Monday, March 30, 2020

Shelbie Rassler Visits Section 36!

Section 36 Music has another visitor! Shelbie Rassler is a talented composer and musician. I was excited she was willing to visit with us and discuss her musical accomplishments and more. I’m sure you’ll love what she has to say.

So, let's see what happens when Shelbie Rassler visits Section 36!

You composed the score for the movie: “Titan”. What was that experience like?
Writing the score for "Titan" was an incredible experience! I really enjoyed working with the director, Lee Giat, as he is such a creative collaborator. Lee was really able to communicate his vision for the music in an effective manner and it was such a joy to bring his ideas to life. I was also able to collaborate with some amazing musicians to record the score, including violinist Gioia Gedicks, cellist Matthew Henegan and vocalist Andrea Taylor. The score would not have been possible without these integral people! 

You also wrote the score to a Lexus commercial. How did that differ from scoring a film?
Writing the score for the Lexus Chatham Parkway commercial was also a fantastic experience! The director, Josh Prem, and I had a wonderful time discussing the project, and Josh gave me the freedom to write what I felt fit the commercial best. We also collaborated on a documentary for Lexus Chatham Parkway and had a similarly amazing experience. 

You co-wrote a musical “Voices: a new musical” that played last fall. What was it like to bring that to the stage?
Writing and producing "Voices: a new musical" with my writing partner, Harley Seger, was truly a dream come true. We wrote the entire show in under a year and had the opportunity to workshop some of the music last Spring and produce the full show this past November through the New Ground Theatre Company at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. I am especially grateful towards the four girls who originated the role of Maddie/Madelyn, Mia Goodman, Rachel Da Silva, Kate Fitzgerald and Annaliese Wilbur, for their hard work in giving life to this dynamic character. Writing the score was a unique challenge as it was my first time ever writing a musical theatre score by myself, but it was an incredible learning experience, and both Harley and I are really proud of the show!

I love the “one-woman band” videos you post on social media where you play multiple instruments. What is it like to put those together?
Thank you very much! I actually began making those videos when I was in middle school and have had so much fun making them over the years. I usually just listen to music that I love and try to add my own spin to it. I often will start by improvising on various instruments until I have a solid idea of what I'd like to do, and then I write out the arrangement, record all of the instruments, and layer everything using Logic Pro X. I am going to be creating a cover series very soon of the "one-woman band" videos so please stay tuned and feel free to request cover suggestions!

As a composer, what’s it like to hear a full orchestra perform your song live?
The first time I heard an orchestra perform my music live was a very surreal experience. It was hard to wrap my brain around the fact that all of those people were playing something that I created! Ever since that moment in 2015, I very much try to keep that same mentality whenever an orchestra plays my music. I am so grateful to the musicians for taking the time to learn and perform the music and try to make each experience as new and exciting as possible.

Right now, what would you say is your biggest career challenge?
As I am writing this, the world is in a state of emergency as we navigate this scary pandemic together. With that being said, I am trying my best to remain positive and optimistic, but it is honestly very hard to do so, especially as a musician where it is a challenge to take classes online and impossible to create music in-person with colleagues. However, I recently started a "Virtual Orchestra" project to try and keep the arts alive and promote collaboration, even when we are not able to physically be together. Stay tuned for updates on this project!

What are your immediate career goals?
My immediate career goals during this unprecedented time include promoting positivity in the arts and creating a platform for artists and creators to come together and maintain hope for the future!


That’s a wonderful goal!

In fact, along those lines, Shelbie did something pretty fantastic since she did her interview. You may have seen the amazing video she put together of fellow Berklee students performing in a virtual concert. If you’re one of the few people in the world who hasn’t seen it yet, check it out now. You won’t regret it.

As always, I want to thank Shelbie for visiting, and for sending along the pictures to accompany the interview. They make everything come together so well.

Since I know you’ll want to follow along with Shelbie to see what she's up to, I suggest check out her 
Instagram account and YouTube channel. Give them both a follow!

You should also check out her Section 36 Music page. There you'll find more links, pictures, and samples of her music. It's a great way to enjoy everything Shelbie has to offer.

Thanks again Shelbie, and good luck in reaching your goals! 

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