So, let's see what happens when Claudia Lee Horna visits Section 36 Music!
I really enjoyed your work on the animated short film “Blooming Cycles”. What was that project like to put together?
It was very fun! The creator of the short; Allison Power, and I met during a Berklee – MassArt collaborative mixer where every animator had a project they were currently working on, so she pitched to me her short, which is heavily inspired from the Women’s Movement of the 1890’s and 1960’s. The short looked amazing even from just looking at the concept art at that point and then we started talking about the mood and atmosphere that she wanted in the short and I gave some input on what I would probably compose for it.
Afterwards, we had a few more meetings where we settled on the vibe of the music being rock with psychedelic elements and I got to composing a few theme pieces. We were fortunate enough to have the initial meetings before the pandemic hit in full force in Boston, since we got the basics done and I had a solid idea on what to compose without needing to meet face to face.
We then kept communicating with each other, with me sending Allison drafts for the music and her providing feedback until we arrived pretty shortly to the final draft.
I love the final animation and I am so glad that the short is doing so well, it has been selected for a few international film and short festivals, and it certainly deserves the praise!
You’re a graduate of Berklee College of Music. What’s the most important thing that has done for your career?
Coming to Berklee really taught me how important andmeaningful collaboration can be, especially when it means stepping out of your comfort zone, because it brings new perspectives and ideals, thus creating something that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to create alone. I came to Berklee wanting to focus on one specific style of composing, but being surrounded by musicians from all over the world and teachers with a lot of experience encouraged me to try new styles and new approaches to composing, which only made my music better.
Is composing for a video game different than composing for a movie or television show?
There are for sure some different aspects between the two, but they are more technical than composition wise. When I score for a scene and sometimes you need to use different software in order to sync music to a game, rather than with movies, where you can just use your DAW of choice to sync and compose to picture. Additionally, my experience in video game scoring has leaned a little bit more towards a sequential and layering approach. However, at the end of the day, you are telling a story and enhancing the feelings and atmosphere with your music, regardless of whether you are scoring for a video game or a film. So composition wise there isn’t much of a difference.
Who/what would you consider your biggest musical influences?
Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno have been very big musical influences for me in the scoring world. Growing up and listening to their compositions through anime series and movies made me really appreciate the music in film and TV, which eventually led me to pursue Film Scoring as a career. Their music always inspired me and I was amazed at how versatile Yoko Kanno was at writing in different genres of music.
Furthermore, another big, but more recent influence has been the Silkroad Ensemble. I only learnt about them when I came to study at Berklee, but listening to their music was a key factor in me realizing that collaboration and willingness to learn from fellow musicians and their traditions, can go a long way.
Other than COVID, what would you say is your biggest career challenge?
Self– confidence. While I have gotten much better about it inthe past few years, I still have moments of struggle where I don’t think I am good enough to be a violinist or composer. As a result, the lack of confidence affects my creativity and performance, which in turn makes me doubt myself more, becoming an endless cycle. Thankfully, I am lucky to have a great support system in my friends and family, who keep encouraging me and taking me out of my own mind when I am too deep in. It has been very helpful, not only career-wise, but also it has helped me be happier as a person too, which in turn also affects my music.
What are your immediate career goals?
I am currently working on my first EP. It is still in the composition and arranging stages but it is meant to be a collection of original pieces and arrangements that draw inspiration from the different genres that I have been studying in the past years. I want the instrumentation to mainly be composed of strings, since string instruments have often been categorized as only being able to play chamber or orchestral music, a myth that I have thankfully realized to be false. As I mentioned earlier, I am still finishing up the composition stage but I am very excited to begin recording and mixing!
Additionally, I’m going to keep performing, as well as scoring for film and media, further growing my network and meeting great people to collaborate with.
I definitely want to hear that EP!
As always, I want to thank Claudia for visiting, and for sending along the pictures to accompany the interview.
I know you’ll all want to follow along with Claudia to see what she's up to. The best way is to visit her Section 36 Music page. It's a perfect way to enjoy everything Claudia has to offer all in one place.
Thanks again Claudia, and good luck reaching your goals!
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