Michelle Saddic

Composer//Arranger//Performer

Teaching and Air Quotes

Yes, I’m still alive, and I’m still surviving on my music skills!

It’s been about 2 years since I last blogged, and I don’t want my site to look like I’ve forgotten about it, so hi! :P

Last year, I moved out of the valley to the East Hollywood area, and I looooove it here!!! Much more fun things to do/see/walk to. More reasons to go outside and explore.

Last year, I also got hired as the accompanist to the choir at LACES. I pretty much act as the assistant director too. I run sectionals and take over the class when the director is out. The choir got a superior rating at their festival in the spring! Here’s a video of our warm-up, feat. yours truly on the keys :D

My music group Air Quotes has also been releasing music this year! Mattan, Preston, and I write and orchestrate the songs for rock and orchestral instruments. We like to call it “Film Score Rock” or “Orchestral Rock.” Here are the 3 songs that are out so far:

In other news, I’ve been playing horn with the LA Winds and, recently, the Santa Monica College Symphony. My first concert with the latter is this Sunday!

Anywho, that’s a brief catch-up on things. See you in another 2 years XD

Platform Hop, Holiday Trimming, & Some Sick Air-Keys

I may have posted a while back that I wrote the music for a phone game, and that game is now available for iOS!!! (Apparently it has been available since September, but I missed that somehow.)

The game is called Platform Hop by Brockapps. Read about it here or download it here!

I named the track "Nimbostratic" and posted it on SoundCloud a while back, but here it is for those of you without iPhones:

Also, I performed/acted in another music video for Church of the New Hymn, and here it is! (Hey I even got center stage on the thumbnail!) Director Mattan Cohen and cinematographer Sten Olson got some hilarious shots of me air-keyboarding across the street and almost getting run over by a crazy person. Too bad they didn't make it into the final thing XD

On a personal note, I hope everybody is enjoying the season so far! I had a hard time making it feel like Christmas in California last year, since it's so warm and sunny and 2500 miles from my family. But now I have my own place, and I've done a little bit of decking the halls, embracing holiday music, and watching those cheesy Hallmark movies. AND I'M FEELING IT :D

My Tree Feat. my Joe Boxer shorts in the reflection.

My Tree Feat. my Joe Boxer shorts in the reflection.

Can't wait to visit my friends and family in PA in a few weeks. Hope you're all enjoying the season!!!

Love,
M

 

Happy Belated Halloween (3 videos to share)

Things have been great since moving into the city!

I scored a few shorts over the summer that are still not available for viewing, but the one that I shared in my last post (That Smell) took home the awards for Best Short Film and Best Screenplay at the Video Hackers Film Festival!!

Lately, I've been working on a lot of really fun projects, including a visual poem/app, an orchestral rock album, and an audio adventure.

In the meantime, here are 3 completed projects that I'm allowed to share.

To Be King

I should have shared this earlier, but I somehow forgot. I swear I really am trying to be better at remembering that I have a blog. This is a spec commercial for Gatorade that I scored. Directed by Johnny Chang.

The Heart's Voice of a Created Being

So I didn't have anything to do with the production of this music track, but it was fun to play keys for the music video! The video was directed and edited by Mattan Cohen.

Grim Grinning Ghosts - for Brass Quintet!

This was arranged per the request of my friend - artist and musician Kat Stahl. Performed by The University of Akron Graduate Brass Quintet for their Halloween concert.

In other news...

I just started taking swing dance lessons, which is cool. I even bought my first turntable, which is kind of NEAT. And, on Monday, I went to Disneyland for the first time!

I donned my Aladdin tee, sweatshirt (not pictured), shoes, Jasmine nails, Jasmine necklace, Jasmine charm bracelet, and Jasmine-esque blue headband. I also did some wing-tip eyeliner, high ponytail, and threw in some purple and white earrings. Can you tell what my favorite movie is?

I donned my Aladdin tee, sweatshirt (not pictured), shoes, Jasmine nails, Jasmine necklace, Jasmine charm bracelet, and Jasmine-esque blue headband. I also did some wing-tip eyeliner, high ponytail, and threw in some purple and white earrings. Can you tell what my favorite movie is?

So hey, life is good! I'll be in touch!

Becoming a Valley Girl

I moved to Sherman Oaks in the beginning of July, and I loooove it!!

New digs. Our cats match the decor.

New digs. Our cats match the decor.

Simon and Sid. BFFs 5-evurr™

Simon and Sid. BFFs 5-evurr™

I have a lot more space to set up my work station, and Mattan and I even hand-built our own desks. (Desks with pull-out drawers big enough to hold 88-key keyboards are hard to find... For less than like $2,000 anyway.) Many thanks to his mom for her designing and expertise!!!

