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Karl Gottschalk

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Biography

I love film because I love stories. When I was a kid, I’m pretty certain I read everything in the public library before the end of elementary school. But soon film drew me in because in movies, a story is no longer trapped in your imagination, but visible, almost real. You can lose yourself.

In adittion to growing up watching films, I was also exposed to a very ecclectic mix of music at home. While working, my mother would play everything from film scores to crash metal, Mozart to Mogwai, and New Age to Jazz. It didn't seem to matter what the music was, as long as it was dramatic and evocative.

After playing in a local youth orchestra during high school, l decided there was something about music that called out to me. I wasn’t really sure what it was, but I went on to study the bassoon in my undergrad anyway. Maybe I just assumed that the reason would present itself.

Since then I have explored music high and low. From Bach, Vivaldi, and Brahms, to EDM, Grunge Metal, and Jazz, I have dipped at least a toe in pretty much every pond (and found that some weren’t nearly as pleasant as others). Music for films, unsurprisingly, stood out, and has stuck with me through everything.

I think what makes film music so special is that it is in itself storytelling, without words or images. It is emotional communication in its most raw, pure form. Then when combined with image and characters, the music becomes something more. Film gives the music enhanced meaning, and in exchange the music enhances the story's heart. I think what drew me to it so much, over all the other types of music, is film music is there to help and support what it accompanies. It is music that serves a purpose.

Musical Background

My musical background is classical. I am a trained orchestral bassoonist (that's that funny looking instrument up there). I graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Bachelor’s in Music Performance and a Bachelor’s in French Language and Literature (I have a penchant for learning and inventing languages). I have to admit that I have a soft spot for « that Hollywood sound, » but it is certainly not the only the thing I enjoy writing. While I do love to write more traditional orchestral scores, I also draw heavily from softer, more intimate musical styles. And when no-one is looking, I love to listen to and make EDM.

Pour tous ceux que ça intéresse, je parle couramment français (grâce à deux ans d’enfance à Lyon), et j’ai un faible pour le cinéma français.