May 29, 2014


It's been a while since I've posted anything on here, so here's an update on what I've been up to since the beginning of the year!

From mid-January to mid-February I was the pianist for a dance group in the Dominican Republic.  All of this took place in the middle of the jungle in Piedra Blanca.  It was a great opportunity to advance my piano playing while also collaborating with some amazing creative minds.  I can honestly say the experience there has boosted and inspired my writing.

Since returning from the Dominican Republic, I've been working part-time as a music copyist for the Thomas de Hartmann Project under the direction of pianist and interpreter, Elan Sicroff.  Thomas de Hartmann was a prolific composer who has sadly become virtually unknown over time.  Born in Russia, he started writing intricate piano pieces at a very young age, and at the age of 22, he wrote a Ballet called "The Pink Flower" commissioned by Diaghilev.  His presence fell of the map and his musical compositions took a major turn when he started composing for the spiritual teacher, Gurdjieff.  After leaving Gurdjieff many years later, he continued composing concert and chamber works.  His music is astounding and whether or not people know his music yet, he belongs with the greats.  That is the purpose of the Thomas de Hartmann project, to make his music known to the general public.  My role is to look at the original manuscripts, and to copy everything digitally, while cleaning up any clutter or mistakes.  And eventually the scores that I've been copying will be published and available to anyone to purchase.  You can read more about the Thomas de Hartmann Project at the kickstarter or facebook page: TdH KickstarterTdH Facebook.

And recently I finished the music for a short animated film called "Bygone" directed by Taylor Parrish.  I will write a blog post about this soon!

Oct 18, 2013

Feature-length Film "After School" Finished!

My friend Joel Clarkson and I just finished writing music for the feature-length film "After School", directed by Mauricio Mendoza and Carlos Melendez.  It was a fast and rewarding three-week collaboration that I'll never forget.

It's a really special film because it has a great story, really talented actors, amazing crew, and an important message.  Here's a short description from imdb: The story follows a troubled young boy holding a terrifying secret... one he decides to take into his own hands. It is up to a former teacher to try to help him, and to help make sense of the boy's desperate situation.

I have to say a little about how Joel and I had the opportunity to write music for this film, because it wouldn't have happened if not for one person.  Joseph Julian Gonzalez is one of the best composers I've met in Los Angeles and if you don't know who he is already, you should really get to know his work.  Both Joel and I have previously worked for him.  Our last project was for a documentary mini-series, "From Christ to Constantine".  Joel was the orchestrator I was the music programmer.  Joseph and his wife, Monique are also mentors for us and our career, giving us tips and advice that we couldn't have gone without.

To get to the point, Joseph is good friends with Mauricio, the director and one of the lead actors for "After School".  Mauricio offered the composing gig to Joseph, but Joseph couldn't do it for various reasons, so he recommended me and Joel!  I have to thank Joseph tremendously for doing this, because I would have never gotten this project if it weren't for him.  And not only that, but the film has opened up the door for bigger opportunities and I can now aim higher than I used to!

I feel extremely lucky right now and excited for whats to come. 

Aug 31, 2013

From Christ to Constantine

Recently I had the opportunity to work on a documentary mini-series, "From Christ to Constantine," with composer Joseph Julian Gonzalez.  I was the Music Programmer and Additional Orchestrator for the project.  I got the gig from my friend Joel Clarkson, a friend of mine from Berklee College of Music.  Joel has been the orchestrator for Joseph for a couple projects now.  For this particular documentary, the music production had to be finished in just one month, so they added me on, because there was no way they could do it alone.  It was a fun collaboration, and a fast paced one!  We had to finish 4 1/2 hours of music in just 4 weeks.  We even added my friend and roommate Akhil to the team for the last week because of the amount of work.  But we finally finished, and I am ready to take on more film scoring projects full force!

Here's a screen shot from the documentary of a statue of Constantine:

May 11, 2013

5 Months, 4 Internships!

Since the beginning of December, I've been lucky enough to be able to do consecutive internships with several film composers, including Hans Zimmer and his team, Henry Jackman, Ramin Djawadi, and Heitor Pereira.  And I've seen several films and shows in the progress of being scored, such as "Man of Steel", "Lone Ranger", "Kick-Ass 2", "Game of Thrones", "Pacific Rim", "Captain Phillips, "G.I. Joe Retaliation", "Twelve Years a Slave", "Smurfs 2", and "Person of Interest", to name a few.  And I also was able to see scoring sessions at Warner Brothers, Sony, and Fox Studios!

Remote Control inspires me because all of the composers there collaborate and help each other out, and once in a while, give each other films.  It's really crazy to think I've gotten to meet some of the people I idolize in my profession.  And I've gotten to learn so much about how film scoring studios are run, what programs professionals use, preparing for scoring sessions, sampling, editing, and organization (which is very important).

Whether I was assisting or going on "runs", it felt amazing to feel that I was part of these films.  And I can't wait to see them and listen to the scores in the theaters!

Here's some pictures to pump you up!

Oct 29, 2012

Short Animated Films

This summer, I had the opportunity to collaborate simultaneously with two Savannah College of Art and Design students who happened to be roommates.  They were both working on short animated films, and coincidentally, they both involved a female character going into a cave.

This first one, "Vow," was made by Bridget Underwood.  It's about how far someone is willing to go for revenge and it's repercussions.  "Vow" is starting to get a lot of hits on Vimeo right now.  It has close to 100,000 views!  It also just made it into the Anchorage International Film Festival!  Here is the Youtube link.  Hope you enjoy it!

