The Creators Project: How did music become part of your life?
António Pinto: Well, I’m not part of a family of musicians, I’m part of a family of artists. Music came through my sisters, because when I was younger they loved musicians. (laughs) When I was seven or eight years old, my sister was dating a bass player from a band and I would follow them. I went to their shows and so on. I loved sitting down to play the drums after the shows were over, and I ended up getting a set. In my house we had a piano, a set of drums, and a guitar, and I started to play them out of curiosity. There was another thing, too: When I was young I would play albums at home, put some cushions in a chair, and pretend I was the drummer. I would close my eyes, and I was in a concert.
What kind of music did you listen to at that age?
Like I said, my sisters introduced me to music, and it was through them that I acquired three albums that were important to me in my youth: one was Heavy Weather by Weather Report, another was something by Stanley Clarke, and the third, if I’m not mistaken, was Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew. I got those albums when I was ten, and it really opened my mind in terms of listening to music. I started to get curious so I would research to find more things to listen to. You have to remember at the time there was no internet. Back then you would get the album and listen to that album exhaustively. You could say that I had an “internet” curiosity, let’s say, for music, way before the new easiness there is today existed. So more than my first attempts at playing and making I think it’s good to be curious about what you listen to. Seek out things that can open your mind.
When did you decide that this is what you wanted to do with your life?
My professional life is kind of an accident. Unfortunately I’ve never been that determined. Excuse me for what I’m going to say, but that American thing of “This is what I’m going to do, and I’m going to be the best at it,” is the opposite of how I work. Things happened very naturally for me. The music itself, it was a natural process -- it wasn’t a search, never. I am where I am by chance.
How have you integrated technology into your music?
My music has evolved with the technology. The first work I did, in terms of recording, was using this little device where you had to record one cassette to another. Then there was Tascam, which was a four- channel recorder. Then there was the first Sound Designer, which was one of the first audio-sequence programs. I know all of the programs: Logic, Performer, Studio Vision, Live, and Pro Tools, so my musical knowledge came together with my technological knowledge, and they both contribute to the result of what I do.
Where do you compose most of your music for movie soundtracks?
I do it at home. I have a piano there. I usually compose at home or come here, and then I do what I call “knitting.” I start distributing the music throughout the movie. With Pro Tools. That way I can start seeing how the music will work with the moving image, and then I see the music in synch with the image. Then I redesign it, cut it, assemble it, make downloads, and see how the movie flows with the song.