Interview: Patric Caird - Modern Composer

Patric Caird - Modern Composer

You've probably heard the work of busy composer Patric Caird without realizing it. His recent high profile projects include the Netflix series The Order, which has just been renewed for a second season, and CBC's comedy series Save Me, working with Fab Filippo. While many composer bios begin with a list of the institutions they've studied at, Patric's begins with one premise: a love of music.
Patric Caird with fellow composer Jeremy Nathan Tisser from Impact24 PR's "Secrets from the Beyond" Panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 (Photo credit: Impact24 PR)
"I'm Canadian," he says, "born in Vancouver, grew up in Toronto." He now makes his home in LA.

Patric says he started by playing the saxophone in school, a hobby that quickly became an overriding passion. Aside from a Canada Council grant to study with a jazz group, he pretty much jumped straight from high school into a professional career. "I went to college for about three minutes," he laughs.

It wasn't the discipline he shied away from. "I was very dedicated to music," he says. Patric recalls practising "obsessively" for hours a day, including transcribing scores by the dozen. Through it, he developed his skills, and an ear for musical structure, texture, and tones that would become invaluable once he turned from performance to composition.

He describes composing for film and TV as a highly cooperative process. "In most cases, TV and film, even the dance and theatre - it's collaborative." Showrunners generally come to him with ideas already sketched out. "Very seldom do they come with a blank slate."

Having a range of genres and styles at your fingertips is another key component of writing music for film and TV. "On Save Me, with Fab," he says, "he's very pop song oriented." For the first season, Patric says he was influenced by the music of Bon Iver, and wrote a lot of original music. He and Fab would toss ideas around, and then Patric wove it together into a consistent sound.

For the second season, Fab wanted to use licensed material. Patric ended up creating a choral arrangement of the Loverboy's classic rock hit, Everybody's Working for the Weekend, along with a piece for solo piano for one of the 10 minute segments.

Patric is also well known as the composer behind all 76 episodes of the animated series Ed, Edd n Eddy, which ran from 1999 to 2007, and his credits on go all the way back to 1994. He's worked on everything from comedy to horror to live theatre and performance.

The Order is his latest hit project for Netflix, which he reports is now filming for season 2. "As I went to ComiCon last week [...] everyone is very excited to see where it goes next."

There were shifts in tone - including the music - already, and after the cliffhanger ending to the debut season, the next one could see even more.

While some composers may write directly from the script, Patric views the footage first, before sitting down to write. "The show will tell you what it needs," he says. Beyond the story itself, there are other elements that come into play - the camera angles, lighting, anything that can affect the mood and tone of the scene. Every element matters. "Almost more than the story," he says.

Patric's collection of awards includes a Genie Award, two SOCAN Music Awards, several Leo Awards, a Gemini Award nomination for Best Musical Score, and a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Original Song.

At home in Los Angeles these days, he says he's a frequent patron of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he enjoys watching fellow audience members as well as the performance, with a definite preference for modern composers. "I'll go to Stravinsky, but I prefer contemporary music," he says. "I think audience goers are excited by new music."