2015: A Great Year of Film & Music

Hi Friends,

Happy Holidays! I am sorry I have not been in touch for a while – a long while – and I will be communicating moving forward at least once a quarter.

There is so much to tell you about!

2015 was a crazy year. It started with a bang when I found out that I was the composer for the documentary Gold Balls. I had been hoping to land that project for a few months as I think it is a fantastic story and I am a big fan of the director, Kate Dandel, and her vision. Gold Balls is a documentary about five contenders for the National Championship in tennis. And they’re all over age 80. It is a story about individuals who are filled with passion and refuse to be sidelined by aging. Now that 2015 is almost over the film is almost complete. I am thrilled with the score. I had the opportunity to work with great live players and create some really fun life-filled music.

Around the same time I started scoring the very important documentary Speaking of Dying, a film about community-based end-of-life planning as pioneered by chaplain and facilitator Trudy James. This project has gone on to be seen by so many people around the states, helping them begin the conversation about end of life and prepare for a good death. I know it sounds morbid, it is a hard thing to discuss, but such an important thing all the same.

At the beginning of February I jumped on a plan to Tasmania to spend three weeks of quality time with my family. The hour before my plane arrived in Hobart my dad had a terrible accident and as soon as I landed I went to the hospital. My time at home was very different than expected but I was so thankful to be there during such a hard time. Despite fractured vertebrae and a collapsed lung, My dad was recovering well when I left but then my mother had to have spinal surgery two weeks after I arrived back in the US. Then my dad needed more minor surgery to aid in his recovery. It was such a brutal time but we received so much support from friends near and far. I feel closer to my family than ever, despite still being far away. Family and friendship is an incredibly precious thing.

When I arrived home it was full steam ahead on so many wonderful projects. This year I scored the documentaries Gold Balls and Speaking of Dying, the horror feature The Basement and reworked my score on the ongoing feature drama Scapegoat. I scored some amazing shorts, notably the LA production Toxic Temptation, written and directed by Tatum Miranda, which had wall-to-wall score and was recorded with amazing LA musicians from the Helix Collective. I had the same opportunity with the short Zombie which I scored through the Helix Collective’s Live Score Festival. I was paired with a great filmmaker and created a score for his film which was performed live in downtown LA and then recorded at SpeakEasy Studios. Such an awesome experience. The fantastic bi-lingual short Pearl, written and directed by Amy Sedgewick, has been traveling around the world winning many awards including Best short at both Mexico International Film festival and Madrid International film festival. Other great shorts I had the honour of scoring were Dirty Laundry, written and directed by Jessica Martin, Baby Steps directed by Ty Huffer and Painted Mara directed by Jo Vernon. I also wrote a song for the multi-award winning short Come Away with Me directed by Ellen Gerstein. The song was performed by American Idol alum Hollie Cavanagh.

I have also had some other interesting projects to work on. I recently finished doing the string arrangements for Tatum Miranda‘s hip hop album that will be released in 2016. I had the honor of working with some phenomenal string players and it was so interesting and rewarding to work strings into great songs with awesome melodies, vocals and beats. It was one of the highlights of my career thus far. I continued to work on the web series Capitol Hill in collaboration with another great composer and friend, Morgan Pearse. I scored the Traffic Genie project for the City of Seattle. The traffic genie will help you figure out the traffic in downtown Seattle, while accompanied by my music! I also scored the Girls Make Games video game The Hole Story, now out on STEAM and Itch.io and started scoring the Gaming Colts video game Alicorn Princess Blast. I also have been working on co-writing and co-producing an EP for singer-songerwriter Christia Crocker.

In addition to doing all of my own projects I continue to work for composers Jason Staczek, Miriam Cutler, Alex Shapiro and Laura Karpman. I am so thankful that I get to assist these wonderful established composers. I continue to learn so much. In exciting news: at the end of 2014/beginning of 2015 I did the music prep for Miriam’s score for the acclaimed documentary The Hunting Ground. The film is now short-listed for oscar nomination and Miriam’s score is also a contender for nomination. It has been incredible to be a small part of such an important doc. You should check out Lady Gaga’s song that she contributed to the film, it is beautiful.

Feel free to have a listen to some of the music I created this year on my Taste of 2015 playlist. You can see some photos from it here.

Thank you for your continued support. I am overwhelmed by the love and appreciation I receive from you. Here’s to a great 2016 for us all!