Hey there Everyone!
Winter break has come and gone and we are back at school. It’s my last semester being at Columbia, and we are all set to graduate in the Spring, although we all won’t be fully graduated until we do the 5 week semester in LA over the summer. This is a very exciting and critical time for us. Many of us are unsure of what the futures holds, and what exactly we want to accomplish with our degree.
As I may have mentioned before, some of us found that we definitely want to compose for the rest of our lives, but others of us have also gained interests in other areas of the industry. For example, I have been thinking very hard about the business side of the film/scoring industry, and if that is better suited for me. I think one of the best things about this program is that you come in, and you’re ready to push hard to be a composer, but you also may figure out a bit about yourself over the two years. If you decided that composing may not be the forefront of what you want to do the rest of your life, this program is great to prepare you for anything else within the industry that you might be interested in. You may find that you want to be an orchestrator, a music supervisor, a publicist, an entertainment lawyer. The best part is that you can question all of these things, and the program allows you to explore and really find who you are as an individual. Columbia isn’t pumping out composing machines; Columbia is a place where you push yourself as a composer, but you’re also able to find what suits you best. And the best part? You will have the teachers 100% behind you and even encouraging you.
Since it is our last semester in Chicago, we are all starting to get a list together for our internship possibilities. I’ve been keeping a list since I started the program, or even before I was in the program. What I didn’t realize, early on, though, was that you are going to change so much over the two years. I used to be obsessed with Danny Elfman’s work, and although I still enjoy it very, very much, I’m finding my compositional sound to come from a more electronic or band route rather than orchestral. It’s quite interesting, this journey of composition. I used to write atonal music all the time, never thinking to go into electronic music, and here I am, falling in love with it. What I think you can all gain from this, is to be open minded to yourself and your work. When you step foot into the Columbia classroom, be ready to explore! Take steps into realms you have never even dreamed of walking into.
Outside of the classroom, I am proud to say that I will be attending the Game Developer’s Conference on a scholarship this February/March. For all of you interested in Game Audio, or games in general, keep a lookout for my Marginalia post in March, because it is going to be all about GDC. If any of you are attending GDC, shoot me an email! I would love to link up with you and chit chat about Columbia’s program, or GDC, or anything in general. My band, Doomerang, is also about to release our first album on February 14th, Valentine’s Day! We have an album release show at Quenchers in Chicago on February 17th, so if any of you are in town, come on by, I’d love to see you there.
I know many of you are awaiting that email or mail that says if you have gotten into the program or not. While you’re waiting, I suggest writing more music. It will help you gain even more experience for the new journey that’s about to happen for you. I think it’s important to remember during the admittance process, that if you do not get into the program, there is a whole year of time to prepare your work and apply again. If you are wholly invested in getting into Columbia’s program, or any program for that matter, don’t stop learning, growing, changing, and pushing.