Berklee Today

L.A. Newsbriefs

  From the left; Linda Livingston, BMI's senior director for film and TV relations, Curt Sobel '78, Chris Morris, entertainment reporter for the Hollywood Reporter, and Peter Gordon '78

Last November, the Billboard Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Music Conference was held in Los Angeles and Berklee was a cosponsor of the event. The college was highly visible to an audience that included some of the music industry's top professionals. Berklee and ASCAP sponsored a panel event spotlighting the music of The Simpsons, which was moderated by our own Alf Clausen '66.

At the same conference, another event sponsored by BMI focused on the recent number of musical biopics and the issues involved in supervising and licensing existing catalogs of music that are featured in such movies. Curt Sobel '78, a member of that panel, was very effective in discussing the issues he encountered as the music supervisor for the movie Ray.

Our Los Angeles Alumni Chapter Holiday Social last December was a great success, as usual. Attendees represented five different decades of Berklee experience, not only providing for an interesting array of anecdotes but also a broad sense of community.

In early January, the IAJE Conference was held in Long Beach, and as is traditional, there was an alumni reception. President Roger Brown was in attendance, so the event offered an opportunity for many alumni to meet and talk with him. The attendees included a mix of local alumni and alumni educators from such far-away locations as Asia, Australia, and Europe. Phil Wilson led the Berklee Rainbow Band in a performance that reminded all just how strong the talent base remains at Berklee.

(From the left): Kevin Coogan, senior director, ASCAP; Seth Saltzman '81, senior VP, ASCAP; Nancy Knutsen, senior VP, ASCAP; and composer Alf Clausen '66  

The January 23 Annual Alumni Brunch, held in the rooftop ballroom of the Sheraton Universal, provided the opportunity to present two Distinguished Alumnus Awards. This is traditionally the first major alumni gathering of the year and this year, against panoramic views of the San Fernando Valley, we celebrated the achievements of electronic music pioneer BT (a.k.a. Brian Transeau '89) and film music executive Todd Homme '76.

BT's success spans a number of genres. His first taste of stardom came in the British dance music scene, where his unique electronic style became hugely popular. This led to successful solo albums that further established his reputation as a pathfinder and an individual artist. After moving to Los Angeles, BT earned a reputation as a talented and versatile filmscore composer. His scoring credits include The Fast and the Furious, Under Suspicion, starring Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman, and Monster, starring Charlize Theron.

Todd Homme has worked directly with the top composers, producers, and directors in the film industry. As Disney's Manager of Music Production from 1991 to 1995, he worked on 75 film releases, including Crimson Tide, Dangerous Minds, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, While You Were Sleeping, and What's Love Got to Do With It? In 1995, he became Dreamworks SKG's Executive in Charge of Music, overseeing all aspects of the music for such films as American Beauty, Almost Famous, Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, Prince of Egypt, Road to Perdition, Road to El Dorado, Shrek, Shrek 2, Chicken Run, Shark Tale, Amistad, Mouse Hunt, Castaway, House of Sand and Fog, Collateral, and The Terminal.

  BT '89 (left) and Todd Homme '76 received distinguished Alumnus Awards in January.
  Catherine Goldwyn

As for other alumni in the news, George Haddad '93 works for Todd-AO Studios and is currently the postproduction sound supervisor on the CBS television drama series CSI: NY. Haddad does sound design and editing and supervises Dialog ADR and mixes.

Music editor Tanya Hill '95 has been working with composer David Newman on the upcoming film releases Man of the House and Are We There Yet?

On the performance front, bassist Eric Holden '99 continues to tour with Josh Groban. Recent appearances have included concerts in South Africa and Europe. Drummer Joel Taylor '83 has been performing with the Allan Holdsworth Trio.

Linda Ronstadt's latest release Hummin' to Myself features arrangements by Alan Broadbent '69, who also plays piano on the recording. Trumpeter Roy Hargrove '89 is featured on the CD as well.

That's all for now. Stay in touch.
-Peter Gordon '78, Director,
Berklee Center in Los Angeles