MOON FOLLOWED ME TO FALMOUTH Filmmaker Kurt Rosenberg – Interview

Kurt Rosenberg is a composer deeply drawn to animation to bring his songs to life.  His latest short film, The Moon Followed Me to Falmouth, which is currently in festivals, came to him while looking out the window at his hotel in Falmouth, England. Travel, in fact, often provides inspiration for Renaissance Man Kurt Rosenberg. 

Here, Picture This Post (PTP) sits down with Kurt Rosenberg (KR) to talk about how and where he finds his inspiration, and how wearing many hats in the creative process shapes his work.

Filmmaker Kurt Rosenberg

(PTP) Can you share with Picture This Post readers your views on how a film can bring your music to life? 

(KR) The options for getting a composer’s music out into the competitive public sphere seem limitless.  When I decided to pursue my music career, there was no doubt in my mind that presenting my music to audiences, via film, was the way to go.  This is just the audience who are already inclined, and primed, to see my film and listen to my music.  Movies are both visual and audio.  Music is the foundation, and underpinning, of film.  In movies, music helps establish place and heightens emotions.  Many times people will remember the music and not the dialog. A powerfully visual film, plus an outstanding musical soundtrack, equals magic!

The short films you have produced, including your most recent THE MOON FOLLOWED ME TO FALMOUTH, are based on compositions rooted in Celtic music and imagery. What draws you to this area of their world and its music?

Two DNA tests I took showed that my love of Celtic Music is strongly rooted in my genes.  80% of my DNA comes from Scotland, Ireland, and England!  I first discovered Celtic Music when I heard Harry’s Game by Ireland’s Clannad.  There was something about the melody and evocative feel of the song that touched my soul.  After that, I was hooked and started to compose my own Celtic music songs.

So far, all my film music, and movies, have been inspired by places I’ve visited.  These are places that I feel a real kinship towards. The Moon Followed Me to Falmouth is based on a memorable visit I made to Falmouth, England some four years ago.  I was sitting at dinner and saw the moon come up over the water.  I said to myself “The moon followed me to Falmouth.”  On the way back to my room, the melody for the chorus came to me and the rest of the song evolved from that.  

Can you tell us more about the process of working with animation, as you did in FALMOUTH? 

The Moon Followed Me to Falmouth was, indeed, my first foray into animated films.  We had originally planned to film on-site in Falmouth, England.  But one day it hit me.  Because the film takes place in England, at sea, and in The Tropics, filming this project would be next to impossible.  I remembered that some of the best films out there today are animated.  I quickly realized that going the animation route would make for a more artistic work – like unfurling a movie on a canvas.  We were so fortunate that Armada animation studio (Nashville, TN), one of the top animators in the world, wanted to work with us on the project.  And the result of this collaboration is a beautifully animated music short film that features a love lost romance and brings back the venerable English Sea Shanty.

You have a wide variety of talents. Do you consider yourself foremost a composer, filmmaker, artist, or something else? 

I am first, and foremost, a composer.  My films are inspired by my songs.  Without the music, there wouldn’t be any films.  In order of passion and competence, I am a composer/singer-songwriter, then a filmmaker, and then a keyboard-player/musician.  

 What is next for you? 

Two year ago, I wrote a song about the Isle of Skye, Scotland.  We are going to make a film based on the song and plan to shoot on Skye in the fall of this year.  In 2024, we’ll be back in England, producing a film about Brighton, England.  I am also working on my first musical.  I wrote the songs and storyline, some 25 years ago.  To help the musical realize its full potential, I have teamed up with two Irish creatives, Jake Morgan (orchestration) and Luke Morgan (dialog and lyrics).  To see the musical slowly come to life is amazing!


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Photos courtesy of Kurt Rosenberg

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