Jackie Andresen is a composer and violinist from Los Angeles, California. Classically trained in violin, she began studying under violinist Dorthy Kwon at PCM and later attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). She now attends New York University’s Steinhardt School of Music, studying Music Theory and Composition with a concentration in Screen Scoring under composer and conductor Alba S. Torremocha and film composer Chris Hajian.
She has written music for several short films and has scored collaborations between Canon and Sumire Lenses. In the summer of 2020, she completed a mentorship under composer Michael Levine and later interned for composer Catherine Joy. She is currently featured on MPATH’s album of Phenomenal Women Composers vol. 13.
PCM: Hi Jackie! You are currently studying film composition at NYU. How is it being back at school in New York City?
JA: It is so great being back in school in New York! Being able to play and hear live and in-person music has been such an opportunity I’ll never take for granted, and am forever grateful for.
PCM: How did you get interested in film composition?
JA: I think similarly to a lot of other composers, it was hearing the music of such influential and great film composers from other eras in Hollywood. For me, hearing Nino Rota’s eclectic and beautiful score to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 The Godfather, and his unique, simplistic, yet purposeful orchestration drew me in, and I knew then that film music and composition was an avenue I wanted to further pursue. Prior to watching the film, I had never considered pursuing composition as a career path, but in doing so I have learned so much about concert music, orchestration, conducting, and more. Combined with my violin training here at PCM and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts has created an invaluable foundation for my studies.
PCM: At PCM, you studied violin with Dorthy Kwon. Were there any experiences here, or in general as a young music student, that were particularly impactful or formative?
JA: There were so many opportunities at PCM that I am incredibly grateful to have had and experienced, including performing at art nights, group lessons, and even juries, that helped prepare me for college and placement exams throughout my high school career. In addition, Ms. Dorthy would often program concerts at local senior centers around Los Angeles, and to perform at each was an experience I am so grateful for, such an honor to share the joy of music.
PCM: You’ve had a number of exciting summer jobs: working alongside prominent composers and assisting in recording sessions at Capital Records. Can you tell us a little about those experiences?
JA: I interned for composer Catherine Joy and her score preparation and production company this past summer, and it was such an incredible experience. In addition to printing, taping, and transporting scores to composers and musicians across the Los Angeles area, I had the incredible opportunity to sit in and take notes for recording sessions at Capitol Studios, the Silent Zoo, and East West studios, also in Hollywood, for projects such as Netflix’s Untold, and other scoring projects recently released and premiering in film festivals across the country now. Prior to interning for Catherine, I completed a mentorship for film composer Michael A. Levine in the summer of 2020, and received a producing credit in his recently released short film, The Aspirant.
PCM: Below is your junior year concert at NYU. Your compositions begin at the 9 min 15 second mark — is there anything you want to share to help set up those compositions?
JA: Yes! As part of our curriculum at NYU, students are required to program and coordinate both a senior concert or capstone project, featuring their work created over the course of their undergraduate time at school. In addition, we are also asked to program a junior concert, or “experience”, created in collaboration with other composers also in your academic year.
My compositions within the concert are featured at 09:15, consisting of a collaboration between myself and filmmaker Spencer Hillman. We were paired last year in class for a project, and I wanted to add live strings to the completed score and film. My second piece is featured at 01:23:35, consisting of a violin and viola duet I composed my first year at NYU, and my last piece is a string quartet entitled and inspired by Antelope Valley, in California at 01:27:18, but there are many amazing compositions and pieces by my peers and the people that helped coordinate this concert and make it come to fruition throughout.
PCM: Are you currently working on any projects?
JA: In terms of film music, I am working on quite a few student films for NYU filmmakers and animators in the Tisch School of the Arts. In addition, I hope to finish my string quartet inspired by my home state of California this upcoming fall. Aside from my own compositions, I am currently co-president of the NYU Composers’ Collective, and we are now in the process of programming our fourth annual film music concert, Unsilent Film. An exciting performance, this concert features short silent films and clips scored and performed live to picture by NYU performers and instrumentalists.
PCM: Is there anything else you’d like to share with the PCM community?
JA: I am so thankful for all the PCM faculty, staff, and peers that I have been able to work with and learn from over the years. It was such an incredible place to begin my training and further explore the possibilities of music, and all it can do for us as performers and listeners.