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Sony Project Returns to SFCM, with a TAC Grad in Tow

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The annual Sony Projects give students real-world video game composing experience, as well as face time with employees of the tech giant.

May 15, 2023 by Alex Heigl

SFCM's Sony Project has been one of its most rewarding recurring events, an opportunity for students to experience the real-world churn of composing and recording for video games. This year, alumna Seira McCarthy was on hand to help—and provide an inspiration for current students eyeing a similar career track.

“The project is a crash course in the life of a media composer,” TAC Executive Director Taurin Barrera said of the project: Students receive a detailed prompt and compose and submit demos to TAC faculty member Matt Levine and the professionals at Sony; later, the works are recorded by other students at sessions attended by Sony personnel.

a recording session in studio H, you can see into the window into studio G

McCarthy, who has returned to SFCM several times as part of the annual Sony Project, said, "I came into the TAC program assuming that I would become a composer. I had no idea what I was gonna do with my life, to be honest with you, but I knew I wanted to do music. And TAC really helped me solidify, understand, and expand my idea of what is possible with audio and music."

Sony Interactive Entertainment Director of Music Scaturro has the kind of polymath CV that can serve as inspiration to students: He majored in computer science and math at college, played shows with Primus and the Red Hot Chili Peppers in his band and wound up working on the score for the iconic TV show Unsolved Mysteries for 10 years. Scaturro arrived at Sony in 2013 and has worked on scores for hugely popular video game properties like God of War and Call of Duty.

TAC students and members from Sony sit in the studio

Seira McCarthy (center).

"I have really, really enjoyed the collaboration with SFCM and the exposure to the students," Scaturro says. "There's a deep sense of exploration that's going on, of not feeling constrained by what the quote-unquote rules or expectations might be. There's something about this environment where most of the students are just getting started in their careers, so there's a blank page of how they're approaching music and the ideas, and I just find it really inspiring."

TAC students and members from Sony sit in the studio

From left: Peter Scaturro, TAC student Lilly Conley, TAC faculty Matt Levine, and TAC student Udit Srivathsan.

"The curiosity really excites me," McCarthy adds. "When I see them smile like, 'Dang, how'd you do that? That's so cool.' That openness and willingness to learn is really cool."

Asked for her advice for students in the same place she was a few years ago, McCarthy continues, "Don't wait. As soon as you think music is your calling, try to expand and see what's out there before you narrow yourself. Because chances are there's so much more out there that you don't know until you really experience it. That's super key, not just as a student, but as a professional."

Learn more about studying Technology and Applied Composition at SFCM.