Internship Spotlight: David Celia/Yuval Ron Music

Lesley Mahoney
March 30, 2009
David Celia and Yuval Ron '89 in Ron's L.A. home studio. "I'm really enjoying the working environment," says Celia. "Yuval has a beautiful garden, family, and the nicest cat, Zuzu. It feels a lot like home."
David Celia works on laying out a percussion track.
Photo by Lesley Mahoney
Photo by Lesley Mahoney

One in a series of stories on Berklee's Los Angeles Internship Program, highlighting interns and their supervisors.

For Yuval Ron '89, participating in the Berklee L.A. Internship Program was a way to parlay the mentorship program he had already established at his company, Yuval Ron Music. Ron, a composer, world-music artist, record producer, and educator, worked in Boston and then Los Angeles after graduating from Berklee as a film scoring major. His myriad TV and film credits include the CSI series and the musical film West Bank Story, for which he earned an Academy Award in 2006. Yuval Ron Music is based out of Ron's L.A. home; there, interns get one-on-one attention and a taste of all aspects of the business. David Celia, a film scoring major and drum set principal from Hanover, New Hampshire, is getting the benefit of working in a small shop.

Some of Celia's responsibilities:

Cocomposing for the production library Smashtrax; writing five cues (a full orchestral "evil guy" and four "Japanese-style" cues) that got picked up and will be published for licensing use; arranging tracks for Ron's world beat fusion CD. "I've been doing a lot of production type of work on it: adding layers, harmonies, and anything that comes to mind. It's great to have a lot of freedom on this project, and I am learning a great deal about the audio engineering side of things."

On working for a smaller operation:

"I like the one-on-one, the fact that it's a smaller operation. It's been different every day so far. There is no typical day. Yuval has taught me so much about the 'business.' This is crucial information to surviving in this industry. This has probably been one of the greatest aspects of this internship. The littlest things can make all the difference. Yuval is not only a great composer but a master businessman."

On the L.A. classes:

"I always walk away with at least one piece of new information, and to me, that's worth it. I try to keep this kind of attitude at all times, and it has proven to help in tough situations. I am taking [the online course] Critical Listening, which is all about audio engineering and mixing. It has tied in with so much of what I've been doing with Yuval. It's all like one big, never-ending, evolving circle."

Ron on what Berklee students will get out of working with him:

"My assistant follows me the whole day, seeing what I do and dealing with everything that I deal with. David is here every day for eight hours. He sees everything that is going on. He may sit in on a negotiation with a producer. He may sit in on a concept meeting, a recording session, or a rehearsal. He sees the whole unfolding of things. Here, it's more personal, more one-on-one. I work with students on what it takes to be an artist in Los Angeles. As I work, I show them what I'm going through. I share with them my thought process, my strategies, my choices of style. That's part of the intimacy of a small-scale operation."

Ron on taking Berklee students' technological knowledge a step further:

"Berklee students are so well trained in computers and software. When you're in a job, you don't have time for a learning curve. You have to produce; you have to deliver. In school, you have time to learn. It helps me because I don't have to teach them the basics. Instead of teaching them how to use the tools, I teach them how to use the tools in the real world. For example, getting feedback from a producer and how to deal with that not just technologically, but psychologically, and how to turn a situation around, do a revision, and give it to a producer. We're more focusing on how to hit the target. When a producer says suspenseful, if you produce a beautiful piece that is mysterious, you may lose your job."