Countdown to Graduation

Greetings, faithful readers! No, this isn’t the long-awaited London update just yet.

First, a couple of housekeeping notes about some new features here at the podium. You may have already observed that I am also counting down to graduation with a handy timer over on the right sidebar. As well, how about you hover your mouse over the “Composer” tab in the upper-right corner?

Yeah, just like that.

You should see a menu appear with “Audio” and “Video.” Check them out!

Second, as I mentioned in my last post, I am marking the countdown to graduation by releasing selected works from the second semester. My current plan is to issue two releases per week for 2-3 weeks, so please stay tuned to my SoundCloud for the latest Federmusik.

Here are this week’s pieces, both of which were written in February.

No-Do – The House on the Hill

This is a re-score of a scene from No-Do (“News and Docs”/”The Beckoning”), written in early February for my Dramatic Orchestration course, focusing on creating motion using only the string family of the orchestra. The music for this film was originally composed by Alfons Conde, my Dramatic Orchestration instructor. Here is the music by itself:

El Perseguidor

At the end of the month, I was in the studio as a producer to direct two students, MT Aditya Srinivasan, currently completing his Master’s in Contemporary Performance, and Ilias Papantoniou, an ERASMUS exchange student from Greece who was interning at Berklee. Ilias has since been accepted to pursue his Master’s with a major in performance here at Berklee in Valencia next year. This piece was a rescore of the teaser trailer for an aborted television series, El Perseguidor (“The Chaser”), which was in development in the 1990s by Argentinian director Ernesto Kullock. Two more Berklee film scoring students assisted all of us on this project by redoing the voiceover and sound effect tracks. Kudos to Niko and Lawrence for their hard work (and thanks for providing us with in-joke fodder that will never get old).

Here is the trailer:

Here is the music by itself:

This recording differed from all of the others in many ways: we were instructed specifically not to use orchestral instruments in our synth backing track, we were producing our own recording session (our only previous experience with that, in this context, was our first Budapest recording, and even then, we were working with production teams both here and in Budapest), and, primarily, not only were we working with musicians who were our peers and not contracted professionals, we were working with musicians who were not trained in the Western classical tradition. Adapting our methods of writing and working with musicians who were not born and bred in the orchestra was one of the challenges of this session. I was very fortunate to have Lucio there as my co-producer; even though he actually only needed to step in and assist me at the very end of the session, his presence as a guide and mentor was very comforting. Later, Lucio remarked that he was surprised at how seriously the percussionists took my session. Perhaps my reputation precedes me.

The gentlemen in action.

Through this semester and its multiple opportunities to produce my own work, I gained an appreciation for the utility to be one’s own producer. However, I found that it was much easier for me to produce (or co-produce) the work of my peers, rather than performing that role for myself. All things being equal, I still prefer to be on the podium, with the musicians in front of me and the click in my ear. Even as a producer, in this session, I managed the opportunity to cue the musicians in at key points in the recording, albeit from the other side of the glass. Once a conductor, always a conductor, I suppose.

Stay tuned through the rest of this month for more music!

¡Hasta luego!

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