Composers of Tomorrow . . . with Akira Nakano

Composers of Tomorrow . . . with Akira Nakano

Christopher Hope

In this episode, Akira Nakano takes us through his journeys in piano performance, music composition, video editing, and starting a non-profit.  These led to the launch of the LA Inception Orchestra, which works with youth and composers to launch Composers of Tomorrow.  He shares his experience in piloting a learning non-profit organization and how his diverse skills and relationships combined into its launch and now growth in this Learn-From-Home era.

Guest: Akira Nakano, President, CEO, and Artistic Director, Los Angeles Inception Orchestra

Akira Nakano studied at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in both piano and percussion, soloing with numerous orchestras throughout Southern California as a young performer. He studied with Dr. Heewon Kwon with masterclasses from Jeffrey Kahane, Leon Fleischer, Ilana Vered, John Perry, and Daniel Pollack. He was the winner of the 1st Annual Herbert Zipper Award in Music Composition amongst other piano competitions. Entering UCLA on a full-ride piano performance scholarship, he won the UCLA Concerto Competition and graduated with a B.A. in Film & Television production.

Mr. Nakano spent over twelve years working as a video editor, writer, producer, and live event director at TRW Space & Electronics and went on to have 20+ years of video marketing/communications and film producing experience which will dovetail into the LA Inception Orchestra’s Virtual Reality/360 music education program. 

Akira returned to the Zipper Hall stage in March 2012 with a solo recital accompanied by Michael Sushel. In September 2013, he paired with the Dream Orchestra in a concert of Liszt, Rachmaninov, and several original works. Since then, Akira has appeared as a performer/lecturer as part of the Great Speaker Series at the Beach Club in Santa Monica benefiting the California State Parks Foundation; soloed with the Southeast Symphony; and has played multiple engagements at the Huntington Library President’s house for their donor dinners.

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Inception Leadership Team:

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Trust Your Calling . . . with Christopher Hope

Trust Your Calling . . . with Christopher Hope

Christopher Hope

In this episode, Christopher Hope shares his journey to found The Loop Lab in Cambridge, MA.  He learned through DJing, community service, religious studies, and partnering with local organizations to deliver a unique blend of higher education, apprenticeships, and entrepreneurship training.  He has grown this nonprofit into a live and virtual training program for womxn and BIPOC youth to build jobs and creative companies in audiovisual industries.  He began locally in The Port neighborhood and now connects with community leaders around the world.  We discussed challenges in launching and growing The Loop Lab and its transformation during the current WFH challenges — including how they are helping other non-profits in their local communities.

Guest: Christopher Hope, Founder and Exec. Director, The Loop Lab

Christopher Hope, CTS is the founder and executive director of The Loop Lab, a non-profit dedicated to empowering young adults of color to enter careers in the media arts industry in Cambridge, MA.  Hope received his B.A. from Tufts University, and a Masters at Harvard Divinity School. He now serves on the board of advisors for the George Washingon University School of Business in D.C., for the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force in the Cambridge Mayors office, and on the community board of Lesley College of Art + Design. He is also an alumnus of the Creative Community Fellowship with the National Arts Strategies and has served on board of the South By Southwest festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas.

Hope is also an accomplished audio-video professional and on-air DJ with a podcast and radio broadcast called “Hip-Hope Radio,” having interviewed guests like Dr. Cornel West.

The Loop Lab:

The Loop Lab is a Cambridge-based non-profit social enterprise specializing in media arts internships and digital storytelling.  Their mission is to empower Womxn and People of Color in the media arts to develop careers in audio/video through job training and job placement. As an organization, they are committed to ending inequality and racism through digital storytelling.

Photo credit – Matt Malikowski/ The Loop Lab

 

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Solving Problems with Art, VR, and Software . . . with Sasha Samochina

Solving Problems with Art, VR, and Software . . . with Sasha Samochina

Sasha Samochina

In this episode, Sasha Samochina shares her journey connecting art, VR, and science together — to her trio of roles at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  She illustrates why she is “thankful for [her] boldness” in interning and pushing into each new job and new technology.  The Field Museum in Chicago became an opportunity to connect art, science, computing, and social storytelling.  By the end, you’ll see the arc that returned to her desire as a young student to be a teacher and librarian but on an inter/planetary scale.   

