinnyMan we run Ableton's Pro Tools. The latest one with all the plug-ins. Computers simply do not interest me. I like villas and bungalows because I am intro-spective and not impressed by material possessions. This becomes evident when you look at the facts. I own six villas and bungalows around the world, and only one computer."
How would you describe your creative process?
"Music is merely the finished by-product, you see. An afterthought. To me it's simply, 'creative exhaust'. I think of it as a fart that pays my mortgage."
What composers or artists do you find inspiring and why?
"When people ask me whether or not God exists, I place my finger on their lips and play them Gustav Mahler's 'Symphony No.5 ;IV. Adagietto: Sehr Langsam'. The only recorded piece of modern music that comes spiritually close is 'The Obeah Man' by Exuma."
You've partnered with the award-winning visual effects and design studio "Three One" on many projects. What are some tips you can give composers for successfully working with animators or visual designers?
"I partnered with them for the simple reason, that they are the best at what they do. When I was seeking out a creative partnership for SkinnyMan, it came down between them and a frozen-pizza factory. I love pizza, but in the future, I'm confident that I'll look back, and realize we made the right decision.
My tip for composers who want to successfully work with animators/ visual designers, is to make sure they never partner with a frozen-pizza factory.
At this point in the interview, I feel like we're really to get to know each other. May I call you 'Schatzi' from now on? It's a term of endearment. Any other questions Schatzi?"
What has it been like being a part of the Davey Mac Sports Program?
"He talks even louder when he's off-the-air. Next question please. This is MY interview."