Hartford, Connecticut, December 7, 2016 – Music major Steve Syz ’17 intends to pursue a career as a composer of film scores. He began composing music in the fall of 2012, as a first-year student at Trinity College, and focused on writing “epic music” for movie trailers and cinema. After posting a few three-minute compositions on the internet, amateur computer game-makers began asking permission to use his music. Soon Syz was commissioned to write the musical introduction to a television pilot, “Ghast Paranormal,” and in 2015 scored the animated short “The Last Raindrop,” and a short film, “The Spirit by the Sea,” which is currently in production.
In the summer of 2016, acting upon the recommendation of composer Dan Román, an associate professor of music at Trinity, Syz applied to and was accepted into the prestigious summer Film Scoring Institute at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. There he attended classes by Hollywood composers Tyler Bates (Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Rob Pottorf (Disney), Blake Neely (television shows “Supergirl” and “Arrow”), and sound designers and orchestrators.
At Trinity College, Syz’s newest composition, entitled “Snowdrop,” will have its premiere on Thursday, December 8, in the Common Hour Classical Concert: Chamber Ensembles Recital, at 12:15 p.m. in the Gruss Music Center at the Austin Arts Center. The musicians are Yu-Ting Wu ’18, piano, Jitty Synn ’19, violin, and Nicholas Kim ’18, ’cello.
Syz began taking piano lessons this semester with Nancy Curran, who is the instrumental ensembles coordinator. When Curran learned that Syz wrote music, he showed her some of his piano pieces and short film scores.
“I was very impressed after hearing some of Steve’s trailer music and his enthusiasm for composition,” Curran said. “His music had never been performed by live musicians, however, so I challenged him to write a piece for our piano trio. I wanted a short, easy-to-rehearse work that would not demand too much rehearsal time for the trio, since they are working on a large work of Beethoven. Steve had half of it written in a week, and the whole work completed in two weeks. It was perfect, exactly what I wanted, and it is lovely!”
Although Syz has now taken nearly all the music courses at Trinity, he says he relies on his ear rather than music theory when composing. “If it sounds good, I put it in,” he said. “With each piece I compose, I always tell myself to find something new, and that’s how I got better than before. I also mix and master my own music, and that’s a whole different world. Notes, chords, and notation are something I am learning in conjunction with adding reverb, limiters, and compression. I’m still learning and growing as a composer, but I have hopes of one day creating music for something major.”
More examples of Syz’s music may be heard on SoundCloud and YouTube.
Written by Susan Hood