It's a work in progress, but it's a huge upgrade from anytime before. (P.S. Can you guess what my favorite movie is?)

It's a work in progress, but it's a huge upgrade from anytime before. (P.S. Can you guess what my favorite movie is?)

I've also started singing and playing piano at Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church and teaching instrumental lessons at ATAM - Academy of Technology, Art and Music.

The summer was pretty slow on the composing front. I've done some things but nothing has been released to the public yet.

Speaking of... here's a trailer to a short I scored (could've sworn I shared this already but it looks like I have not). It's being entered into film festivals currently and has not debuted publicly yet.

Until next time... HERE'S A KITTY

SIMON <333333THREE333

SIMON <333333THREE333

New Piece: "The Endless Wick"

I'm finally knocking them out :)

I present "The Endless Wick!" It was originally longer, with a big bombastic ending, but I thought the performances were so beautiful in the first half that I didn't want to cheapen them by throwing in a gratuitous, overdone, finale.

Now what I have is a beautiful (if I may say) short waltz with some lovely solos.

Enjoy!

I HAVE A MASTER'S DEGREE - AND A NEW SONG!!! :D

I graduated this weekend

from Pulse College with an MA in Composing for Film & Visual Media. I could not attend the ceremony because I have moved to California. I am staying with Mattan Cohen and trying to catch up on mixing my pieces and getting work.

The graduation program, courtesy of a friend. I love these talented people!!!

The graduation program, courtesy of a friend. I love these talented people!!!

Speaking of catching up...

I finally got started on mixing more pieces I worked on at Pulse. Here is my song "Same Day, Same," set to the Quicksilver scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past.

This was an earlier assignment, which was to score an action scene or trailer, using a Digital Audio Workstation and one live recorded performer. Many thanks to Mattan Cohen, Adam Shield, and tutor Tony Perrey for all of their help - I had never made anything on a DAW before this project!!!

Thanks for listening, and thank you to everybody who supported me financially, emotionally, spiritually, etc. I appreciate every one of you!!!

New Piece: "Sky Dust" & Other News

I decided to try something new.

Some time back, I saw the Windy Valley Ringers' 2016 Call for Scores. The call was for short pieces written for a hand bell choir. I had never written for them before, but I played some in high school and thought they were a lot of fun! So I wrote this piece, taking advantage of the way bells play dreamy dissonant chords.

In the end, my new piece "Sky Dust" was one of 5 (I think?) pieces selected to be performed in the ensemble's concert on April 24.

Here is the final mix of the performance! Many thanks, as always, to Mattan for his tech help. I hope you enjoy it :)

The other news

is that my piece "Far From Starkweather" made it's public premiere, under the direction of Derek Gleeson last Thursday in Varna, Bulgaria!!! Wish I could have been there :) Here's a shot from the concert, courtesy of Nigel Lees.

Until next time!

Michelle

Catch-Up #2 - Music I've Made

For those just tuning in, I've recently started a blog, and I'm beginning by summarizing my time in Ireland thus far.

I originally had said I was going to make 4 posts by including one about our tutors, but I couldn't find a non-boring way of listing them off in one blog entry. So I figured it would make more sense to incorporate them into future blogs, sharing the musical assignments they gave us. This method gives them more context anyway :)

The first tutor I'd like to introduce is Derek Gleeson. An accomplished composer (including film credits) and orchestral performer (notably the conductor of the Dublin Philharmonic), he is Pulse's program director and the MA tutor for Scoring Techniques and Conducting. The class has done 4 official recordings thus far (with 5 more on the way), all under his tutelage and conducting. Here are a few:

The first piece I composed at Pulse is entitled, "Memory Lane." The assignment was to choose a word and compose a piece surrounding that word. I chose the word "Nostalgia." I'm not sure I nailed the bittersweet quality of nostalgia here, but I certainly touched upon fondness and the joy of reliving a wonderful memory:

The second piece I composed at Pulse is entitled, "Mind on the Edge." For this assignment, we were provided with a handful of imaginary opening-scene synopses. We were to choose one and compose a main title. The scene I chose is called "At the Breaking Point," whose synopsis describes a woman on the brink of madness waltzing by herself along the River Seine. My strategy here was to compose a charming waltz then underhandedly warp it (especially by transposing one hand at a time) so that, like the woman in the scene, it isn't quite crazy... but it's on the edge!!!

