Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment,  Podcast Interview

Interview…Composer Kate Simko on Awareness and Acceptance in ‘Underplayed’

American composer, electronic music producer, and leader of her ensemble London Electronic Orchestra, Kate Simko blends distinctive influences from her hometown, Chicago, and formal training in classical piano and jazz. Kate’s music has been licensed by ABC Television, Victorinox, and Giorgio Armani, and she has written original music for films, commercials and shows featured on the BBC, Netflix and PBS. 

After graduating Northwestern University’s music school Kate’s career started in Los Angeles interning on feature films, and then took a surprise turn as her live electronic music career took off. She spent her twenties performing at revered clubs and festivals across the globe, from underground venues in Berlin and Tokyo to the Montreal Jazz Festival and Millennium Park in Chicago.

A prolific producer, her back catalogue includes three albums, numerous EPs, film soundtracks and original classical compositions. Notable achievements include her remix of Philip Glass’s Houston Skyline appearing in Billboard’s Top 100 Classical Chart and her house track ‘Go On Then’ ending 2011 in the Beatport Top 10 Deep House chart.

Distinguished by organic sound recordings, spatial depth, and warm electronics seamlessly blended with live orchestral instruments, Kate’s music to picture has accompanied various documentaries, including The Atom Smashers (PBS Independent Lens), Banana Land: Blood, Bullets & Poison, BBC ChinaSacred Journeys (PBS), and We Believe In Dinosaurs (PBS Independent Lens). Her latest feature score, for Underplayed, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival 2020, with a release upcoming on Lakeshore Records.

We chatted with Kate for more than an hour to learn about her first musical memories, her film score experience as well as the London Electronic Orchestra. But the main topic was the score she wrote for Underplayed, a documentary which does a fantastic job of highlighting the gender inequality in the music business, especially for DJs. We again joined our good friend Bryan Kluger of BoomStickComics to discuss all that and more!

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Filmed over the summer festival season, Stacey Lee’s uplifting documentary examines gender inequality in the electronic dance music scene.

You can check out more of Kate’s work at her official website and Soundcloud page.