Skype Interview with Jeremy Zuckerman
To a packed to overflowing Media Lab, the Film Scoring network facilitated a Skype Call with Jeremy Zuckerman, Los Angeles based composer and Berklee alum, touching on his career path as well as his recent work on Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. Originally only scheduled for six episodes, taking on composing for Avatar: The Last Airbender was a bit of a leap of faith for Jeremy as he had to leave behind a job in sound design to take on the new project. While making extensive use of ethnic sample instruments and libraries, he was still able to pursue limited recording of individual solo instruments, including pipa and flute for a number of cues. Recounting one cue, Jeremy described creating simple lead sheets with melody and chords for a dixieland style ensemble, letting the musicality of the session players and their familiarity with the genre carry the music. During an extensive Q & A, Jeremy responded to questions and provided a number of tips and techniques for composers to employ in their own work, for example, ideas for unison and ensemble writing with a small number of string players. He also shared a list of recommended books which included On Sonic Art by Trevor Wishart, How to Write for Percussion by Samuel Z. Solomon, Principles of Orchestration by Rimsky Korsakov and the Technique of Contemporary Orchestration by Alfredo Casella and Virgilio Mortari.