Our Friday@1 series presents conversations with some of the most renowned composers, songwriters, publishers, and industry executives in New York City and beyond. Our distinguished guests discuss their own creative processes, share their accomplishments and experiences, and thoughtfully critique our students’ work.
May 6, 2016
Among the highlights of Ashley Irwin's career are his collaborations with Clint Eastwood as arranger and conductor for Eastwood's films J. Edgar, Jersey Boys, and Hereafter. He has provided arrangements for the Oscars ceremony for 25 years, and won three Emmy awards and many more nominations for his work as the Oscars' musical director. He has scored more than 20 feature films, innumerable television movies and shows, and worked as orchestrator, arranger and producer on many more.
Ashley has succeeded in nearly every sector of the music industry. In addition to his work in film and television, he has scored games and commercials; produced and arranged hit records; composed, arranged and conducted in the theatre; and written orchestral scores for concert presentations of prominent silent film restorations. He created the most popular early collection of orchestral samples, commissioned for the Fairlight digital sampling system.
As president of SCL (the Society of Composers and Lyricists), Ashley serves as a committed advocate for film composers and helps provide educational and community-building activities for composers at all stages of their careers. Ashley Irwin's IMDB page. Ashley Irwin's website.
April 29, 2016
Tom Scott's best-known works are the theme songs for TV series and movies from the 1970s and 1980s — Starsky and Hutch (a track entitled "Gotcha!") and The Streets of San Francisco, and his soprano sax solo and fills on the 1975 No. 1 hit single "Listen to What the Man Said" for Wings. In 1976 he played the theme "I Still Can't Sleep" in Taxi Driver. In 1982, Scott collaborated with Johnny Mathis to write and record two versions – lyrical and instrumental – of "Without Us," the theme to the 80's sitcom Family Ties. His version of "Today" (a Jefferson Airplane original) was sampled in the Pete Rock & CL Smooth 1992 hit "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" In the Philippines, his best known hit is "Keep This Love Alive," which is a cut from his 1991 album of the same title, and featured lead vocals by David Pack.
Chris Hajian and Rob Reale
April 22, 2016
Born and raised in Queens, New York, Chris Hajian began his musical education at the age of five, studying trumpet under his father, Edward, a professional musician in New York City. Chris’ formal training started at New York’s “Famed” High School of the Performing Arts, and continued at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied classical composition. Chris’s composition roots began in the indie film movement of the 90’s. Most notably, he composed the score to Ten Benny, starring Adrian Brody, that was selected for the 1996 Sundance Film Festival. He then composed the provocative score for Mr. Vincent that premiered at Sundance the following year. Chris’s career started to blossom as he worked steadily composing for film, television, and documentaries. He composed music for HBO’s Naked States and sequel Naked World, about the work of photographer Spencer Tunick. Chris’ television credits include an entire season of The Knights of Prosperity (ABC), as well as the theme song for Bravo’s Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.
Television films include scores to My Date With the President’s Daughter. Chris composed a period orchestral score for Samantha: An American Girl Holiday (Revolution Studios – Executive Producer Julia Roberts), Felicity: An American Girl Adventure, and Molly: An American Girl on the Homefront.
Feature films include Inspector Gadget 2 (Disney) which Chris recorded in Australia with an 80 piece orchestra in 2003. Next came cinema vérité drama The Take (theatrical release 2008) starring John Leguizamo and Rosie Perez, directed by Brad Furman (2007). Also in 2008, Chris scored Yonkers Joe (2008) This film stars Chazz Palmenteri and Christine Lahti. In 2009, Nursery University, a documentary feature which chronicles the stories of various New York City parents on their quests to get their children into nursery school, had its television debut on the Showtime network. Also in 2009, Chris scored dark comedy feature Ex-Terminators, starring Heather Graham and Jennifer Coolidge. It premiered at the South-by-Southwest Film Festival. Next up, Chris took on the dogs in Disney’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2. 2011 saw the release of The Greatest Movie Ever Made, an edgy, comedic indie produced by David Letterman for his production company Worldwide Pants.
Chris composed the score for an intriguing documentary titled Unraveled, which chronicles the life of the corrupt lawyer Marc Dreier, who pleaded guilty on May 11, 2009 to charges in the United States District Court for the Southern District of NY, including conspiracy to commit security fraud and wire fraud in a scheme to sell $700 million in fictitious notes. Unraveled was accepted in to the 2009 LA Film Festival and had its broadcast premiere on the Showtime network. 2010 saw the release of the feature Documentary First Position directed by Bess Kargman. In 2012, Chris scored Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald, narrated by Liev Scrieber. Chris’ most recent documentary score is Men of the Cloth, premiering at the Montclair Film Festival in 2014
Shortly after graduating music school and several years touring in jazz and rock bands, Rob Reale moved to New York in the mid-80’s where he responded to a demand for authentic, hi-end music for film and television and founded the production music library 8118 Music. He gigged in clubs and pits off-Broadway and also began collaborating with his brother Willie in creating musical theater. They are a winning combination: Rob provides the music, Willie, the words. They had several Off-Broadway successes before their production, A Year With Frog and Toad brought them to Broadway and garnered Rob a Tony nomination for Best Original Score Music. While continuing to bring musical stories to the stage, he founded 4 Elements Music with a roster of fellow composers which allowed him to expand on the work he started with 8118 Music.
