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The Academy of Scoring Arts

February 20, 2020 | By

The Academy of Scoring Arts is the leading community dedicated to the art of scoring. The Academy was founded in 2009 from brilliant composer, orchestrator Ron Jones. The list of accomplishments by Jones includes Star Trek: The Next Generation, Family Guy, American Dad, DuckTales, and Fairly Odd Parents. The legend wanted a space that he could have a nice meal together with his friends, network, study music, and understand how music impacts the picture.

During Jones’ tenure, such works from Star Wars, Igor Stravinsky, and Aaron Copland were studied in detail. Since the inception, the organization has grown exponentially and is transition from local to global status. The Academy of Scoring Arts is currently being head up by President David Das and the committee membership responsibility in the hands of Membership Committee Craig Marks.

President David Das

The many guests associated with the Academy of Scoring Arts includes Oscar and Grammy Award-winning composer Ludwig Goransson (Black Panther), Oscar winner John Ottman (Bohemian Rhapsody), Grammy winner Mervyn Warren (Manhattan Transfer), Michael Abels (Us), Jeff Beal (House of Cards), Siddhartha Khosla (This Is Us), and Gordy Haab (Star Wars Battlefront).

Up until now, the membership has mainly been locally based. The new membership is targeting worldwide expansion. Das and Marks highlighted, “We’ve had this on our minds for a long time to put all this online and give access to it. That’s been the genesis of where we started with membership. We want to be able to offer these amazing resources to the world. There’s a lot of behind the scenes prep that goes into our events, studying them, mocking them up, using MIDI instruments, and live recordings of instruments to score prep so that we can really get deep into this music at a level that is not really a lot else going on like it around the world. We’re really excited to open it up worldwide now.”

The new membership offers three distinct levels of membership. “The Chamber level membership is a three tier where the member gets access to highlight videos, other materials, and discounts to attend in-person events. The Orchestral membership gives full access to all of the videos from the last 10 years, as well as a greater selection of downloadable materials. Also, gain access to special discounts in our affirmative partners program from the vendors and services that are of particular interest to our filmmaking and composing communities. The Orchestral membership gives a steeper discount on attending individual events, so events are significantly subsidized per attendance. Finally, the Philharmonic membership provides everything that the Orchestral membership gives: all the videos, materials, and the discounts. Plus, it gives access to all of our in-person events for no additional charge,” the president and chair explained

As the media industry expands beyond Film/TV, other unconventional avenues such as commercials, videogames, virtual reality, augmented reality, interactive, and live events have rapidly become an additional source for music composition. The Academy of Scoring Arts is a great resource to serve as a bridge between the various industries.

Committee Chair Craig Marks

Das and Marks connected, “Music is ubiquitous and our jobs as composers is to figure out how to work it and make it meaningful into any situation that we’re presented. We’re talking about games and commercials, all of those things are included, but there are places where music is constantly being used that are not necessarily considered traditional media, such as parades. There are new avenues cropping up all the time. TikTok is on the verge; AR and VR are coming. All new mediums for us to make music for, but they all have their unique challenges. One of the unique opportunities we have as well as an organization in these situations is to be able to start looking at these new mediums or technologies as they began to come up and become available to the general public. In doing so, it gives us an opportunity to not only understand what’s going on and offer a presentation to members to better wrap their minds around these new opportunities. It also allows us as a community and as a group to help each other navigate and figure out some of the better ways to approach things in these new environments. It’s our same skill set, it’s just a question of how we apply it, what things we’re paying attention to, and deeming as important for music to function in relation to.”

“We seem to attract everybody from students who are just getting into it to some really high-level pros. Everybody in the room feels free to raise their hands to add to the discussions. There’s a lot of growth as we conquer new topics, composers, films, songs, TV shows, and projects we haven’t done before. The joy of media music is the team sport aspect of it. It’s what we want to create in collaboration with the rest of the filmmaking team and that’s where the success lies.”

For more information, please visit www.scoringarts.com

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