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Netflix Hit Show 'One Piece' Features Music By SFCM Professor, Alumni

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Technology and Applied Composition Professor Daria Novoliantceva orchestrated the soundtrack for the Netflix hit, along with help from recent graduates Molly Monahan ('20) and Natasha Frank ('22).

October 23, 2023 by Mark Taylor

Netflix has another big hit with One Piece, and it has more than just one piece of SFCM talent at the musical helm.

Technology and Applied Composition (TAC) instructor and composer Daria Novoliantceva helped orchestrate the music behind One Piece, released August 31 to rave reviews and record viewership. "It was truly a privilege," Novoliantceva said. "I am very proud to have been part of it." 

Novoliantceva was invited to work on the music project through a connection with one of the show's two composers, Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli. "Sonya Belousova and I were classmates in a music school many years ago. We come from a similar background," she said. The pair reconnected after Novoliantceva heard Belousova's music on Netflix's The Witcher.  "When they started working on One Piece they offered me to come on board as one of the orchestrators." A former SFCM student herself, Novoliantceva has been on TAC faculty since 2017.

SFCM Professor Daria Novoliantceva.

Composer and SFCM Professor Daria Novoliantceva.

Novoliantceva brought her SFCM creative team with her: Molly Monahan ('20) as orchestration assistant and Natasha Frank ('22) as an orchestration intern; Frank was still a student at the time. "When the three of us watched the show, that made us even happier because we could see how perfectly the music fits the picture," she added.

In the first weekend of its release August 31, One Piece became the number-one TV series in 84 different countries around the globe, surpassing the record set by Stranger Things ( the sounds of which which SFCM broke down), and Netflix's Wednesday, which SFCM also analyzed musically

Based on the anime of the same name, the plot centers around the aspiring pirate Monkey D. Luffy (Iñaki Godoy) and his group of misfits as they set sail on the high sea in search of adventure and treasure. The series is eight episodes long and includes several hours worth of music. Novoliantceva and her team orchestrated the score for string ensemble, brass ensemble, and various solo performers.

"Nowadays being a composer, or orchestrator is not just about individual talent and work but rather about gathering a team and having a collaboration. It is essential for success to learn how to be part of the team," Novoliantceva said of the process. "I am very grateful to have such amazing and talented people on my team. TAC really creates this rare opportunity to meet amazing people who share the same passion."

The ship has not set sail yet for SFCM fans of One Piece:, Novoliantceva invited both composers of the show, Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli, to visit SFCM to work directly with TAC students and give a masterclass on November 17, where they will talk about the soundtrack production. 

Learn more about studying Technology and Applied Composition at SFCM.