The Emotion Behind Music Composing

WITH Lesley Barber

Kino Society

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Have you ever fallen in love with music or a movie soundtrack? This is because there is a lot of work behind the scenes, where composers come up with the perfect melodies for a movie. Today’s guest, Lesley Barber, is here to tell us a little more about this. Lesley is a film composer who writes music marked by intelligence and emotional depth. She has created wonderful compositions for film, theater, chamber and orchestral ensembles and is also a conductor, pianist, producer and multi-instrumentalist. With several young female composer awards to her credit, she graduated with a master’s degree in music composition from the University of Toronto in 1988, studying with electro-acoustic music pioneer, composer Gustav Ciamaga, and composer Lothar Klein. Her distinguished list of credits include Kenneth Lonergan’s Oscar-winning You Can Count On Me, Jerry Rothwell’s award-winning documentary How To Change The World, Kenneth Lonergan’s multi-award-winning and Oscar-nominated film, Manchester by the Sea, and many more.


  • Lesley tells how she ended up in the movie industry and why she loves collaborating with filmmakers.
  • She states at what point in the filming process she prefers to get involved.
  • Her experience working on Manchester by the Sea and why she chose an acoustic sound for the film’s music.
  • Lesley describes a typical day as a composer and how she develops an idea.
  • She explains the difference between composing for movies, television series, and documentaries.
  • Lesley tells the challenges she faces every day as a film composer.
  • Lesley gives advice to people who want to succeed in the film industry.

To learn more about Lesley, visit her website, or follow her on Twitter.

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