In Conversation · Edu Prado

Edu Prado is a Dublin based musician, music producer and composer, originally from Curitiba – Paraná, Brazil. His interest in music started early with his grandma’s old piano. Later, Edu began to study music theory, violin, and play the drums; then went to electric bass, acoustic guitar, piano, and singing. Then, around the age of thirteen, he started composing his songs, and playing in bands.

After graduating in Music Production and Composition and holding a degree in Industrial Mechatronics, Edu kept studying in Dublin, where he concluded a master’s in Scoring for Film and Visual Media. 

Living in Dublin since 2017, he has been working with music for TV Series and Films, producing Irish artists, and working as the Audio and Mixing Engineer in orchestral recordings and many opera productions with the Irish National Opera. These works include Gerald Barry – Alice Underground Adventures, J. Strauss – Elektra, 20 Shots of Opera, and Amanda Feery – A Thing I Cannot Name.

He also creates his own sounds and sample libraries, and in 2020 he started sharing his virtual instruments as Edu Prado Sounds

We talked about his life as a musician and the creative videos he produces on his YouTube channel. Especially during the quarantine, he inspired people to see things from an innovative perspective! 

Join us for this conversation!

Edu, I liked the video of you playing “Shape of You” using a notebook. Especially the sounds created by tearing up a sheet of paper; it reminded me of when, during the quarantine, I tore up many sheets of paper, which gave me a good sensation for the moment we were living in! What did your creations during this challenging period make you feel?

I believe that the moment of the pandemic and long periods of lockdown were challenging for us all. That is why it was vital for me to keep creating and developing new projects during these months.

The new creations that have arisen during this time, such as making music with a notebook or using peppers as instruments, gave me joy and motivation. The energy to create these projects came mainly from the idea of inspiring other people to use creativity and see their day-by-day from a different perspective.

The sensation is that we keep going forward even when the world stops!

My sister is left-handed, which always made me think she used to do things clumsily. I see now that it was a mistake! You, for example, can do everything: from the musical production until the publishing and promotion of your works? Tell us how you manage all these jobs.

Haha, that’s cool! Maybe there is a certain truth in it, as we, left-handed, like to do things slightly different!

How do I manage everything simultaneously? It is a good question because it is a constant challenge. I have studied and tried to evolve concerning productivity and organisation. I think they are fundamental elements for those who like to create new things. One thing that helped me learn to organise my time was the times during college; I was in two universities simultaneously, studying Musical Composition and Production and Technology in Mechatronics in Brazil. One of the semesters, I took 17 subjects simultaneously, with classes starting at 7 am until 7 pm approximately. It was a chaotic period, and of total dedication, so the only way I found to take charge of everything was learning to seize every minute. 

I believe that this experience has been helping me in all projects I work on today. It is essential to have clear goals and organise time in the best way possible, prioritise and put all activities on the calendar, and break up big projects into smaller fractions. I seek to improve myself each day, but there is still space for improvement, as I still feel unable to put all my ideas and projects into practice. Who knows, maybe one day I will get there.

Music happened early in your life, with the contact of your grandma’s piano. Do you believe that this influence made you create an affectional or sentimental relationship with the music and the instruments you play?

Even though I do not come from a family of musicians, I think this contact was significant since the early days. The fact that I was exposed to musical instruments, different music styles and experienced my grandma’s piano grew a considerable curiosity and desire for creation! I am sure there is a tremendous sentimental relationship between me and the music, the instruments I play. In this manner, I have found a way to express myself, turning it into something essential in my life. Also, interestingly, my relation and connection with each of the instruments I play differ from one another; each of the instruments evokes particular sensations and emotions. 

Which of your productions do you find the most fun and the one that transformed you the most?

Hmmm, complicated question. Each project and production end up creating a different meaning. Indeed, one of the most transformative experiences I had was when I had to compose and record with an orchestra of 110 musicians in Sofia – Bulgaria (my piece The Endless Journey). This project was one of the final ones of my MA in Scoring for Film and Visual Media. Another recent transformative production that I never imagined myself doing was composing the Viaplay series “Red Election” soundtrack alongside the Irish composer Kormac. Another experience was recording and producing many incredible operas with the Irish National Opera, such as Elektra de Richard Strauss, La Boheme de Giacomo Puccini, Alice’s Adventure Underground de Gerald Barry.

Perhaps two of the most fun productions I had were the virtual instruments I created from non-musical objects: a notebook and peppers — and I had to eat a lot of peppers at the end of that video! I like the idea of creating unexpected things and playing with creativity.    

What made you come to Dublin?

I always wanted an international experience, to live outside Brazil, to meet new cultures and people from all over the world. So I came to Dublin in 2017 to study for an MA in Scoring for Film and Visual Media at Pulse College and DIT (now TUD). Studying with big names of the cinema world, recording in Windmill Lane Recording Studios, and studying with amazing people from 11 different countries have been a dream and a unique experience.

After this, and with hard work, I could remain in Dublin, working on the most diverse kinds of projects involving art, music, and video.

One of your most recent projects was to play the pipe organ in Christ Church Rathgar and turn it into a virtual instrument; how was this experience? What else inspires you in Ireland?

Recording the pipe organ (of more than a hundred years of age) of Christ Church Rathgar was a unique experience, something I never imagined doing one day!

During the pandemic period, I started the creation of sample libraries with tunes for virtual instruments. You record your songs and program so that people and composers can access and play using Samplers and midi keyboard. The first project was recording my guitar using a Cello’s arc.

This organ project consisted of recording all the notes and different sounds of this organ tube specifically and program and creating the sounds library. It was enjoyable and inspirational to see this project becoming a reality. In the beginning, I had no idea it could work. However, in the end, the final result of the virtual instrument (Sample Library) was impressive! The idea was to capture the experience of sitting in the church and feel the powerful sound of the organ involving you. For that, it is crucial to record the sound directly from the instruments and the complete resonance it creates in the church’s cathedral.

What inspires me the most in Ireland is its people and history and the interconnection of Irish culture and music! So much so that the country’s symbol is a musical instrument, the harp. I love traditional Irish music, but I still need to learn how to play it!

Last year you launched the album “The Endless Journey”, tell us about it?

The album “The Endless Journey” is significant for me because it marks a new stage in my life. It is an album quite different from everything I have done before. This album is a collection of compositions and instrumental music of the most recent years since I moved to Ireland. Most of the songs were composed during my MA and were recorded with real orchestras. It was a new experience for me as my background in recording and producing comes from pop and rock styles. So it was my first time recording, mixing, and producing with orchestras. I definitely learned a lot, but there is still a long way ahead of me.

This album tells the story, and the process of moving to another country and the radical changes one passes through in life when moving away. About the tense and challenging moments, peaceful moments and full of reflections, moments of suspense and intensity, and even some moments of triumph and achievements! 

All the songs are in chronological order and represent different moments of my life. The album talks about learning that changes in our life are part of an endless journey.

What to expect from your artistic creations after an instrumental video made with peppers, soundtracks for films and series such as Professionals and Red Election, and a composition of an orchestral sinfonie piece?

Good question, because I don’t even know what to expect! The most important thing for me is to keep creating artistic works that inspire and motivate other people! For this year, 2022, I have many ideas for new creative sounds libraries, and I want to make more fun videos for my YouTube channel. I also have a new project of composing and producing a new album playing many instruments, with different musicians I have met in the last few years as special guests.

Thank you for inviting me to this conversation! It was a pleasure, and congratulations on the excellent work you do with Diaspora Cultural!

Thank you, Edu! We wish you success in your journey!