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Meet David Deutsch

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Deutsch.

David, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up, I have always had a very strong desire and pull towards music. Every little sound, tick, hit, or change in tone would immediately engage my ears and creativity. Often times at the dinner table, my parents would always say that I begged for a piano when I was around four years old. I think about a year later, they finally caved in and bought a really nice vintage upright grand piano. From the moment the piano entered our house, and sat in our dining room, I knew that music had chosen me.

It’s been quite a journey getting to the present day, but one that I truly appreciate and have come to be thankful for. My parents are incredibly supportive and loving, and have always encouraged me to try my best, and have allowed me to pick and choose what I have wanted to do, rather than them forcing me into anything. I quickly enrolled in piano lessons, I picked up the trombone, the trumpet, the recorder, and even sang in choirs growing up. But every year, my oldest brother would take me and my other siblings out for a birthday gift, and one year, I chose to go to my local music store, and buy a beginning guitar. I was immediately infatuated and absolutely obsessed with learning, studying, and creating music.

Eventually, I transferred from my suburban high school to the School for Creative and Performing Arts in downtown Cincinnati. There, I met one of the most influential mentors, and best friends in my life, my Jazz teacher, Mr. Stuckey. He taught me so much more than music and jazz, but mostly about life, and how to hold yourself as a professional working musician. To this day, I still think about all the lessons and guidance he has shown me.

After high school, I received my Bachelors of Music in Jazz Guitar from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. There, I studied with phenomenal musicians and teachers like: Dave Stryker, Blair Johnston, Wayne Wallace, and my film scoring composition professor, Larry Groupé. There at IU, I broaden my horizons and dove into the deep end of exploring more aspects and genres of music besides Jazz and Rock but got more involved in Fusion, R&B, Electronic Music, Film Music, and Classical. I always had this desire to create more emotionally moving and psychologically affecting music, which led me to study and receive a Masters of Film Music composition at the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program in Seattle from Hummie Mann.

Since graduating in 2018, I’ve been in LA working, writing, and orchestrating for movies, Tv-Shows, shorts, documentaries, and podcasts. Most recently, I helped out on the orchestration team for Shazam, IT 2, and Hostile Planet, while orchestrating on 21 Bridges and a Trailer album while scoring 14 short films.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Most definitely not. Anything in life worth doing is going to have its challenges. For me personally, it’s been a tough journey understanding who I am as a musician and person. I find that the more I learn about music, the more I understand about myself, and the more I learn about myself, the more I learn about music. It’s like this endless cycle of constant personal and musical growth.

There have been countless late nights after playing shows where myself and whole band worked incredibly hard to prepare, and at some points it seems like an insurmountable effort, but once we come together and start making music, all troubles, thoughts, anxieties, and qualms go away; it’s all about the music, and always has been.

Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a freelance musician, composer, orchestrator, sound designer, and audio engineer. I specialize in post-production work including custom scores for all visual media including films, tv shows, podcasts, video games, and commercials. I have orchestrated on projects ranging from 3 musicians all the way up to 170 musicians in many different styles and genres of music. I also stay busy with a lot of session guitar work. I have contributed to many albums, films, and tv shows, as well as playing live with local artists and my own bands and groups. Along with music, I have accumulated work doing sound design and audio engineering for films, video games, and music. It’s especially fun and intriguing to record many different sounds and process them in a post with plugins to create other worlds and unimaginable sounds.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Most importantly, the biggest support system in my life has and always will be my parents. They have been absolutely and unbelievably supportive, generous, loving, and understanding about who I am, what I want to do in my life, career, and music. Besides them, I’ve had absolutely incredible mentors, clients, and teammates throughout my life and career. I mentioned above that the most influential musician I have ever met was my high school Jazz teacher, Mr. Stuckey. He truly is a one of a kind, gentle soul, with an infinite amount of love, support, wisdom, and knowledge.

Transitioning from high school into college was tough, but being able to study and work with Dr. Steve Zegree, Blair Johnston, and Wayne Wallace made all the trouble worth it. Each of them individually is so profoundly accomplished in their own fields, but much like Mr. Stuckey, they all taught me more about myself and life than music. They showed me how to hold myself as a person, how to be professional in a public setting, and how to take care of my business so that my life and career can continue. But I think overall, they showed me that there is a life long journey of knowledge out there, and that to search within yourself to be the best you can be while being the best for your peers, coworkers, and acquaintances too.

Lastly, another huge influence and mentor in my life was my teacher at the PNWFSP, Hummie Mann. Hummie not only taught me so much about what it means to be a musician and composer but more importantly, he showed me how to become an adult and a professional working composer. He taught me that no matter what, it’s about who you are first, and then the music. I have forever been changed for the best by studying and talking with Hummie. I miss him, his program, and Seattle very dearly.

Aside from my teachers and mentors, I have incredible friends who are always there to call me out and keep me in line, but also who are always down to work together to strive for greatness in our musical and life journeys.

Adam Hoffman is currently living as a studio drummer and musician in Indianapolis and will be moving to LA very soon. Watch out LA!! But he is an absolutely incredible musician, composer, and a better friend. He currently has one of his own albums out on all streaming platforms. Check out his album “Wrong Music.”

Jonah Tarver is another exceptional musician and composer. He is currently living in New Orleans performing, and touring around the country with one of his many projects, “Mighty Brother.” They have a couple EP’s and albums out on streaming platforms as well. My favorite of theirs is “The Vibe EP.” On top of being a performer and composer, and a great friend, he is also a Concert Assistant, working with talent at the world-famous Preservation Hall.

Gabrielle Helfer is a film composer and pianist in Los Angeles. She is a one of a kind talent, friend, and human being. A beautiful soul inside and out, and an even better musician. She is currently working on an upcoming Netflix feature film, and constantly busy writing for many short films, tv shows, and podcasts.

I wouldn’t be half the person or musician I am today without everyone in my life, but most especially, these three friends.

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Image Credit:
Robbie Rittman

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