Under Creativity in my website menu, under the Interviews With Creators section, I feature my interviews with composers, artists, choreographers, writers, photographers, directors, and other creatives about their work, and the creative process.
The purpose of each interview is to learn positive strategies that work to tap creativity, address the inner critic or other hindrances to creative flow, and build a successful creative life.
The following features my chat with talented, young composer from Salt Lake City, Joshua Sohn.
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
Bolting From The Gate
I met Korean-American composer, Joshua Sohn, in an online Facebook group for film score composers that I co-admin. We arranged a Skype chat to discuss his composing endeavors. He’s an energetic young guy, passionately exerting himself to develop his career as a film composer.
Although he got a teaching degree, and landed a job as a percussion specialist for school bands, he quickly found his interest was in creating rather than teaching. He has already built his music production company, Sohn Compositions, and has begun gaining experience in creating music for film, games, song production, and jingle-writing for businesses in the Salt Lake City area and beyond.
Having A Blast
Sohn enjoys creating sound design and musical compositions with virtual instrument applications and his Digital Audio Workstation of choice, Cubase. He’s also proficient in ProTools, another popular choice among professional composers.
Sohn’s pure interest in all things composing comes across easily. He loves discussing the tools of the trade, and his various film, advertising and other collaborative projects.
For example, since 2014, he has composed music for the Air Force Reserve, a 48-Hour Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Audience Awards Film Festival, Filmquest Film Festival, and the Salt Lake Symphony! He also wrote music for “Come As You Are,” an anti-bullying musical play for grades 6-12.
Recently, he also composed the sentimental, holiday song, SnowFlake Snow, in collaboration with the author, J. R. Holbrook’s Gingerbread Jimmi: Magical Storybook. His adeptness for composing catchy, infectious melody, along with fitting instrumentation for the holidays, in a cheerful musicality suitable for children, is evident upon first listen.
Just for fun, he also had one of his compositions recorded by a live orchestra! The musical piece was written for the Ravel Film Scoring competition, as a live orchestral waltz. Sohn says he created the music to evoke a ballroom scene with dancing couples sparking a romantic intensity. His waltz incorporates a clarinet solo, and features string and percussion hits. Listen to his waltz, Mysterioso here.
TOP TIPS ON Success Mindset
Sohn has parallel traits that successful film composers possess. In an article from Los Angeles Times, John Duffy, composer and president of Meet The Composer, a national service organization in New York that channels financial support to composers, confirms the necessary qualities for composer career success, ”By any measure, it takes tremendous grit, resiliency, reason and a fresh eye to succeed in the musical world. Diligence, hard labor and street smarts can open doors and save you time.”
Although a music degree is not necessary, according to an article by Patrick Gleeson, Ph. D., most successful film composers have one. Fortunately, Sohn has a solid foundation with his music education degree, percussion skills, and has used technology throughout his youth, in his former teaching position, and for the composing projects he’s already accomplished. He has forged relationships with a few directors by composing for their projects locally, invaluable training for learning the film-maker’s perspective.
What’s GOING ON
One of the coolest thing about Sohn is his desire to contribute to others. On that note, he has launched an ongoing composer video tutorial series to teach what he knows about composing for film, different genres, instrumentation, and the use of electronic gear. You can follow his series here.
My interview with young film composer Joshua Sohn reveals he has all the qualities for a successful career in film scoring.
Click here to learn more about Joshua Sohn’s music.
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