BMI Celebrates 10th Year of Sundance Institute Composers Lab

Posted in News on July 14, 2008

BMI and the Sundance Institute have announced the six musicians selected for the 2008 Sundance Institute Composers Lab, which runs from July 22 thru August 7 in Sundance, Utah. This year’s Composers Lab Fellows are Matt Cartsonis, T. Griffin, iZLER, JJ Lee, Vivek Maddala and Nicholas Pavkovic. During the two-week Lab, Fellows participate in workshops and creative exercises under the guidance of the industry’s leading film composers and film music professionals.

BMI has been a sponsor and participant in the Lab since it was reintroduced in 1998. The influential program pairs Composers Lab Fellows with filmmakers from the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program and the Sundance Institute Documentary Program. This collaboration helps the Fellows to explore the process of writing music for film and to create accompanying scores for scenes shot during the Feature Film Program’s Directors Lab and those developed during the Documentary Program’s Edit and Storytelling Lab.

The Composers Lab is a major component of the Sundance Institute Film Music Program, dedicated to supporting emerging film composers and to 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 experiment and expand their musical language.

“Whether narrative or documentary, innovative storytelling through film involves a keen eye, an editor’s touch, the appropriate voice and also the right sound,” said Peter Golub, Director, Sundance Institute Film Music Program. “The goal of our Composers Lab is to give emerging composers and filmmakers a creative environment to collaborate on and explore the importance of music in their projects. Many first-time filmmakers have never before had the opportunity to work in this medium.”

“This program has been ground breaking in the world of independent film,” said Doreen Ringer Ross, BMI Vice President, Film/TV Music and Sundance Composers Lab Advisor. “Music is such a subtle yet essential element in film, both documentary and narrative. The hands-on collaborative experience that the composer and filmmaker Fellows get in this lab is unlike anything offered in film schools or film scoring programs. This lab gives artists an opportunity to experiment and learn with guidance from the most extraordinary composers and filmmakers in the world. It’s an honor for BMI to be a continuing partner with Sundance in this Lab.”

In addition to collaborating with each other, Lab Fellows will work with Creative Advisors, a distinguished group of film composers, filmmakers, and film industry professionals. This year’s Creative Advisors include film composers Tyler Bates (Dawn of the Dead, 300); Carter Burwell (No Country for Old Men, In Bruges); George S. Clinton (The Love Guru, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery); Miriam Cutler (Ghosts of Abu Ghraib); Osvaldo Golijov (St. Mark Passion, Youth Without Youth); and Ed Shearmur (Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow, Charlie’s Angels).

Other Creative Advisors include music supervisor Tracy McKnight (The Groomsmen, Wordplay, Friends with Money); music editor Adam Smalley (Kung Fu Panda); film music agent Robert Messinger (First Artists); music executive Doug Frank (Warner Bros. Pictures); cellist Maya Beiser; percussionist Steven Schick, and BMI’s Ringer Ross.


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