02 Feb AWFC Interview with AMP Composer Natasa Paulberg
This January 2022, just as Natasa had put the final touches on the new James Joyce Ulysses documentary’s bespoke score, our composer had the pleasure of being interviewed by Nami Melumad for The Alliance of Women Film Composers.
Here’s the first of five questions posed to Natasa, and her response:
- You’re an in-demand Australian/Irish composer for film, television, advertising, gaming and the concert hall. What drew you into composing, and how did you start your career?My family has a rich musical heritage and so music was always a big part of my life from a young age. As a teenager, I remember in particular being enthralled by the film The Piano and was blown away by the music. The score by Michael Nyman was so deeply moving and I knew then that music was something that I would love to do, but I really had no idea what that would look like or how I would get there. Following secondary school I seriously considered going on to study composition however I was also very interested in the health sciences. My parents practical advice was to “get a real job first” and pursue music at a later time, and that is what I ended up doing – I went on to become an osteopath! This career path allowed me to choose my own hours whilst still pursuing music on the side. I moved from Australia to Ireland and whilst practicing as an osteopath I went on to complete an MPhil in Music and Media Technology at Trinity College Dublin. I continued to play piano bar gigs for parties, weddings, clubs which was great training for musical improvisation. After playing at a friends wedding I was asked by a guest in attendance to score his first short film, and as I had learned some of the technology and compositional skills needed for this I was able to score a few of his films – so you never know where your first gig might come from!Although I had developed music technology and compositional skills I still didn’t have real scoring experience. At that time Screen Skills Ireland were having LA composers come to Ireland to give master classes and this is where I met Garry Schyman and Christopher Young who both encouraged me to come to LA. As I continued my music education, I was very fortunate to receive a Fulbright Scholarship during my PhD to attend the UCLA Extension Film Scoring Program where I really learned the craft! I had such a wonderful time living and learning in LA, not only did I attend the UCLA program but I also worked on a few large orchestral projects in Sony and Fox which were wonderful experiences.So my compositional journey was never actually planned with a clear trajectory, I really just pursued any opportunities that came my way to study, perform and learn, even those that I was unsure about and didn’t know where they would lead. This non-linear path together with all the experiences and skills I have learned have contributed to where I am today. (Interview by Nami Melumad)
You can read the full length original here.