Meet Madeleine Klouda. She’s a recent Alumna of International House originally from Oslo, Norway. Madeleine is a musician who found I-House to be a supportive environment for her artistic work in music composition.
The wonderful musicians I have met at I-House have influenced me a lot.
What brought you to I-House?
Madeleine: When I was accepted to NYU, I needed a place to live. Finding a place in the City seemed incredibly difficult especially if you are international, and after spending a good amount of time searching for places, I found I-House. I immediately applied and thought it was perfect. I studied Scoring for Film and Multimedia at NYU, and seeing as NYU doesn’t have a campus feel and my class was small, I-House felt like a second campus in addition to my home.
After being amazed by the facilities and everything I-House had to offer, I was really excited to hear about the big music community I-House has. Having so many performance and networking opportunities and being located right next to Manhattan School of Music was definitely a big thing for me when applying to I-House. Knowing I had musicians that I could work and collaborate with right where I live was perfect for me.
What sort of art are you interested in? What do you create?
I am a musician and started out as an instrumentalist studying Clarinet. After this I continued with my composition studies, specializing in composition for film, TV and multimedia. Seeing as I am classically trained, I also write concert music and music and lyrics for musical theater in addition to working as an orchestrator. I try to stay as versatile as I can and I still play clarinet and perform with ensembles or as a studio musician.
Why do you make art?
I am a musician and composer because I hear music in my head constantly. If I didn’t have the chance to play it or write it down, I would probably go crazy.
What is a current project you’re working on?
Right now I am working on the music for a Norwegian/US film production. This is going to be a film for children which will be screened internationally and it is one of the first children’s films to be purposely written with subtitles. It is a great project and I get to use a lot of Norwegian folk music which I have never had the opportunity to do in a film.
What is an artistic project you’re most proud of?
A project I am pretty proud of is my piece for Soprano Saxophone and Piano, Conversations in Hell. It is a three-movement piece that I never thought would come together. My teacher challenged me to write a longer piece which I found very difficult at that time, and I am still surprised how well it turned out. I’ve since had the pleasure of having it performed by an amazing saxophone player Robert Young. This is a concert piece, however because I like to work with visuals or storytelling, I came up with a story myself. The piece is about a guy that has now arrived in hell.
The first movement called “Welcome” is an energetic movement about the devil welcoming him to hell. The second movement “Why me?” is a conversation between the guy and the devil where the guy is asking a bunch of questions. Here, you can hear a conversation between the saxophone and the piano. The last movement is my favorite and, honestly, I think it is the best music I have written. It is called “Finding inner piece in Hell” and it is a slow movement where the guy is just trying to accept the fact that he is in hell, however…it’s not a thing you can really accept, is it?
Do you collaborate with others on your creative projects?
As a composer, I usually work on my own, however I always collaborate with producers, directors, sound designers, etc. I collaborate with the musicians that are recording my music and I love when they come with ideas or tips based on their instruments. When I work as an orchestrator I collaborate closely with the composer to create the orchestration and arrangement that they are visualizing.
What upcoming projects will you be working on?
I will be working on music for a few animations in addition to orchestrating music for musical theater and playing in a wind ensemble.
Has I-House influenced or facilitated your creative work? If so, how?
The wonderful musicians I have met at I-House have of course influenced me a lot. I wrote a choral piece in 2015 which was performed by a group of I-House Residents and I have had the chance to collaborate and record music with bunch of great Residents. Because of I-House I got to meet so many different artists than if I just lived by myself.