FIVE QUESTIONS FOR LAURA KARPMAN
Laura Karpman is a five time EMMY winning composer based in Los Angeles. A bold, incandescent talent, she creates powerful, imaginative scores that push the boundaries of storytelling. Her award-winning music, spanning film, television, theater, interactive media and live performance, reflects an audaciously creative, prodigious, fresh spirit. Laura collaborates with the most creative filmmakers of our time, including Misha Green, Steven Spielberg, Alex Gibney, Kasi Lemmons, Rory Kennedy, Sam Pollard, Laura Nix and Eleanor, Francis Ford and Sophia Coppola.
Over the years you have scored an incredibly wide array of projects. Was versatility something that you focused on in the early years, and do you feel it is required for a career in film scoring?
LK: I have always found it necessary. But I do feel that there is a certain modernism and maximalism that I take across all my projects. I love harmonically complex music! I do also love exploring the music of personally unfamiliar cultures, so I have always embraced and appreciated those tasks!
Having been on the scene since the late 80's and seeing the shift in technology has been used for scoring, how do you feel the demands of you as a composer has changed?
LK: OK Very late 80’s :) Yes and no - I am working harder now then I ever have - there is so much content which is such a blessing! And of course the technology has RADICALLY changed. Certain things have gotten easier - digital recording, for example - but even that has its consequences - sometimes I fell like a digital audio editor rather than a composer - but maybe those two tasks have merged.
When starting a large scale project like a television series, what is your process for finding your sound and laying the groundwork needed to create such a huge amount of music?
LK: I always start with a theme or a group of themes which I often write at the piano, the old fashioned way, with pencil and music paper. My scribbles serve me well for an entire project!
In 2014 you co-founded the Alliance for Women Film Composers which advocates for the visibility of women entering the media scoring industry. Tell us more about what this initiative means to you and it's importance for encouraging and promoting new talent.
LK: The Alliance, and my advocacy is for emerging women as well as established ones. I think we have all been sidelined for a really long time. Now there seems to FINALLY be an awareness of this and that awareness is helping all of us tremendously. I think its an eco system problem. If there are too few women on top doing the projects with more visibility, there are no role models, not only for younger composers, but also for the decision makers. They especially need to know there are capable women composers available!
What was the last piece of music that you heard that you think everyone reading this should hear?
LK: God, I love what Anna Meredith is doing. And just yesterday I was listening to Gil Evans.
For more information about Laura, visit www.laurakarpman.com