Since its inception, 4 Elements Music has grown tremendously as Rob and his team work extensively in providing music for major network news, dramatic series and documentaries, film, and commercials. The 4EM library now includes over 5,000 cuts by a roster of over 40 accomplished composers, and regularly provides music for ABC’s Good Morning America, 20/20, and PrimeTime. Other regular clients include NBC, CBS, Showtime, and many others. 4 Elements Music has now recently expanded worldwide, having signed deals with sub publishers and distributors throughout Europe, Asia and Australia.
In addition to scoring for many demanding television and film projects, Rob continues to work on several musical theatre productions, including Johnny Baseball, which will be running August 2012 at the Village Theatre Festival Of New Musicals (Seattle) after a highly successful run at the A.R.T. (Cambridge) in 2010. Johnny Baseball producers are currently planning the show’s route to New York. Outside of work, Rob is passionate about cooking, perfecting his tennis game, and spending time with the production of which he’s most proud, his son Gabe.
April 15, 2016
Composer, producer, and music rights advocate Doug Wood has written and produced music for hundreds of television programs and commercials, including Saturday Night Live, Dateline NBC, Conan O'Brien, sports themes and promos for ABC, CBS, ESPN and NBC, national spots for Coca Cola, Volkswagen, Verizon and scores of others. A classically trained pianist and oboist, and composition major at Manhattan School of Music (as well as rock guitarist and band leader), Doug is the founder and CEO of the Omnimusic Production Libraries.
Doug is the Writer Vice-Chair of the ASCAP Board of Directors, and serves as Chair of the Operations & Administration Committee, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Chair of the Law and Licensing Committee and serves on the Finance and Legal Strategy Committees. His knowledge of legal issues and passion for protecting the rights of music creators have helped shape many ASCAP policies. As a result of his successful protest in the 1990s, ASCAP implemented the Special Production Music Survey, which has resulted in the distribution of millions of dollars in royalties to writers and publishers.
In the mid-1990s, Doug founded the Professional Composers of America, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating young composers about the music business. Doug serves as a member of the Steering Committee of the Society of Composers and Lyricists in NY, and helped found and direct the Council of Music Creators with songwriter Phil Galdston and composer/songwriter David Wolfert. Doug serves as the moderator for the "CMC Music Biz 101" series of videos on YouTube. He is also the founder of the National Council of Music Creator Organizations. Doug lectures frequently and participates in webcast forums discussing media music, music licensing and the rights of composers and songwriters.
March 11, 2016
Roy Hendrickson came up under Tony Bongiovi’s tutelage during The Power Station days. He worked there for over six years and left as a freelance engineer in the early 1990’s. After working all across the country and at a multitude of studios, Roy came back to New York to establish his home base in Manhattan and forming an association with Avatar Studios. Roy has helped design and fine-tune the acoustics for Studio G, the mastering room, Studios E and W. All the rooms have received favorable reviews from our clients.
As an engineer, Roy has worked with a wide variety of artists in many different genres including B.B. King, Missy Elliott, Blondie, Cheap Trick, P.O.D., Gavin DeGraw, Miles Davis, Peter Paul & Mary, Richie Havens, Carly Simon, Judy Collins, Gato Barbieri, Pat Metheny, Al di Meola, Kirk Whalum, Jeff Golub, Philippe Saisse, Roberta Flack, Bernadette Peters, Liza Minnelli, Tal Wilkenfeld, and Nicole C. Mullen.
March 3, 2016
Joe Salvo, an entertainment lawyer, is Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Sesame Workshop. He is a leading expert on music rights, copyright law and digital frontiers in music. Prior to joining Sesame Workshop, he worked at Sony, Arista Records, and HIT Entertainment. He has also served as President of the Copyright Society of the USA, and is an adjunct professor at St. John's University Law School.
Joe has overseen business and legal matters for all forms of audio and audiovisual production and licensing, including film, television, audio, digital services, home video, publishing and consumer products. He has handled negotiations and written contracts for such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Yo Yo Ma, and John Mayer.
