Vivien Benjamin Villani speaks to Monica on this podcast episode.
Vivien is a French-Italian classically-trained film composer, professor of film scoring and writer.
His classical training took place in several Schools of Music in Paris. He has studied music analysis with Bruno Plantard and Anthony Girard, composition with Laurent Saudain and Renaud Grandemange, piano with François Kerdoncuff, orchestration with Guillaume Connesson and orchestra conducting with Adrian McDonnell.
In 2003, he graduated with high honors in Film Studies from University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and holds a Master’s Degree equivalent. He studied under the guidance of Nicole Brenez. His graduation thesis was focused on the analysis of the soundtracks in the movies of Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
As a composer, Vivien Villani has scored many short films, feature films and documentaries since 2001. Most of his soundtracks have been performed by the Cinema Orchestra, an orchestra of young musicians that he created in Paris in 2008 with which he’s also working in the framework of US produced movies. Vivien Villani is currently represented by Direction By Appointment, Inc. in New York City. In this framework, he works closely with outstanding managers Marc Jacobson and John Velasco.
Besides, he has been teaching film scoring, musicology and film theory in the US, Italy and France since 2005. In March 2013, he was invited by Professor Elisabeth Weis to give a lecture at the Brooklyn College (New York City). In May 2016, he gave a presentation at the prestigious conference Music and the Moving Image at NYU in New York City. In 2017, he’ll be invited as a guest lecturer at the Film Department of San Francisco State University (SFSU) in San Francisco. His lectures are mostly organized around the conception of film music by American directors like Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Paul Schrader, David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, Sam Mendes, Night M. Shyamalan and Darren Aronofsky, or the analysis of soundtracks by composers like Bernard Herrmann, John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, Marco Beltrami and Alexandre Desplat.
He has written two books, Guide pratique de la musique de film [Practical guide of film music] (Scope Éditions and Maison du Film Court, 2008, in French), about film scoring, and Dario Argento (Gremese Editore, 2008, in Italian), a monography about the italian director, as well as many papers for professional film magazines. He has also been invited to speak on National French radios like France Musique and France Inter to discuss his projects as a composer or to analyze the conception of film scoring by industry directors and composers.
He resides in Los Angeles, where he works out of his studio in Hollywood District, and occasionally in New York City as well.
Listen to his recent Film Score projects: