Pieces of the Puzzle – Marcio Hendrik Makes Sonic Connections for Film Scores, Soundtracks

As a longtime musician, Marcio Hendrik composes film scores and soundtracks through Artigo Audio in Rio. Photo courtesy of Marcio Hendrik

Marcio Hendrik relishes solving complex sonic puzzles.

The Rio de Janeiro guitarist-bassist-producer strategically connects discrete audio pieces to create captivating film scores and soundtracks through Artigo Audio.

Together, those emerging instrumentals unfold a hidden classic-meets-alt-rock world filled with enticing people, places and experiences. With limitless possibilities and choose-your-own-adventure storylines, listeners travel to an undiscovered, intergalactic dimension, a drug-infested Edinburgh and a nocturnal-inspired Hollywood.

“I like to dismantle all the pieces that I put together, like a puzzle, and then dismantle them again to make the music neat and clear,” Hendrik said.

For his latest score, the forceful, driving “Russian Dance” jumps to hyperspace as charging, vibrant electric guitars, booming drums, throbbing bass and crashing cymbals provide a Black Sabbath-esque space jam.

Next, listeners instantly shift to Scotland as “Skag Boys” propels into an alt-punk rock frenzy with swift, crunchy electric guitars, pounding drums, banging cymbals and driving bass in an Irvine Welsh-like heroine culture.

After sonically leaving the U.K., a third Hendrik stop includes a late-night stroll down Sunset Boulevard on “Hollywood Moon” as bluesy, fuzzy electric guitars, shimmering cymbals, delicate drums and thoughtful bass echo along the concrete jungle.

“I have an inclination for making soundtracks, especially because Hollywood has this feel of a classic place. If you see the buildings, it looks like you’re in the ‘50s, and the people you see on the street are totally different. It’s like you’re in a time warp,” said Hendrik, who studied audio engineering abroad at Los Angeles’ Musicians Institute in 2016.

“I put myself in the shoes of somebody who’s delusional walking around Hollywood searching for something that may fulfill their delusion. Sometimes I would go to Jameson’s Irish Pub, and if I got loaded, I would leave the whiskey bar and start walking around Hollywood to talk to everybody.”

Hollywood Moon” also features Hendrik’s mesmerizing instrumental collaboration with Ania, a Los Angeles heavy metal singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso, who beautifully shreds throughout the haunting psych rock track.

“I found her online during social isolation. I was building my website for my production company, and I started reaching out to people saying, ‘Hey, do you want to produce or record something?’” he said.

“I was on Facebook, and I added Ania because I saw she attended the same school I that did in Hollywood. After we had a conversation, I realized she was just like me, a musician who wanted to record. It was amazing because she brought me results within a week.”

Blues Mandrático to Beginnings

Marcio Hendrik performs with Savana, an experimental psych rock quartet, in Rio. Photo courtesy of Marcio Hendrik

Hendrik also seeks Hollywood inspiration on “Blues Mandrático,” a bluesy, rockabilly instrumental filled with swirling, dreamy psych rock electric guitars, steady drums and humming vintage synths. He developed the track after listening to Hüsker Dü and learning different recording techniques at the Musicians Institute.

“I was studying the analog tape machine and experimenting with the Waves Kramer Master Tape, which is a plugin for a tape emulator. I tried to be clear with all of the tracks, and after I made stems of the tracks, I started manipulating them with the tape machine and a vinyl simulator,” Hendrik said.

Outside of Hollywood, Hendrik simulates a film noir score on “Golden Arm with No Man” as bouncy drum rolls, bluesy retro electric guitars, ticking cymbals, rhythmic drums, soft bass and grungy vocals transport listeners to a ‘50s Frank Sinatra universe.

“That song was influenced by the movie, ‘The Man with the Golden Arm,’ and I inverted the title. It’s like an existential crisis that happens to somebody who’s addicted to heroin while the character in the movie is played by Frank Sinatra. It’s an amazing movie, but at the same time, it’s one of the more controversial ones,” he said.

Hendrik became a film and TV buff, thanks to his mother, while growing up in Rio. As a film editor and librarian, Hendrik’s mother showed him classic films and TV mini-series, including “Gone with the Wind,” “North and South,” “Coming Home” and “Ordinary People.”

After becoming well-versed in visual media, Hendrik added music to his list of growing passions. At age 14, he became captivated by Nirvana’s 2002 self-titled compilation album and wanted to become a musician. He also sought creative and musical inspiration from Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age and System of a Down.

“The first song I listened to was ‘You Know You’re Right,’ so I got this heavy dose and was like, ‘Oh God, this is amazing.’ I asked my parents to give me a guitar, and I started playing the entire day,” he said.

By 2006, Hendrik formed his first project, a pop-rock group called Delta Rock, and achieved local notoriety in Brazil after releasing one album and two EPs. As the band’s bassist, Hendrik started playing covers by Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Franz Ferdinand while writing original material with his bandmates.

Five years later, Delta Rock disbanded leaving Hendrik to focus on two side projects, an experimental psych rock project called Savana and a nu metal quartet known as Noise Punch. He continued to play bass in both bands until 2016, when he moved to Los Angeles and became an audio engineer.

“When I was in Savana, we used to record different versions of the same song. It was like putting all the pieces together and crushing them all and then learning how to unorganize parts after they were initially organized,” said Hendrik, who eventually returned to Rio.

With a new audio engineering skillset, Hendrik combined his love of music with film and started composing short film scores and soundtracks through Artigo Audio. He also formed another grunge alt rock side project, 8 Grave, with longtime drummer and musical collaborator Allan Mileto and released a self-titled debut EP in 2019.

“8 Grave was highly influenced by Savana because we did a lot of psychedelic experimentation. It was worth spending time and producing so much material with Savana because it changed my life,” he said.

Today, he continues to write and record new film scores and partners with a songwriter to pen lyrics for his tracks. He’s currently working on a new song that’s influenced by Public Image Ltd.’s two-minute poem, “Religion.”

“I’m continuing to work on material for films, and at the same time, I’m also looking for lyricists. I’d like to make two versions of each song and make them open for people to edit,” Hendrik said.

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