the Maestro of synth moods
Devon Scarlatti is a Composer, Audio Engineer, and the solo Artist behind the Cinematic Synthwave band Maestro Eternal. Currently based in the heart of Austin, Texas, alongside two cats Jupiter and Napoleon and a little dog named Mochi. A multi-instrumental Musician for over 30 years, Devon has studied film scoring and orchestration at Berklee College of Music before going on to spend fourteen years working as a live and studio production Audio Engineer in the professional music industry.
A Love of Synthesizers, A Life of Music
“From a very early age, I had always known music was my calling. My very first instrument was a little Casio synthesizer that my grandma got me for Christmas when I was three years old. And I’ve pretty much been an electronic and synth enthusiast ever since.”
“And because of my continued love for synthesizers and the ’80s, I naturally gravitated towards discovering Synthwave through the generous guidance of my best friend who introduced me to it. The style of music sort of called out to me and I knew I had to start making synth music.”
“I’m not a visual artist or film maker, but a lot of my passion for composing revolves around storytelling and in cinema, especially the pure movie magic of the ’80s and ’90s. And that passion for cinema carries over to and is one of the main focal points of Maestro Eternal when it comes to my own inspirations to create and share my music. One of my goals with Maestro Eternal is to capture the beauty of the memories and feelings of being a child of the ’80s and ’90s.”
“And also to provide a journey with not just hearing my music but experiencing it. My music is for the believers in the fantastic, the deep thinkers and the profound souls. And my ambition is for my music to always transport the listener on some type of adventure, like a soundtrack to a movie that exists inside your mind.”
Epica is a love letter to all the great composers from Mozart to Morodor to Vangelis. Like the imagery of Maestro Eternal’s visual style, what at first seems unassuming if casually elegant reveals itself to be a deep exploration of emotion through the capable mind and hands of the Maestro themselves. The magic of this music lies in the moments between. Just as the power of the orchestral conductor lies in channeling a force unseen that arises from the orchestra and is organized into beauty through precision and concentrated effort, it’s true beauty lies in the space between the notes. Each new note in these compositions is powerful enough in its own right because of this conscious approach to composition. You can definitely sense that Berklee training and yet this is one Artist who has definitely charted their own course.
In songs like “All for Love” we can feel the hopefulness as well as the longing. It is both mysterious and illuminating, timeless and yet fresh, gentle yet powerful. This song and indeed any song on this album would be the perfect soundtrack to a Sci Fi or Fantasy film.
As Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” So put this album on and take some time to enjoy exploring the magical world of Maestro Eternal. Breathe. Relax. Enjoy.
What is the inspiration behind your music?
“I have a pretty wide range of inspirations for my music I think. My musical background is fairly rooted in classical music since I’m a classically trained pianist and saxophonist. So a lot of my compositional inspiration comes from musicians such as Debussy, Chopin, and Beethoven. In fact, I even have a few Darkwave and Synthwave songs that are centered around classical pieces, like my song ‘Prologue’ from my album Infernum which features ‘Swan Lake’ by Tchaikovsky throughout the song. I have another song called ‘Valkyrie’ from my album of the same name which features the piece by Chopin ‘Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 in E Flat Major’.”
“I also find immense inspiration in film scores from the ’80s and ’90s. I’m highly influenced and inspired by Vangelis, and I honestly really aspire to be like him musically. I particularly love his soundtrack for Bladerunner (1982) and am always finding new inspirations every time I listen to his music.”
“Some others I’m inspired by are Giorgio Moroder—especially his work from The NeverEnding Story. And Wendy Carlos—my personal favorite being her brilliant work on the soundtrack for The Shining.”
“As for bands, I’m extremely inspired by Depeche Mode and their thought-provoking, dark synth sounds. Their use of synthesizers in their music has always and will forever inspire me greatly. And their lyrics just speak to the deepest core of my soul. I also gather inspiration from Eurythmics and Annie Lennox. Their sound and Lennox’s androgynous style are so unique and I always find myself drawn to her band and her for inspiration as well. There are so many more bands I find inspiration in, but those are just to name a few.”
Do you have any favorite instruments in your collection?
“My favorite instrument I personally own that is a part of my setup in my studio is my Roland Fantom X8. My Fantom is like my baby. It was given to me by my parents on my 18th birthday and it’s always been a huge reminder to me that they believed in me and my music dreams. On top of that, my Fantom is the best and most diverse polyphonic synth I’ve ever owned and I just love the sounds that it produces. Honestly, it just overall inspires me to keep creating and producing. And I really can’t imagine a setup without it in my studio. Also, I’ve had my Fantom for many years, it’s traveled across the country with me, and I still haven’t discovered all the things it’s capable of or even all the different synth patches it has to offer in its vast library of sounds. It’s just such an amazing instrument and if you couldn’t tell by me going on and on about it, I’m kind of obsessed with it. Haha!”
Have there been any challenges you have faced in the music industry?
