Berklee master’s alumnus, Paolo Cognetti, a graduate from the college’s inaugural master program in scoring for film, television and video games at its international campus in Valencia, has begun to make his mark and name as a creator and composer of music for visual media. Since graduating in July 2013 he has scored the music for two short films, both of which have been selected by international film festivals.
El Gran Engaño (The Great Deception), a short film by Meritxell Aguilar I Valls, premiered at the Gran Festival de Cinema de Girona (Spain) on September 6, 2013 and Leila + Morris by a film by International Film Workshops written by Giovanni Smets and produced by Yolanda Torres and Juan A. Fernández, was selected for the Sitges International Film Festival 2013 (October 11-20, 2013 in Barcelona), as well as the Sandfly Film Festival in Australia (November 3-9, 2013).
“I have had a challenging and rewarding few months since graduating from Berklee and feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to score these films. Neither of these two collaborations would have been possible without the experience and preparation I gained on the master’s program at Berklee and I’m delighted with the films’ successes in premiering at these international festivals,” explained Cognetti. “Working with Meritxell and Giovanni was demanding, but extremely gratifying—and a lot of fun!”
Cognetti, 31, is a pianist and composer from Florence and was one of the 20 accepted students to be awarded a master’s degree in the scoring for film, television and video games program. A dual graduate from the Conservatorio di Musica “Luigi Cherubini,” he holds degrees in piano and composition, and received the National Arts Award for his composition for motion picture in 2009 and again in 2011 for his original pop and rock music. Cognetti was also awarded a scholarship to attend the intensive one-year master of arts program at Berklee’s Valencia campus. Studying alongside some of the most gifted students from around the world, he spent his time sharpening his scoring skills and developing his own personal voice as a creator of music for visual media in preparation for the successful career he is now pursuing.
Cognetti is now working on his latest project which took him back to Valencia, reuniting with fellow colleagues from different majors, to record his own composition completed this September, entitled: Aurora, in the fascinating Chapel of the Holy Grail in the Metropolitan Cathedral–Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia. An ambitious seven-piece suite for voice, piano, recorder and contrabass, it comprises four versions of El Rey de Francia, an old Sephardic song, and three compositions based on its first melodic element (a perfect fifth), attempting to metaphorically depict the process of re-connection with the inner-self and to encourage attentive and patient listening. The music will accompany a book about René Guénon on intercultural dialogue and diversity, soon to be published by Mimesis Publishing in Italy.