British Columbia

Trumpeter Vince Mai finds the emotion for movie soundtracks

Vancouver jazz musician is releasing his 6th solo album at Frankie's Jazz Club, which has music from the film 'Rehearsal.'

Vancouver jazz musician is releasing his 6th solo album which has music from the film 'Rehearsal'

Vince Mai has played with countless musicians, including Tom Jones, Michael Buble, Sarah McLachlan, Tim Tamashiro and Don Thompson. (Martin Gisborne)

Vancouver-based jazz trumpeter Vince Mai has written and performed music for hundreds of music, television shows and commercials — and for his latest project his band recorded a soundtrack in a single marathon four-and-a-half hour session.

"I like supporting what is happening on the screen," said Mai, who is releasing his sixth solo album filled with music composed for a film currently playing on the international film festival circuit.

"I like complementing it, and maybe I don't want to direct it, but I want to point the direction into where the emotion might be felt."

The music on Mai's latest album — which will be released June 10 at Frankie's Jazz Club in Vancouver — is from the film Rehearsal.

That film tells the story of an aging theatre director in London who is forced to hire a young Hollywood action star to boost ticket sales for the Anton Chekhov play he is mounting.

Vince Mai with CBC Hot Air host Margaret Gallagher. Mai also composed the theme song for CBC Radio One's The Early Edition. (CBC)

Though Mai has composed a variety of styles of music for various soundtrack projects (he also composed the theme for CBC Radio One's The Early Edition), he was thrilled when the film's director asked him to "please make it like classic sounding jazz."

Power of jazz in film

"I just jumped up and down and said, 'Thank you,'" Mai told host Margaret Gallagher on Hot Air.

"Trumpet is where my heart is. Even though I play other instruments and compose all kinds of styles of music ... jazz is my first love for sure."

Mai said that, much like fashion, music in a film can help place the story into a certain time period, as well as "conveying the emotion of the time."

While he usually watches the movie or TV show he is making music for while recording, he said that when recording Rehearsal's soundtrack the band used click timings and other cues instead.

"We only did one session, it was about four and a half hours," he said, praising his band for being able to do that successfully.

"All my other composer friends are still amazed. I'm amazed we were able to pull this off because normally to do that amount of music for a full feature-length movie you'd probably need about three or four days."

Mai said that, much like jazz festivals are becoming more mainstream, he hopes that jazz in movie soundtracks can help more people become exposed to the genre.

"Movies have a similar function: they educate people and maybe hopefully bring more people to the jazz listening audience."

With files from CBC's Hot Air

To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: Trumpeter Vince Mai brings emotion to movies with soundtracks he composes