Film composer, classical composer, pianist, clarinetist, audio engineer, producer, conductor, orchestrator, vocalist: these all describe 24-year old composer Christopher Chun. Having recently released his first album of film compositions on Spotify, and with over twenty film scores under his belt, Chun’s name is on the rise in the film and concert music industry.
The Texas native’s initial interest in composition began in middle school — a product of having studied piano for five years, singing in church choir, and playing clarinet in his school marching band. “Marching band really sparked my deep interest in orchestration,” Chun said. “Having ten tubas lined up and blasting out loud is so exhilarating and fascinating! That experience catalyzed my interest in composition.”
In his earlier years, Chun wrote for marching band, chamber ensembles, piano, and orchestra. His repertoire expanded considerably when he pursued degrees in film scoring and composition at Berklee College of Music, graduating in 2020.
Now, listening to Chun’s music will lead you to stumble across more genres than you might expect. His recent album “Discovery: A Prelude” highlights recent projects across film, TV, and games, including heroic fanfares (“Conqueror”), upbeat soundtracks that open the door to vibrant fantastical worlds (“Discovery” & “One More Time”), sweeping music that transports you to a keen emotional state (“Prelude”), and intense, powerful percussion works that shake you to your core (“Duel”).
Every track has much to offer. His music is what you want to hear when you watch your favorite movie characters in battle, and what you want to hear when you watch a touching moment on-screen that feels all too personal. Music that awakens a fond memory. Music that makes you feel both in awe and excited for the future.
“Discovery: A Prelude” was recorded live in the Berklee recording studios. Chun sourced, organized, and conducted the full orchestra, and later mixed and produced all tracks meticulously. He spent more time producing than he did composing, which explains why this album, produced by an undergraduate, sounds just as good as anything you would hear in theaters.
Chun spoke about how collaboration makes the work of film scoring so special. “I love the grand experience of working with others, and I love the narrative power of film and storytelling.” He has also composed in the contemporary classical tradition, writing pieces that tap into experimental and avant garde styles for both the concert stage and dance. He is currently working on a number of “passion projects” that combine both genres, composing music that “doesn’t sound like anything I’ve written before.”
One of these he is particularly invested in is an art film whose demands overlap with many of Chun’s long-term musical goals. The abstract and metaphorical nature of the film makes it unique and personal to each viewer. Chun said “it includes more vocals, electronics, a hyper-realistic sound scape, synthesizers, string orchestra, and solo instruments played by amazing musician friends at Boston Conservatory. Also, solo soprano voices, string quartet, and piano. It will sound like something in a reverb tank — spacey.”
Most of the film was shot before the pandemic, but post-production quickly became delayed. Chun looks forward to completing the music and hopefully seeing the film’s release in the near future.
Other upcoming projects include another album, “Discovery Vol. 1,” of “electronic orchestral hybrid music” for a film over which he has creative control, and a separate collaboration with a singer-songwriter.
Chun is a force to be reckoned with. His genuine and humble nature, his artistic talent and unique voice, and his intense, hard-working personality are being noticed by many directors and producers. Even as a student, he was sought out by more directors than most composers his age. That demand will only increase over time. Surely in the next decade, we will see Chun’s career in the music industry skyrocket.