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Eric Aho
Eric Aho
Eric Aho
Erik Aho's obsession with music dates back to the tender age of six, the age at which he wrote his first composition. After early musical explorations on the piano and clarinet he had a revelation when he discovered the textural possibilities of the guitar. He devoured the musical opportunities available in high school, privately studied composition and theory and went on to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied arranging, composition and guitar. If you want to see more information about the earlier stages of his biography, you can find it on
After returning to Seattle, Aho played with various and sundry bands culminating in studio work with producers Rick Parashar (Pearl Jam, Nickelback) and Jonathan Plum (Candlebox, Blind Melon) for record labels such as Interscope (Unwritten Law) and Sony. After a year-long hiatus in South America exploring the rainforest, climbing mountains and experiencing Andean music, he returned to Seattle to work with interactive-media composer Guy Whitmore (No One Lives Forever, Die Hard) and learn the esoteric ins and outs of non-linear video game music.
Aho currently owns and operates Bluenoise Media, a music production and sound design company, which provides audio solutions for corporate (Microsoft, Real Networks) and interactive (Sony, Fox Interactive) clients. He continues his forays into the pop music world (Default - "Wasting My Time", TVT records) and is currently scoring Inheritance for writer/director Kris Kristensen and writer/producer Brian McDonald.
Erik has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Washington.
Inheritance is Aho's first feature-length film and it has been an incredible learning process. "Luckily, I hooked up with two incredibly gifted individuals (Kristensen and McDonald) who are confident enough in their own roles as director and producer to give me the support, encouragement and space I needed to do my job. The trust they have given me is appreciated and hopefully it was not unfounded."
The score to Inheritance is mostly electronic but balanced with real solo instruments to add an organic element. Some of the musical textures border on sound design - "Since Inheritance is a ghost story, we thought about different ways we could aurally express the existence of 'the other plane'. I sampled clanking of teacups, spoons and other glass objects to make up the background ambience when we see Mrs. Baker's ghost. In some instances I have the glass 'orchestra' playing rhythms in poly-meters and poly-tempi that overlap and create a kind of chaotic, rhythmic wash."
The most challenging part of doing the music for Inheritance was the writing the theme song. "Originally Kris and Brian wanted to use Billie Holliday's 'They Can't Take That Away From Me' for the opening and closing credits. Unfortunately, budgetary limitations prevented us from using that particular piece so they thought it would be a great idea for me to write a 'hit' song from the early 30's. Always up for a challenge, I pulled out my Berlin, Gershwin and Porter songbooks and tried to write within the harrmonic and melodic language of that time." Aho co-wrote the song with singer/songwriter Celia Chavez. "Celia did an incredible job on the lyrics. One of the things everyone liked so much about 'They Can't Take That Away From Me' was the fact that the lyrics seemed to reference the theme of the movie. Celia did even better - because we were writing the song from scratch, we were able to make the lyrics explore the theme effortlessly without being too overt. It is basically a romantic song about losing yourself in another person." When asked how this relates to the theme of the film Aho replied with a smile, "I don't want to give anything away. You're just going to have to see it."
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