Berklee today

OCT 2015

Berklee today is the official alumni publication of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a forum for contemporary music and musicians.

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Fall 2015 19 we wanted to score for this project, but usually you are not free to really express your personality when composing for movies. You have to do what the director wants. Having this freedom, I picked a video that I knew would allow me to com- pose something that sounds very classical. For my portfolio, I wrote a variety of pieces. We had to write for solo instru- ments, woodwind quartet, brass quartet, an ensemble of 14 instruments, and string orchestra. We also worked with MIDI and did sound design." Michlerová plans to keep developing her composing skills on whatever projects she can get. "I'm not sure that I will go back to stay in the Czech Republic," she says. "I'll search out other possibilities, I'd like to try London. For many of my class- mates, composing the music is not such a big deal. We need to meet the right people so that we will get the chance to compose. I want to connect with young flmmakers who are at the beginning of their careers too. Of course, you have to be earning money while building relationships, it will take time." By enrolling at Berklee Valencia, Fernando Nicknich (of Brazil) journeyed further down the path begun in his un- dergraduate program that blended music composition and music technology. Titled "Lux Aeterna," his cue was a soundtrack for a pastiche of seemingly unrelated computer generated images in a video created by Cristóbal Vila. "The video's theme is curious; I couldn't fnd a concept," Nicknich says. "The maker is not a director. He works with digital ani- mation and video graphics. He had a temp track, and I think he was inspired by that music in making the video." Nicknich reversed the process using the quickly changing images of Vila's video to inspire his music. Nicknich handled the orchestra very skillfully, opening with a swirling piano arpeggio fgure that led to sustained brass chords to sinewy cello lines supported by French horn ostinati. As the video images shift from shots of the galaxy to dew-laden spider webs to desert sandstone caves to swim- ming manta rays to the overleaf of a book, Nicknich's rav- ishing themes stitched everything together while drawing on the many colors of the orchestra's instrumental choirs. The cue ended with a spiraling gesture of lightly bowed violin tremolos on ascending glissandos, a soft cymbal roll under- neath. "I hope the video maker will release this with my music after I send him my mix," Nicknich says. "We have an agree- ment that I can—at least—post it on my website." I complimented Nicknich when he returned to the control room about his assured demeanor on the podium. He replied humbly, "I was confdent about my piece, but not so much about my conducting. But I've learned how to deal with this kind of pressure. You cannot do more than you are capable of at the time. I did my best in this moment, in two months I will do better." Nicknich will return to Brazil when his cur- rent visa expires, but may not launch his career there. "I hope to make connections with people in England or America and start working as a composer." Storylines, Autobiographical Sketches Among many composers whose cues were grounded in the contemporary orchestral flm music tradition, were Felix Carcone and Felipe Téllez. Carcone grew up pri- marily in France but has found inspiration in his Italian and Mediterranean heritage as well as the flm music of Hollywood. "When I was eight," Carcone says, "I got Hans Zimmer's soundtrack to the Lion King. Later, I heard the music of James Horner." At 15, he started playing rock and jazz gui- tar, but was drawn to studying classical music and completed degree programs at a French conservatory and university be- fore studying at Berklee Valencia. Of his Abbey Road project Carcone says, "Getting a chance to record a piece here with a great orchestra was my dream. But I was very stressed feeling that I had to write something really great. My frst piece was not what I felt I should record. So three days before the deadline I started writing a new piece called 'The Last Stand,' and worked on it day and night, fnishing just before we all few to London." For his cue, Carcone envisioned a storyline about a cham- pion runner doing the fnal course in a 100-meter race. He confded that it was somewhat autobiographical. He iden- tifed with his imaginary protagonist and the race repre- sented his fnal music project. On the podium at Abbey Road, Carcone showed a dramatic fair in his conducting and was pleased with the take he got. "I have eight projects in my portfolio with some pieces for chamber orchestra, and others for woodwinds, brass, and more. It was important to show that I can do [a full-orchestra] project too." As for the future, he says, "I am hoping to make some London contacts from this trip. For now, the plan is to go back to Paris where my family lives and start showing people what I can do." Felipe Téllez, of Colombia, wrote the cue titled "Nocturno," also to a storyline sans video. Its lush melodic theme begins in the woodwinds and strings followed by a poignant piano solo that leads to a dark, tension-flled sec- tion before the reprise of the theme. Téllez attended the University of the Andes in Bogotá with a double major in music production and composi- tion before he came to Valencia. "I wanted to go into music, but I am also a very tech-oriented person. That's why this major was right for me." While his career preference would be writing for flm, he's also intrigued with scoring for video games. "It's a niche you can't ignore, games are a huge busi- ness," he says. Following his graduation, he will remain in Valencia for another year to do a fellowship. "I'm working on a program to further integrate Berklee with the community of musicians in Valencia," Téllez says. "I'm working to form collaborations with teenage players from local conservatories and bring them into the Berklee studios to give them experi- ence as session musicians recording for flm." Téllez is continuing with his own projects that include re- mote sessions with conductors and orchestral players from Budapest. "I have to start cranking out work," he says. "You can't get work if you are not working—even if the project will cost you rather than make you money. I love everything about this work: writing, orchestrating, making mockups. I also love mixing because I have a production background. So many people say there is no one avenue to a stable posi- tion in the flm industry. But there are certain gateways, and if you try each of them, one will lead you to where you need to go." Téllez may return to his hometown of Cali, Colombia, after the fellowship. Many Colombian flm productions are done by people from that city. "I'm in this for the long haul. It won't be a one-year endeavor." Fernando Nicknish FelixCarcone FelipeTélllez SatishRaghunathan

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