A Q&A with LA Visual Media Composer Denisse Ojeda

  1. As a Mexican-American composer for visual media and a terrific bass player, we would love to hear about your influences and how you describe your musical voice! 

    I feel like I’m kind of a late bloomer when it comes to the composing game. It’s taken me awhile to find my voice and my genre but through the years I’ve been able to find artists and composers that really inspire me. Some of my influences are Hildur Guðnadóttir, Mica Levi, Johann Johansson, Alex Somers, and Ben Frost. I tend to lean into a mixture of dark electronic/orchestral hybrid sound.

  2. You have recently transitioned from commercial work to the more independent film scene. Can you walk us through the similarities and differences between these two fields? 

    I worked in trailers for 4 years and I learned a lot about what goes into making a trailer. The biggest difference between trailer work and film scoring is that you’re not writing to picture. The music comes first and then the editor cuts it into their trailer. Ads are also different and you sometimes get the chance to write to picture which is amazing because that’s usually never the case with trailers. I recently got to write music for two shorts last year and it was really great getting back into film scoring. The collaboration between the director and the composer is similar to the collaboration between the music supervisor and the composer with trailers.

  3. What was your favorite project that you’ve scored so far? Why?

    I got to write music for the teaser of The Undoing on HBO. It was the first time that I got to make music that fits my style, and I had a lot of fun.

  4. Collaboration is at the heart of filmmaking & film music, and we know that you have been working closely with some of our wonderful members! First let me ask about your work with Genevieve Vincent. How did it start? What projects did you tackle together? Tell us everything!

    I met Genevieve last year after I asked if we could meet for coffee. I wanted to talk to her because we both had worked in music supervision, and I wanted some advice into how to transition into the film/TV world. She mentioned that she needed an assistant and I volunteered. The first project that we worked on together was an HBO documentary about Brittany Murphy. It was my first time being an assistant and I learned so much about the process. After the documentary, we co-scored a sci-fi short. Genevieve is a great mentor, and she took a chance on me and I’m forever grateful.

  5. You also recently started working with our wonderful president Catherine Joy and Joy Music House (JMH). It must be an incredible learning opportunity to work with JMH as they help so many different composers coming from such different backgrounds. What have been the biggest takeaways of this experience so far?

    It’s been really great working at JMH, and I’ve learned so much in a short amount of time. It had been awhile since I’d done orchestration and music prep, but I’m so happy to get back into it. Catherine is a great mentor and I’m so happy to be on her team. I’m excited for what’s to come.

    Check out Denisse’s AWFC profile.

    Interview by Esin Aydingoz

Spotlight Archive

Leah Curtis (May 6, 2024)
Arhynn Descy (April 30, 2024)
Carolyn Koch (April 22, 2024)
Joëlle Nager (April 8, 2024)
Starr Parodi (March 11, 2024)
Micaela Carballo (February 19, 2024)
Katya Richardson (February 12, 2024)
Brittany Dunton (February 2, 2024)
Johanna Telander (January 16, 2024)
Natasha Sofla (December 18, 2023)
Amanda Cawley (December 4, 2023)
Austin Ray (November 26, 2023)
Steph Copeland (September 12, 2023)
Ruiqi Zhao (September 3, 2023)
Ruth Machnai (August 30, 2023)
Lindsay Young (July 17, 2023)
Buffi Jacobs (July 11, 2023)
Denise Gentilini (July 5, 2023)
Samantha van der Sluis (May 29, 2023)
Britlin Lee Furst (March 22, 2023)
Charlotte McMillan (March 7, 2023)
Ching-Shan Chang (February 13, 2023)
Erica Porter (January 18, 2023)
Maria Molinari (November 13, 2022)
S. J. Jananiy (November 6, 2022)
Min He (October 8, 2022)
Lisbeth Scott (September 22, 2022)
Kate Diaz (September 14, 2022)
Ellie Parker (September 7, 2022)
Freya Arde (August 19, 2022)
Rebecca Nisco (August 9, 2022)
Emily Frances Ippolito (August 1, 2022)
Lara Serafin (July 19, 2022)
Chanda Dancy (July 7, 2022)
Natalie Litza (June 30, 2022)
Kathryn Bostic (June 21, 2022)
Alexandra Petkovski (June 15, 2022)
Chanell Crichlow (June 7, 2022)
Aiko Fukushima (May 24, 2022)
Yasaman Ghodsi (May 17, 2022)
Denisse Ojeda (May 10, 2022)
Hyesu Wiedmann (May 4, 2022)
Valerie Capers (April 30, 2022)
Brigitte Dajczer (April 18, 2022)
Sila Shaman (April 11, 2022)
Kristina A. Bishoff (April 4, 2022)
Alina Nenasheva (March 25, 2022)
Michelle Richards (March 17, 2022)
Gina Biver (March 5, 2022)
Alexa L. Borden (February 23, 2022)
Martina Eisenreich (February 18, 2022)
Nomi Abadi (February 9, 2022)
Natasa Paulberg (January 31, 2022)
Alison Plante (January 25, 2022)
Zeina Azouqah (November 29, 2021)
EmmoLei Sankofa (November 24, 2021)
Lisa Downing (November 16, 2021)
Becca Schack (November 9, 2021)
Raashi Kulkarni (November 1, 2021)
Shirley Song and Jina An (October 25, 2021)
Jimena Martìnez Sáez (October 16, 2021)
Layal Watfeh (October 4, 2021)
Laura Cannell (October 1, 2021)
Connor Cook (September 21, 2021)
Suad Bushnaq (September 14, 2021)
Zinovia Arvanitidi (September 7, 2021)
Susan Marder (September 2, 2021)
Susan M. Lockwood (August 26, 2021)
Angie Rubin (August 19, 2021)
Gabrielle Helfer (August 12, 2021)
Sarah Angliss (August 2, 2021)
Macy Schmidt (July 26, 2021)
Virginia Kilbertus (July 22, 2021)
Alicia Enstrom (July 14, 2021)
Julia Piker (July 5, 2021)
Nainita Desai (June 24, 2021)
Rebecca Kneubuhl (June 21, 2021)
Lindsay Wright (June 14, 2021)
Jessica Rae Huber (June 3, 2021)
Karin Zielinski (May 25, 2021)
Raphaelle Thibaut (May 17, 2021)
Michaela Eremiasova (May 10, 2021)
Sarah Robinson (May 3, 2021)
Denise Santos (April 26, 2021)
Talynn Kuyumjian (April 19, 2021)
Jennifer Thomas (April 12, 2021)
Wei-San Hsu (April 5, 2021)
Lili Haydn (March 29, 2021)
Tangelene Bolton (March 16, 2021)
Lauren Buchter (March 8, 2021)
Daisy Coole (March 2, 2021)
Cindy O’Connor (February 22, 2021)
Aurélie Webb (February 16, 2021)
Joy Ngiaw (February 8, 2021)
Crystal Grooms Mangano (February 1, 2021)
Daphne Gampel (January 26, 2021)
Rebekka Karijord (January 11, 2021)