37: Diversity, Mentorship, and Know Your Body Well with Anna Edwards

Show Notes

Conducting is never about swinging your arms – left and right as you command the flow of music to your delight. Conducting is embracing your personal strengths, expressing it through music and letting it create a rippled effect to its viewers and listeners. 

This is one of the reasons why Anna Edwards is beyond passionate in breaking the barriers of the conducting industry. She wants aspiring conductors  to understand that there’s more to it than just waving their arms.

Tune in this episode of the Conductor’s Podcast and be enlightened on how Anna fosters diversity and individuality in conducting. 


17:57 – 18:24 Why is Anna Looking for a Woman Mentor? How Would it Help Her Career in Conducting?
I’m not saying that the people that I had were not fabulous and wonderful. But, they didn’t understand my body. And, honestly, I don’t think they understand how to engage women and find that in themselves. That’s not their fault or anything. It’s just that they don’t understand that part. 
34:11 – 35:43 The Lessons Anna Learned in her Conducting Journey
I think the biggest thing for me is honestly, finding comfort in who you are. 
You know, I’ve always wanted to be something different than what I was, I wanted a bigger job, I wanted to be funny, I wanted to be charismatic, I wanted to be all of these things and you know, at the end of the day, I’m really nothing. 
Really, at the end of the day, what I wanna do is make a difference in my own little universe and hopefully that will make change in other places. 
“The way that we communicate can be extraordinarily strong.” – Anna Edwards
“If you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you’re probably not going to do it well. – Anna Edwards


Links Mentioned in Today's Episodes

Chaowen: 0:02
Hi everyone, this is Chaowen recording in May 2023, after finishing the first season of The Conductor’s Podcast, I have decided to give this podcast project, a dedicated website with more user friendly functions. So now we have a brand new website called theconductorspodcast.com. Straightforward, right? And now we also have its own Instagram handle. It’s also the same, @theconductorspodcast. So all the show notes have been moved to the new side. And I invite you to come check out all the resources and happy listening.

JoAnne: 0:49
The syntax of what an action cue needs or involves, or those things are in play in the public consciousness, right? Those ideas of what a fight scene is because of the many movies we’ve seen from the history of film up until now. And so what I try encourage my students to do is first understand that understand the properties, the instrumentation, the orchestration, the way it’s arranged, understand all of that about what exists already in the cannon. And then see if you can’t push yourself to find that balance between. Okay, I’m using this short hand of how to exist in this kind of writing, but I’m trying to also include a part of myself

Chaowen: 1:37
Hello, hello. Welcome back to another episode of The Conductor’s Podcast. I’m your host Chaowen Ting. I’m so thrilled to welcome you back on this great Thursday. If you’re listening on the day this episode is released, or any day if you’re just listening back or trying to catch up. My guest today is a very special person, JoAnne Harris, she works primarily as a film score composer and also conduct film scores for her own composition or for auto composers works. She has conducted and recorded film scores at Abbey Road, East West, The Village and Avatar with artists such as Grammy winner and Kurt Helen and members of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Her television work includes scores for the HBO 2020 primetime, CNN and Dateline. She is just such an awesome person.

Chaowen: 2:43
And in our conversation today, we talks about her process of composing for commercials, TVs and films. I don’t know if you ever wonder how we get influenced when we watch a show, just by the music without even notice and that and she was sharing her secret about that as well. We will also discuss our ideas about mentoring young composers and conductors and also her thoughts about this industry. She is a graduate of the Concordia College and studied choral composition and conducting with René Clausen. She enjoys teaching at the Feirstein Graduate Center for Cinema, which is part of the CUNY Brooklyn College and is a steering committee member of the Society of Composers and lyricist in New York.

Chaowen: 3:41
Welcome to the show. JoAnne. I’m so thrilled to finally meet you after our email exchanges. For about a year. Welcome to The Conductor’s Podcast and I really look forward to our conversation.

JoAnne: 3:53
Oh, thanks for having me. Chaowen. I’m looking forward to it too.

Chaowen: 3:57
Before we get started, though, will you please give everybody just a brief intro a little bit about your background and how you get to where you are?

