Artist Spotlight: Tanner Morita (SUNNE)

Digging to the core of a story.

For Marmoset artist, Tanner Morita (aka SUNNE), a compelling soundtrack is created with vision and trust between the artist and filmmaker. Morita's philosophy has guided his music to reach incredible and emotional depths. Marrying together echoing guitars, warm synths and precise beats, SUNNE are beautiful and powerful.

We got to know Tanner's songwriting process and his daily life as a working musician. Enjoy.


M: Who are you and what do you do in the world?

TM: My name is Tanner Morita, and I write music and make coffee. 

M: When did you start playing music? 

TM: I started playing music at around the age of nine, though my family was very musical for as long as I can remember. I started off with piano lessons that I quit as soon as my mom would let me, and then began playing classical and jazz saxophone. 

M: When do you know you've finished a song?

TM: I usually know that I've finished a song when I can go back and start to subtract.  There's an odd but completely necessary aspect to creation where you begin to work destructively, and start reducing things down to their most basic and most poignant details -- once I've reached the point where I can begin to do that is when I know that I'm beginning to find the ending point. 

M: What's one of your favorite songs to play? Why is it important to you?

TM: Honestly, it's very difficult for me to play things that I've created. It's very hard for me to say that something is finished, and that it couldn't be any better. But I guess that's often the point with music -- but it's representative of the time and the place that the artist was in when they created it. But that doesn't really make it any easier to believe it. 

M: What makes a successful collaboration between music and film?

TM: Trust and compassion.  When a filmmaker can trust that a composer will be able to add something unique that lifts the film into a place that it wasn't before, and can do it in a way that is honest and true to the composer's passion; and when a composer can trust in the filmmakers vision, and leave their ego out of it in order to enhance the overall experience, not just the musical experience -- that's what makes the best art.

M: How do you foster a creative rhythm as an artist?

TM: Keeping yourself on a schedule.  I'm never producing better work, or being more productive than when I'm keeping myself on a strict daily routine.

M: What does a day in the life of a working artist look like for you?

TM: For me, it's probably pretty different than most people's. I'm in the middle of opening up my own coffee shop, so there's a lot of management and office work related to that that needs to be done. Other than that, it's mostly just trying to find any possible time to be playing music and be creative. 

M: What's one thing think you wish every filmmaker knew about the soundtrack writing process?

TM: Temp-tracks will mentally and physically break down the composer if the filmmaker is not willing to be open-minded and trust the composer to do their job. 

M: What's coming up for you?

TM: So much!  I've got my wedding coming up in a week, I'm opening up my coffee shop in the next few months, I'm writing more pieces for Marmoset, and I've been working with Writer/Director Kyle Frederick to produce the  soundtrack to her short film, which is currently in the post-production phase. 

Posted on April 15, 2016 and filed under Music.