Saturday
Jul182009

Tom├ís Hradcky

 

Tomás Hradcky began playing music at the age of eight. Nearly right from the start, he eschewed "practicing" for experimenting with what the instrument could do and what he could create with it. His true passion became clear, in hindsight, when he figured out how to record himself playing multiple parts using 2 cassette decks at the age of 10. The next 12 years culminated with a B.A. in music performance from The Dana School Of Music. Growing up in a home filled with culturally rich music he remembers thinking, "In my early teens I remember wondering why anyone would want to do anything else in life.” In 1986, after 6 years of performing with The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, The Warren Chamber Orchestra plus numerous jazz & casual gigs Tomás was accepted with scholarship to pursue a Masters Of Performance degree from Mannes College of Music. On the eve of leaving for Mannes, after some serious soul searching, he realized that his love of performance wasn't enough. He looked at the fact that in college he was more and more drawn to composition for his walk through life, studying classical composition with Robert Rollin and Jazz arrangement with Sam D'Angelo. As he looked back at his decision to divert from a life as an orchestral player it was the two weeks he spent (letting his normal classwork slide a bit) with composer in residence Gunther Schuller that convinced and reminded Tomás that writing music was what he had always loved most and would always continue to do for the rest of his life, no matter where it lead. 

 It lead, in 1986, to Los Angeles California where for 22 years Tomás worked closely with composers Michael Convertino, John Williams, Danny Elfman, John Debney and Steve Bartek, and scored over a dozen shorts and small films. In essence it was working with these composers that Tomás feels he got his "Masters", this time in composition. "I was an active player in the scores these composers wrote, creating the sounds and textures they used - which was very exiting in itself, but seeing first hand the process, the difficulties and the rewards of writing music to picture was the best education I could ever have received." Tomás used that education scoring a diverse set of films such as "The Table", a film set in the days leading up to the German invasion of Poland - the film originally temp'd with Górecki's third symphony, "The Black Shield" a parable set in the heart of Chicago, "The Morning Fog" filmed in India and, most currently, the documentary "American Dumpling", a story of how a basic food is shared by so many divergent cultures and people. His diverse influences range from the early impact his parents love of the music of their Eastern European lineage - Slovak, Croatian, Slovenian - (Tomás is 2nd generation Eastern European) - and the continual music played through the house in his childhood from the likes of Cat Stevens, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash and Chet Atkins. Artists he gravitated to when he was in college such as Genesis, Yes, Todd Rundgren, Harry Nilsson, Jane Siberry, Richard Buckner, Jocelyn Pook, Joseph Arthur, Elliot Smith and Peter Gabriel. Not long after, he discovered his devotion to classical composers such as Serge Prokofiev, Samuel Barber, Brahms, Philip Glass and always, Beethoven, - composers that moved him so deeply emotionally and more importantlycompositionally. Tomás currently resides in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania on Observatory Hill with his longtime partner and soundtrack co-producer Kelly Mahan Jaramillo and is continuing his pursuit of quality and meaningful projects.