Chigiana Film Scoring Intensive

Right after I finished things up with Berklee’s Music Composition for Film, TV, and Video Games program, I had the great fortune of being part of the 2023 Academia Musicale Chigiana Film Scoring Intensive program in Siena, Italy. Everything about it was truly fantastic. 

Each person associated with the program was of the highest caliber, super talented, and crazy smart, going above and beyond to make this a world-class experience for all involved. The amazing faculty was made up of USC and Berklee instructors, supported by a team of industry professionals. The people in my cohort were incredibly talented, humble, kind, and generous. I feel extremely fortunate to be associated with this group of amazing people. And the location, Siena, is a beautiful and enchanting hilltop medieval village straight out of a dream. Can’t imagine a better place for this type of experience.

The program itself was divided into two primary segments. The first part was focused on creating a score to picture to be recorded by a string quintet at a studio in Rome and the second being a score to picture to be performed by a 42-piece orchestra recorded in a concert hall in Florence, with instruction on film music composition & analysis, orchestration, masterclasses, critiques, music technology, MIDI mockups, editing, sound design, sync licensing, and score & parts preparation throughout.

The program lived up to its name, as it was truly intensive. Most days I was getting up ~3 am and working throughout the day and then passing out when I got back to my apartment around 9 pm. I think out of the 20 days I was there I had one full day off. The rest of the time I was either in classes or working on my pieces. Seeing everyone work with such intensity, focus, and commitment, creating the amazing music that they made, was truly inspiring.

Thank you to all involved in making this a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Ciao, my friends!

Here is the piece I wrote for the string quintet. Special thanks go out to the amazing musicians that played on the recording:

Violino 1 – Antonio Pellegrino
Violino 2 – Nataliya Nykolayshyn
Viola – Bruno Pucci
Violoncello – Luca Pincini
Contrabasso – Massimo Ceccarelli

Here is the piece that I wrote for the orchestra:

Here are some photo highlights.