Berklee Today

L.A. Newsbriefs

  Peter Gordon '78

In April, ASCAP held its inaugural I Create Music Expo in Hollywood. Among the attendees, I recognized alumni songwriters and film/TV composers from both Los Angeles and New York as well as several songwriters from Nashville. In addition, the panel event "A Day in the Life of a TV Composer" was moderated by NARAS Executive Vice President David Grossman '79. Lalah Hathaway '90 was a featured speaker at the "Ladies First: Changing the Culture of Hip-Hop and R&B" workshop. Members of the Berklee community received a very generous pre-event discount, so watch for the repeat of this event in 2007.

This year's Academy Awards included honors for two Berklee alumni. Michael Semanick '85 won his second Oscar in the category of Achievement in Sound Mixing for the film King Kong. Semanick won his first at the 2004 Academy Awards in the category of Achievement in Sound Mixing for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. He previously received Oscar nominations for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Semanick's other sound credits include work on Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Million Dollar Baby, The Village, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and many more.

Michael Semanick '85  

Michael Becker '84 was also recognized by the Academy with a nomination in the category of Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song). The song "In the Deep," which Becker cowrote with Kathleen "Bird" York, plays during the last seven minutes of Crash, which was named Best Picture. Together with Marco Marinangeli, Becker has written and/or produced music for artists including Josh Groban, Donna Summer, Robert Palmer, Peter Frampton, Toni Childs, Maxi Priest, Dr. John, the Chieftains, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Kyle Clausen '00 won a 2006 Golden Reel award for Ark, the Movie in the category of Best Sound Editing: Direct-To-Video. The Golden Reels honor achievement in music and sound editing. Clausen recently served as the music editor on the new FOX show Free Ride and is now the SFX editor on the new Marvel movie Ultimate Avengers 2.

Gernot Wolfgang '89 has again been named composer in residence for the 2006 Beverly Hills International Music Festival ( to be held in August. During his residency, Wolfgang will produce a concert on Friday, August 11, entitled "Voices of Hollywood," featuring the chamber music of such Hollywood film and TV composers as Bruce Babcock, Bruce Broughton, Don Davis, Erich W. Korngold, André Previn, John Williams, and Aaron Zigman (who will write a piece for the event). A special discount for the concert will be offered for Berklee alumni. Contact me for details. In other news, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (with Jeffrey Kahane, music director) recently commissioned Wolfgang to compose a piece that will premiere in May 2007.

Composer Joel Goodman '84 scored Too Hot Not to Handle, a documentary for HBO about global warming that premiered on April 22, Earth Day. He also scored Cats of Mirikitani, which won the Audience Award at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. It was also given an honorable mention in the New York Loves Film Documentary Category. His music was featured in the two-hour A&E special, Combat Diary: The Marines of Lima Company. For more information, visit

Kays Al-Atrakchi '91 scored the feature film Cutting Room, which had its world premiere at the Milan International Film Festival and won the festival award in the category of Best Music. For additional information, visit

The original soundtrack CD for The Matador with Pierce Brosnan, features three cuts written by Daniel Indart '84. Indart specializes in writing and producing Latin music for film, television, and records. His credits include the theme song for NBC's Kingpin and music for The Sopranos. Visit his website at

Film scoring/music synthesis graduate Greg Tripi '05 began his career in Los Angeles by winning an award and a fellowship. Tripi recently completed the BMI Foundation's 17th Annual Pete Carpenter Fellowship for aspiring film composers under the age of 35. The fellowship included an internship with renowned BMI TV composer Mike Post at his Burbank studio. Previously, Tripi won the 2005 Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Music Internship, which enabled him to work with W.G. "Snuffy" Walden, one of television's busiest composers.

That's all for now. Stay in touch.

-Peter Gordon '78, Director,
Berklee Center in Los Angeles