Duplication of Trial Recordings
& Senior Archival Researcher
John Califra is a New York-based composer for film and television. His film credits include scores for Keiko Ibi’s Oscar winner, The Personals, Jonathan Caouette’s acclaimed Tarnation, Oscar-nominated director Anthony Lover’s My Brother, which starred Vanessa L. Williams, and Lee Grant’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
His film scores have received unusual critical attention from the The New Yorker, The Jaman Lounge, Variety, the London Times, and New York Times‘ critics Matt Zoller Seitz and Jeanette Catsoulis have respectively described Califra’s film music as “moving“ and “uncommonly stirring.“
His music has been performed and recorded by the San Diego Symphony, Angel City Studio Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia Bulgarica.
He has composed music for events such as New York City’s Times Square millennium celebration. Recently, he composed the symphonic theme for Major League Baseball’s “World Baseball Classic“ and conducted an orchestral performance of that music at Dodger Stadium as the opening ceremony of that series‘ championship game between Korea and Japan.
For Nuremberg, Califra took on the almost impossible challenge of reconstructing those portions of the original score that underlay the original narration. Because the original music tracks had been lost, a new separate music track had to be created. To guide him, Califra had only his trained ears and a single page of thematic sketches by the original composer, Hans-Otto Borgmann, that Sandra Schulberg had found in her father's files.
Califra's process involved careful, attentive listening to the barely audible music track - which was buried under the film's naration and SFX tracks. He then reconstructed the hidden score's thematic structure, harmonic design, counterpoint and orchestration. This reconstructed score was rebuilt using a computer based music system. The electronic performance of the instrumental parts - each reproducing a single instrument of the original orchestral score - followed the shifting dynamic and tempo design of the original. The new orchestral simulation was recorded in mono and in relatively low audio resolution to capture the quality of the original.
Once he had synthesized music to cover the holes in the music, Josh Waletzky, himself a composer, spliced them to the original music. In the final sound mix, sound artifacts (distortion and noise) were added so that the new cues would sound like the music that had been recorded in 1948.
For further information about John Califra’s music: www.johncalifra.com
He can be contacted at +1 212 725 5506 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.