If you have watched Drexel University’s student-made television series “Off Campus” or played video games such as “Epic Defense” and “Proteus,” then you have listened to scores produced by Drexel University’s student-run Drexel Composers Group.
Founded in 2007 by three-time Emmy award winner Jim Klein, a former professor of Drexel’s Music Industry Program, the Drexel Composers Group produces audio for television shows, video games, films and other forms of media. All of the audio is produced by Drexel students. The group is run by senior music industry major Eric Masi and music industry major Andrew Aversa, who graduated in 2009.
The Drexel Composers Group composes an array of music. Rock, techno, orchestral, you name it. The group is very open-minded to any music genre. In addition to music composition, the group offers postproduction services, including sound effects, voice-overs and others. The Drexel Composers Group offers its services to any Drexel student or organization, no matter the budget.
One of the main goals of the Drexel Composers Group is to create music that fits the film, television show or video game. The point is for the audience to notice the music, but not for the music to seem detached. The music isn’t just there in the film but is part of the film. The group aims and succeeds at making their music sound as realistic as possible.
“We take great pains to produce very natural-sounding instrumentation. The difference between what we do and somebody with a keyboard with hundreds of instruments … is we try to make everything sound very, very convincing,” Masi said.
The group uses a Musical Instrument Digital Interface sequencing program, which involves typing a music notation into the program and assigning different instruments to the sequencing. To put it in easier terms, the program translates music codes into actual music. The group uses various computer labs in MacAlister Hall and University Crossings, equipped with iMacs, piano keyboards and digital analogs. Since the composition of music mainly requires knowledge of the software, it isn’t a necessity to be able to play an instrument.
The Drexel Composers Group has an open network with the film and video department here at Drexel, which is where the group gets a majority of its gigs. The group also advertises through social networking sites such as Facebook and WordPress. The majority of the group’s gigs are a result of people reaching out to them. This year, the group seeks to make a change. They are now taking a business approach to making themselves known, seeking to reach outside of the Drexel realm. Touching on the business side of the group, it also provides lectures regarding music branding, business and entrepreneurship.
“We want to expand to the greater Philadelphia arts community, and we want to open up our services to … anyone who is interested in working with us that has something valuable to offer,” Masi said.
The group wants to visit classes at other Philadelphia schools, such as Temple University, and meet people who might be interested in working with them. In order to expand their horizons, they plan on having more face-to-face outreach. Senior music industry major Katherine Strollo is in charge of managing public relations for the group and getting the word out to the public.
The Drexel Composers Group does not require members to be music industry majors. Anybody with a passion and skill set for music and music production can join.
The Drexel Composers Group is all about “helping people better themselves as composers and helping them develop that into the real world,” Masi said.
Anybody interested in joining the Drexel Composers Group or utilizing its services can visit www.drexelcomposers.com or email [email protected]. Also, check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DrexelComposers.