L.A. Newsbriefs

  Berklee today Celebrates 20 Years

In late July, Berklee today marked its 20th anniversary at the Pacific Palisades home of Berklee Trustee Charles Hirschhorn and his wife, Cynthia. President Roger Brown made a presentation to Kevin Eubanks, who was featured on the cover of the July issue. Invited guests included L.A.-area alumni who had been featured in cover stories or in special spotlight articles over the past 20 years.

  President Roger Brown and Kevin Eubanks '79
  Mark Small
  Cover folks (from the left): Mateo Laboriel '03, Abraham Laboriel '72, John "JR" Robinson '75, Tierney Sutton '87, Kevin Eubanks, and Neil Stubenhaus '75
  Gavin Lurssen
  Camara Kambon '95 and Marvin "Smitty" Smith '81
  Peter Gordon
  From the left: Mark Small '73, Vic Vanacore '74, and Marty Wereski '74
  Peter Gordon


The number of alumni creating diverse imprints in the world of video games continues to grow. Numerous film scoring majors have achieved scoring success, such as CSI: NY composer Bill Brown '91, who began his career in Los Angeles scoring the soundtracks to many well-known video-game titles. Film scoring majors have also found success on the audio side. Sam Bird '02 at Electronic Arts (EA) has chalked up numerous audio lead credits on high-profile games.

The most interesting group, however, may be music synthesis majors. Chuck Doud '88 is the director of music for Sony PlayStation and is involved in all the products' key music and business decisions regarding scoring, sound design, recording, mixing, and music supervision. Brian "BT" Transeau '89 is well known for scoring video games, such as the Need for Speed franchise as well as numerous films and TV shows. Transeau is also a recording artist in his own right.

Tobias Enhus '00 has served as the sound designer for games, movies, and records and scored the Spider-Man 3 video game. Matt Mariano '01 has a long list of credits as a composer and orchestrator for top-rated TV shows and movies. Takeshi Furukawa '03 has an impressive list of credits as a music composer and producer for TV and film, including Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Barry Threw '03 develops innovative tools to enable digital media artwork, with a focus on immersive and interactive projects for installation and performance. Dan Birczynski '03 works at 7 Studios and served as the audio lead on all of the company's games over the past four years. Dan Lehrich '04 began as an intern at EA, then, in 2005, joined 7 Studios, and he recently became the company's creative director. In 2007, he designed its title Scratch.

Congratulations to our recent Emmy Award winners and nominees. Daniel Colman '95 won in the Sound Editing category for his work as the supervising sound editor and sound designer for Battlestar Galactica. It was Colman's fourth nomination. South Park creator Trey Parker '88 took home his fourth career Emmy in the category Outstanding Animated Series. Parker has been nominated for a total of nine Emmys for South Park. Pablo Munguia '97 and Brian Riordan '95 were members of the winning team in the Sound Mixing category for their work on the 81st Annual Academy Awards show. For Munguia, who served as the music playback mixer, this was his third Emmy nomination, including this year's nomination for his work on the Super Bowl Halftime Show, which featured Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. For Riordan, this was one of four nominations he received this year, including those recognizing his work on American Idol and the Flight of the Conchords.

Other Emmy nominations went to David Van Slyke '82, for sound effects editing on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Alf Clausen '66, the composer for The Simpsons. For Clausen, this was Emmy nomination number 29, tying him for the highest number of nominations in the history of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences music branch.

In other news from the world of film and television, Juan Carlos Rodríguez '09 is in charge of the music composition and production (main titles, songs, and underscore) for dramatic TV productions El rostro de Analía and Más sabe el Diablo on Telemundo/NBC (http://web.me.com/jcrc).

On the performance front, drummer Danny Morris '04 is part of the L.A.-based, alternative-rock act After Midnight Project. The group made its major-label debut on Universal Motown Records, and its single "Take Me Home" quickly cracked the top 40 on modern rock and alternative-rock radio charts.

That's all for now. Stay in touch,

Peter Gordon '78
Director of Berklee Center in LA