CSUF graduate student, Joris Hoogsteder helps create music compositions for varied media

In Art, Artist Profile, Music
Joris Hoogsteder, a grad student studying musical compositions and theory, has been working at Moonwalk Audio for the last semester. (Kaleb Stewart / Daily Titan)

Hearing one of his musical compositions appear on a BuzzFeed video without his knowledge is one of the more surreal experiences CSUF graduate student Joris Hoogsteder has had.

That track was one of many compositions Hoogsteder had written for Warner Brothers, which keeps compositions in its archive. Because of this, his music ends up playing in some unexpected places.

Hoogsteder’s musical contributions have appeared in video games, motion pictures and YouTube videos.    

Hoogsteder finished his undergrad in Holland at the ArtEZ School of Music before matriculating to Cal State Fullerton to attain his master’s in music composition and theory. Prior to enrolling in a music degree program, Hoogsteder took music lessons and participated in music camps growing up. The camps were on the border of Germany and Holland.

You would meet a lot of German people … And then you would meet up and (everybody) at the end of the week, have their own bands and create a couple of songs,” Hoogsteder said.

Within these particular camps, Hoogsteder became informed about how to get involved with music production and film scoring. Coaches involved with the camp were professionals in the industry. One, in particular, was involved in film production.

During his fourth year at ArtEZ, he was mentored by composer Adam Gubman, senior composer and audio director of Moonwalk Audio, which he began to work with in an official capacity this past semester.

I can trust Joris in all situations, and I think that is a really key word is ‘trust,’” Gubman said.

“Especially when you are dealing with multi-million dollar IPs for companies like Disney, and I know that I can depend on Joris to do the type of prep works and score works for me that is very sensitive, and that I can trust that he can show up on time.”

Gubman’s recent projects with Moonwalk Audio include his work on the upcoming “Baywatch” film and a future major film project that is still underwraps. Though he is not always writing compositions directly, his work involves music preparation and in some cases, writing musical cues.

Though it is not always the big glamorous Hollywood productions. Joris has also worked on many musical compositions for corporate films, which are often used internally in companies for training and recruitment.

“This semester, I wrote three cues for the NBC ‘Today Show,’” Hoogsteder said. “I am like 24 years old, my 20-year-old self would have never imagined …  In four years you will be writing cues for the ‘Today Show.’”

However, Hoogsteder said he has not heard his cues that appear on television because he does not have one in his dorm at the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana.

He considered himself fortunate to be able to get a double apartment, since there are only two of those at the Grand Central Art Center.
In this apartment, he had been able to record numerous YouTubers, doing arrangements of Disney songs. Some of the songs have reached up to millions of views, Hoogsteder said. He had done arrangements for Traci Hines and Brian Hull, a voice actor on YouTube who does impersonations of famous characters.

“It’s not going to be too long before Joris surpasses me, and I think that is what every composer wants for their assistants,” Gubman said.

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