“There are so many challenges to face as a musician as most know. But I think for me, the biggest challenge I’ve faced is just myself. I’ve always been my own worst enemy. I’ve realized that as an artist, I keep myself down a lot. I tend to overthink too much and get really self critical about almost everything I produce and put out into the world. I talk myself out of certain ideas pretty regularly. And to this day, I have a lot of unreleased music and artwork that isn’t up to my own standards of perfection or I’ve been really critical of and for this reason haven’t put it out there just yet. To put it lightly, it’s not a good habit at all and it’s been pretty challenging in my career as a musician for sure.”
“In the last few years, I’ve spent a lot of time practicing mindfulness, being present and throughout this practice, learning to be gracious, grateful and loving towards myself which has really helped with the issue. But sadly, it’s something I’ve struggled with in the past and it’s probably something I’ll always fight against.”
What are your future goals?
“In the near future, I’d love to plan some live shows. Not anything huge to start out with but I have some really big plans as far as the shows and performances themselves go. I have already started looking into performing at some smaller venues for the possible late summer of 2023 here in Austin, TX, and surrounding areas. I’m still working out some of the kinks of course since a lot goes into live events, as so many artists and musicians already know.”
“I haven’t had the chance to perform live as Maestro Eternal yet. But I’ve performed live with many other bands and have a huge passion for performing on stage. To get updates on when that will possibly happen, make sure and
follow me on Instagram for the most up-to-date info on when and where that will be happening.”
“As for my own personal goals in music, I plan on going back to school soon to finish my Master’s degree in Film Scoring and Orchestration and I aspire to one day be an actual maestro for an orchestra. I’m also aiming towards collaborating with more visual artists and filmmakers. And ideally, I’d love to start some work on more film projects in the near future.”
What kinds of upcoming projects are you working on?
“I do have an up-and-coming new Single called ‘Dream-Land’ releasing on February 17th, 2023 on Bandcamp and all other streaming services. ‘Dream-Land’ is inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s poem of the same name about a somber dream the narrator is wandering through. This single is a dreamy, somewhat eerie musical panorama that captures the essence of the haunting yet surreal descriptions that fill this poem.”
What is it about Synthwave that you love?
“Nostalgia! That’s one of the main things I really love about Synthwave is the connection to my own past and the feelings it brings up inside of me. It always makes my heart beat faster and makes me feel like I can conquer the world.”
“It’s so cool that there are certain chords, melodies, arpeggiators that tether us to that time musically. And I seriously love that—even though my past was my own and I had unique experiences—I can connect with so many other people who relate to this same level of nostalgia if that makes sense. People from across the world experienced really similar feelings as a child or even as adults when they watched movies like The NeverEnding Story and heard that epic theme song performed by Limahl and written by Giorgio Moroder! To this day, that song fills you with hope and makes you feel like you can do anything.”
“I have such an appreciation and love for these types of magical moments in the Synthwave community that I’ve fallen in love with and will always cherish. But of course, Synthwave isn’t only about nostalgia to me. I also have a deep love for the fact that it’s about maintaining an integrity and appreciation for those iconic musical styles but also carrying those musical styles into the present/future and making them current and relatable to this day-and-age as well in my opinion. It’s so awesome to belong to a group of people that truly understand you and your love for those kinds of nostalgic things. They just totally get it.”
“I feel like all fans of Synthwave can relate to this in some way. Even if they weren’t born in the 1980s era, it’s still that deep nostalgia that people can experience through the music of that time. And I find that even if they weren’t born during that era, they still feel it, relate to it, and resonate with it. And I really love that so much. It’s a feeling of being transported to that particular time period. It’s such a reminder to me of how powerful of a language music really is. I could be biased about it but I truly feel like everything in the ’80s and ’90s was just more magical, hopeful, and epic! I love the fact that Synthwave is all about keeping those qualities alive within its music.”
A Message from the Artist
“I think the biggest way my fans can help me is by purchasing my music on Bandcamp or by donating directly to my band’s PayPal—which is linked on my Spotify. Not only does this help me continue making music and investing in good, up-to-date equipment for quality sounds, but it’s also just a massive boost to my morale and it’s really motivational to me when fans take the time to show they care about my music and the things I create. It’s always so humbling to me to see that someone has spent their own hard-earned money to support my music especially right now when times are hard for everyone. It will always fuel me and motivate me to keep producing and composing when fans show their incredible kindness in this way.”
“Another way fans can best help me besides streaming my music on Spotify or Apple Music—which is also a really great way to show support—is by following and engaging with me on social media and showing their interest in this way, too. I’m mostly active on Instagram but you can find me almost anywhere on social media under the handle ‘Maestro Eternal’. Things like following, liking, sharing are so important for exposure and visibility for an indie artist like myself. It—of course—helps me grow my audience and fanbase but it also helps me as an artist to know that people care and are liking the content I’m putting out there and enjoying my music which is always really awesome!”
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