Eric Nielsen

photo by R. Huling

13th Annual IMA Award

Eric Nielsen is an award-winning composer, sound designer and music producer for film and interactive media. Eric uses a broad array of instruments and sounds to create music representing all genres. These range from cinematic pieces to pop songs to music inspired by a wide variety of world cultures. His compositions feature solo instruments, voice, small ensembles to full orchestras. Whether for underscore or foreground music, Eric is fascinated by the art of storytelling, and he brings elements of this craft to his music to enhance the emotional impact of visual dramatic scenes.

Before the first note is written, Eric’s creative work with each client begins with a detailed discussion of the needs and goals of the project, as well as the timeline and budget. The conversation continues throughout the collaborative creative process with an ear toward continual refinement of the approach. Whether he uses pencil and paper, or the digital equivalent, and whether he employs live musicians or top-of-the-line sample emulations, Eric uses the latest digital creative tools, and recording and mixing techniques in order to ensure a custom, high quality end product.

Most recently, Eric completed the score for The Long Haul (2019), a feature documentary by director Amy Enser that premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) in Spring 2019 and is slated for its next viewing at a film festival in London in late 2019. Eric also creates musical soundscapes for popular poems and children’s books for an interactive storytelling iPhone and Android app, Novel Effect. He is also the composer for America’s Fighting Dinosaur, a faux-documentary that is currently in production.

During the spring of 2014, Eric scored the short film Hannah & Otto with live string orchestra and piano, which premiered at SIFF in 2014. His orchestral work Africa Dances, Africa Dreams premiered at Benaroya Hall in 2013 as part of the Celebrate World Music concert. Released on CD, Celebrate World Music is the Contemporary Classical Vox Pop Winner of the 13th Annual Independent Music Awards.

Eric was also one of the principal creators and producers for The Sounds Of Silents with a Side of Schtick, a collaboration with SIFF featuring live ensemble performances of custom written scores for silent films at the SIFF Uptown Cinema in 2012 and 2013.

Eric studied composition of dramatic music for motion picture at the two-year Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program with Emmy award-winning Hummie Mann, PhD. He has also studied with Tim Huling composing and orchestrating for small chamber ensembles and full orchestras for live performance. He has also studied with jazz bassist Doug Miller and songwriter Sue Ennis, a co-songwriter for Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. With a B.A. from The Evergreen State College, he focused primarily on multitrack analog recording and electronic music, and also wrote and performed music for theater.

Eric served as a board member of the Seattle Composers’ Alliance for four years from 2010 to 2014, including two years as President. He also served as a board member of Philharmonia Northwest, a Seattle-based chamber orchestra from 2011 through 2013. Eric remains an active member of the Seattle Composers’ Alliance, and has organized and co-hosted Ravel Study in Seattle. He is also a member of The Society of Composers and Lyricists.