Fred Onovwerosuoke [Fred O] Brings his Unique Musical Heritage to America and the World
When Robert De Niro called, Fred took the call. It was Fred Onovwerosuoke's St. Louis African Chorus that garnered the attention of director Robert De Niro, who was searching for a particular sound—an African Chant—for his film, “The Good Shepherd.” Meeting with Fred in New York, and listening to a selection of works written for the Chorus, the decision was made, and Fred's work was attached. The song: Ofrenda de Amor.
Born in Ghana to Nigerian parents, multiple award-winning composer Fred Onovwerosuoke, Ph.D, grew up in both countries before settling in the United States in 1990. Early childhood and education through college years, were spent in both Ghana and Nigeria.
Fred has the unique honor and recognition from ASCAP as the "Most Performed African Composer by an American Orchestra or Chamber Music Group" for 15 consecutive years.
And, having scored other films and made appearances on Television, his influences are wide and varied. He is as much at home discussing Beethoven, Debussy and Stravinsky, as he is the
works of foremost exponents of various traditional music.
On June 6, 2020, the poignant, African-American Hymn, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," was heard throughout America. The piece was arranged by Fred. It was written in 1905 by J. Rosamond Johnson (1873–1954), from a poem written in 1900 by his brother, James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938). Fred explains,
“ …in the wake of the current civil unrest, our message at the Intercultural Music Initiative was expressed through the artistic collaboration with some of the leading Black principals at America's major orchestras and music conservatories. The project was originally conceived by my friend, oboist Titus Underwood, for me to write a new piece based on a tune young, budding, Black musicians can recognize or relate. Well, in the midst of production, a string of senseless events happened, leading to the ongoing civic unrest. So, naturally, our focus had to incorporate a sliver of advocacy against oppression.
"For me, it was an absolute honor to write this arrangement to an illustrious African American Hymn
(“Lift Every Voice”). So my gratitude really is to Nashville's Symphony Orchestra's Titus Underwood
(Principal Oboe) for inviting me to participate in this historic production that is called ‘Lift Every Voice: EVERY VOICE!’”
Michael Klubertanz Continues His Award-Winning, Creative Partnerships:
Best Music, Intl Sound & Film Music Fest
"Max Topas - Das Buch Der KristallKinder"
[Max Topas - The Book of the Crystal Children]
Best Picture, Best Film Music Awards
San Diego International Kids Film Festival
Soundtrack Released for "Making Time"
Michael Klubertanz continues to collaborate with award-winning directors and producers. His latest collaboration reunites him with director Michael W. Driesch. The premier of Max Topas was at Düsseldorf, Germany, where the film—and the score!—both received rave reviews from the cognoscenti.
Their current creative partnership includes Michael's score to the mystery-thriller, Frieda - Coming Home. The trailer can be viewed by clicking the poster at right.
The film is one of three Michael has been scoring over the past several months, including Fire of Darkness (M.J. Khappa, dir.), and the completed
Making Time (Grant Pichla, dir.). Clicking the poster at right, will allow you to learn how Michael elected to score the soundtrack to Making Time, which is now available through streaming services, including iTunes and Amazon.
And, yes, look out Gustav Holst, "Mars" is coming!
Herschel Dwellingham Set to Score
"400 Years in the Background"
The documentary takes us four-hundred years after the first Africans were brought to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, The director, J.C. Faulk, MSOD, and his daughter, embark on a journey to a Southern plantation to recognize the beauty and humanity of those who were enslaved to build the nation. Herschel Dwellingham and Fred O are collaborting to include period music for the film.
A recipient of a fellowship from the Open Society Insitute-Baltimore, this
former corporate diversity consultant has designed a program, "An End to Ignorance/Circle of Voices" to deliberately nudge participants to step outside of their comfort zones, stop sitting on the sidelines, and end inglorance.
400 Years in the Background is set to premiere at Sundance early next year.
Herschel continues to work with recording artists in the New Orleans area, and draws artists and orchestras from around the country to record at his state-of-the-art recording facility.