February 19, 2016
Oz Noy is one of the preeminent soundmeisters among New York guitarists, a veteran of many, many freelance recording sessions in the advertising and popular recording field. He is also a solo artist with a considerable international following. He is equally capable of improvising and performing written material.
Collailm Duo- Karina Gallagher and Aiveen Gallagher
February 5, 2016
Since their debut in 2014, Collailm Duo have been dazzling audiences in Europe with their passion, virtuosity, and technical brilliance, winning prizes at international chamber music competitions in France and Italy. They will read, perform and discuss new word composed for them by NYU graduate composers.
December 11, 2015
David Newman is one of today’s most accomplished creators of music for film. In his 25-year career, he has scored over 100 films, ranging from War of the Roses, Matilda, Bowfinger, and Heathers, to the more recent The Spirit, and Serenity, Behaving Badly and Tarzan. Newman’s music has brought to life the critically acclaimed dramas Brokedown Palace and Hoffa; top-grossing comedies Norbit, Scooby-Doo, Galaxy Quest, The Nutty Professor, The Flintstones, Throw Mama From the Train; and award- winning animated films Ice Age, The Brave Little Toaster, and Anastasia.
December 4, 2015
Shelly Peiken is a multi-platinum Grammy nominated songwriter who is best known for her #1 hits "What a Girl Wants" and "Come On Over Baby". She earned a Grammy nomination for the song "Bitch" recorded by Meredith Brooks. She’s had hundreds of songs placed on albums, and in TV and film.
Her Serial Songwriter Facebook page has become a forum for all things songwriting and ideas about navigating a changing music business as a creative person and parent.
In June of 2014 Shelly was invited to blog for The Huffington Post. She is well known in the music industry as mentor, panelist, consultant and guest speaker. Her first book, “Confessions Of A Serial Songwriter,” is due out later this year.
Shelly is a New Yorker at heart who enjoys her life in Los Angeles with her husband, composer Adam Gorgoni and their daughter, Layla.
November 20, 2015
Brazilian pianist and composer Marcelo Zarvos has written for virtually every medium, from dance to the concert stage, film, television and theater. With over sixty credits on IMDB, Zarvos is an Emmy-nominated composer and is known for his scores for Brooklyn's Finest, Too Big to Fail, Adult Beginners, American Ultra and TV series The Affair, Ray Donovan and Extant.
October 16, 2015
Andy Bloch is a founding partner of Human, one of the most highly regarded and successful music and sound design houses in advertising. Since opening its doors on September 10, 2001, Human has garnered numerous awards from Cannes Lions, LIA, Clio Awards, AICP, D&AD, the International Andy Awards, ADDY Awards, International Awards, First Boards Awards, and critical praise from all corners of the industry including several trips to Time Magazine’s Top 10 Ads Of The Year. An active composer, creative director and managing partner, Andy has been involved in the production of thousands of commercials and long form dramatic projects for television and film.
Currently touring with Idina Menzel and Ute Lemper, John Benthal has done world and U.S. tours with R&B singer Regina Belle, saxophonist Warren Hill, jazz artists Chico Hamilton, Charles Earland, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and recorded/ worked with many other artists, including: Paul Simon, Peabo Bryson, Harry Connick Jr, Steven Van Zandt, #51 Bernie Williams, Denny Dougherty, Patina Miller, Jane Krakowski, Kelli O’hara, Wayne Newton(!), and others.
Russ is enjoying busy career as a music copyist, and has worked on over 50 Broadway shows, 25 major motion pictures, record dates and for live concerts around the country. Russ has been a partner in Anixter Rice Music Service of New York City since 2004. In 2007, Anixter Rice Music Service supervised the music copying for The Little Mermaid and Young Frankenstein on Broadway and The Radio City Music Hall 75th Anniversary Christmas Spectacular.
September 25, 2015
David Weiss, a New York City based musician, specializes in performing on flutes and woodwinds from many different cultures, including American and Celtic flutes & whistles, panpipes, recorders, Asian and Middle Eastern woodwinds, unusual woodwinds (bass flute; great bass recorder; sopranino ocarina, microtonal woodwinds) as well as western flutes in a variety of styles (rock, jazz, classical).
Currently, Mr. Weiss performs with Disney's The Lion King for which he is a featured orchestral soloist, performing on thirteen different woodwinds. He co-composed much of the flute music for that production, which has received numerous awards, including a 1999 Grammy.
Dave is active in the recording industry, and is frequently requested to perform on television commercials, films, video games, documentaries, and CDs. He also serves as an advisor to composers, orchestrators, and fellow musicians on historical and ethnomusicological issues.
As a conductor Freer has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Upcoming seasons will include his debut with the New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and Tokyo Philharmonic and repeat performances with the orchestras of Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis and others.