JoAnne: 4:05
Absolutely. So I was born and raised in Iowa. And I went to undergrad at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. And I went there because I loved singing in choir when I was in high school. And I loved the choral music of René Clausen, who was the conductor of the Concordia choir at the time. And so I got to sing in his choir and I got to study choral conducting and composition under him while I was there. Upon graduation, there was a job open with young people scores of New York City. And so I flew to New York and auditioned for the job. And I didn’t think that I got it, you know, so like midway through my demo lesson, you know, here I am this like Iowa girl from the heartland in an urban choir setting. And halfway through I was with a bunch of high schoolers and halfway through I was like, I don’t think I’m getting this job. Let’s just go for broke and have fun. So I think I had them singing like, The Star Spangled Banner in like four different keys at once. And like, we were just having a good time.

JoAnne: 5:12
So when I left, I was like, Yeah, you know, I’m proud of that at least we had fun that felt on brand for me. So, I’m pretty sure Renee had a hand in making sure that I did get the job though, which was reassuring. And so I enjoyed my year at YPC, very much. And in that time, I was exposed to so many different musicians, and so many different people in music in New York City. I feel like the first week on the job, I was with the kids at Radio City Music Hall, they were singing backup for the MTV VMAs that year. And so they were in a couple different numbers. And I got to be backstage and I got to chat with like Beyonce’s drummer. And so again, here’s this like, girl from Iowa who’s like, what, hold the, you know, hold the phone, Beyonce’s drummer is talking to me, and I’m learning about her life. And so things like that happened for me that year. And I’m really grateful to YPC because it did. And so having my eyes opened to all the musical possibilities in the city, I decided to do a couple of night courses at Juilliard. They offer people who want to continue Ed outside of the formal study setting, because I was working full time and at that point, but I took a couple of classes orchestration and conducting, and then found a mentor through Craigslist, of all places.

JoAnne: 6:42
My mentor, Chris Hagen, was advertising for an assistant. And again, I walked into that interview, and I was like, Well, I have no experience in film, music, none. But this sounds super cool. And I’d love to learn more about it. And I can definitely write emails and get coffee, and you know, do those kinds of things. And he always laughs because when he tells a story, he’s like, Jo lasted about a week getting coffee, like, a week into this internship. And she was like, making music and she was ready to go. So with his help, I made a duplicate tech setup in my home and just started gathering the same sample sounds he had, and the same technology that he had. So I enabled myself to be able to go straight for him. And so that’s how I got it’s got started doing more TV composition, and have sort of gone from there. And so when Chris has a big movie project, I, luckily still get to be involved as an orchestrator and conductor, often on his sessions, which is a ton of fun.

Chaowen: 7:44
That is an awesome story, I’m so jealous.

JoAnne: 7:50
It was, it was a lot of like the right place at the right time, things just kind of like,

Chaowen: 7:56
You were prepared. Because I felt sad. Sometimes when we talk about being at the right place at the right time, we negate or we underestimate how prepared you are or how much hardworking you are after you get the chance. Because it’s like, all of a sudden, something in Chinese we say, a pancake, just bought on you from this guy like that. But can you talk a little bit about your, like the courses you took and orchestration? Were you just taking classes? Like how did you find those resources to educate yourself and prepare yourself and that sense,

JoAnne: 8:33
That’s so great to keep in mind Chaowen sort of that fortune favors the well prepared, you know, so it’s like that combination of like, staying ready. But then being able to pivot to when new things come your way. And there is kind of a delicate balance there. And you’re good to remind us all of that, because I think it’s worth talking about. But your question.

Chaowen: 8:59
I was asking when you became interested in knowing more about it for say, musical theater, and then you went into film and TV composition, writing orchestration, I imagined that’s a specific genre or a specific way of composing music, and how did you find resources and classes that you took?

JoAnne: 9:19
Well, I actually I looked into the Juilliard evening division because another hero of mine, Michael Giacchino, who you might know he composed the score to up, among many other fantastic movies. He had taken these classes and he talks about how like, that’s how he pivoted to I think he was in like software design or computer development something and he pivoted into music, and that’s kind of where he started. And I was like, oh, that’s, that’s great. That will be something I can do as well.

