Here you can find examples of my music compositions - including audio, videos, and sheet music.  This page is constantly being updated (and, as of July 2019, is nowhere near a complete representation of my current composition repertoire), so check back for more - and stay tuned!

Although I aim to compose music in the style of  classical film soundtracks such as "Star Wars" and "Lord of the Rings," I also write many other genres of music, from soft pop to ragtime to classical avant-garde.  Currently, I use multiple DAWs, including Pro Tools, Cubase, and Studio One, along with a variety of VSTs (including East West Sounds' Hollywood Orchestra libraries).  I am also proficient in notation and transcription (I've used Finale but prefer Dorico).

I've played piano and composed since I was very young.  Under the tutelage of CSU Chico Professor Emeritus Dr. Robert Bowman, I studied classical music theory, composition, improvisation, and performance.  I went on to study with Professor Peter Golub (Director, Sundance Film Music Program), and interned with the recording studio of John Swihart ("How I Met Your Mother"). 

Inspired by the music of the films and 20th-century classical composers, "The Taste of Winter" is a five-piece set of original compositions for the piano, where each piece tells a story.  These recordings are from 2015-2016, when the pieces were originally written.

  1. "Chapel of the Bells"  from The Taste of Winter Suite is styled as an homage to Rachmaninov; its title is a nod to the fact that Rachmaninov often drew inspiration from the cathedral bells of eastern Europe.

  2. "The Carriage of Memory Lane"  from The Taste of Winter Suite tells the story of a nostalgic carriage ride - the sound of horses' hooves, the distant echo of a caroling melody, the crisp cold and winter cheer of Christmastime.

  3. "Winter Leaves Footprints Wherever It Goes" from The Taste of Winter Suite is a cold night spent with gypsies around a fire and a group of shipwrecked sailors singing drinking songs, as the snow begins to fall and becomes a blizzard.

  4. "A Cosmos of Stars"  from The Taste of Winter Suite is a lover's rendezvous in Venice, stars reflected on water and gondolas gliding quietly along the waterways.

  5. "Icarus Flew on Broken Wings" from The Taste of Winter Suite is the story of children sneaking out on a long winter's night to go ice skating on the nearby river - when one of them unexpectedly falls through, and the river rushes up to carry the child away, leaving the listener with the melody of a child's lullaby.

  6. "The Stardust Philosophy" from The Stardust Philosophy Collection  is a story of love, loss, regret, and triumph:  finding the most perfect person and losing them to your own idiocy, but learning and growing in the process; learning you are already more than you thought you could ever be.

  7. "Pretty Riddles Tell Us Lies" from A Modern Fantasy in Four  is a bitonal avant-garde fantasia composed under the tutelage of Peter Golub (music director, Sundance Film Institute and professor, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music).   It begins with sweeping flourishes and sinks into a lilting tango before finishing with a triumphant fortissimo.

  8. "Sleepers Will Safely Dream" from A Modern Fantasy in Four  is a study composed under the tutelage of Peter Golub (music director, Sundance Film Institute and professor, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music).  It is part of the trilogy Sleepers Will Safely Dream/Caught in Infinite Unreality/Never to Wake Again.  It is composed using a bass of arpeggios built in intervals of major seconds and perfect fourths, with a melody built on top in the treble.

  9. "Caught in Infinite Unreality" from A Modern Fantasy in Four  is a study composed under the tutelage of Peter Golub (music director, Sundance Film Institute and professor, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music).  It is part of the trilogy Sleepers Will Safely Dream/Caught in Infinite Unreality/Never to Wake Again.  It is composed in a 5/4 time signature using intervals of perfect fourths in both hands.

  10. "Never to Wake Again" from A Modern Fantasy in Four  is a study composed under the tutelage of Peter Golub (music director, Sundance Film Institute and professor, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music).  It is part of the trilogy Sleepers Will Safely Dream/Caught in Infinite Unreality/Never to Wake Again.  It is composed using fourth chords and  polyphony between the two hands; it also ties the trilogy together with references to the melodies in Sleepers Will Safely Dream and Caught in Infinite Unreality.

