Anyone who wants to learn to play the songs that are played in ‘Coco’ can do so by watching the movie. At that level of detail comes the latest animated Disney-Pixar production, according to Adrián Maruri.
He is an Ecuadorian who joined the project as a recording engineer (sound recording engineer), but who also lent his hands as a reference to create all the scenes in which Miguel, the protagonist, and some other characters in the film, play the role of guitar. Seven years ago, Maruri left his native Guayaquil to study Music Production at Brigham Young University in Utah.
There he met a team of students who worked on an animation project, which was linked to music and sound postproduction. In 2015 she applied and obtained a position to do an internship at Pixar Animation Studios, and that’s where her story began with ‘Coco’.
“The project of ‘Coco’ was already developed a couple of years ago. But when I got to the right company they were working on the musical development of the film and on how to put that talent on stage, “says Maruri about the coincidence that put him in the right place at the right time.
When the production team knew that Maruri was a guitarist and also a Latin American, they made some inquiries and wanted to see him playing the instrument. “But when they recorded some videos they realized that I wanted to use my hands as a reference to translate the real chords to the animation,” says the professional who inherited the musical taste of his family.
“My home was like a musical house”, says the guayaquileño who grew up surrounded by an artistic environment and the influence of his father, the composer and pianist Gustavo Maruri and his brother Roy,
also a pianist and singer.
In his adolescence he began to make music with the guitar, with the help of teachers, his family and his own curiosity. His guitar played songs by some of the references of rock and Latin pop, such as Enanitos Verdes or Verde 70, as well as some alternative rock artists such as Blink 182. To put Maruri’s hands on ‘Coco’, a series of videos was filmed that served as a model for the animation team to create movement and computer image.
“I memorized the song to play it at the same time and in the same way. Because they had the audio but there was no visual reference. “This musical collaboration also led him to investigate and learn more about Mexican popular music. “The chords follow the same form, but the rhythms, in general of Latin music, are complex and have their particularities.”
In the process, he had the opportunity to meet Anthony Gonzalez, the actor of Mexican parents who lent his voice to Miguel, with whom he shares his admiration for José José. Among the songs that are part of the soundtrack of ‘Coco’ there are pieces by composer Michael Giacchino. Recuerdame (Remind me), the main theme of the film, composed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, is nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category.
The film, which is also nominated for Best Animated Film, became the most watched animated film in the history of Ecuador with more than 900,000 viewers, according to a statement from the Disney
representative in the country.
Since arriving at Pixar, Maruri had a lot of expectation about a movie made by one of Hollywood’s biggest animation studios but based on a tradition pertaining to Mexican and Latin culture in general. “The main message of the film is very positive, full of love and inclusion.
It is the message that Pixar wanted to take to the world and has been received very well. In addition, the film entertains a lot and that is also important. “Now the sound recording engineer is focused on ‘Incredibles 2’ and ‘Toy Story 4’, which Disney-Pixar will debut in the coming years. (I)