Chaowen: 9:53
So I always thought that’s working in the film music industry is such a cool thing. Can you maybe talk to us a little bit about on how you work, do you get some samples of the film, say if you’re writing for TV show, and then you get some ideas, I know nothing about it. So,

JoAnne: 10:10
Sure. So the typical way that it works, say I’m working on an indie film, the director will send me the cut. As it stands, ideally, they send me a final cut so that there are no more changes. But that’s rare in the age of digital. So I get the cut as it stands, we sit together, and we do what’s called a spotting session. So we watch the movie together, and we stop it every time, we think there should be music, and we talk about what kind of music and what the director sort of has in mind, sometimes, she will be like, Oh, I didn’t quite get the shot I wanted here. So I’m wondering if music can help me technically achieve, you know, the thing that’s missing, maybe, but most of the time, those conversations are emotional. This is how I want the audience to feel. This is the character that the audience should side with, based on what the music is telling them. So a lot of those conversations are super emotionally driven. So we have that conversation. Sometimes, the movies already even tempt, we say tempt that’s short for temporary track. So they’ve put other people’s music they’ve cut it in to serve as an example of what maybe you might write. So composers, sometimes this is helpful.

JoAnne: 11:25
And sometimes it’s really intimidating because say I’m working on an indie film, and somebody tempts it with like, John Williams, it’s Jurassic Park, right? And then it’s like, wait, but we don’t have the resources for me to hire 150 orchestral players, you know what I mean? Like, I’m not going to be able to produce exactly that for you. So those are also conversations about expectation and about budget, most things come up in the indie setting, right? In a more professional setting. You already know what the budget is, you’ve already got a team of people in place. But yeah, so then you would start working to the picture in logic, or Pro Tools, or doorco, or whatever digital audio workstation we call them does, whatever you’re set up to do. And then you just start sending clips back and forth with the director. And the conversation starts that way.

Chaowen: 12:14
It sounds super easy. But how many years did it take you? To talk?

JoAnne: 12:22
Chaowen, I’m still learning every day I’m learning. Like we all do feel like film scoring, I was interested in it at first because it felt like something I could do for my whole life, and still be engaged and still be excited at the possibilities that it presents. So a lot of this I learned just from watching my mentor work. Like literally, you know, I was there to write emails and get coffee, but I would also just sit on the couch in his studio and just watch him work for hours. And that taught me a lot.

Chaowen: 12:57
So do you also help your mentors say doing orchestration or doing things like copy is like kind of cleaning on score, like on the musical side as a way to learn the craft? I imagine?

JoAnne: 13:09
That’s a really good question. So about at the same time that I was doing the Juilliard classes, Chris had more and more films coming up that needed orchestration. So because I was taking an orchestration class, I brought in one of my homework assignments one day, and I was like, Chris, who just look at this. And he was like, Oh, my gosh, Jo, it’s beautiful. It was a rebel transcription of sorts, I think. And I was like, Oh, thanks. And from there, I just kind of asked like, can I be on orchestration for this next one, I believe it was called The Little Rascals save the day. And it was a straight to DVD movie, but at the time, Universal 1440, which is the home entertainment division of Universal, they had a music supervisor there who still really believed that children deserve the best of everything, you know, they, they deserve the best cinematography, they deserve the best scores. And so he really thought we got to sink a lot of money into this score, like we need a live orchestra.

JoAnne: 14:07
So it was really special that way, because more and more, the job of live orchestra is dwindling as the sample sounds get better and better. So this was probably 2013, 2012? Maybe it was 2011. I’m not exactly sure. But that was the year. I’m sure I could go back on IMDb and look, but that was the year I started orchestrating more for Chris. And then I just got to be on his team. And when a session recordings were in New York or Los Angeles, if a conductor was needed, I would tag in there too because I had the conducting experience from Concordia. And it’s just super fun. So I would always Yeah, because I was like an assistant and I was kind of like working on the budgets. I would be like, Oh, I’m just gonna line item myself in here as conductor. And, of course, Chris was fine with it whose has been so supportive and a really amazing mentor.

