10th Annual Composers Lab Features Wide Range of Musical Talent from Jazz and Electronic to Vocalists, Violinists and Banjo Players

10th Annual Composers Lab Features Wide Range of Musical Talent from Jazz and Electronic to Vocalists, Violinists and Banjo Players


Los Angeles, CA and Park City, UT – Today, Sundance Institute announced the six musicians selected for the 10th Annual Sundance Institute Composers Lab, which runs from July 24 thru August 9 in Sundance, Utah. This year’s Composers Lab Fellows are Jeremy Flower, Derrick Hodge, Shahzad Ali Ismaily, Enis Rotthoff, Gingger Shankar, and Jeff Toyne. During this two-week intensive lab, Fellows participate in workshops and creative exercises under the guidance of the industry’s leading film composers and film music professionals. The Composers Lab Fellows also collaborate with filmmakers from the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program and the Sundance Institute Documentary Program to explore the process of writing music for film and to create accompanying scores for scenes shot during the Feature Film Program’s Directors Lab and those workshopped through the Documentary Program’s Edit and Storytelling Lab.

The Composers Lab is a major component of the Sundance Institute Film Music Program, dedicated to supporting emerging film composers and to enhancing the role of music in independent film. First offered from 1986-1989, the Composers Lab was re-introduced in the summer of 1998 to provide a collaborative and supportive environment in which composers experiment and expand their musical language.

"Music is a vital part of filmmaking, but young filmmakers don't have many opportunities to learn about film music until they're in the hot seat. This Lab provides a unique opportunity for emerging composers and filmmakers to work together in an atmosphere that encourages experimentation," said Peter Golub, Director, Sundance Institute Film Music Program. "This year's Fellows represent an extraordinary range of musical styles and genres. By choosing composers from widely different musical backgrounds, some of whom have not had a great deal of experience in film, we're hoping to enliven the field of film composition. We're very excited about the work we'll be doing in our 10th Composers Lab and the impact we will have on the Fellows from the Directors Lab and the Documentary Program.”

Over the past 10 years, the Composers Lab has paired emerging and established composers with filmmakers participating in the Sundance Institute Feature Film and Documentary Film Programs. The Lab brings composers and filmmakers together to provide talented composers with first-hand experience composing for film, while simultaneously enhancing the musical understanding of independent filmmakers. Over the past 10 years, Fellows have included Tyler Bates (DAWN OF THE DEAD), Camara Kambon (DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN), Jonathan Bepler (CREMASTER) and Andreas Kapsalis (BLACK GOLD, winner of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary).

In addition to their work with filmmakers from the Feature Film and Documentary Film Programs, Composers Lab Fellows will work under the mentorship of noted Creative Advisors, a distinguished group of film composers, filmmakers, and film industry professionals.

This year, Creative Advisors include film composers Jeff Beal (POLLACK, MONK); George S. Clinton (AUSTIN POWERS: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY, JOE SOMEBODY, A DIRTY SHAME); Osvaldo Golijov (ST. MARK PASSION, YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH); James Newton Howard (BLOOD DIAMOND, THE VILLAGE); Graeme Revell (SIN CITY, GRINDHOUSE) and Harry Gregson-Williams (NARNIA, THE NUMBER 23).

Other Creative Advisors include director Lawrence Kasdan (MUMFORD, THE BIG CHILL); Paul Broucek (President, Music at New Line Cinema); music supervisor Tracy McKnight (THE GROOMSMEN, WORDPLAY, FRIENDS WITH MONEY); film music agent Robert Messinger (First Artists); Doreen Ringer Ross (Vice-President, Film/TV Relations at BMI); cellist Maya Beiser, percussionist Steven Schick, and sound artist Shahrokh Yadegari (THE CHILDREN OF HERAKLES).

The Fellows for the 2007 Sundance Institute Composers Lab are:

Jeremy is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and an active member of the underground electronic music world in Boston and New York. He has worked with Gustavo Santaolalla, David Krakauer, the Kronos Quartet and others. He collaborated with composer Osvaldo Golijov on his Grammy Award winning score Ayre, featuring Dawn Upshaw and on Golijov's score for the new Francis Ford Coppola film, YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH.

