2019 began with an exciting new project, Sprite Sisters, a German feature film which I worked on as Lead Orchestrator. The recording sessions were held in Belgium with members of the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by the composer, Anne-Kathrin Dern. The movie is scheduled to be released at the end of the year.
In the Fall of 2018, I was contacted by Anne about the project and was excited to join her in working on it. I’m looking forward to seeing the final product and working with Anne again on future films.
While working on Sprite Sisters, I was thrilled to be invited by AVID to give a presentation with Anne at The NAMM Show about the process of writing music for films. Our topic of conversation was to describe our collaboration between composer and orchestrator on a feature film. Anne spoke about her own creative process in developing the music and the way in which she delivers the music to me for orchestration. I then shared information about my work flow using Sibelius as my notation software to create the scores and offered my tips and tricks of the trade to the audience members. This was a wonderful experience and I have to thank Anne and AVID for allowing me to participate.
In 2008, I became a founding member of the Foundation Symphony Orchestra of Bogota (FOSBO). I worked both as a pianist in the orchestra and an administrator. The orchestra played seasonal concerts at the Fine Arts Theater in Bogota and established an annual New Year’s Concert tradition.
I was privileged to be a part of the orchestra and it’s successes over the years as it grew as an organization. Now that I am living in the United States, I remain closely connected to the orchestra and was excited to create an arrangement for the New Year’s Concert this year. The arrangement was a medley of popular works made famous by Colombian pop singer, Carlos Vives, and was the first time I was given the opportunity to write for such a large ensemble including choir (El Coro de La Opera de Colombia), orchestra (FOSBO), and a piano soloist (Eduardo Rojas). The concert was conducted by Maestro Felipe Aguirre and was the celebration for thousands of Colombians which rang in the start of 2019.
As a child, I only listened to classical music, but when I was around 13 years old I discovered System of a Down and had a life changing moment. I realized I loved their music and was especially drawn to the voice of Serj Tankian, their lead singer. Since then I have followed the band and continue to be a fan.
In 2018 I found out that Serj Tankian was hosting a composition competition and I was eager to create a work to submit.The competition was called the 7 Notes Experiment and all entries were required to begin with the 7 notes chosen by Serj. I wanted to write a piece for an unconventional ensemble and the 7 notes “leitmotif” led me to write for 7 cellos and percussion. I titled the piece, “Sweet and Spicy”, combining the sensual and rich sounds of the cello with a rhythmic pattern typical of both Asian and Colombian styles.
The piece was selected as one of the top 100 entries out of more than 2,000 submissions.
I’m working at JoAnn Kane Music Service! One of the dream jobs I’ve aspired to, I feel myself so fortunate, proud, and lucky to be a part of the JKMS team. Working at this company has introduced me to a variety of music preparation sources, and a lot of wonderful people. As part of this team, I’ve been fortunate enough to work for our biggest clients including John Williams and Alexander Desplat, and on projects such as The Simpsons (big fan!!) and Family Guy.
The premier music preparation house in Hollywood, we at JoAnn Kane offer a wide range of music preparation services including orchestration, preparation of scores and parts, audio takedowns, MIDI transcriptions, and scanning of scores. A particular feature of JKMS is their private library of original film scores, including the Harry Potter series, The Omen, A Chorus Line, E.T, The King’s Speech, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, to name but a few.
Apart from working for the film and TV industry, we also work with clients in the live performance arena, for top-notch arrangers who work for Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban, Seth McFarlane, Diana Krall, and many more.
I had the good fortune to work for orchestrator Jeremy Levy on the score transcriptions of Crimson Peak as part of composer Tim Davies’ team. Crimson Peak is a fantasy-horror movie (released for Halloween 2015), directed by award-winning director Guillermo del Toro and starring Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Alice in Wonderland), Jessica Chastain (Maya in Zero Dark Thirty), and Tom Hiddleston (best known as Loki in the Avengers series).
Tim wrote additional music for this movie based on the main themes composed by Fernando Velázquez. Working behind the scenes on MIDI cleanup, sketching, and proof reading offered me valuable insights into the workings of an orchestrator’s job. One of the best surprises I’ve had was when I went to watch the movie in the theater. After the movie ended, I stayed back to see the credits roll, and was so pleased to see my name appear!
My second Halloween release, and first credit as orchestrator in Hollywood, appears in the movie Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, a recently-released horror-comedy film directed by Paranormal Activity-director Christopher B. Landon with Tye Sheridan (young Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse – to be released) and Logan Miller as the leads. The composer of the music for Scouts is Matthew Margeson, with the orchestration done by Tim Davies. As a member of Davies’ team, I orchestrated parts of the background score to this movie.
It has been an incredible feeling working as an orchestrator for Scouts! Being my first orchestrator credit, the many hours I put into this were eclipsed by the amount of on-the-job knowledge I gained.