The third piece I'd like to share is actually our fourth recording, but I haven't really nailed the mix on my third recording yet. (If I do, I will share here; it was a big project, worth its own entry.) I digress. This piece is entitled "Twice Fell," and it simply was a free composition. It wasn't graded or anything - the school just provided us with this slightly unconventional (but beautiful) mixture of instruments and told us to compose something for them, between 2 and 3 minutes in length. The instrumentation was Flute/Alto Flute, Bb Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Marimba, Guitar, Accordion, Piano, Violin, Cello, and Double Bass. I composed it simply by coming up with the beginning piano part and expanding from there:

At the risk of stuffing too much into one post, let me share one more clip with you. This is actually an arrangement that I made for our orchestration module. The assignment was to choose any string quartet and re-orchestrate it for any ensemble we choose. I chose Ravel's wonderful assez vif movement from his String Quartet in F and, hoping to keep its lighthearted charm, arranged it for Chamber Winds and Marimba. I wasn't required to make a mock-up, so this is just Sibelius 7 sounds playing, but they don't sound half bad for a non-portfolio piece. :)

Our orchestration tutor is the talented flautist and orchestrator Christo Pavlov. If memory serves, he was the first tutor to visit us from another country. He also oversaw our third studio recording (shown below).

I've done some other musical works, but I'm working on mixing them and mocking them up and haven't shared them with the public. But I will, and when I do, I will post them here with a blurb about their corresponding tutors!!! :D

Have a great weekend all, talk at you soon

Michelle

Catch-Up #1 - Setting Up in Ireland

Hi all!

So I figured I'd catch you all up to date on my adventure in Ireland so far by making a couple of catch-up posts

So today, I'll just give you a basic rundown of my setup here in Ireland :D

My first glimpse of Ireland

My first glimpse of Ireland

I arrived on the 1st of September to the kind hospitality of a fellow student and friend - Robbie (who had never met me before) picked me up from the airport, fed me, showed me around, let me crash on his spare air mattress, and even accompanied me on my daily house-hunt. ALL OF THIS AND MORE FOR A WHOLE WEEK. If I didn't say it enough, THANK YOU ROBBIE!!!!!!

Robbie and me on our first day of school :D

Robbie and me on our first day of school :D

After a week of searching, I found the BEST place possible - an affordable terraced house in a safe little neighborhood with full amenities that's super close to everything INCLUDING DUBLIN'S BEST PIZZA. Even better - I share it with two AWESOME FELLOW STUDENTS:

Left to Right: Mattan, me, Adam; Burger Royalty... Adam was only with us for the first semester, but HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON IN OUR HEARTS

Left to Right: Mattan, me, Adam; Burger Royalty... Adam was only with us for the first semester, but HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON IN OUR HEARTS

I also found a good church, just a 10-15 minute walk from my house. I go with fellow student/friend Sagi every Sunday night:

Me, Sagi

Me, Sagi

Now the reason I hopped the pond in the first place - school!!! I attend Pulse College, which is affiliated with the Dublin Institute of Technology and is situated inside the new Windmill Lane Recording Studios (U2's old studio) building. My fellow classmates and I are pursuing an MA in Composing for Film & Visual Media. Here's a photo of our first day of class (not everybody had arrived yet):

The two guys in suit jackets are Nigel (our ambassador of sorts) and Tony (the president and music tech director)

The two guys in suit jackets are Nigel (our ambassador of sorts) and Tony (the president and music tech director)

The school is great, with great tutors, facilities, and challenging and relevant assignments. We meet in one technologically pimped-out classroom every weekday at 10am. On a typical class day, we break for lunch when we're hungry, and come back to learn more until about 3 or 4. Wednesdays we typically spend learning about music technology. Otherwise, it depends on what tutors are visiting, upon which I will elaborate in a later catch-up blog.

THAT SEEMS LIKE ENOUGH for today. Questions/comments/witty jabs welcome below. I'm also working on making my site attractive and professional, so suggestions are also appreciated

BUT WAIT - THERE'S A SHAMELESS POST-SCRIPT: I can't get student loans for this abroad education, and I've still got a good bit left to raise, so if you are able and willing to help me out, every amount is appreciated!! There is a donate-via-paypal option under the CONNECT menu above, and if you leave me your address, I'll send you a postcard :D

Welcome

Hi all, and welcome to my site :)

I'll be starting a blog this weekend so you can follow me without wearing black and hiding in bushes.

In the meantime, take a peek around my website. Have a listen, have a look, drop a note, send me all of your money, and feel free to share anything you like!

Oh! And subscribe if you'd like updates! I'll be catching you up to speed for the first few posts, then posting when monumental things happen.

Yours,

Michelle