Composers of the Day
Jan 25 2009
Michael Bacon’s recent projects include the theme for Bill Moyer’s Journal, Boy Interrupted for Perry Films, African American Lives for Kuhnhart Productions, The Trials of Robert Oppenheimer (2009) for David Grubin and the features Loverboy and Red Betsy. Industry accolades lining Bacon’s résumé include an Emmy for his score for The Kennedys, an ACE Award nomination for his score The Man Who Loved Sharks, and a BMI Award and Chicago International Film Festival Gold Plaque Award for his musical contribution to LBJ. A skilled songwriter, Bacon has penned compositions recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis, Carlene Carter, Peter Yarrow and Claude Francois, to name but a few. He and his brother Kevin perform live as The Bacon Brothers, and their sixth album, entitled New Year’s Day, is slated for release in 2009. Bacon has a degree in music from Lehman College where he studied composition and orchestration with John Corigliano.
Jan 24 2009
Miriam Cutler has an extensive background in scoring for independent film & TV projects, as well as two circuses. Her passion for documentary film has led to a focus in non-fiction, and her credits include award-winning and festival favorites Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, Thin, Chris and Don: A Love Story, China Blue, Absolute Wilson, Lost In La Mancha, Scouts Honor, Pandemic: Facing AIDS, Licensed to Kill and more. Cutler has served as lab advisor for Sundance Institute’s Documentary Composers Lab, as well as on documentary juries for the Sundance Film Festival, Independent Spirit Awards, International Documentary Association Awards, and American Film Institute’s Festival Awards and is also a Society of Composers and Lyricists Board member. In addition to her work as a composer, she has co-produced live jazz albums on PolyGram/Verve for Joe Williams (two Grammy-nominated albums), Nina Simone, Shirley Horn, and Marlena Shaw, as well as independently released albums of her own songs and soundtracks. Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech will be screened at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Jan 24 2009
A native of North Carolina, Craig Richey graduated from the Juilliard School of Music with a master’s degree in piano performance. He began scoring films in New York, and his first score, When It’s Over, won critical praise in LA Weekly. Since moving to Los Angeles, Richey’s credits include Lovely & Amazing, Friends with Money, The Gymnast, Blue State (additional music), The King of Kong, Gardens Of The Night, Wonderful World and The September Issue. Richey is a Sundance Composer’s Lab Fellow, invited to participate in the 2006 lab at the Sundance Institute. Also a singer-songwriter, his songs have been featured in Lovely & Amazing, Friends with Money, and The King of Kong. Richey also composed a piece for an orchestra fashioned out of Ford Focus car parts for Ford UK; Richey’s unique creation is accessible through YouTube by searching for “Ford Focus Orchestra.”
Marco d’Ambrosio & Ben Decter
Jan 23 2009
Marco d’Ambrosio is a composer, producer, trumpet player, multi-instrumentalist and all-around noise wrangler. He has scored numerous award-winning films, documentaries and theatre projects including the anime hit Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust, Haiku Tunnel (Sundance 2001), the Emmy-winning documentary Blink, Double Dare for PBS, and Red Diaper Baby for the Sundance Channel. Other scores of d’Ambrosio’s have been on projects released by 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Classics, Lucasfilm Ltd., PDI/Dreamworks, Pixar, and Columbia TriStar. One of his latest scores is featured in The Rape of Europa, currently screening in theatres nationwide and for which he just received an Insight Award for Excellence from the National Association of Film and Digital Media Artists. D’Ambrosio is also responsible for creating much of the dynamic sound and music heard in the acclaimed Lucasfilm THX trailers. In 2005, Marco d’Ambrosio was awarded the prestigious film scoring fellowship from the Sundance Institute.