Guest: Sasha Samochina, Deputy Manager of the Ops Lab, Project Lead for ProtoSpace, and the Technical Group Supervisor for the User Interface Development Group (397M) at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Sasha Samochina (sam-ocean-uh) is an Emmy award-winning creative technologist. She joined the team at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) after working in New York in the fields of video and web development and in Chicago, where she was a Media Producer at The Field Museum of Natural History. After dreaming up content for JPL’s Communications department, she began to explore the world of 360 videos and XR. Through Sasha’s visualization skills, she pioneered the very first 360° video release on social media for NASA. She is currently the Deputy Manager of the Ops Lab, Project Lead for ProtoSpace, and the Technical Group Supervisor for the User Interface Development Group (397M) at JPL. Sasha dedicated herself to helping create software that incorporates innovative forms of visualization that aid scientists, engineers, and astronauts in transforming their workflow, and she leverages that same experiential technology to educate and inspire the public to engage in STEAM. She loves all things digital, animal, sound-emitting, cosmic, and views the world through XR-colored glasses.

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Slightly Against the Grain . . . with Carlo, Ben, and Josh from Indie-Pop

Slightly Against the Grain . . . with Carlo, Ben, and Josh from Indie-Pop

Enjoy the tales of Carlo Fox, Ben Willis, and Josh Andriano working together as the three-partner independent music management company leadership team running Indie-Pop.  After meeting when Josh and Ben married sisters (no longer in the picture), they formed Indie-Pop and have learned to work together making decisions about talent, investment, and growth . . . and now in starting a new independent music label, Independent.co.  They discuss future rights flow in building generational wealth for artists and their reasons for launching a new label in these streaming times.  They close with how their lockdown experiences have made them see their daily lives and spend their time in a new way — rethinking family, health, relationships, and travel.

Guests: Carlo Fox, Co-Founder and CEO; Ben Willis, Co-Founder and Strategic  Relations, and Joshua Andriano, Co-Founder and Head of New Talent, Indie-Pop and Independent.co

Carlo Fox: Carlo came into Indie-Pop as the social media whiz and now is CEO and co-lead of both companies.  

Ben Willis: An executive and entrepreneur with over two decades of music-business experience, Ben Willis is forging a new path for artists who defy the confines of pop convention. He’s devoted much of his career to identifying left-of-center talent with a potentially massive appeal, then incubating that talent in order to foster both artistic integrity and long-lasting success.

Joshua Andriano: Josh is a former DJ turned former entertainment attorney turned co-founder.  He is a New York Law School graduate who shifted into music in 2008 and is now Indie-Pop and Independent Co-Founder and Partner.

Indie-Pop: Founded in 2008, Indie-Pop had its first triumph with The Cataracs (a hip-hop duo they helped propel to multi-platinum status) and later helped build the career of rapper/singer/songwriter KYLE (whose Indie-Pop-released hit “iSpy” went six-times-platinum). With Indie-Pop’s roster including global artists like Malaysian singer/songwriter Yuna, the team now co-launching Independent—a record-label solution offering all the creative benefits of autonomy while securing exceptionally fair and financially compelling deals for each artist.

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Innovation is Messy . . . with Jack Conte

Innovation is Messy . . . with Jack Conte

Jack Conte blends the worlds of music creation (Pomplamoose and the funk band Scary Pockets) and solving creators’ problems with systems (crowdfunding and community with Patreon).  He shares how he balances (or doesn’t balance at times) creating music with running a large tech business.  He also shares what he has learned, how his companies have shifted with the work-from-home world shift, and how he has changed/staffed his own creative processes in this distributed era.  His career journey has been an interesting mingling of music and science/technology, all the way back to his science teacher who got him interested (who he still connected with monthly over Costco pizza). 

Guest: Jack Conte, CEO and Co-founder of Patreon; band member of Pomplamoose and Scary Pockets

Jack Conte is a musician, filmmaker, half of band Pomplamoose and Scary Pockets, and a co-founder at Patreon, a membership platform that makes it easy for creators to earn salaries directly from their biggest fans. Patreon was founded in 2013, and is on track to pay out more than $500 million to creators in 2019 alone.

As a musician and filmmaker, Jack spent his days in a converted dog kennel-turned-recording studio in Sonoma County, making YouTube videos that have amassed over 120 million views. Now, he’s in full-time CEO mode at Patreon HQ in San Francisco where the company is paying millions of dollars to creators every month around the world. Jack also loves working with robots.

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