For more information about Bridget Underwood and what she's up to, go here:

The second film that I worked on, "Illuminate," was made by Lauren Duda.  It's about a girl discovering a hidden cave and what she finds inside.  It was so much fun to work on this project because my roommate at the time, Andrew Cousineau, did all the sound design for the film.  Here's the Vimeo link to "Illuminate":

You can also see what Lauren Duda is doing here:

I learned a lot from these two projects.  They were both under five minutes, so every second of scoring was important.  I really had to hone in on perfecting the music and getting the feeling of the story completely correct.  I'm really proud of the end product for both of these films.  I feel lucky to have worked with such talented and friendly people.

May 13, 2012

Cine Gala

A couple weeks back, the chair of the film scoring department, Dan Carlin, lets me know that he would like to see me in his office ASAP.  This scared me a little bit, being in the last couple weeks of school and all.  I thought maybe I failed a class, or something worse.  So I get into his office and surprisingly, he gives me one of the biggest musical opportunities I've had thus far.  He told me that someone had contacted him and told him they needed someone to write all the incidental music for an awards ceremony.  They needed music every time a winner gets announced and walks up to the stage.  Him and the assistant chair, Alison Plante, decided to ask me!!

So I got in contact with the director of Cine Gala, Wendy Revel, and she told me what type of music she wanted and asked if I could have it by the following week.  So I wrote up a storm, got it in on time,  and she approved everything!  And as a reward, she flew me out to Washington D.C. to attend the awards ceremony!

So a little about Cine.  Cine is an organization dedicated to "promoting the careers of thousands of filmmakers through juried competitions, educational programs, and networking opportunities".  Cine Gala is their annual event where they recognize several honorees, who are already trail blazers and extremely successful in their careers, and they award up-and-coming filmmakers for short films and documentaries.

So on May 9th, I flew out to D.C. and first attended an interview with Marvin Hamlisch, a giant of film scorer.  He wrote the music for "The Spy Who Loved Me" (James Bond), "Sophie's Choice",  and "The Way We Were", just to name a few.  I was grateful to hear his honesty, and his words had weight to them, knowing that he is still working in the field.

Later that night I went to the main event.  Before the ceremony, there was a banquet where I got to meet many filmmakers, directors, and producers.  Many of them were already very successful and already working on mainstream television shows and short films.  It was also great to meet the short film and documentary nominees, they were excited to be there and very genuine.  During this time, I got to meet Marvin Hamlsich, Michael Uslan (executive producer of all the Batman films), Sheldon Harnick (lyricist for "Fiddler on the Roof"), and Eileen O'Neill (president of Discovery and TLC networks).  It was an honor to meet all these astonishing individuals.

We then went to the main stage for the awards show.  Unfortunately there was a production mistake.  There were video clips for every winner and honoree and for some reason the videos hadn't rendered correctly, so they didn't get to show them.  But other than that, it all ran smoothly.  And I got to hear my music played whenever the winners were announced!!!  After the event, Sheldon Harnick complimented me on my music.  Something I'll never forget.

This whole event couldn't have happened at a more perfect time.  The day before the event, my website was finalized by Tiama Hamkins-Indik.  Also the day before, Nathan Cote finished my shnazzy business cards.  Everything lined up so I could network with a room full of extremely talented people working in film.  I think I was the only film composer there other than Marvin Hamlisch!  Either way I cannot even begin to think of how to thank Dan Carlin and Alison Plante for recommending me. I'm exceptionally grateful to them.  They've been my mentors and friends ever since I declared film scoring as a major.

I'm hoping to work with some of the people that I met at Cine Gala.

To the future!  Cheers!


May 5, 2012

Scoring Silent Films

Last semester I took a class called Scoring Silent Films, with professor Sheldon Mirowitz.  In this class, four composers and I wrote all the music to the famous 1925 film, Battleship Potemkin, by Sergei Eisenstein.

The movie is a slightly fictionalized depiction of one of the first battles of the Soviet Revolution.  It was originally commissioned by Stalin as a communist propaganda film.  It was one of the first films to use a cinematic technique that we take for granted now called montage.

After orchestrating and composing under Sheldon's direction, we recorded all the music, and performed it live with a small orchestra to picture at Coolidge Corner Theatre.  The showing was a success, and we then had the amazing opportunity to perform Battleship Potemkin at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on March 9th.

Here's the link to the live performance:

This semester, I'm the intern for the Scoring Silent Films class along with another composer from last semester, Akhil Gopal (in the previous photograph, all the way to the right).  This semester there are seven composers writing the music for the 1929 film, Piccadilly.

Piccadilly is a prototypical film noir about a night club in London in the 1920's.  In the film there is jealousy, murder mystery, traditional chinese music, courtroom drama, and dance songs, all set in a jazz idiom.

The score is really fun and even includes an erhu, a traditional chinese instrument that resembles a 1-string violin played vertically.  You can come and see the performance at the Coolidge Corner Theatre this monday (May 7th) at 7p.m.  For more information go to the following link:

The experience of being a composer and an intern for the past two semesters has taught me so much.  I've learned from my teacher, the other composers, the players, and all of the countless mistakes I made.  After taking this class, I'm a different composer and a different person.  And I've also gained so many new friendships.  I'll never forget being a part of this impossible undertaking.

See you on monday!