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For this piece, featuring the Action! EZX, you wrote the tonal composition inside EZkeys using the Movie Scores – Action EZkeys MIDI pack. Tell us about the process!
I constructed the arrangement first. Using the ‘Percussive Action 120’ material from the Movie Scores – Action EZkeys MIDI pack, I created the structure, adding parts from one file and layering with others to create the build and add the different layers I would need for a full orchestration. I started the orchestration from the bottom up, so basses and low brass, until finally the main melody enters on the violins and trumpet. All of the detail was there in the arrangement, so it was a lot of fun to take parts and try them out in different sections of the orchestra.

The Action! EZX is pretty different from what the more “traditional” EZX sound libraries we have released. What do you think an expansion like this adds and how do you see yourself using it moving forward?
Orchestral percussion takes such a long time to do well, and it often requires hours of work to get a sense of what you need where and what works and what doesn’t work. Being able to use these multi-timbral kits with the included MIDI and swap out certain drums gets you there fast, and you can fine-tune it from there. It’s also inspirational in setting the rhythm of the rest of the orchestra when you have the melodic content written first, which is what I tend to do.

When you get called up to do a music piece, how does a brief generally look like? Do you get musical pointers and reference tracks or is it more loose and up to interpretation?
Both. When directors or producers know the what they are after, that makes my job much easier. While it’s always nice to have a lot of creative freedom, it is sometimes very difficult to give clients what they want when they don’t know what that is!

Do you always get to see the visual aspect of a production before you write or do you sometimes base your idea on a written script or treatment?
With film, I will always score to picture. In pretty much every other form of media, I am creating the music at the same time as filming, so the core of the writing has to be done before I see anything and the director will guide me. I will then add the details and the final production elements to the final picture.


Growing up, Mark dreamed of being a rockstar. That hasn’t happened yet, but still his music has reached millions through national TV commercials, games and movies. Meet Mark Willott, Emmy Award-winning composer and avid Superior Drummer 3 and EZkeys user.


Check out this page for more info on the Action! EZX, EZkeys Cinematic Grand – and more!


The ultimate collection of acoustic drums, percussion and timeless machines.


For the third episode, Rikk Currence talks to Monty Powell, award-winning songwriter who’s written hits for Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban and many others.