Sundance Institute Taps Six Fellows for 2012 Film Composers Lab

Posted in News on July 26, 2012
Creative Advisor and revered film and television composer Alan Silvestri works with Fellow Phillip Klein at the 2011 Sundance Film Composers Lab.
Creative Advisor and revered film and television composer Alan Silvestri works with Fellow Phillip Klein at the 2011 Sundance Film Composers Lab.

The Sundance Composers Lab is currently underway at the Sundance Resort in Utah. The six 2012 Composers Lab Fellows are Mike Raznick, Yotam Silberstien, Jason Staczek, Karen Tanaka, Kubilay Uner and Philip White. 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.

The Composers Lab Fellows also collaborate with filmmakers from the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program 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. The program aims not only to give the composers first-hand experience working on film music, but to give the directors insight into the process as well.

“The music in a film is an incredibly important part of the storytelling, and there are very few opportunities, without the pressure of production, for composers and directors to learn how to work together,” says Peter Golub, revered BMI composer and Director of the Sundance Institute Film Music Program. “The Composers Lab gives emerging composers and filmmakers a creative haven to experiment and collaborate on creating a musical score for a film.”

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “The Feature Film Composers Lab is an example of how our programs collaborate, for the benefit of artists. By working together, our Film Music Program and Feature Film Program are filling a void in educational and creative opportunities to support emerging artists, especially in the field of film music composition.”

Composers Lab Fellows will work with a variety of Creative Advisors, a distinguished group of film composers, filmmakers, and film industry professionals. This year’s Creative Advisors include Harry Gregson-Williams, James Newton Howard, Anton Sanko, Blake Neely and George S. Clinton. In addition music supervisor Evyen Klean (Neophonics), agent Robert Messinger (First Artists Management), Doreen Ringer Ross (Vice President of Film and TV Music at BMI), Martin Tillman (cellist), Adam Smalley (music editor) and Ryan Fleck (director) will serve as mentors.

“BMI is proud to have been a part of the Sundance Composers Lab since its inception,” says Doreen Ringer Ross, BMI Vice President, Film/TV Relations. “The work that occurs during the lab is a unique artist development forum for film music. It’s a vital program for the film music community.”

BMI builds on the mission of the Sundance Composers Lab at the Sundance Film Festival in January in Park City, Utah, where they produce a composer/director roundtable each year supporting BMI composers who have scored films in the festival as well as their filmmakers. 

The six composers selected for the 2012 Sundance Institute Feature Film Composers Lab are:

Mike Raznick is a Los Angeles-based composer with hundreds of credits spanning video games, film, television as well as theatrical trailers.Over the past five years, Raznick has been employed and mentored as a lead composer for SomaTone Interactive, where he has scored games for clients including EA, Ubisoft, Atari, Disney, Zynga, Sega and THQ, among others. Recent film composing credits include the multi-award-winning environmental documentary Rock the Boat, directed by Thea Mercouffer.

In only six years since landing in New York , internationally-acclaimed guitarist/composer Yotam Silberstein has earned a well deserved spot among the jazz elite by recording and performing with legendary musicians such as James Moody, The Heath Brothers, Paquito D’Rivera, Monty Alexander, Roy Hargrove, and the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, to name a few.

Jason Staczek is a Seattle-based composer, producer and Hammond organ player. His scores for the films of director Guy Maddin have been called “swirling and adventurous” and their latest work together, Keyhole, is currently in theaters worldwide. Staczek also collaborates with musical inventor Ela Lamblin writing for experimental instruments like the Shrimp Platter and the Koola, a Styrofoam harp. He plays with ATO artist Lindsay Fuller and has conducted orchestras on three continents.

Karen Tanaka is a versatile composer and pianist. Her works have been performed by distinguished ensembles and orchestras worldwide including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Various dance companies, including the Nederlands Dans Theater, have often featured her music. Tanaka has also composed for documentary films and short animations. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches composition at California Institute of the Arts.

Kubilay Uner creates adventurous, eclectic, colorful music for film, concerts and records. He builds his own instruments, blends acoustic, synthetic and found sounds, bends tempos, layers noise, mixes metaphors, and is generally convinced that good music happens when you mix things up.

Philip White was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. His recent credits include the feature documentary Speak and the psychological thriller The Somnambulist. He writes additional music for the CW series Supernatural and co-composed the score to the videogame James Bond: Quantum of Solace. His choral piece, Hong Kong Harbor 1984, recently received its world premiere by the Angel City Chorale.

Sundance Institute Film Music Program
With the goal of nurturing the development of music in film, the Film Music Program connects composers and directors, giving them first-hand experience of the collaborative process. At the Sundance Film Festival, the program raises the profile of music in film through a series of concerts and panels. Year round, whether through international collaborations or through direct consultations with filmmakers, the Film Music Program is committed to enhancing the role of music in film.

Sundance Institute
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


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