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Kyle Tesalona’s musical journey began when his parents signed him up for violin lessons during middle school in his hometown of Port Saint Lucie, Florida. After playing the instrument for a decade, he decided to take up sound engineering, acquiring a pair of microphones and a cheap audio interface to record himself and his friends.
“I saw a business opportunity because my friends also wanted to [record their music], so I invested more into learning how to record more elaborate setups. It eventually became a business, Red Carpet Productions, which I started with my friend and colleague Matthew Ramírez,” Tesalona says. “In hindsight, this pivoted my original goal of becoming a solo violinist to learning and mastering the craft of audio engineering, and what better place to cultivate that goal than at Berklee Valencia.”
Before he enrolled at Berklee Valencia, Tesalona researched programs at other American universities. What drew him to Spain was the Master of Music in Music Production, Technology, and Innovation program and faculty members such as Ben “Encanti” Cantil, an electronic music producer and sound designer who shares Tesalona’s Filipino origins.
“I was not bored in Valencia as I indulged myself with the variety of audio engineering courses,” Tesalona says. “Every day there was something new to learn and a new skill to master. Collaborations between students and departments were also integral to my time at Berklee Valencia, and it molded me into someone who thrives in team environments. I still keep in touch and collaborate with a handful of classmates to this day.”
After graduating from Berklee Valencia, Tesalona joined Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan as the school’s filmmaker-in-residence for the 2016–2017 academic year, teaching sound design, recording, and mixing. “I had to develop the whole curriculum with them. I took a lot of what Berklee Valencia taught me and infused it with my own experience,” he says.
His next big project arrived via a friend from Florida State University, where Tesalona had earned his undergraduate degree. Suspicious Box, an independent video game company, was looking for a sound designer to create an ’80s electronic soundscape for Liminal, a 3D-based puzzle game. Tesalona was hired to compose the game’s original score and design sounds for all its characters.
“It has always been a dream to work on a video game, and this was such a great jump-start into that field,” Tesalona says. “The company environment was really collaborative. It truly reminded me of my time at Berklee Valencia.”
In July 2018, he joined Adrenaline Films as an audio technician. Adrenaline is a full production house offering a range of production services for large-scale video media projects, with clients ranging from Disney World, ESPN, and Netflix to Condé Nast, Electronic Arts, Buzzfeed, and CNN.
“Most of my tasks [at Adrenaline] involve the production stage of filming, like recording dialogue in a film-set environment. As a result, I travel a lot and to all kinds of locales that I never would have dreamed of visiting,” Tesalona says. “I also take charge of postproduction sound work at the company, like voiceovers, sound remixing, and audio repair.”
When asked if he has career advice to share with current Berklee Valencia students, Tesalona says, “Do not rush your career, and try to enjoy the ride. Your dream job will come with time if you follow your goals and passions. Berklee gives you the resources, knowledge, and networking skills, but you have to run with it and be open to literally anything. If you translate all this into perseverance and use this energy, the job will seek you.”
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