Jennifer Lee

Project: Ashima

  • Project Created By

    Reel Change Film Fund for Diversity in Film Scoring

    Composer: Jennifer Lee Project: Ashima

Jennifer Lee

Project: Ashima

The Reel Change funds will go towards all the production of the composing of Ashima – studio time, instrumentation, and gear to record specific sounds for creative effects. For example, we’re experimenting integrating natural sounds from the outdoors, actual climbing (shoes on rock, harnesses, friction on the wall) into the music itself. The grant funds will go into the hard costs of recording – recording engineer, midi takedown, orchestrations, electronics programming, ProTools operation, pre-records, synth programming, printing/prelay, amongst other things like any necessary rentals and hard drives. The funds will also be a compensation for my time as composer, so that I can spend the necessary time dedicated to the project to create the best score possible. As many hard costs as there are, I appreciate Reel Change’s commitment to supporting female composers, as this particular field can pose significant challenges in having enough resources to permit focused creative attention that a feature film requires.  

This score has been a creative journey unlike my other music, specifically because it’s with such a specific subject matter, character, and public figure like Ashima. The score has been a exploration of personality, sound, and creative collaboration with Ashima’s director, Kenji Tsukamoto. We have put our minds together to ideate soundscapes that could fit different aspects of Ashima’s unique personality, cultural heritage, and emotional journey as a 13-year old female rock climber. Since my forte is in dance music, Kenji has been encouraging me to integrate my natural taste into a youthful, spunky, and contemplative score with a baseline cohesive soundscape. The baseline is then varied based on the segment – be it a high stake competition, playful banter with her father, or a series of brutal climb attempts and failures. 

My inspiration for music comes from a great number of sources – nature, relationships, other forms of art, and the subject matter itself. As a Korean American musician, my culture also informs and inspires my musicality, with a wide range of artists and sounds from both sides of the Pacific and across many generations. I love to experiment and weave the many aspects of my surroundings and tastes into music with its own DNA.  As a person, I’m a fan of rock climbing as a form of physical activity and therapy for the many real stressors in life. I’m a fan of Ashima both for her tenacity as a climber and her experience as a formidable fellow young Asian American female at the top of her field. There’s a specificity to the experience, like the triumphs, loneliness, imposter syndrome, identity politics, confusion, glass ceilings and hurdles in our respective industries that I very much relate to. This baseline understanding and respect for Ashima inspires me to capture the emotionality and possibility in her story to do it proper justice.

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The Telephone Project

August 12, 2022 | 6:00 pm

The People's Building: 9995 E Colfax Ave., Aurora, CO 80010

Guerilla Opera’s SALT at the 2022 Ice Factory Festival

August 19, 2022 | 7:00 pm

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Amplifying Voices Premiere: Tyshawn Sorey’s new piece with Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra

August 20, 2022 | 10:00 pm

Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra

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