After Two Films and One Win at the Academy Awards,
Adam Balazs Returns to the Award-Winning,
International HBO Series, "Umbre"
Having scored the Academy Award-winning, Best Live Action Short Film, Sing! (Kristof Deak, dir.), and then returning the following year having scored the Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, On Body and Soul (Ildikó Enyedi, dir.), Adam Balazs returns to the acclaimed HBO Series, Umbre, in addition to even more motion pictures and Television.
Umbre, a dramatic crime thriller shot in Romania, is the first HBO Europe original series to be aired in the United States. The lead character is Relu, a family man who has two children, a wife and a double life. Seen through the eyes of his family, Relu Oncescu appears to be an ordinary taxi driver. No one suspects that Relu works as a collector for Capitanu', a local mobster. Neither of the two worlds (his family and the Mafia) knows of the other's existence. Relu manages to keep everything under control, but not for long. After accidentally killing a man, he tries to get out of the underworld, but he can't find his way back. Day-by-day, the secrets he keeps become increasingly oppressive, and the lies begin to surface, one by one. Umbre is in international distribution.
One year ago, On Body and Soul was presented the prestigious "Golden Bear Award for Best Film" at the acclaimed Berlinale International Film Festival, where the film made its world premiere. The Hungarian love story is about two slaughterhouse workers who connect in shared dreams. Ildekó contrasts the harsh reality of the abbatoir with the magical world of slumber.
At the 80th Academy Awards ceremony, Kristof Deak, director, and Anna Udvardy, producer, were awarded and honored to have their film, Sing! (Mindenki!), receive "The Oscar" for Best Live Action Short Film.
Sing! is the story of Zsofi, struggling to fit in at her new school—singing in the school's famous choir is her only consolation. But the choir director may not be the inspirational teacher everyone thinks she is. It will take Zsofi and her friend Liza to teach their teacher a lesson. Based on a true story, Sing! follows an award-winning school choir and the new girl in class facing a tough choice: to stand up against a corrupt system—or, to fit quietly into it.
Adding to an already impressive creative collaboration, Arpad Balazs, internationally renowned classical composer and father of Adam Balazs, contributed his famous Hungarian children’s song—Elderflower (Bodzavirág)—to the production.
John Scott to Score Wartime Biopic
John Scott has been chosen to score this amazing, but true story about a Wigan (England) opera singer turned spy. Margery sang for Hitler, who filled her dressing room with dozens of roses, not realising that she had top secret messages concealed under her dress.
Margery was with Hitler on his birthday, when he was presented with the new Tiger Tank, and was able to get valuable information back to London, which eventually resulted in a Tiger Tank being captured in North Africa, and taken back to London under Churchill’s personal orders. Now totally trusted by the leading Nazis, she was even allowed to sing to British POWs at Stalag IIID, with whom she made many useful contacts, especially with another MI9 operative, John Brown. Margery eventually gave evidence against SS officers at the London Royal Courts of Justice (The Old Bailey) after the war.
Directed by Thierry Potok and based upon the book of the same name by Ralph Harvey, producer Franz von Habsburg-Toskana brings together a cast of noted acclaim, to include Anna Friel, Stephen Fry, Susan George, Bruce Montague, Patrick Bergin and Nicola Posner.
The film is currently in pre-production with an anticipated 2020 premiere.
Akos Lustyik Completes Acclaimed
ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop; Scores for Jaguar
A Scholar Graduate of the Master's Program at the Royal College of Music (RCM), London, award-winner of the Transatlantyk Film Music Competition (a part of the Lodz Transatlantyk International Film and Music Festival, Poland), AND a collaborator on the Academy Award winning film "Sing,"
Akos Lustyik participated in the prestigious and acclaimed ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop with Emmy Award-winning composer Richard Bellis. One of 12 composers selected from a field of over 300. Akos' final work for the Workshop, was to rescore a scene from "A Cure for Wellness" (Gore Verbinski, dir., Benjamin Wallfisch, comp.). Click ASCAP logo at right to view recording session. Also at right, Akos' work with Jaguar and the Tata Group for a promotional video, utilizing student musicians of the RCM, premiering in New Delhi.
