BYU student recognized for original song

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    By MEAGAN BRUNSON

    A BYU media music major ranked in the top three in the United States in a recording contest held by the Audio Engineering Society in New York City on Sept. 24 to Sept. 27.

    Israel Curtis, 24, a senior from West Valley City, entered the contest as a member of BYU’s chapter of the Audio Engineering Society, a club sponsored by BYU’s music department.

    He wrote his song “Psychosomatic” as a pop lyric piece involving electronic and vocal elements, he said. Curtis said he worked on “Psychosomatic” for about a month, beginning last winter semester.

    He said he composed the song for a BYU songwriting class, and all of the production work was completed for his own purposes.

    “It’s just what I do,” he said.

    Curtis said the contest just came around and he entered, not suspecting his song would be recognized as it was at the Audio Engineering Society convention. He attributes his ability to compete with musicians across the nation to what he has learned in BYU’s music program.

    “I think it’s great that our program at BYU has made it possible for me to learn what I need to, to be able to place in this contest,” Curtis said.

    BYU’s student section of the Audio Engineering Society is one of thirty across the western hemisphere, said Tony Sermon, 25, a senior from Salt Lake City, majoring in computer science and chairman of BYU’s Audio Engineering Society chapter. The international Audio Engineering Society sets standards in the nation’s audio industry in areas like digital CD formatting, he said.

    For a BYU student to rank in the nation’s top three entries in the Jazz/Pop division of this national sound recording and engineering competition is a big deal, Sermon said.

    “You’re basically judged on how well you know how to mix music,” Sermon said.

    Sermon represented BYU’s student chapter of the Audio Engineering Society at the New York City convention last weekend and accepted Curtis’ recording honor for him, he said.

    The BYU Audio Engineering Society is operating in its second year and is proud that Curtis’ approximately four and one-half minute song represented BYU so well on the national level at this year’s convention, Sermon said.

    Megan Newell, 20, a junior from Walnut Creek, Calif., majoring in audiology and speech language pathology, said her music interests are encouraged by accomplishments like Curtis’.

    “This is a huge accomplishment because the music industry is so competitive,” Newell said. “Something like this really encourages me and other vocalists to work hard in our field.”

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