I want to say that my brother is the reason I started playing music. Not because he played an instrument at the time when I was in elementary school, but because I looked up to him and followed what he did. Throughout my time in elementary school my brother was obsessed with the television show “The Simpsons,” and watched episodes religiously everyday. I decided to join him in watching seasons one through fifteen. We both became enthralled with every aspect of the show, and often quoted lines from it in our spare time as inside jokes.
But “The Simpsons” wasn’t just something that made me feel closer to my brother. I really became inspired by the show. In fact, I came to identify with Lisa Simpson, the younger, smarter sibling that played jazz saxophone. So when I entered fourth grade I begged my dad to let me play alto saxophone. I threw myself into practicing, later transitioning to the baritone saxophone, to be just like Lisa. When Lisa said her favorite album was Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool I knew I had to listen to it, and my lifelong love of jazz blossomed.
When I earned a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music, I knew I was going to study not just saxophone, but also film scoring in the hopes of being a TV composer. “The Simpsons” wasn’t just a comedy animation series - it had wonderfully crafted TV music by legendary composers. The theme song was written by Danny Elfman and Alf Clausen was the show composer for many years. The music made you not only connect with the Simpson family, but it made every comic situation that much more funny. I began to understand the power of music in media, and how careful timing and craftsmanship were key.
So as I grow as an artist, I want to create music that elevates media, enhancing the text and subtext of the situation. And while my music for media may not always be jazz, I carry over a sense of improvisation and intuition that breathes life into my compositions.