Six composers shortlisted for the 2022 Sundance Institute Film Music Intensive

We are excited to kick off our Sundance Institute Film Music Intensive taking place June 6-13. Six composers were invited to participate in a stimulating lab environment that prioritized craftsmanship, innovation and the creation of a community of next-generation film music artists. Led by Program Director Pierre Golub With the support of creative advisors working in the industry, fellows will take part in an intensive week celebrating the power of film music, as the twenty-year-old program welcomes its latest cohort of participants.

“We are thrilled to be working with six extraordinary emerging composers, each with a unique musical voice,” said Pierre Golub, director of film music. Together with a group of inspiring mentors, we’ll dive into the special alchemy of combining music and story. Special thanks to our many creative advisors over the years and our successful partnership with Skywalker Sound.

The Film Music Intensive continues the work of the Sundance Composers Lab, which has supported more than 150 composers over the years, many of whom make substantial contributions to the field. Additionally, a generation of women and songwriters of color have had tremendous opportunities through the program and gone on to successful careers in the field. Previous creative advisors have included composers Terence Blanchard, Carter Burwell, Miriam Cutler, Laura Karpman, James Newton Howard, and Alan Silvestri. Working closely with Sundance’s feature and documentary programs, the lab has brought together and influenced the lives of a generation of filmmakers and sound designers as they explored the power of music in storytelling. We are especially grateful for our partnership with Skywalker Sound as we explored the ways music and sound work together to tell a story. We are also grateful for the support of BMI, a founding sponsor of the Composers Lab.

This year’s group of emerging composers write music for selected film scenes and take part in a series of presentations and discussions, in close collaboration with the 2022 Creative Advisors: Nathan Barr, Christophe Beck, Kathryn Bostic, Kris Bowers, George S. Clinton, Mark Isham, Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum, Thomas Newman and Adam Smalley.

The scholars selected for the Film Music Intensive 2022 are:

Carlos Duran Zarate is a Colombian composer and guitarist who writes for concerts and the media. His music has been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Royal Danish Academy and by the most important Colombian ensembles such as the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia. His work includes the Amazon Prime Original series Cochin Envidiaadditional music for National Geographic Channel broadcasts The 90’s and the Emmy-nominated series Arrepentidos and the winner of Best India Catalina Miniseries Natalia: Crimen and Castigo.

Meredith Ezinma Ramsay (professionally known as Ezinma) is a genre-blending violinist, media composer, and the founder of the nonprofit Strings By Heart, a New York-based organization that focuses on music education free in underserved communities. Ramsay has collaborated with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé; she currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

Savannah Jo Manque is a composer, songwriter and violinist. Born in Australia but based in Los Angeles, she has composed music for off-Broadway plays as well as short films and documentaries. In 2019, she was commissioned by the alternative classical music label Neue Meister to write music for the Deutsche Kammer Orchester with her collaborator Robot Koch. Savannah is a 2022 graduate of the USC Screen Scoring program.

Elliona ZS Li is a Chinese-Canadian composer. Having been raised in both Eastern and Western cultures, Li’s music often features twisted combinations of elements from both.

William Perry is a recent USC graduate and Los Angeles-based freelance media composer specializing in film, television, commercials, and video games.

Jonas Sirota weaves darkly layered soundscapes with its own alto, synthetic pads and unexpected classic textures. It uses two decades of interpretive experience to support storytelling at the granular level.

Sundance Institute’s interdisciplinary program is supported by an endowment from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, with additional generous support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Unity’s Charitable Fund, a fund of the Tides Foundation, BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) and Film Music Foundation.

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