A Q&A with Helix Collective co-founder and recording flutist Sarah Robinson

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  1. How did you become involved in music, and film scoring?

    I don’t remember a time that music didn’t play a part in my life. I picked up the flute in third grade and never looked back. I moved to Los Angeles almost ten years ago and started working as a recording musician. My ensemble, Helix Collective, has been recording chamber scores for most of that time, and connecting indie filmmakers and composers through our annual live score film festival.

  2. Is there a project that you are particularly proud of, or that helped your career?

    Creating music is such a joy. Any time I get to walk into a studio or remote record original music and work with my fellow musicians is a true highlight. Looking back on each year, it’s the time I spend in those creative pursuits, working with composers, that I find most joyful. Every time I get to hear myself on a soundtrack or see Helix Collective in the credits makes me smile!

  3. What is the Helix Collective? Who are they and what have you learned from that experience? What is Club Classical?

    Helix Collective is a Los Angeles-based ensemble that specializes in multi-media, collaborative performance and recording. Helix has recorded the scores for over fifty films and produces concerts featuring film composers every year, including the Los Angeles Live Score Film Festival.

    In addition to our film music work, our other collaborations fall into the Club Classical genre. We take our classically-trained musicians and imbue the music with genres from rock to EDM to just about anything that interests our collaborative composers. We always make our programs multi-dimensional, combining different styles of music and multi-media elements like film, storytelling, and dance.

  4. Tell us about the Los Angeles Live Score Film Festival. (What is that? How and why did it come about?)

    Helix Collective’s Los Angeles Live Score Film Festival features short films with original scores performed live-to-picture by Helix Collective.

    We produce the festival and pair filmmakers with composers to write original scores for the festival films.

    It came about because we saw a disconnect between emerging filmmakers and their access to bespoke, original elements for everything in their films except the soundtracks. We wanted filmmakers to feel comfortable engaging with their composers and to be familiar with the magic that live musicians create in a score, so we decided to highlight all of this through the live festival performance. Plus, filmmakers get the live score experience which before we started the festival 8 years ago was limited to Spielberg and Williams at the Bowl!

  5. What advice would you give a younger Sarah?

    Trust your instincts when it comes to collaboration. If something is telling you it’s not the right fit, don’t be afraid to cut your losses. If something is telling you this person is amazing and I would love to work with them in any capacity, find a way to do that. Nothing lasts forever, so you might as well go for the opportunities that set your heart on fire.

    Interview by Valerie Manahan

Spotlight Archive

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)
Elizabeth Phillipson-Weiner (March 22, 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)