Breakfast with Serena Foyle
It’s Friday morning in London and I am excited to interview Serena Foyle, a pyro musical producer, whose work has been called a ‘true masterpiece’. As I am warmly invited into her home, I am struck by her Grace Kelly, softness. Her sitting room holds the same kind of romance and I feel as if I have stepped into a Rococo painting as I note the soft-hued silk fabrics, the piano next to sculptures resting on their plinths, as if listening to our conversation. As Serena settles down in her soft cotton Loren Robe and Andress nightdress, I begin my first question.
How would you describe what you do and what is a Pyro musical producer?
I design bespoke soundtracks for fireworks displays where I focus on creating an atmosphere through music that’s right for every event. I do this by taking inspiration from all types of music and selecting genres that are right for each client and location. Its important to me that the fireworks display is part of the whole event and that the music enhances the experience of the entire party.
I created the name ‘Pyro musical Producer’ to describe the role I had created for myself within the industry. I see Pyro musical displays very much as a production, where the shows are designed by two creative minds, one for the fireworks and one the music.
My inspiration came from film music and the power music has on our experience
of watching a film. Different types of music, or sound or even silence can completely change our feeling during a film or scene. I knew the same could be done to create different atmospheres and emotions when watching fireworks.
What’s the key to a successful event?
The people and the location - These are the key factors to a great event and will really make a party (Some really great cocktails are always essential I think too!).
I would of course always advise that fireworks can completely transform any event - but then some might say that I’m biased!
Biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Trying to work out how I was going to put my ideas into practise. I started by approaching fireworks companies to do their music for them but I was mainly rejected at first, on the grounds that they already did it themselves and had done for years. I then changed my course and had more luck with events companies, who understood how important music was to the atmosphere of a party and how the same skill needed to be applied to the soundtracks that go with their fireworks displays.
Your role model?
My father, Anthony Foyle – It seems cliché to be such a daddy’s girl but he’s offered me such wonderful business advise over the years and guided me where I needed it. I also hugely admire his honesty and work ethic too.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde - Always love that!
Moment of madness
The time my flat mate and I at university thought it would be a good idea to raid my parents garden for trees to create a Halloween themed party in our flat. We brought a team of friends to cut down small trees and large branches to take back to our flat and create what felt like a real live forest! Lining the whole flat in black bin liners, replacing the bulbs with red ones and attaching the branches to the ceiling and tops of doors, it created an incredible atmosphere as if you had stepped into another world - fun but it made a huge mess!
Favorite song to unwind?
There are so many songs and different types of music that make me completely relax but there’s nothing that makes me feel happier than Ravel’s 'Daphnis and Chloe, Suite No.2’. It makes you feel like you are living in a dream for a moment., like some magical, otherworldly place where all your thoughts and worries just float away.
Late night or early riser?
Im sure it wont come as a huge surprise that im much more of a late night person! I've always loved the stillness of it - its the time I feel I can be alone in my thoughts and think clearly. Best time for parties too!
The best part of what you do?
The feeling it gives people. It doesn't matter what age you are, if the music and the fireworks are choreographed perfectly together to create a real journey, it really excites people and makes them feel alive! Watching the expressions of the audience as they look up at the sky with childlike faces, gives me such huge pleasure and makes me confident that the experience has had the right effect.