W&J music professor scores documentary for Pittsburgh Glass Center

Created: November 13, 2018
Last Updated: December 20, 2019

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WASHINGTON, PA (Nov. 13, 2018)—Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) Assistant Professor of Music Kyle Simpson has taken on the world of film scoring, most recently writing the music for the short documentary “All of the Suddens.”

“All of the Suddens” focuses on glass artist Kelly O’Dell’s current exhibition of the same name at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. O’Dell’s work explores existence, extinction, and endangered species preservation. Simpson’s score makes use of unique materials integral to the exhibit, and includes samples of the composer using glass to make music.

Simpson came into the project after connecting with the film’s director, Tom Kurlander, whom Simpson met through their mutual interest in raising awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. The two arranged a concert together to raise money for a documentary Kurlander is currently producing about Alzheimer’s disease. When Simpson expressed his interest in scoring films, Kurlander brought him aboard to create music for some of his short films.

“So many of my colleagues told me my music was, quote, ‘cinematic,’ so I thought I’d give it a try,” Simpson said.

Simpson started pursuing film scoring in 2011 when he was one of only 20 composers invited to compose music for a film workshop in New York City, where his composition was performed by musicians from professional ensembles, including members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Positive reception and feedback encouraged him to continue in the field, and since he’s scored a variety of projects, including short films, commercials, and web series. Currently, he’s working with a video game developer in Los Angeles to create music to accompany a mobile game.

As the film industry in Pittsburgh expands, so do opportunities for Simpson, and he’s eager to discover the possibilities the future may hold.

“I’m excited that Pittsburgh seems to be having a more and more thriving film scene,” he said. “There are more opportunities for local people interested in the film industry. I’m energized and thrilled by that.”

“All of the Suddens,” is on display now through Jan. 22, 2019 at the Pittsburgh Glass Center.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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