Geno

Geno Oceano - A True Rock Star - by Sean Sumwalt

When it comes to being a rock star, look no further than Geno Oceano. Geno, born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, suffered from the jokes and torment of his classmates early in his schooling. AMC is a hereditary disease known for its non-progressive joint contractures that severely inhibits the development of a fetus at birth. I don't want to dwell on this though. The reason why? The amount of gumption and perseverance Geno displays throughout his life is incredibly inspirational. What makes his story so compelling? His new found passion for music gave him purpose Below is the short documentary I scored at the request of my friend, Iqbal Ahmed, entitled Offbeat.  Join us as we peer into Geno's tumultuous childhood and his ultimate music filled triumph.

What...a...badass!! Seriously, Geno is a maverick of will. A strong, yet simple theme played by acoustic guitar marks Geno's theme. 

Choosing guitar, especially acoustic, fit his down-to-earth nature perfectly while still speaking to his rocker roots. Since this is a bit early in the narrative I layer in a unison electric guitar that foreshadows the switch in the tone of the whole piece. 

When the movie Drive made its debut, Cliff Martinez’s score immediately entranced me. I gobbled up as much info of the techniques he used as I could. He used a custom built instrument from the 1950’s called the Cristal Baschet. A series of glass rods attached to metal ones that are amplified by fiberglass cones. It produces a hauntingly beautiful albeit brittle tone. I doubled (tripled?) the above theme with this instrument signifying the fragility of one's psyche at such an early age.

Tie in some bowls with a crap ton of effects on them and you get this poignant track after the punch in the gut of that hefty opening dialog.

For the second track, I employed the use of that simple tune carried out by the acoustic. This time, the electric guitar is more prominent. 

At this point, we need something here to build the intensity. Layering some acoustic guitars plucking sixteenth-note patterns with synths softening the textures are a nice fit. 

More! Staccato strings playing sixteenth-notes in octaves! 

Now add strings in octaves to the guitar lead!! 

Voila!!!

I hope you enjoyed the inspiration behind the film that lead to this wonderful collaboration. Kudos to Iqbal Ahmed and the rest of the team for this fantastic bit of storytelling! And to Geno - Rock on brother!!!

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