Hollywood Lives in Plovdiv

Hollywood Lives in Plovdiv

Tihomir Hristozov is a self-taught composer and an artist. For the past 10 years, his music has been featured in some of Hollywood's biggest film productions. In his spare time he makes replicas of paintings by great masters - Rubens, Francois Boucher, Van Gogh… He traveled a lot, but never lived outside of Plovdiv. He has been playing the bagpipe since he was 5 years old, and at the age of 7 he started studying piano. His whole life is full of music and art, so the fact that today he lives in his studio is not surprising at all.

His mother's uncle was one of the first singers of the ensemble "Philip Kutev". Tihomir doesn't know if that was the reason for his interest in the art of music, but he moved from his hometown Harmanli to Plovdiv so that he and his sister (who is a singer and also plays the bagpipe) could start their studies at "Lyuben Karavelov" highschool - often called the "folklore school".

His path to writing music for movies and trailers sounds surreal. He finished school and bought his first computer - before that he had nowhere to write the ideas that were going through his mind. At about the age of 25, after writing for vocal groups for some time, he searched all possible internet forums for musicians, actors and film productions, and began looking for a job as a composer. He creates his own possibilities (for some of us it is unthinkable to imagine the time before Facebook, Fiverr and Upwork, which today connects the whole world in minutes!). In one of the art forums, Tihomir stumbled upon an Indian production, that was looking for actors. With his inherent courage and the principle "you will not succeed if you do not try", he sent a message to the director "Do you need a composer as well?". It was this random question that marked the beginning of his career. He wrote the music for the film, which the producers liked so much that they hired him to compose another one. The Plovdiv artist shares that he has had love for the music of Hollywood movies since he was a child and his dream has always been to write music for them.


One of Tihomir's constant commitments at the moment is writing TV music - for commercials, shows and more. The first studio he started working with was in the Czech Republic - Fontana Studio, where he's still composing today. For this company he has written catalogs of music, as well as 24 albums. Fontana Studio has partners all over the world, including Warner studios. "You release an album… and you're all over the world," the composer says with a smile. He is sure that this was the springboard for his transition to film music. Through his experience in the Czech Republic, he managed to improve the composition of trailers, which he had not done before. Soon after releasing his first few albums, he began receiving inquiries from other companies; over time, he became associated with larger companies, leading him to his current commitments to writing music for trailers, advertising campaigns and entire films, video games, and overall processing of sound design and sound effects.


He quickly showed us the lower floor of his studio, which is plastered with posters of all the productions in which his music was played - "Mandalorian", "Alita: Battle Angel", "Godzilla", "Pinocchio" and dozens more. He is constantly working on ready-to-use albums, experimenting all the time. His most recent passion is composing music for horror movies, which includes vocals and ethno instruments. His studio looks like a music gallery - it has a few mini pianos (ones that make us shiver in scary movies), percussion instruments from around the world - Chinese, African - "anything that can make strange noises." Tihomir knows exactly what is sought in the music of major productions - authenticity and the ability to immediately recognize the composer through the unique way in which he interweaves hitherto unheard-of sounds with his own style.


If this is not remarkable enough, we can add the fact that the composer records his albums completely by himself, and then processes them electronically. He studied and played many different instruments, recorded with his professional equipment, collected the sounds and then started writing his music. Sometimes he works with singers and other musicians.

With noble envy we also look at the replicas of paintings he does when he is not writing music. Works with oil paints, with incredible precision to detail; if we did not know that Tihomir was a professional composer, we would say with confidence that he devoted his whole life to painting.


Since the beginning of his career, he has hardly had a day without composing, and during the pandemic he created 4 new albums. He sees the positive in everything - he says that 2020 has started very strongly and he did not know how he would handle all the work; thankfully, the quarantine has given him the necessary time to write. The requests he receives are different - sometimes they require a certain style (for example, "Harry Potter", "Pirates of the Caribbean") or an original composition on a given topic; in other cases he has to do a remake of music that has already been written. For the latest movie in the Star Wars series, he received a request that he had to fulfill in 13 hours - he managed to record 2 versions, which were sent directly to Disney. The composer says he was in a "checkmate" situation when he was first asked to edit a soundtrack written by the legend John Williams. Tihomir sent 4 compositions that were not approved, but were subsequently selected for the hit production "Mandalorian". His music is featured in one of the commercials in the film series, as well as in the advertising campaign of "Alita: Battle Angel", among many others. He also wrote the so-called "song trailer", for which he had to get all the parts of the recording, make his own arrangement, and add sound effects, turning the composition into a trailer. When asked why he only works with foreign companies, he answered: "Things here (in Bulgaria) are a bit difficult." This year he has started projects with Boyana Cinema Center in Sofia, but he mainly works with companies in the USA and Europe - all of which provide music for Hollywood productions.


In Plovdiv he finds the beauty of the big city, combined with art and tranquility; "There is different vibe here," says Tihomir. When he needs musical ideas and inspiration, he goes for a walk on the Main Street and then starts with fresh mind. He shares about the projects that the bigger and more difficult they are, the more satisfying they are. He doesn't understand people who limit themselves by thinking about what they can and can't achieve. He describes himself with the words "freedom" and "art", and his advice to those who want to create is to know where they are going. “It doesn't matter what a person does… when you have a goal, there is a way; if you don't know where you are going, there's nowhere to go. "