BMI Announces 2004 Sundance Composers Lab Fellows

Posted in News on July 21, 2004
BMI is once again an anchor sponsor of the annual Sundance Institute Composers Lab, which marks its seventh year beginning July 20 and runs until August 4 in Sundance, Utah. BMI's Doreen Ringer Ross, Vice President of Film/TV Relations, returns as a founding advisor.

This year's lab features Composers Lab Fellows Peter Fitzpatrick, Aiko Fukushima, Joseph Julian Gonzalez, Gary Louris, Raz Mesinai and Frank Macchia. During the two-week lab, fellows participate in workshops and creative exercises under the guidance of leading film composers and film music professionals. The Composers Lab participants also collaborate with filmmakers from the Sundance Institute's Feature Film Program to explore the process of writing music for film and to create accompanying scores for scenes shot by the Filmmaker Fellows during the Institute's Filmmakers Lab.

The Composers Lab is a major component of the Sundance Institute Film Music Program, which is dedicated to supporting emerging film composers and enhancing the role of music in independent film. First offered from 1986-1989, the Composers Lab was re-introduced in the summer of 1998 to provide a collaborative and supportive environment in which composers can experiment and expand their musical language. The Composers Lab provides valuable first-hand experience in composing for film and enhances the musical understanding of independent filmmakers participating in the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program.

"This is a program that we've always been involved with - from its inception to its reintroduction in 1998," said Ringer Ross. "By supporting and educating composers who have unique and independent vision, we're helping to foster a new community of original and important music. By pairing it with the Directors and Producers labs at the Institute, we're able to build relationships and understanding of the creative process and help both sides understand the process behind each art."

"Music is a crucial and often overlooked part of the filmmaking process," explains Peter Golub, Director, Sundance Institute Film Music Program. "This Lab provides a unique opportunity for emerging composers and directors to work together in an atmosphere that encourages experimentation. Interest in this program continues to grow and this year's fellows represent an extraordinary level of accomplishment and range of musical experience. We're very excited about the work we'll be doing with them and the impact we have on the fellows in the Filmmakers Lab."

In addition to their work with the Filmmakers Lab Fellows, Composers Lab participants will work under the mentorship of a distinguished group of composers, film composers, filmmakers and film industry professionals. For the first time, two internationally renowned and widely performed composers, John Adams and Osvaldo Golijov, are joining the Lab's group of creative advisors.

In addition to Adams, Golijov and BMI's Doreen Ringer Ross, other creative advisors include film composers Thomas Newman (FINDING NEMO, AMERICAN BEAUTY, THE SHAWSHANK REDEPTION), Rolfe Kent (MEAN GIRLS, ABOUT SCHMIDT, ELECTION), Ed Shearmur (SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, WINGS OF THE DOVE, CHARLIE'S ANGELS); Jeff Beal (POLLOCK, CARNIVALE, MONK) and former fellow Camara Kambon (CITIZEN KING, BIKER BOYZ); director Mark Waters (MEAN GIRLS, FREAKY FRIDAY, HOUSE OF YES); music editor Bill Bernstein (ROAD TO PERDITION, AMERICAN BEAUTY, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION); music supervisor/consultant Evyen Klean (ANGELS IN AMERICA, S.W.A.T., REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES); music supervisor Tracy McKnight (EVERYDAY PEOPLE, MY ARCHITECT: A SON'S JOURNEY, THE UNITED STATES OF LELAND); film music agent Robert Messinger (First Artists); and sound designer Leslie Shatz (ELEPHANT, FAR FROM HEAVEN, GERRY).

2004 Sundance Institute Film Music Lab Fellows

Peter Fitzpatrick
Peter Fitzpatrick is a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist. His band, The Pee Wee Fist, recently released The Rusty Bantam LP with the video "Herons," which he directed. Fitzpatrick is also in the band Clem Snide, whose music is featured in the movie BOOK OF LOVE, which premiered at Sundance in 2004. He recently directed and scored a short film called IRIS, starring a robotic hamster.

Aiko Fuskushima
Aiko Fukushima studied Filmscoring and Jazz Composition at the Berklee College of Music. She has participated in the BMI Pete Carpenter Fellowship, Henry Mancini Institute and Society of Composers and Lyricist mentor program. She works primarily with jazz and classical music to create a unique blend of styles and vocals. Fuskushima is currently working as a freelance composer and orchestrator in the Los Angeles area.

Joseph Julian Gonzalez
Joseph Julian Gonzalez is a film and television composer with credits that include the features CURDLED and PRICE OF GLORY, the television series RESURRECTION BLVD and the Britney Spears' music video "Oops, I Did It Again." His concert music includes commissions for the Kronos Quartet and he has been awarded residencies from Meet The Composer and the American Composers Forum.

Gary Louris
Gary Louris is the immensely gifted songwriter, lead guitar player and vocalist for the Jayhawks - arguably the most widely acclaimed band to merge from the alternative country scene.

Raz Mesinai
Raz Mesinai is a New York-based composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist who specializes in Middle Eastern percussion and electronics. His music has been performed at the Lincoln Center Festival, Roulette and the Next, Next Wave Festival, and has been heard in the feature films BLACK HAWK DOWN and THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE, as well as several independent and documentary films. Mesinai also records under the name "Badawi."

Frank Macchia
Frank Macchia is a jazz/classical composer whose works have been performed by the San Francisco Symphony and local professional jazz musicians at the Summer Music Workshop Programs. He attended and later taught at Berklee College of Music, and won Down Beat magazine's DB award for original big band composition in 1979. He has worked with many musicians as a composer and arranger, including Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and many others. He has worked as a composer and orchestrator on many film and television projects, including Miracle, X2-Xmen United, Ghosts of the Abyss and The Tonight Show.

The Sundance Institute Composers Lab receives continuing major support from founding sponsor BMI. Additional in-kind support for the 2004 Composers Lab is generously provided by Alesis, Apple Computer, Mark of the Unicorn, Mackie and Yamaha.

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is dedicated to the development of artists of independent vision and the exhibition of their new work. Since its inception, the Institute has grown into an internationally recognized resource for filmmakers and other artists. Sundance Institute conducts national and international labs for filmmakers, screenwriters, composers, writers and theatre artists.

The annual Sundance Film Festival, a major program of Sundance Institute, is held each January and is considered the premier showcase for American and international independent film. The Institute supports non-fiction filmmakers through the Documentary Film Program by providing year-round support through the Sundance Documentary Fund and a series of programs that nurture their growth, encourage the exploration of innovative nonfiction storytelling, and promote the exhibition of documentary films to a broader audience. Through the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, the Institute is committed to invigorating the national theatre movement with original and creative work and to nurturing the diversity of artistic expression among theatre artists. The Institute also maintains The Sundance Collection at UCLA, a unique archive of independent film.


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