"My approach to scoring Butter was to make the Johnson County 'Mastery in Butter Carving Contest' sound and feel like to hippest event on the planet!" said Messina.
Mateo Messina is a Grammy winning (Juno, 2008) composer who writes music for film, television, and the symphony hall. His signature sound can be found on Oscar winning films as well as many of today's independent film hits. Messina's deft ability to support his films via a full orchestra or a small Motown band is as unique as his style and as diverse as his credits. Messina and his team have been delivering a fresh, unique style of film score for the past decade. His score to Juno is often mimicked, his energy is inspiring, and his creativity knows no bounds.
Since the age of 23, Messina has written, produced, and premiered 15 symphonies. Each premiere has been a benefit concert for families at Seattle Children's Hospital. To date, he and his team have raised over $1,000,000 for these children and their families.
Recently, his scores for Butter, While We Were Here, and Frankie Go Boom each premiered in major festivals (Toronto, Tribeca, and SxSW respectively). He's scored 9 films, 2 documentaries, and 2 television shows in the past 2 years. His style varies from his signature organic/unique indie scores to his big orchestral broad comedy scores. Messina is diverse, his music is quite unique, he is on a hot streak, and creating quite a buzz.
After meeting with director Jim Field Smith, producer Harvey Weinstein, and music supervisor Dana Sano, Messina took a Motown-influenced, soulful approach to Butter. He recorded musicians in Los Angeles, New York and Seattle, including The Menahan Street band (members of The Dap Kings). "We recorded it very old school with minimal mics and onto tape," he described.
Set in small-town Iowa, Butter is an outrageous comedy about an adopted girl who discovers her talent for butter carving and finds herself pitted against an ambitious local woman (Jennifer Garner) in their town's annual contest. The terrific ensemble also features Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde, Rob Corddry, Ashley Greene, Alicia Silverstone and Hugh Jackman.
"What makes this score [for Butter] so unique," said Messina, "is I feel like we traded in the Steinway for the Hammond B3. There are so many beautiful moments and scenes that would usually be scored with piano. Instead, I used the Rhodes, Hammond B3, and Clavinet organs. Combining these organic, über vibey sounds with the traditional orchestra felt so much better than any of us expected. The score is really grounded in a funky, non-traditional score sound, yet it sits in the film in a way that just feels right."