The Payoff

The Payoff

It’s amazing to think that about a month ago, I was busy working away at recording session preparation, and now it’s all over. The work that went into this session was rather amazing too. Two late nights after full days of classes for Score and Part Prep., regular reviews with the faculty, and then, at 8 a.m., it’s the call time for the big day!

At last, I had made it. I walked up the steps to Chicago Recording Company, called the front desk, and…no answer. Turns out that sometimes being early means having to go grab a cup of coffee to waste some time while waiting for the rest of your cohort to show up.

All of our preparations were about to pay off. We stacked our scores and parts, then the musicians arrived and started warming up. Everyone was excited to hear their music pop in and out of warmups little by little, and the atmosphere was an absolute buzz of excitement.

We slowly progressed through all 11 of the student recordings. Listening to how each of us approached the same scene was wild. The beauty of coming to Columbia College Chicago and studying in their Music Composition for the Screen program is that you get to work on films with your cohort and see how each person did the scene differently. It shows how amazing art and music are, and that each person can see the same scene but hear and/or write a different thing.

When it was my turn, I got up and sat behind the reading table. They recorded my music once and I was in shock. It was amazing to finally hear my music performed by live musicians–so much so that I seemed to miss the errors! It’s a good thing that our fantastic department head, Kubilay Uner, was sitting right next to us, listening intently to help find these problems, as well as teaching you how to work in a recording session. We had six takes, and with a very tiny adjustment, the music just sang. I knew that we had it.

This experience is one of the top reasons I came to Columbia for my masters: to sit in a well-known professional recording studio and listen to my music being performed by professional recording musicians. When I think back to October 11, I remember how excited I was, how much fun I had, and then I remember that I still have two more to go—one in the spring with a small ensemble for a new film, and my final thesis recording in Los Angeles at one of the top recording studios with a full Hollywood recording orchestra. It’s nice to think that this is life now. No where to go but up. Until next time my friends, best wishes, and happy composing!