Chaowen: 15:09
So I have so many questions that I want to ask them. This is awesome. Coming back a little bit. So you talk about that you will watch the film with the director. And you mentioned something that really struck, because I didn’t perceive it that way, because you say, oh, maybe the director will want the audience to side with a character being forced by the music. And that pumped me thinking, Oh, it’s the music gives us feelings for emotion, reaction, like your emotional reactions to the storytelling. And how is that like? Are there specific ways that you’re right for us to sympathize with something happened? Or how do you support the storyline without taking all the thunder?

JoAnne: 15:57
That’s a great question. And you know that a lot of revision is involved in these things. Because sometimes you do write something that takes all the thunder, and then Director sort of has to say, is, whoa, this is beautiful music, but it’s just too much music, right? Like, I need you to be more sparse. Sometimes you take a shot at an emotion and it’s maybe the nuances wrong, like maybe I write something that’s too sad. Maybe I write something that gives us too much empathy for maybe an antihero character, where we don’t want to do that just yet. So it’s like, I have never had a first revision. That’s not true.

JoAnne: 16:40
One time in like 13 or 14 years of my life have I had the first shot at something approved? Usually, usually, usually, usually, it requires several revisions, and I teach film scoring at Fierstein Graduate Center for cinema, which is part of the CUNY Brooklyn program, CUNY Brooklyn College. And my students, I think this is the first thing that baffles them is that the director composer relationship is one that takes a lot of discussion and takes a lot of revision, before everybody’s sort of happy with the way music has to function in the piece. I think a lot of beginning composers don’t see that, you know, they hear the score to Justice League or whatever. And they’re like, that’s amazing. And they just think it was written and plopped in, but a whole lot of work is behind it.

Chaowen: 17:40
I believe you. And I was just reminded with the love hate relationship between a music director and the opera director, basically, you have to collaborate in telling the story. And sometimes you fight and at all times, you don’t have the same ideas, which is totally awesome. But I was asking that because I judge the competition a couple of years ago, and there was a film scoring for animation. So it’s like a short animation. And I found some of the young composers use a certain syntax. So when there’s a fighting, it’s always a sort of motific pattern. And I kind of wonder was love thing. And it’s always this kind of analytic, it got a little bit cliche, maybe for beginner composers, because they felt that was the way to do it. But how do you teach film music? It’s like to do a lot of exercise with different clips or you talk about orchestrations. I’m just really curious,

JoAnne: 18:42
A really important point, you bring up the vernacular, the syntax of what an action cue needs, or involves, or those things are in play in the public consciousness, right? Those ideas of what a fight scene is because of the many movies we’ve seen from the history of film up until now. And so what I try encourage my students to do is first understand that, understand the properties, the instrumentation, the orchestration, the way it’s arranged, understand all of that about what exists already in the cannon. And then see if you can’t push yourself to find that balance between. Okay, I’m using this short hand of how to exist in this kind of writing. But I’m trying to also include a part of myself, that’s completely unique, and that lends my voice to the project. And so this is the younger composers, media composers to get really perplexed with this and I, I try and make it a goal that when they’re working on revisions, you know, they’re going back and forth with the director. It’s taking forever, they’re getting frustrated. I try and say like, yeah, do the revision But do it the way you want to do it, figure out a way, don’t disagree with them. Take the note, you know what I mean? Make what they want to hear, but make it pleasing to you.

JoAnne: 20:11
So a lot of times composers get discouraged because they’re like, you know, maybe a director is like, Oh, can you make it more like Max Richter and then you and then you’re like, oh, but I’m not Max Richter, you know. So you figure out what about Max Richter’s music? The director is pulling it, right. You figure that out? And then you’re like, Okay, how do I still write music like JoAnne, but get this element in here, instead of being like? Well, I guess I’ll just go rip off Max Richter now, you know, and that, that’s sad. And that depresses everybody. So I really try and steer away from that kind of derivative answers in film scoring.

