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festival intrnacional logo smI recently returned from 10 days at the acclaimed International Film Music Festival of Cordoba along with such other noteworthy composers as Academy Award winner Rachel Portman, Joseph Trapanese, Peter Bernstein, Marco Beltrami, Roque Banos, Frederico Jusid, Michael Price, Joel Duek, Brian Cole, and more.

Based in and around the ancient city of Cordoba, the festival included workshops for aspiring composers and fans, panels on film-scoring topics, and daily orchestral concerts of film music in various towns. There was lots of cultural exchanges between city officials, composers and festival attendees from all over the world. The entire experience took on historical significance as we learned about the evolution of this place even while music for film was the focus. In fact, our hotel was situated in the old Jewish quarter, amid winding alleyways where you could almost feel what it was like so long ago. But when alleyways opened up into modern plazas filled with cafes, office buildings, shops, and theaters buzzing with activity, you could grab lunch and people watch.

My trip started in Madrid, where I spent the morning with fellow composer, Fernando Velazquez. He took Chandler Poling and I on a whirlwind tour of Madrid, and then we walked around the famous park for a couple of hours....

FernandoVelazquez 

Finally, two hours on a high speed train to Cordoba.....

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Moonlight on the Roman Bridge...

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The official poster...

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 I gave a Documentary Film Scoring workshop for aspiring film composers at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Cordoba...

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I was on a wonderful panel with Rachel Portman, BMI's Doreen Ringer Ross, and composer publicist Beth Krakower where we discussed a Feminine Take on Music for Film....a topic not often discussed publicly. It was a very lively discussion with some interesting twists and turns, and very well received.

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Here are some of group after the first concert in Aguilar de la Frontera, a couple of hours drive from Cordoba. Concerts start at 10pm and dinner is served after that, around midnight (we Americans look hungry don't we).....

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It's 1am - where's the food?

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Here I am at a rehearsal for the ETHEL SUITE with Cordoba's official 70 piece orchestra....they were really great! Over the course of the week they played 4 concerts of original film music by many different composers, many of whom conducted their own pieces.

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I made a lot of new friends! Zacharias de la Riva, a wonderful Spanish composer!

Zacarias M. de la Riva

Workshop Programmer Conrado - a true Spanish romantic...

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While I didn't conduct the orchestra for my ETHEL SUITE, I did conduct a drunken choir at the bistro across from our hotel... Here I am with a bunch of my new friends...

drunken choir
My favorite restaurant by day...

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We got our own private tour of the Mosque of Cordoba...

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This photo by the amazing Phil Watkins (official photographer of the festival and author of Pasionata - Film Scoring) says it all...

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This was taken before Thursday evening's concert which included music by Rachel Portman and Peter Bernstein (on the left). Also pictured are festival head David Doncel Barth, BMI's Doreen Ringer Ross, Rachel, me, and Antonio, Cordoba's Director of Cultural Affairs.

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Joe Trapanese, Chandler Poling and I found a great Italian Restaurant....

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On Friday night there was a wonderful concert in Cordoba's beautiful outdoor Gran Teatro. The first half featured the music of Elmer Bernstein, conducted by Peter Bernstein. What a rush!!! The second half featured music of Marco Beltrami...

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I did an interview for the French...

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And then for the Spanish...

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For which I was paid in two types of Spanish tuna...

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Then came Saturday night's concert "The Best of 2012 - 2013 Film Music" which included ETHEL, orchestrated for 70 piece orchestra by my dear friend, the amazing Steve Bartek. Here's Arturo, the conductor:

Arturo my conductor

My piece was just played!

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Final bows, one composer at a time...(yes - that's a choir in the background for Roque Banos "EVIL DEAD SUITE"...)

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Last day, meeting the fans, signing souvenirs for two hours - one fan did his research and brought a Swingstreet Album for me to sign!

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Some were even more ingenious...as this Brass Band Club from Mallorca!

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Our last party...

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I love you Cordoba - I will never forget this amazing time...

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