Ben Decter is an Emmy Award-winning composer and songwriter who has created a diverse body of music for numerous films and television series. His Emmy recognized his score for the PBS documentary Operation Homecoming, while he also scored the Emmy-nominated Peter Jennings/ABC News Special celebrating the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. Recently, Decter co-created the score for documentary We Live in Public, which will debut at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Ben has also created music for dozens of commercials for mega-corporations including Honda, Bellsouth and Lifesavers. Ben also composed a much-loved children’s album, Another Big Day, and is currently at work on a new musical Born in Manhattan. Raised in New Jersey, Ben Decter graduated from Harvard University, where he majored in political science.
Duncan Sheik & David Poe
Jan 23 2009
In addition to writing the music for Spring Awakening (2007 Tony Award winner for Best Orchestrations and Best Original Score, 2008 Grammy Award winner for Best Musical Show Album), Sheik’s other theater credits currently in development include Nero (Another Golden Rome), The Nightingale, and Whisper House. An accomplished singer-songwriter, Sheik’s recorded works include Whisper House (Sony/Victor 2009), White Limousine (Rounder 2006), Daylight (Atlantic Records 2002), Phantom Moon (Nonesuch 2001), Humming (Atlantic Records 1998), and the 1996 Grammy-nominated Duncan Sheik (Atlantic Records). He has also made multiple forays into film scoring, including the upcoming DARE, 2008’s Little Spirit: Christmas in New York, Capers (2007) and The Cake Eaters (2007), while as a producer, Sheik has spearheaded Holly Brook’s forthcoming CD, Micah Green’s eponymous project, the Spring Awakening album featuring the original cast, and Chris Garneau (2006).
David Poe is a performing musician, songwriter and composer for film, dance and theater. He has released three studio albums and two live albums to date: his eponymous debut, produced by T-Bone Burnett (Sony/550), The Late Album (Sony/Epic), Love Is Red (Universal/Fuel), David Poe Live & Solo (The Artists Den) and a live performance DVD, David Poe Onstage at World Café (Universal.) His latest effort will be released this year. Poe’s songs and scores have been featured in numerous film and television projects, including Transamerica, Capers, Dare, and Little Spirit, as well as in Sam Shepard’s play The Tooth of Crime, and The Copier, a dance installation commissioned by New York’s Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Poe has scored three films with frequent collaborator Duncan Sheik, and currently, the two are hard at work on a project called The I Love You.
Jan 22 2009
Lili Haydn’s prodigious skill prompted George Clinton to dub her “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin” and Rolling Stone to call her “fiery and virtuosic.” Violinist, vocalist, and composer Haydn has released three critically acclaimed major label albums, and her collaborations with icons including Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock, and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are legendary. While Haydn was the featured voice and violin on several projects by Hans Zimmer and others including films Pirates of the Caribbean, The Burning Plain, and The Unborn, Over the Hills and Far Away marks Haydn’s first full film score composing credit, which she shares with wonderful composer-guitarist Kim Carroll.
Anton Sanko & T. Griffin
Jan 21 2009
Anton Sanko was born and raised in New York City, where he attended New York University to study music theory and composition. Also a skilled guitarist, Sanko studied guitar and composition with jazz legend Ralph Towner and classical guitar with Julio Prol. After joining Suzanne Vega’s band in 1985, Sanko recorded the album Solitude Standing with Vega the following year; the project proceeded to garner a staggering seven Grammy nominations. As a producer, Sanko helmed Vega’s Days of Open Hand, along with work from Anna Domino, Jim Carroll, Lucy Kaplansky, and Skeleton Key. His first foray into film scoring was for longtime friend Jonathan Demme’s documentary Cousin Bobby, and since that successful debut, Sanko has scored more than 25 films including Saving Face, Party Girl, Scotland, Pa., Strangeland, An Occasional Hell, Delirious, One Last Thing, and Last Winter. In addition to replacing David Byrne as the new composer for HBO’s Big Love, Sanko composed the original score for 2009 Sundance Film Festival competitor Against the Current.