Akos is a classically trained composer from Budapest, Hungary. Completing his studies at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, he became a Scholar of the Royal College of Music. Akos also holds a master's in economics and management from
Budapest University of Technology and Economics, and speaks Hungarian, English and German.
We congratulate Akos on these wonderful achievements.
Stephen Viens Scores "Arctic Plunge,"
"Kampai! Sake Sisters" and "Walk of Fame"
Stephen Viens scored director Brian To's Arctic Plunge, his seventh film with Brian. The film is an apology letter narrated by an older woman (Academy Award nominee Sally Kirkland) to a 16-year-old boy, who took his own life after she rejected him during an Arctic tour many years ago, when she was 25-years-old. Sorrow and regret haunt her as she reflects on the void left in her heart. Arctic Plunge uses symbolism and imagery to convey the disintegration and breakup of man’s relationship with wildlife and Earth, which may be lost forever. It is a tone poem that juxtaposes music, words, and images to make the audience feel saudade for whatever loss they need to resolve.
In a follow-up to Kampai! For the Love of Sake, Stephen scored the second in the series of feature documentaries, Kampai! Sake Sisters. The English- and Japanese-language film, under the direction of Mirai Konishi, explores the world of Sake, the national drink of Japan, and the women behind some of the world's finest sake to be produced. The film was produced by Konishi’s Los Angeles-based Wagamama Media, in collaboration with producer, Chiaki Yanagimoto.
Stephen also wrote the enchanting score for a love story between a Cinderella and a Transformer Super Hero, Walk of Fame (Erick Huff, dir.).
Noah Potter Scores
"Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons"
Executive Music Producer for "Pioneer's Palace B'92"
Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons is an exciting new documentary that explores the history, influence, and stories behind the artwork that helps create the worlds in which we all play. The movie profiles D&D artists—both past and present—and also features former TSR insiders, game designers, authors, and fans. The documentary celebrates the art of the game.
Based on director Bobby Paunescu's own experience, the story follows a group of Romanian teenagers who, driven by the unprecedented freedoms of a free-market economy, open a disco in their high school. Surrounded by entrepreneurial opportunity and almost no limits, the teens visit Bucharest's first-ever brothel, and are exposed to the dark underbelly of an unregulated society when they are faced with potential exposure to AIDS. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Amanda Ply's Song "Waiting" from the film
"The Radicalization of Jeff Boyd": Best Original Song, Florence Film Awards
Other Awards Include Co-Recipient of Best Music at Moscow Indie Film Festival,
Mindfield Film Festival (LA), Oniros Film Awards, Maverick Movie Awards,
Cult Critic Magazine Awards and the Festigious International Festival Awards
The Radicalization of Jeff Boyd., (trailer above). The song was judged Best Original Song at the Florence Film Awards (Italy). Further, she, and composer Michael Klubertanz, were afforded the Red Square Award for Best Music at the Moscow Indie Film Festival, the Mindfield Film Festival Los Angeles, Cult Critic Magazine Awards, Oniros Film Awards and the Festigious International Film Festival. Previous work includes scoring Creative Funding (CC Chainey, dir.) and in Television, writing for the highly successful series, Reign (CW).
From several thousand entries, "One of a Kind Girl," written by Amanda Ply and Robin Schorr, was chosen as a semi-finalist in the Music City SongStar Competition taking place in Nashville. The annual competition is genre free, with the belief that "…a good song is a good song is a good song. Period."
SMC Artists takes pride in the noteworthy accomplishments of these two fine writers and performers.
Amanda Ply is a classical pianist and honors graduate of the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. With
inspiration from Carole King, Diane Warren and Sia, as a singer-songwriter, Amanda has an edge and ability—both on- and off-stage—to appeal to a wide range of fans. It is her contemporary approach to crafting songs, and her easy vocal style and elastic voice that appeals to her audiences. More recently, Amanda has been focusing her efforts writing R&B, Country and Pop songs for a wide spectrum of artists.
"SMC Artists takes pride in representing prominent international film & Television composers, songwriters and lyricists, who are
classically trained, and who have a significant and award-winning scoring and recording history. I request your consideration
of all my fine artists and their qualifications, when preparing for your next production."—Otto Vavrin II , president