Inspired by the music of the films and 20th-century classical composers, "The Taste of Winter" is a five-piece set of original compositions for the piano, where each piece tells a story.  These recordings are from 2015-2016, when the pieces were originally written.

  1. "Chapel of the Bells" is styled as an homage to Rachmaninov; its title is a nod to the fact that Rachmaninov often drew inspiration from the cathedral bells of eastern Europe.

  2. "The Carriage of Memory Lane" tells the story of a nostalgic carriage ride - the sound of horses' hooves, the distant echo of a caroling melody, the crisp cold and winter cheer of Christmastime.

  3. "Winter Leaves Footprints Wherever It Goes" is a cold night spent with gypsies around a fire and a group of shipwrecked sailors singing drinking songs, as the snow begins to fall and becomes a blizzard.

  4. "A Cosmos of Stars" is a lover's rendezvous in Venice, stars reflected on water and gondolas gliding quietly along the waterways.

  5. "Icarus Flew on Broken Wings" is the story of children sneaking out on a long winter's night to go ice skating on the nearby river - when one of them unexpectedly falls through, and the river rushes up to carry the child away, leaving the listener with the melody of a child's lullaby.

Inspired by my manuscript, The Stardust Philosophy, and the real-life experiences surrounding it, The Stardust Philosophy Collection is a story of love, loss, triumph, and the feeling of finally finding your answers.

  1. "The Stardust Philosophy" is the feeling of losing everything and doubting yourself, going through hell and back before realizing who you are, what you can become, and learning to look forward to the future.

  2. "An Impossible Statistic" is a love song of one person to another.  It is about the feeling of finding someone who understands you - your goals, your dreams, your philosophy - on a fundamental level, the kind of connection that is only found once in your life.  The kind of connection that, if it is lost, is missed for the rest of your life.

Inspired by the music of 20- and 21st century modern classical composers, A Modern Fantasy in Four is a four-piece avant-garde study in modern classical piano music.

  1. "Pretty Riddles Tell Us Lies" is a bitonal avant-garde fantasia composed under the tutelage of Peter Golub (music director, Sundance Film Institute and professor, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music).   It begins with sweeping flourishes and sinks into a lilting tango before finishing with a triumphant fortissimo.

  2. "Sleepers Will Safely Dream" is a study composed under the tutelage of Peter Golub (music director, Sundance Film Institute and professor, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music).  It is part of the trilogy Sleepers Will Safely Dream/Caught in Infinite Unreality/Never to Wake Again.  It is composed using a bass of arpeggios built in intervals of major seconds and perfect fourths, with a melody built on top in the treble.

  3. "Caught in Infinite Unreality"  is a study composed under the tutelage of Peter Golub (music director, Sundance Film Institute and professor, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music).  It is part of the trilogy Sleepers Will Safely Dream/Caught in Infinite Unreality/Never to Wake Again.  It is composed in a 5/4 time signature using intervals of perfect fourths in both hands.

  4. "Never to Wake Again" is a study composed under the tutelage of Peter Golub (music director, Sundance Film Institute and professor, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music).  It is part of the trilogy Sleepers Will Safely Dream/Caught in Infinite Unreality/Never to Wake Again.  It is composed using fourth chords and  polyphony/counterpoint between the two hands; it also ties the trilogy together with references to the melodies in Sleepers Will Safely Dream and Caught in Infinite Unreality.

Written for the UCLA Burke Center's World View podcast & documentary.

Composed while I was working on the theme for the World View podcast and documentary, "On the Precipice of Freedom" is a short opening fanfare that I hope to soon expand into a longer orchestral composition.

One Fleeting Magic is a collection of orchestral pieces written as inspiration for a new fantasy-genre universe in the works for my novels.

  1. "In a Twilit Vineyard" is a song of peace, comfort, and love: a lullaby or a slow dance with cello, violin, and classical acoustic guitar. Recorded in Studio One using the EastWest Hollywood Orchestra and Quantum Leap Gypsy VSTs.

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© 2020 by Alethea Sung-Miller.

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