1. Faculty

Marco d'Ambrosio

Technology and Applied Composition

Biography

 

Marco d'Ambrosio loves shaping music and sound, especially the kind that enhances the visual arts. Making music that is evocative, enlightening, and entertaining is a natural result of Marco's creative expression.

Marco's musical baptism began shortly after moving from Italy to Boston, when at the age of nine he began playing trumpet. "It really all began in Italy," he reminisces, "when my father would take me to festivals in Florence. He would put me on his shoulders so I could watch the bands march by. I remember falling in love with the trumpet, mostly because it was so shiny! It wasn't until we emigrated to the United States that I had a chance to start playing in elementary school" An insatiable appetite for all genres ("My first two albums purchased simultaneously were 'Maurice Andre Plays Baroque Trumpet Concertos' and Aerosmith's 'Toys in the Attic'.") his musical awareness was soon captivated by film music, particularly the classic collaborations of Fellini and Nino Rota and the scores of Ennio Morricone, Bernard Herrman and Jerry Goldsmith. This quickly led him to composition, with a special interest in fusing acoustic and electronic textures, which he pursued as a double major of music and engineering at the Hartt School of Music and University of Hartford.

Marco has never been unduly influenced by cultural and stylistic constrictions. He is equally adept at playing and creating pieces that reflect classical, jazz, modern and ethnic influences, and he thrives on blurring the lines between them. In many of his scores, you can hear various instruments like didjerido, dumbek and bodhran drums, melodica, and Indian flutes. Waterphones and Theremin along with hand crafted beats and stylized synthetic textures. Many of his compositions also reflect a romantic orchestral lyricism that can no doubt be traced to his summers performing and studying at the University of Siena and touring with the Puccini and International Festival Opera Orchestras.

An East Coast transplant and Lucasfilm alum, Marco has made a niche for himself in a studio in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a composer, sound designer and multi-instrumentalist, he has scored numerous award winning films, documentaries and theatre projects including the anime hit VAMPIRE HUNTER D BLOODLUST, JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURES, FIST OF THE BLUE SKY, HAIKU TUNNEL (Sundance 2001), the Emmy winning BLINK, DOUBLE DARE, and RED DIAPER BABY for the Sundance Channel. Other scores of Marco's have been on projects produced by 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Lucasfilm Ltd., Dreamworks, Pixar, Columbia and HBO. In 2005, he was awarded a film scoring fellowship from the Sundance Institute, and in 2009 he was selected to participate in the BMI Conducting Workshop in Hollywood. You can also hear some of his noted scores in THE RAPE OF EUROPA, winner of the Insight Award for Excellence (co-scored with Ben Decter), winner, 2009 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and ATOMIC MOM, winner, Gold Medal at the Park City Film Festival. Marco has also been responsible for designing much of the dynamic sound and music heard in the iconic THX logo trailer. Most recently, Marco has composed for H.P. Mendoza, Brian Benson, and long-time collaborators Josh and Jacob Kornbluth.

Marco has also enjoyed a stint co-arranging and performing with Bob Weir (The Grateful Dead) and co-writing/producing songs with Michael Caranello (Santana) and Neal Schon (Journey). He has also served as a studio conductor for Disney, on the TV series 'Off the Map' and 'Intelligence' working on great LA stages, like Capitol and Warner Bros. and is currently a regular conductor at Skywalker, working on larger scores for video games along with baton duty for other composers on their films.

When he's not locked up in his mad sonic laboratory, Marco recharges his creative flow working the land at Valle Verde, the Sonoma County ranch he shares with his wife Terri, son Armando and their dog Diva.