bywillalone was established in 2008 by Ray Mawhinney, a Los Angeles area singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, initially providing original music for friend’s film projects and web content. After several amateur endeavors Ray began his professional composing career acquiring credits in short film, documentary and full feature length productions. Joined in 2016 by Vincent Ballestrino to expand the range of production into the electronic realm, By Will Alone is now a comprehensive, custom music composing service that can meet the needs of any production.
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Ray hated piano lessons. He begged his parents to let him quit and, after about a year, they finally agreed. However, Ray continued sounding out tunes on the family upright piano and making up his own little songs until his parents realized that music was a true passion and they might be able to find a better way of encouraging his interests. After asking their musician friends, they found out about a “rock synthesizer” teacher about 40 minutes away from where they lived in San Diego,CA. The teacher had an awesome mullet and a very creative approach to his lessons. He taught Ray a “blues scale” and gave him a homework assignment to come back next week with one original “riff”. Ray showed up with 3. He has been hooked ever since.
Now, 28 years later, Ray is an accomplished singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has shared the stage with Frank Black, David J and Veruca Salt. In 2006, he began helping friends with their film projects by providing his original music. Demand began to grow and develop into relationships with the local Los Angeles indie film community. His latest collaboration, on Mainak Dhar’s 417 Miles, has led to international film festival exposure.
Ray’s compositional work has been influenced by traditional composers such as John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Bernard Hermann and Hans Zimmer as well as more modern composers such as Phillip Glass, Mark Mothersbaugh, Paul Williams and Bear McCreary. However, the compositions are inevitably most profoundly influenced by the vision and guidance of the director.
Vincent started in music by learning guitar 20 years ago in Paris, France.
After playing in several bands, in 2004 he started singing, playing guitar and composing in an indie rock act. Playing around 70 shows with this band mainly in Europe but also in Japan and Korea, he recorded in the UK for a french indie label. This experience of composing for a band, recording and playing live shows brought an extensive experience of working with people, be it creatives or technician, which gave him a solid understanding of all the aspects of music creation.
In parallel of his rock band, Vincent was composing computer based electronic music. He started a hardware centric home studio 5 years ago with a focus on drum-machines and synthesizers. Now proficient in synth and drums programming as well as in sound design, the two sides of his music experience allows him to feel comfortable in almost any situation, with any artistic constraint.
Vincent relocated to Los Angeles in 2015 and his now working on a solo singer songwriter album as well as scoring for movies.
Always a big cinephile, Vincent’s favorite composers are Ryuichi Sakamoto, a japanese academy award winner and electronic music pioneer, Joe Hisaishi, who worked extensively with Takeshi Kitano and Hayao Miyazaki and Trent Reznor who, after popularizing industrial rock with his band Nine Inch Nails, created mesmerizing electronic soundtracks and was awarded with an Oscar in 2011 for his work on the social network.