A noted jazz bassist, Derrick has performed and recorded with Terence Blanchard, Mulgrew Miller, Clark Terry, Mos Def, Sade and others. He has also assisted Terence Blanchard in composing a number of film scores, including She Hate Me, Waist Deep and Inside Man.

Shahzad plays guitar, banjo, double bass, accordion, flute and percussion. He has performed and recorded with Laurie Anderson, Booker T, John Haskell, Will Oldham, Marc Ribot, Tom Waits, John Zorn, and others. He composed for dance companies such as Tadashi Endo, The Frankfurt Ballet, and Min Tanaka. Self-taught as a musician, he has a degree in Biochemistry.

Hailing from Germany, Enis composed music for Digging for Belladonna, Quiet Love, Smiling Monster Fish, and others. He assisted Academy Award-winning composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek on Finding Neverland, Unfaithful and Quo Vadis. He is the recipient of the Scholarship for Young Composers at the Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain in Berlin.

A vocalist/violinist/composer from a renowned family of musicians, Gingger plays her own invention, the 1-string stereophonicDouble Violin, and has toured with Peter Gabriel and Frank Zappa. She also composed and performed vocals and violin music on The Passion of the Christ and Born Into Brothels. She is the recipient of the World Peace Music Award.

Jeff's feature film credits include The Third Eye (2007), a dark psychological thriller; Shadow in the Trees (2007), a sentimental thriller featuring the voices of Canada’s premier women’s choir, Elektra; Midnight is Coming (2002), an urban drama with Ethiopian overtones; and Maxwell’s Demon (1998), a film noir in the crime jazz tradition. Among his other film credits Mr. Toyne counts over thirty short films, including two Academy Award nominees. He was one of eight musicians recently selected from across North America to write new film music for the Victoria Symphony’s Reel Music 2 concert competition (February 2007). His score for the Buster Keaton film clip, Steamboat Bill Jr. won Best Score in the Action-Comedy category.

The Sundance Institute Composers Lab receives major support from BMI and The Baisely Powell Elebash Fund, which helps support New York-based Lab Fellows and Creative Advisors; the 2007 Elebash Composers include Shahzad Ali Ismaily and Tracy McKnight. Additional support for the 2007 Composers Lab is generously provided by Alesis, Apple, Hewlett Packard, H.P. Marketing, JBL Professional, LaCie, Mackie, Mark of the Unicorn, Sony Business and Professional Products Company, Sony Media, Soundcraft, Tascam, Volkswagen and Yamaha.

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981 in the mountains of Sundance, Utah, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated year-round to the development of artists of independent vision and to the exhibition of their new work. Since its
inception, the Institute has grown into an internationally recognized resource for thousands of independent artists through
its Film Festival and its artistic development programs for filmmakers, screenwriters, composers, writers, playwrights and theatre artists. The original values of independence, creative risk-taking, and discovery continue to define and guide the work of Sundance Institute, both with US artists and, increasingly, with artists from other regions of the world.

The programs of Sundance Institute include the annual Sundance Film Festival which is held in Park City each January and is considered the premier U.S. showcase for American and international independent film. The Institute supports nonfiction filmmakers through the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program by providing year-round support through the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund and a series of programs that encourage the exploration of innovative nonfiction storytelling and promote the exhibition of documentary films to increasingly broader audiences. The Sundance Institute Feature Film Program is a year-round program dedicated to supporting artist development and the advancement of distinctive, singular independent projects. Each year 20-25 emerging filmmakers from the U.S. and abroad participate in the program which includes the Screenwriters and Filmmakers Labs, ongoing creative and practical advice, the post-production project, and financial support through fellowship opportunities. The Sundance Institute Theatre Program is committed to invigorating the national theatre movement with original and creative work and to nurturing the diversity of artistic expression among theatre artists. The Sundance Institute Film Music Program is dedicated to supporting the development of emerging film composers, as well as impacting the ways in which independent filmmakers approach music in their films. The Institute also maintains The Sundance Collection at UCLA, a unique archive of independent film.

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