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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20 Berklee today One for India Satish Raghunathan (of Chennai, India) titled his cue "15 August 1947" marking the day when India gained indepen- dence from Britain. "I wrote to a script, but not one with synch points," Raghunathan says. "The music portrays the emotion and the history of Indian people being under British rule." The cue is in two distinct halves. The frst is in an im- itative classical style. "It is dolorous in the frst half," he says. "There were some very sad things that happened in our history with Britain. Then there are four bars of silence symbolizing divided rule that caused a rift between Indian Hindus and Muslims. The second half portrays the victory of India gaining independence. I chose the key of C major be- cause it feels to me like a naturally victorious key." Raghunathan will return to India to launch his career. He had worked as a keyboard programmer and arranger in the Indian flm industry for four years prior enrolling in Valencia's master's program. "I plan to go back," he says. "After this year, I feel reassured that I've been on the right track, and I am ready now to take off. There is such a huge flm in- dustry in India, but only the people at the top league have the freedom to use the orchestra. It's not used as much as it is in Hollywood or Europe. I hope to change the sound and think we can use the orchestral sound for the Asian emotional quo- tient. Some of the lesser-known Indian composers have a fear of writing for the orchestra. But after doing a three-minute cue in 18 minutes, I feel I will know how to use a movie pro- ducer's money judiciously." A Fairy Tale For her cue, Belén Vivero of Quito, Ecuador, forwent a video, opting to underscore the storyline of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale The Ugly Duckling. "I love that story be- cause the duckling was not really ugly, just different," she says. "The story has a lot of different emotions—drama, sad- ness, and joy—that I wanted to convey. I was always excited to know that even though there were sad parts, the ending was happy." Vivero's cue was largely melodic, opening with winds and strings trading themes. A middle section, book- ended with lovely cello and violin solos, portrays a bit of anxiety before the work's more calm conclusion that fnishes on a triumphant D-fat major triad. Belén, her husband Alec, and their young son came to Berklee Valencia in 2013 so Alec could pursue a master's de- gree in the Music Technology Innovation program. Before that, Belén had studied contemporary performance for piano at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (a member school in the Berklee International Network). As a fgure skater in her youth, skating to classical and flm music left a deep impres- sion on her. When Alec graduated in 2014, the couple faced a tough decision. "I heard about everything that was going on in the [Valencia] flm scoring program and really wanted to do that," Belén says. "Alec was hired by Chico State University in California, but when I was accepted to this program, we got very excited. I decided to stay here with our son while he went to the States. It was a very hard year—a lot of sacri- fce—but it was worth it." Since graduating, Belén and her son have reunited with Alec at Chico State. "There is a theater department there," she says, "and I am really interested in collaborating on the- ater works to get more experience writing." Looking ahead, she says, "My husband is American, so we will stay in the States for a while, but will leave the door open for returning to Ecuador. The flm industry is developing in Quito, and I'd like to collaborate with people there where I grew up." Korean Connection Jimin Kim hails from Seoul, South Korea and earned her undergraduate degree in flm scoring at Berklee Boston, graduating in 2013. She met her future husband Jongho You at Berklee, and they married in Seoul before heading for Valencia where each pursued a master's degree in flm scor- ing. (Unfortunately, I was not able to hear You's Abbey Road project; his session took place before my arrival.) Kim's cue "Flip" was created for a 3-D animated flm de- picting paper dolls being torn and papers fying about. But Kim decided against conducting to picture. "I didn't bring it here," she says. "I've watched it more than 100 times and just wanted to work with the music." Her cue begins with solo clarinet joined by bassoon ac- companiment a few bars later before the full orchestra en- ters. Throughout, Kim contrasted sparse and full textures that facilitated shifts in the mood of the music from peaceful to tense and back again. Dark, low brass fgures, pounding tympani, and swirling whole-tone lines in the high winds un- derpinned with occasional piano accompaniment showcased her colorful sense of orchestration. As for future plans, Kim says, "We are thinking of either going to Los Angles or staying in Europe for a while. But as someone who has studied abroad, I'd like to teach flm com- posing to young students in Korea. Before I came to the U.S. I couldn't fnd programs dedicated to teaching flm scoring there. It's now opening up and I feel I will have a lot to offer in Korea after all of my studies. Having the master's degree will help me fnd work at a university there." American Peter Eddins of Kansas City, MO, was among the last to take the podium. He chose to score the murder mystery short titled "The Clean Up." "A buddy from my un- dergrad years at Truman State University went into directing movies," Eddins says. "But I didn't know that until I was looking for a movie on Vimeo and came across his name. I liked his flm and it had no music, so it was perfect for me." Without dialogue, the video portrays a man who has ap- parently just killed his wife and is searching the Internet for information on disposing of her remains that lie in a pool of blood on the foor. Eddins's score highlights the tension throughout and ends with an enigmatic chord and rumbling tympanies accompanying the visual of the incredulity of the murderer discovering that the woman's body has mysteri- ously disappeared. Thrilled with how his cue turned out, Eddins said after- ward, "Nothing can compare to the culminating experience we've had here. I had tricked myself into thinking that I was ready, but when I actually stepped onto the podium, I felt that I might have been a bit naive. But the players here were great, they are doing what they love. Consequently every- one's session turned out really well. This whole experience has been wonderful." Afterthoughts While commenting on the work of all 33 composers was not feasible in this article, it should be noted the musical standard remained very high throughout both days of the sessions. The projects—including music created for dramas, animations, video games, and more—were all impressive. After the last cue was recorded, the orchestral musicians took the time to pass advice along to the young composers gathered on the soundstage foor. The comments included counsel on proofreading carefully and repeatedly to ferret out notation errors and the use of enharmonically spelled notes within a single bar that can result when exporting MIDI fles to a notation program. "It's confusing to read a C double-fat and Belén Vivero Jongho You (left) and Jimin Kim Peter Eddins EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

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