Edgar Arens is a Russian composer living in Moscow. He was born in 1976 to a family of performers. His father was an actor in the theatre and his mother was an accomplished singer, with a wide repertory of varying syles, including Opera, Classical, Russian Romantic and Ukranian Folk Music. Owing to his family’s involvement in the fine arts, he had the privilege of meeting well-known Russian composers Oscar Feltsman and Mark Fradkin, who played their music on the piano while his mother sang their new songs at home. Surrounded by a rich musical environment at such a young age, he became like a sponge, absorbing many different styles of songs and instrumental compositions. He began playing the piano when he was four years old and started to compose only two years later. Although he never studied formally, he is a highly accomplished composer and musician.
When he fourteen, his mother became deathly ill, but a miracle saved her life. After her recovery, she became extremely religious and now serves as a pastor. For many years, Edgar played keyboards in various churches throughout Moscow and different areas in the old Soviet Union. Around thirteen years ago, he became struck by great Hollywood soundtracks and started to work in this direction as well. His favorite musicians were Ronald Stein, Bernard Herrmann, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Newton Howard, Danny Elfman, Dario Marianelli, Hans Zimmer, Klaus Badelt, Thomas Newman, Howard Shore, James Horner, Harry Gregson-Williams, John Powell, Trevor Rabin and others, virtually every composer in the film industry. Their music challenged him, distracted him and forced him in a certain definite musical direction.
In order to practice creating original musical scores, Edgar began by taking major films and composing short pieces that precisely fit into the action on the screen, very much like a professional film composer would do. Later on, he experimented with original animation pieces, posting these and other tracks on YouTube, Last FM and on Sound Cloud. These experiments were quite successful. After a time, it was obvious that Edgar had attracted a fanbase of regular listeners, who came back often to listen to his newer music again and again.
In addition to his love of these film composers, Edgar was simultaneously drawn to popular music, but wished to add a certain musical depth to contemporary music, rich in various genres, but often musically and lyrically shallow. When he began to work with Johnny Blue Star, an American lyricist, he became enchanted with the possibilities for future collaborations. Their first song was “Christmas In Your Eyes,” now featured on its own website. They have currently have written fifteen or so songs together, in a wide range of styles. They are now working on a musical called, Hadleigh’s Castle. The title is named after na English ruins, dramatically rendered in a famous 19th Century painting by John Constable. Edgar and Johnny created a song with the same title, about a lover’s rendevous in this memorable, desolate landscape.
Recently, Edgar was selected to be the lead composer in the Russian mini-series, “Memoirs of A Secret Agent.” an elaborate period piece set in the 18th Century. Season I, consisting of eight episodes, was aired on Inter-TV in the Ukraine, beginning on May 24th in 2011. Part II has not yet aired, but both Season I and II are currently available on DVD in the Russian Language version online and in many video stores in the Russian Federation. Season II I was more of a detective story, but Season II was more of an action/adventure featuring remote locations like London, Boston and nearby forest areas in Massachusettes.