Serena Foyle is a pyromusical producer, a newfound sound profession, designing soundtracks for various musical events around the world. A highly gifted musician, she is also the great grand-daughter of the legendary literary figure, William Foyle. There’s no doubt she has inherited some worthy family traits, naturally steering her towards all things creative and experiential.
Luxurious Magazine talks to the musical spark about how she practices her passion and inherent talent to create a compelling cinematic experience in the sky.
LM: Tell us how you got into the world of music and what inspired you to become a pyromusical producer?
SF: I was first trained under a Russian concert pianist and then studied classical music at Edinburgh University, followed by the London School of Sound. I have long been fascinated with film, advertising and the power music lends to each scene. I was organising my 21st birthday and I was frustrated by the way music seemed to be a major afterthought when hosting a fireworks display. Most of the time, the tracks are shoehorned awkwardly in and tend to be incongruent to the series of explosions you are seeing light up the sky. It was then that I realised there is a niche in the market to involve someone with musical instinct from the very start to entirely transform this experience. Drawing on my skills, I compile bespoke playlists to help create a story and enhance audience enjoyment – just as you would when producing a movie.
LM: When planning your concept, what comes first – the sound or the visual?
SF: The sound always comes first with any pyromusical design and the fireworks are choreographed to that soundtrack. If you carefully select the right music, it can inextricably intertwine with what is being painted on the canvas of the night sky. I like to take my audience on an emotive and engaging journey, seamlessly and purposefully, where the memory remains long after the event is over.
LM: How do you go about choosing the right tracks for events and how long does each display last?
SF: I start each of my productions with a site visit – the setting and unique features of the location are my inspiration and inform my choice of music. The desires of my client and their guests are also important, as they might have a theme in mind, be it a 60’s party, or to suit a particular budget. You need to be bold and gutsy with your design, by building enough contrast to get the music to take the lead and keep the audience’s attention. I like to produce a unique combination, reflecting my own eclectic tastes, ranging from classical composers, to modern tracks and the surprisingly unexpected. My showcase could range from three up to 25 minutes but could equally go on for up to an hour where appropriate.
LM: Where do you host your events and who are they designed for?
SF: My pyromusical production can be for anyone and anywhere, from small intimate parties (I recently organised a romantic display for a couple), to larger affairs at stately homes, weddings, charity events and public displays. I have also worked with leading fireworks companies to represent the UK in pyromusical competitions abroad.
LM: Who are your favourite musical artists/ composers?
SF: I like classical composers such as Nikolai Rimsy-Korsakov, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy but I am also a huge fan of contemporary artists such as Bjork and I love a variety of dance music.
LM: What do you like to do in your free time?
SF: I enjoy playing the piano, my Yamaha C3. It’s an incredible instrument, which surprised me very much as a choice at first, but it is superior to some Steinways I have played. I also spend time working on producing music for commercials and am always on the hunt for new music – discovering different sounds, rhythms and beats.
LM: Which are your favourite restaurants?
SF: I love Tendido Cero, the tapas bar on Old Brompton Road. There are two sister restaurants, both tapas, but I love the small wine bar best. It is the cheapest of the three and has such a fun, relaxed atmosphere, with wine bottles and barrels lining the walls and often a guitarist playing traditional Spanish music. Pollen Street Social, tucked away off Regent Street, is slightly more formal but still manages to maintain a relaxed quality. The food is out of this world and not only tastes wonderful but each plate is a work of art.
LM: What is the most luxurious destination you have ever visited?
SF: A magical week I once spent on Capri island, Italy. One has the feeling that nothing has changed there for hundreds of years. The Amalfi coastline is beautiful to drive along, whilst watching the sea sparkle like diamonds!
LM: You must get to learn a lot more about fireworks. Do you have any particular favourites?
SF: There are so many wonderful types that it is difficult to choose! All of them have their place in interpreting different moments of music. I particularly love ‘horsetails’; they come down slowly like delicate waterfalls and are often used in white or gold. I also love a firework called ‘swimming stars’. Lots of multi-coloured stars burst out initially, which then scatter in different directions. This ‘double’ effect can prove useful to highlight fast, animated music.
LM: What is your ‘recipe’ for the perfect party?
SF: The recipe can differ for each party, but the people present are a very important feature for a great evening. Then the party organiser’s job should be to transport guests to an exciting world, taking them away from their everyday lives and inspire them. Pyromusicals (fireworks with music) are a perfect way to enhance the atmosphere created. The transformative experience has a very powerful effect on people and will forever leave a magical memory of that evening in their minds.
For more information visit : www.serenafoyle.com
By Reena Patel