T. Griffin is a songwriter, composer and producer based in Brooklyn, NY. Alone and with his band The Quavers, he has released four critically acclaimed CDs in a homespun electronic style that’s been described as “porch techno.” Griffin’s scores for film include Tze Chun’s Children Of Invention (Sundance ‘09), Michael Almereyda’s New Orleans, Mon Amour (SXSW 2008), Kim Reed’s Telluride sensation Prodigal Sons (2008), and Esther Robinson’s Berlin Teddy Award winner A Walk Into The Sea (2007), while his theater work includes Anne Bogart’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has collaborated with Jem Cohen regularly for a decade, from live soundtrack experiments at NYC’s Collective Unconscious to Empires of Tin which closed the 2007 Viennale. As a producer and player, Griffin has worked with luminaries including Vic Chesnutt, Patti Smith, Tom Verlaine and members of godspeed you! black emperor, Fugazi and The Ex. Griffin was a 2008 fellow at the Sundance Institute Composer’s Lab.
Jan 19 2009
At only 37 years old, Chris Lennertz has scored 36 films, four network series, and many of the world’s most popular interactive titles, in addition to spending multiple weeks on the Billboard charts. After studying composition, arranging, and theory in high school, Lennertz moved to California to study at USC’s Thornton School of Music with Academy Award-winner Elmer Bernstein, Christopher Young, and David Raksin. Named Best New Composer in 2002 by Cinemusic, Lennertz garnered a Grammy the same year for his collaboration with genre-synergists Ozomatli. In addition to winning an Interactive Academy Award for Medal of Honor: Rising Sun and the 2007 Filmmusic Award for Best Independent Feature Score for Tortilla.
Jan 18 2009
Clint Mansell is a Golden Globe-nominated musician and composer and former lead singer and guitarist of Pop Will Eat Itself. Mansell broke into the world of film scoring in 1996 when his friend, director Darren Aronofsky, hired him to score his first two films, the second of which, Requiem for a Dream, became a cult hit. “Lux Aeterna” from the Requiem for a Dream score experienced a jolt of new life when a rearranged version, dubbed “Requiem for a Tower,” was tapped as a key part of the trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. The original “Lux Aeterna” also resurfaced in a slew of outlets, including trailers for the Red Sox-Yankee games during 2007, films Zathura, The Da Vinci Code, Sunshine, Babylon A.D. and the TV series Lost. He also composed music for the pilot episode of CSI: NY, the theme for the film The Hole, and the Golden Globe-nominated score for Aronofsky’s The Fountain. Most recently, Mansell contributed the score to HBO’s Voyeur and the film Moon.
Nick Urata & Kent Sparling
Jan 17 2009
Nick Urata of DeVotchka
Classically trained multi-instrumentalist Nick Urata fronts indie rock revolutionaries DeVotchka. DeVotchka released three albums before being tapped to compose the original score and contribute previously released DeVotchka songs for film Little Miss Sunshine in 2005. Urata’s dramatic vocals spin stories with operatic flair and provide the ideal partner for the group’s epic and inspired instrumentation, which simultaneously plumbs Mexican roots music, chamber orchestras, and fervent rock & roll. The band released their fourth full-length album, A Mad and Faithful Telling, in 2008, generating another round of smitten acclaim. Urata also composed the original score for I Love You Phillip Morris, which will be screened at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Kent Sparling is a composer of experimental electro-acoustic music, with six album releases since 1997 to his credt: Route Canal Diary, Under New Manna, Camphor and Caraway, Leaf Spring, Evening Air, Freeway Birds, No Wind Birds and Indian King. He works as a re-recording mixer and sound designer for film, based out of George Lucas’ Skywalker Sound in Northern California. His feature film credits include Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette; Mike Mills’ Thumbsucker; Spike Jonez’s Adaptation.; James Gray’s We Own the Night and Two Lovers; Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer; and Lance Hammer’s acclaimed debut, Ballast. He has composed original scores for Wayne Wang’s Princess of Nebraska, AD Liano’s Seven Fallen Objects, and Eduardo Sanchez’s Seventh Moon (with Antonio Cora). He recently completed the score for Frazer Bradshaw’s Everything Strange and New (in collaboration with Daniel Plonsey), which premieres at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Adam Gorgoni & David Bergeaud