Chaowen: 20:53
I know, I totally feel that it’s, it sounds like when I was beginning to learn about conducting, you want to look like you’re a teacher, or I think a couple of years into my study in conducting YouTube started to get popular. And then people started to offload all the illegal old recordings of the maestros. And everybody started to conduct like, or anyone else when it wasn’t new. But I wanted to come back to the question about live orchestra, because I know that there’s something that’s being talked about, at least from my friends working in film. And what I’m hearing is life. No sessions are so unique. They give you a specific, like special kind of sound, while it’s slow, expensive and away. And the other extreme side of that as some young composers that I’ve worked with, because they never really had experience with live musicians didn’t really understand orchestration in terms of what a real musician can play. It sounds cool in the program, and they will assume that a trombone can always say that, Hi, they can yell all the time. They don’t need to breathe at all. Do it with a real orchestra, we have so much problem, and they learn how to produce a score. What’s your take? Or what’s your experience in that field? So far? I’m really interested in hearing.

JoAnne: 22:19
Well, I mean, yeah, we have similar problems, right? So my orchestration for cinema class, that’s my lecture class, we try really hard to tackle both angles. So I try to prepare them for the realities of live instruments on the scoring stage. And as much as possible, the realities of sort of having a reduced ensemble. So like, they’re going out there, they’re getting their first gigs, maybe the budgets not huge. So how to work with smaller ensembles, right? And then also like, how to work with the sample sounds and how those two things are very different. And in fact, the sample sounds work better when you make them more like live instruments, like when you actually program in breaths, like you don’t have like a trumpet line. That’s like going for 19 bars without a breath, you think to yourself, how would a normal live trumpet player do this line, you know, and I have this thing with my orchestration students, when in doubt, act it out, right? Like, if you do not know if something’s going to work, learn the trombone slides, you know, like, emulate where that position is. And if that change is possible, you know what I mean? So the samples work best when you understand the live players, and the live players work best if you ignore all the samples, right? So it’s like, you’re completely correct chosen, like we put too much emphasis on playback being a reliable tool. And it is not, I wish, more access to the full orchestra for all music students, you know, whether they’re studying, conducting, or composing or film scoring, you know, I just think the more you can interact with live players, the better off you are.

Chaowen: 24:14
But sometimes I really debate with the idea because I know those kinds of programs does provide access to a lot of people who might not have learned an instrument or be around any live musician, but with those app and with those different syntax or like they programmed different things, different rhythms, and you can start composing. And every year at college admission that I read of a lot of high schoolers thinking like proclaiming that they are great composers, arranger orchestrators while they just plucked something from the app. I don’t know I have mixed feelings about it. I love that young people are having access to it. While I feel really sad that they get into the field, but they don’t continue growing and learning because because it’s not needed, in a sense, or it’s not available.

JoAnne: 25:10
Yeah, I share that with you. It’s lamentable, right? Like, it’s like, we want students to use the software as a tool. But we don’t want the software to replace the humans, right? Or we don’t want composers straying away from live orchestral music, especially for film music, because of a lack of experience, or because they can create it all by themselves, you know, in the computer. So yeah, it’s, you know, it’s a slippery slope, I

Chaowen: 25:42
have so much better than I thought.

JoAnne: 25:47
Oh, man, I remember once being crushed, just crushed by my Sebelius flutes, like they were playing back. Awesome. I mean, they were up there, but they were balanced, it was working great. You know, it, put it on the stage, and those flutes were screaming at me and my heart was broken, and I was like, down the octave down the octave everything down. I just, you know, like things like that, you really have to have the stage experience to then go back. And, you know, now know that that’s how that balance is going to work on no performer, but it’s definitely not going to work that way, in real life. So valuable life lessons.

Chaowen: 26:31
Is it typical that the composer will conduct the ensemble when there is one,

JoAnne: 26:37
sometimes, sometimes not, it’s really a personal preference, John Williams still conducts all of his music, some composers would rather be in the booth listening. So some composers are like, actually, my job needs to be making sure the final product is gelling. And they find they can focus obviously, better if they’re in the booth, maybe they’re hearing the pre lays, so like any electronic material, that’s going to stay in the score that’s being played at the same time that the orchestra is being played. And so they can sort of get an idea of the whole, right. So if I’m conducting, I can choose, you know, I’ll have headphones on, and I’ll have click, and I can choose to have pre lays in my headphones as well. So like I could, if I was conducting some of my own stuff, which I tend to do, I would probably figure out a way to get the pre lays, I would put probably the click and the pre lays in my left channel, and then move the right ear off my ear. So that the right year I’d be thinking, Okay, I’m thinking about the room. I’m thinking about how everybody’s communicating here, you know, in this isolated place, but then in my left ear, I’m thinking how is this going to work, you know, as a whole.

