BMI and the Sundance Institute announced the six musicians selected for the 8th Annual Sundance Institute Composers Lab, which runs from July 26 until August 11 in Sundance, Utah. This year’s Composers Lab Fellows include: Don Byron, Barbara Cohen, Marco d’Ambrosio, Andrea Kapsalis, Ljova (Lev Zhurbin), Gyan Riley.

During the two-week intensive lab, Fellows participate in workshops and creative exercises under the guidance of the industry’s leading film composers and film music professionals. At the Labs, the Composers Lab participants also collaborate with filmmakers from the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program as well as the Sundance Documentary Program to explore the process of writing music for film and to create accompanying scores for scenes shot by the Filmmaker Fellows during the Institute’s Filmmakers Lab.

The Composers Lab is a major component of the Sundance Institute Film Music Program, which is dedicated to supporting emerging film composers and enhancing the role of music in independent film. First offered from 1986-1989, the Composers Lab was re-introduced in the summer of 1998 with the support of BMI to provide a collaborative and supportive environment in which composers can experiment and expand their musical language. The Composers Lab provides valuable first-hand experience in composing for film and enhances the musical understanding of independent filmmakers participating in the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program.

“BMI has been a part of the Lab from its inception, and it’s become a vital educational experience for many of our composers,” said Doreen Ringer Ross, Vice President, Film/TV Relations, BMI. “It’s been a great vehicle for unique composers with experience in other areas to learn the craft of dramatic underscore as well as engage in direct interaction with filmmakers.”

"Music is a crucial and often overlooked part of the filmmaking process,” explains Peter Golub, Director, Sundance Institute Film Music Program, “and this Lab provides a unique opportunity for emerging composers and directors to work together in an atmosphere that encourages experimentation. Interest in this program continues to grow and this year's Fellows represent an extraordinary level of accomplishment and range of musical experience. We're very excited about the work we'll be doing with them and the impact we will have on the Fellows from the Filmmakers Lab and the Documentary Program.”"

In addition to their work with the Filmmakers Lab Fellows, Composers Lab participants will work under the mentorship of a distinguished group of composers, film composers, filmmakers, and film industry professionals. Two world renowned musicians, Maya Beiser (Cellist) and Steven Schick (Percussionist) will be working with the composers and performing for the Institute.

This year’s Creative Advisors include director John Waters (A DIRTY SHAME, HAIRSPRAY, PINK FLAMINGOS); composer Jeff Beal (POLLOCK, IN THE REALMS OF THE UNREAL, CARNIVÀLE); composer George S. Clinton (AUSTIN POWERS: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY, JOE SOMEBODY, A DIRTY SHAME); composer Osvaldo Golijov (THE MAN WHO CRIED, La Pasión Según San Marcos (St. Mark’s Passion)); composer James Newton Howard (THE VILLAGE, HIDALGO, SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS); and composer Christopher Young (THE HURRICANE, THE GRUDGE, WONDER BOYS).

Other Creative Advisors include Ringer Ross, cellist Beiser; Paul Broucek, President, Music at New Line Cinema; sound editor Jon Johnson; music supervisor/consultant Evyen Klean (ANGELS IN AMERICA, S.W.A.T., REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES); music supervisor Tracy McKnight (EVERYDAY PEOPLE, MY ARCHITECT: A SON’S JOURNEY, THE UNITED STATES OF LELAND); film music agent Robert Messinger (First Artists); filmmaker Robb Moss (THE SAME RIVER TWICE); percussionist Schick; and music editor Adam Smalley.

Fellows for the 2005 Sundance Institute Film Music Lab are:

Don Byron

Bronx-born clarinetist Don Byron is a singular voice in a dizzying range of musical contexts, redefining every genre of music he plays, be it classical, salsa, hip-hop, funk, klezmer, or any jazz style from swing and bop to cutting-edge improvisation. He has composed and arranged music for jazz and chamber ensembles, for films and dance, and has recorded ten albums as a leader for Blue Note and Nonesuch Records.

Barbara Cohen

Barbara Cohen is a gifted vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin, flute, piccolo etc.). Her intricate body of work embraces a variety of musical genres from folk, roots rock, trip-hop, electronica and world music.This former Virgin Records recording artist has been the recipient of many awards including The Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship Grant for artistry and composition.

Marco d’Ambrosio

Marco’s scores have been on projects released by 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Classics, Lucasfilm, PDI/Dreamworks, Pixar, APPP and Columbia TriStar. He has composed music for the independent features including “Haiku Tunnel” (Sundance 2001), the anime “Vampire Hunter D:Bloodlust” and “Testosterone” (Toronto 2003), in theatres on THX, Dolby and Century Theatres trailers and on PBS documentaries including the award winning “Blink”, “They Drew Fire” and “Double Dare”.

Andrea Kapsalis

Andreas Kapsalis song “Cubist” was recently featured on NPR’s “All Songs Considered”. He also received high praise from Jazz legend Dave Brubeck for an arrangement of the classic song “Blue Rondo a la Turk”, recorded in collaboration between Kapsalis and Grammy award winning producer Jim Tullio. Andreas utilities a rare eight finger guitar technique to demonstrate his ability to play melody, rhythm, and bass simultaneously while exploring the traditions of Classical and Mediterranean styles in his compositions.

Ljova (a.k.a. Lev Zhurbin)

Ljova (a.k.a. Lev Zhurbin) is a composer, arranger and violist. Most recently, Ljova has been collaborating with Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project and the Kronos Quartet, among others.

Gyan Riley

Gyan Riley, a 27-year-old California native, has emerged as a prominent figure in the guitar world and the contemporary music scene both as a performer and composer. Concert tours with the Europe based World Guitar Ensemble, the Los Angeles based Falla Guitar Trio, and father/composer/pianist Terry Riley have taken him throughout Europe and the United States to perform originals and works from the repertoire.

The Sundance Institute Composers Lab receives continuing major support from founding sponsor BMI. Additional in-kind support for the 2005 Composers Lab is generously provided by Alesis, LaCie, Mark of the Unicorn, Mackie, and Yamaha.

Now marking its 65th year in business, BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents approximately 300,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in all genres of music. With a repertoire of approximately 6.5 million musical works from around the world, the non-profit-making corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.