Jan 16 2009
A native of New York City and the son of a studio musician, Adam Gorgoni spent many of his earliest days in recording studios absorbing diverse styles and techniques of music making. His eclectic musical upbringing allows him to combine the best of the acoustic and orchestral traditions with the ever-expanding sonic palette of the digital age. Recent scoring credits include the HBO documentary I Knew It Was You; Andrew Wagner’s Sundance favorite Starting Out In The Evening; Karen Moncrieff’s The Dead Girl, which was nominated for 3 Independent Spirit Awards in 2006 including Best Picture; Blue Car for Miramax; the hit comedy Waiting for Lions Gate; Ray Romano’s comedy 95 Miles To Go; the HBO Original Path To Paradise; and more. His work in television includes the new comedy Surviving Suburbia, the critically acclaimed CW series Aliens In America, Lorne Michaels’ ABC comedy Sons and Daughters as well as shows for NBC, Disney, Discovery Channel, Bravo, and National Geographic Network. Gorgoni is a graduate of Harvard University and has also studied composition and orchestration at Manhattan School of Music, Eastman Conservatory, in addition to production/engineering at the Berklee College of Music. Documentary I Knew It Was You will be screened at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Versatile film, television, and video game composer David Bergeaud was born in Paris and began his musical education at the age of 5. He spent his formative years traveling throughout Europe, the Middle East, and East Africa with his father, an accomplished stage director and choreographer, and mother, an acclaimed singer. Bergeaud studied music in a classical conservatory and privately for ten years before his desire to study both jazz and contemporary electronic music prompted his move to Los Angeles, where he currently resides. He has scored television programs including MGM/Showtime award-winning The Outer Limits and award-winning primetime series Strong Medicine; films including Motorcycle Diaries, Prince Valiant, 21 Grams, Grizzly Man, Wrongfully Accused, Kurt & Courtney, and The Pianist; and video games including the Ratchet and Clank series and Resistance: Fall of Man. Bergeaud also composed the score for U.S./Iranian film The Glass House, which will be screened at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Teddy Castellucci & Mychael Danna
Jan 7 2009
Best known for his award-winning work in comedy projects. As the composer for numerous Adam Sandler films, Castellucci created the BMI Film Music Award-winning scores for The Wedding Singer, Anger Management, 50 First Dates, Big Daddy, and Mr. Deeds, along with films Little Nicky, The Longest Yard, Good Advice, My Boss’s Daughter, Are We Done Yet?, and Repli-Kate. The skilled composer also enjoys a distinct place in pop culture trivia: In addition to appearing on screen as a guitarist in The Wedding Singer, his last name surfaces as character names in both The Wedding Singer and Big Daddy. Teddy Castellucci also composed the score for film Arlen Farber, slated for screening at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Recognized as one of the most versatile and original voices currently composing film music, Mychael Danna has collaborated with a bevy of acclaimed directors including Ash Brannon, Chris Buck, Jonathan Dayton, Atom Egoyan, Valerie Faris, Terry Gilliam, Catherine Hardwicke, Scott Hicks, Neil LaBute, Ang Lee, Gillies MacKinnon, James Mangold, Deepa Mehta, Bennett Miller, Mira Nair, Billy Ray, Todd Robinson, Joel Schumacher, Charles Martin Smith, István Szabó and Denzel Washington. Danna studied music composition at the University of Toronto, winning the Glenn Gould Composition Scholarship in 1985. His film and TV credits include The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Mor wa al rumman, al- (Pomegranates and Myrrh), Lakeview Terrace, Little Miss Sunshine, Management, Heaven on Earth, Stone of Destiny, Adoration, Trucker, New Amsterdam, Love Hurts, Reclassified, and Legacy. Pomegranates and Myrrh will be screened at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.