Chaowen: 27:53
So I was curious, how is this experience translate from you working mostly in a choral division? And coming to film that you’ve mentioned that there are cliques that you need to line up? And they’re mostly instrumentalist? And was there any transition?

JoAnne: 28:17
Yeah, yeah, it was, you know, it’s a new learning curve. But one that I was just delighted by, I really dug in. And I still continue to delight in, in knowing what the instrumental ensemble can do. And through through more of my film work, I’ve gotten back into concert music, and a little bit of choral but not as much as I would expect, I’ve been doing more symphonic wind band writing. And that’s just been a total joy. But I think they’re all kind of related. I think there’s a kinesthetic element to conducting, that’s really magical, right? Because when you engage the body, you turn on other parts of the brain. So I think composing, conducting to me, they kind of go hand in hand. And when I’m writing something, you know, oftentimes I’ll use my body to like, get the idea out, right? Like, if I’m singing it, I’ll be conducting While I’m singing. Or sometimes I walk around, and I’ll dance the line that I’m thinking of just to like, physically get it out of my brain through my body. And so I find that like, I feel really lucky that at Concordia, I got the conducting as well as the composing. And even though it’s very choral focused, I still use those things in my instrumental life.

Chaowen: 29:44
So how much would you say your work is divided into composing and conducting? Do you mostly composed and collect your own work or do you also collect other people’s work? Yes,

JoAnne: 29:55
so I mostly compose these days, I would say At 70% of my professional life is composing. And then 30% is orchestrating and conducting other people’s work. So I take a real pleasure in that I love getting my hands dirty and other people’s music. And session conducting is awesome, because so everybody in the film scoring world, when they come to a session, their sight reading, they haven’t had the music. And so what you’re trying to give them is emotional information. So the conductor will be set up with the film, and timecode, although timecode is less important than click, because they’re keeping track of all of that in the booth, right. But I can, you know, I can see the picture. So if I haven’t seen it before, I can get emotional cues from what’s happening on screen. And then my job is to express the emotion to the players, because we all have click, they’re not going to miss. They’re not going to miss beat three, right? They’re listening to it. So I’m really there for sharp entrances, good cut offs, sometimes we duck the click at the end, so that we can have a longer ring out, that will shave off when we’re mixing the score. But yeah, I’m there for those technical things. But mostly, I’m there for emotional information.

Chaowen: 31:19
So it’s more like a coordinator, since everybody will be set rating. And I heard they, they’re very good, because you want the best players that can do everything the first time. But kind of to, to Latin encourages a bad word, engage everyone to go into the same emotional direction.

JoAnne: 31:42
Yeah. And yeah, I think you’re right on when you say, organizer, like you’re an organizer, you’re also a morale booster. What if these players are some of the top, I got to go conduct a session in Hungary in Budapest, and players were amazing. I mean, they were so good. But the score was not technically challenging. It was technically challenging at places, but also an easy sight read and other places, right. So it’s like keeping them engaged and helping them find the musicality, when they’re capable of so much more. And perhaps they could be a little bit bored, you know. So it’s like keeping players engaged. And a good orchestrator, is thinking about that, like a good orchestrator is helping out the session, and thinking about adding perhaps little ideas about freezing, or certain dovetailing to keep people on their toes, even if maybe they could play the line consistently, stuff like that, just so that the player is is locked in. But that’s a big part of the conductor, too, is like personality, being a person, like you’re going to spend eight to 12 hours a day with these people. So it’s like being a person that they want to hang with is important. So do

Chaowen: 33:04
you have any thoughts or things that you want to say to anyone either collectors interested in collecting film scores, or composers? Wanting to know more about it? Where can they get started?

