Tyler Smith, son of three-time Grammy Award winner Michael W. Smith, has provided the music to COME TO THE GARDEN - ON STAGE!, presented by Fathom Events and Eakin Films. The movie opens in select U.S. cinemas for one night on Tuesday, May 3 at 7:00 p.m. local time, COME TO THE GARDEN - ON STAGE! features character voiceover performances from Emmy-winner and Today Show host Kathie Lee Gifford, Academy Award-winnerTM Louis Gossett, Jr., and popular faith comedienne Chonda Pierce, with music by Tyler Smith.
Hallels: Tyler, thanks for doing this interview with us. Being the son of Michael W. Smith and now a composer yourself, how has your dad influenced you in terms of writing?
It's my pleasure. Thank you for having me. Music has been a significant part of my life for as long as I can remember. My dad has been a full time musician and recording artist since before I was born. Most people think of him as Michael W. Smith, the world renown Christian artist and performer. However, not everyone is aware that he is also a brilliant composer. His instrumental albums are still some of of my favorites and have definitely influenced my own compositions. We recently had the privilege of working together and composing the original score for "90 Minutes in Heaven," which was released in the fall of 2015. It was a great experience getting to play off of each others individual ideas. Something about it just worked. Maybe it's our DNA.
Hallels: Did your dad encourage you to pursue a career in music too?
Many people have asked me this question and I can honestly say that I have never felt any pressure from my dad to be in the music industry. I actually never thought much about having career in music until one day my brother, Ryan (writer/director and founder of Seabourne Productions) asked me to write music for a short film he made. The rest is history. I know that God has placed my dad and me in the music industry for a reason and I'm excited to see what the future holds for both of us.
Hallels: I believe you have written quite extensively, what are some of the projects you have written for?
I have composed music for several feature films, short films, documentaries, commercials, etc. The features films I have scored are After (2012), Rumors of Wars (2014), and as I mentioned before 90 Minutes in Heaven (2015). I was recently hired by Sony Pictures to provide music for their Instagram Campaign. In my world, no two projects are alike.
Hallels: You have recently written the music COME TO THE GARDEN - ON STAGE! What is this project about?
As I mentioned before, no two projects are alike. I would add COME TO THE GARDEN- ON STAGE in truly unlike anything I have worked on before. It's an invitation to step inside of the world of Jennifer Wilder Morgan, author of the book, "Come To The Garden." The audience gets to join her on her journey to experience what lies outside the real of the natural. It's ultimately a journey that I believe as believers, we are all on and the end goal: To know God. I think it will resonate with many as she shares her own personal journey of faith, doubt, struggle, and belief. Another aspect of this that is unique is the groundbreaking light mapping technology, provided by PointCloud Media.
Hallels: What are some of the joys and challenges in writing for a film like that?
There is always usually a mixture of excitement and uncertainty at the start of every project. Sometimes I think, "Okay, I've done this before. But where do I start." It all starts with one note. It sounds so simple when putting it that way but it helps me not feel so overwhelmed. I think the most challenging aspect of COME TO THE GARDEN- ON STAGE is creating music that supports Jennifer's dialogue without being too distracting but also knowing when the music needs to swell and take center stage.
Hallels: Have you ever thought of becoming a Christian music artist before like your dad?
This is not something I have ever really considered or wanted to do. I have always felt more comfortable behind the piano and in the studio. I never really wanted to be the guy up front. I thought, "I don't have the best voice so I think I'll just stick to the keyboard." I would think, "I love to worship and play in the band at my church but I'm not a worship leader." To my surprise, I was asked to co-lead at a worship night Nashville. I now help lead worship at my church and a fairly regular basis. I've learned that often times God has a different plan than we do. So who knows what the future holds?
Hallels: For or readers who would like to find out more about you and your projects, where can they go?
I have a lot of my music available to stream on my SoundCloud page: www.soundcloud.com/tylermichaelsmith. I am also give updates on Facebook and Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/tylermichaelsmithmusic/
Tickets for "Come to the Garden - On Stage!" can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 400 movie theaters through Fathom's Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website.