Very often in the world of cinema, TV or theatre, a composer has to work with a director where communication can get quite abstract.
Music has very specific terminology and it can’t be expected for ever director to know exactly everything that a composer does.
But in order to achieve the collective goal of the sound that works as a theme, cue or underscore, the process of exploration, pitching and pinning down ideas takes place.
Sometimes, the director will offer a word or two that describes what they are after, it could be a type of sound or a mood. He could also give you a reference point of what he thinks can work to help you find what they have in mind.
Through empathy, an open mind and a willingness to engage in the journey of the process, you eventually land on the sound that can work for the project. It’s a fascinating type of collaboration.
The type of language and communication that forces a willingness to listen and explore possibility naturally happens in this instance, but I think it has every potential to work in other disciplines and professions as well.