JoAnne: 33:19
So in terms of like, specifically Film, film scoring film,

Chaowen: 33:22
it’s like biggest, I’m asking because there is a I don’t know if you heard of it. But there’s only there’s a very specific collecting workshop for conductors. It’s called the LA Film, score something orchestra is also like that, like they do workshops, the healing collective or Yeah, yeah, something like that. I’ve never been to their sessions and doing pandemic, they had a few zoom meetings. They advertised that it’s free. So I signed up, and then they say it was only for our past participants. So I wasn’t able to be in a Zoom meeting. That was that was a little odd. I will, we will cut that.

JoAnne: 34:01
Yeah, but that’s also weird that they like gave you an opportunity to sign up and then said, No, you can’t go. Yeah,

Chaowen: 34:06
yeah. And then sometimes I have students saying, Oh, I’m really interested in writing for film, and then they just start doing things. And I just thought, maybe there are some people are interested in knowing more.

JoAnne: 34:21
I think the best way to know more about film scoring is to do it. Find a buddy, who’s a filmmaker or an animator, or practice scoring silent clips. Like there are a lot of clips on YouTube of films that don’t have portions of films that don’t have score that you can download and that you could practice scoring too. So that is one way that you can sort of save like self guided, learn on your own. But yeah, the more that you do it, the better you get. There are several amazing graduate programs across the country that you know if you’re an undergrad And you’ve decided this is something you’d like to pursue. You got lots of options. You’ve got Berkeley, you’ve got USC, you’ve got my program at Fierstein, the small plug for the media scoring program at Fierstein Graduate School of Cinema, but yeah, there’s lots of programs and they’re good. So there’s also a continuing ed path for students interested in media scoring.

Chaowen: 35:26
Right. And we’ll put all that in the show notes. But I wanted the listeners to hear from you. If they want to be in touch with you. Where can they find you? Like your website or your social media? Whatever you’re comfortable sharing?

JoAnne: 35:39
Oh, yeah. You can find me on Instagram @JoAnneComposer. My website is joanneharriscomposer.com. And you can find me on Facebook, JoAnne Harris.

Chaowen: 35:51
Great. Thank you so much for all you have shared, no problem that we finally get to talk.

JoAnne: 35:57
Me too. And I want to talk more when we should find a time to connect, and I’d love to hear more about what you’re doing.

Chaowen: 36:08
Sure. And I was just thinking we can have another episode to talk about other things.

JoAnne: 36:18
I probably said too much. And I’ve made cutting this probably quite a time.

Chaowen: 36:23
No, no, no, no. I just want to make sure that I had time to record the short questions. If you are okay with that. Yeah. I’m going to make separate record.

Chaowen: 36:39
Here you have it, my friends. And I hope you enjoyed listening to this conversation between me and JoAnne. And as you can imagine, I learned something every single time when I chat with a friend for the podcast interview. And what I learned today from my chat with JoAnne was something that I probably I guess I probably always had no, but never really think about us is when she said that in film score, the music can influence the viewers emotion. She said, Is this too sad? Or are we using the music to help the viewers to emphasize or to take sides with one of the characters. And this is what’s so amazing about music. And I guess I always knew about it, but didn’t really think of music as function. And that’s way and this is something that really struck me in my old score study. Moving on to I want to bring a certain emotion to my listeners through this music, am I trying to tell a story or influence their take on who they sign with with different characters even without an opera libretto, you know, there can be different characters or materials or themes in just a pure musical setting. And that’s something that I wanted to point out and share with you. And I hope that you share our opinions about giving young composers chances to listen to their works, because it’s such an important thing that they can learn from working with real musicians instead of just relying on the playback. So I want to encourage everyone who are listening right now, if you ever get to a position where you can control the rehearsal schedule and planning, give some young composers a chance for a composition writing, they will really benefit your ensemble as well. All right, I will see you next week at the same time, same plays take care of for this week. And again, if you’re liking this show, please leave a review on Apple podcast or share it with a friend who you think would benefit from our episode. Thank you so much. Bye for now.

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