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Check Out Ralf Lichtenberg’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ralf Lichtenberg.

Hi Ralf, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I was involved my whole live in music. At an early age, I started to play piano and a little later the clarinet and drums. I sung in a choir and had a lot of stage experience but, playing given music was never my forte. So, instead of practicing the usual classics (which I highly admire), I started to improvise and having fun exploring what I could do with the 88 keys of a piano. In my teenage years, I went through a lot of school changes. Music was still a big pillar but, I didn’t see a possibility to do something with it because I thought that all the great composers are dead and composing is not a “thing” anymore. Clearly, I was very wrong and when I listened to the score of “Forrest Gump” by Alan Silvestri and “Apollo 13” by James Horner I realized that I wanted to do this. Still, I took a little d-tour before I studied music. First, I got my degree in psychology in Mexico and specialized in music therapy and then I went back to Vienna to study music.

There I met Chris Young, a well-known film composer in Hollywood, who gave me the chance to come to LA, the center of film music. First I thought that that idea is crazy but the idea grew and a year later I arrived here. I enrolled in the UCLA film scoring program, met wonderful and talented filmmakers and I have been writing scores ever since.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has definitely not been a smooth road but one full of valuable lessons and achievements. The first step, my decision to study music after having another degree was probably one of the hardest ones. Leaving a comfortable live and starting an artistic career was challenging. First, not to know a lot about or better said, anything about the business and second, not to know anyone in the industry. Also, the move to come here to the United States was a big step filled with uncertainty. But, it has been a gratifying and fulfilling path and I am very grateful for all the opportunities that have been given to me to realize my dream. I believe, as long as I don’t fall into negative thought patterns and the so well-known self doubts probably every artist knows, we can archive our goals and overcome obstacles. Sure, sometimes that small devil on our shoulder is loud but, it depends on what we do with it instead of just letting it talk.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a composer specialized in film and TV. Some of the projects I’ve scored like “Intolerance: No More”, “Adventure Harbor” or “Escape to the Cove” are available on streaming platforms. All independent movies but made by great directors and with talented people who love the art of filmmaking. I can’t say that there is one specific project I’m proud of because all of them are pretty unique but, that I have gotten where I am doing what I love to do is something I am proud of. Sure, there are some projects that took more time and effort to complete or are completely extraordinary because of their beauty, message or other technicalities but each and every one of them has helped me to grow as a composer and getting better at my craft.

And, what sets me apart from others is my musical taste mixed into my work, my style and my history. All of this is what makes everyone distinctive in this business.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
LA has it all. I can go for a hike in the morning, walk through a nice neighborhood or maybe a museum in the afternoon, stopping at a good taco truck afterwards to get some lunch and having dinner at a nice place after the sunset at the beach. The intercultural aspect and openness of its habitants is also something I enjoy as equal as that it is the center of the film industry. What I don’t like is something everyone can relate to in this city, traffic. I don’t drive too much since I can work from my studio at home but when I do it, I plan it very well to avoid jams and long hours in traffic. Still, sometimes it is impossible not to hit rush hour.

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