Maffe has collaborated with several bright minds from the Biola School of Cinema and Media Arts to produce an exciting new short film titled Mort. The film is about a man who is cursed with the power of death and the grim responsibilities therein but finds life in loving an unlikely heroin who is tormented by demons of her own.
The short is written and directed by Kianna Bliven, cinematography by Townsend Dick and stars Nicholas Wilson and Nicole Coulon.
Douglas' Dark Comedy
What better way to accompany dark comedy than with jazz. Maffe teams up with Brandon Douglas (Hexit) again for a short film that you feel guilty laughing at.
The score is characterized by shrill clarinet squeaks over a smooth bass line and bobbin' drums, then Maffe hits you with the insane, over-the-top horror stings for good measure.
"Alaska: Crest of the Hinterland" Strikes Up the Band
Gleo Huyck (pictured) and the Mat-Su Concert Band, frequent collaborators with Maffe, gave 'Alaska' another whirl in the first concert of their season. They originally commissioned the piece in 2015, but were unable to record the premiere at the time.
Huyck is excited to tackle the music once again. "It's a great piece. It's very cinematic...[Maffe's] principal type of composing." Maffe flew to Alaska to be present for the event.
Maffe's mother, a flutist, has just recently joined the band and will perform her son's work in one of her first concerts with the ensemble.
Maffe Completes Internship at Hans Zimmer's Studio
"It was a surreal experience, to say the least," Maffe says about the experience, "one day I'm dreaming of the possibilities to come, maybe five years down the line I'll cross paths with Hans Zimmer—then the next day I'm standing in his office meeting him."
In May, 2017 Maffe went through the interview process for the coveted internship at the studio of the legendary composer, Remote Control Productions. He completed the internship this fall, experiencing the film scoring scene first hand through a collection of sit-ins and conversations industry leaders from around the world.
Pictured: Mike Maffe (Sterling's father), Hans Zimmer, and Sterling Maffe.
Hexit Soundtrack Released
A hybrid of symphony and synthesizer we have not yet heard from Maffe. The Hexit soundtrack, while it doesn't have sweeping themes, is full of catchy leitmotifs and interesting timbres. The music captures the sci-fi/mystery elements of the film well without being too 'on the nose'.
Maffe straddles the extremes of 'avant grade' and 'tired' to provide a score that is fresh and resists the temptation to fall into standard suspense tropes.
Maffe to Receive Rayner Brown Composition Award
Biola University Conservatory of Music hosts an annual awards luncheon wherein students are given different accolades based on their performance in the previous school year both academically and extracurricularly.
The Rayner Brown Composition Award is given to a composer who shows promise in accessing in the craft of writing music over the next year. Sterling Maffe has been awarded this honor for the 2017-2018 semesters.
"It shows that the conservatory has faith in my abilities," Maffe says, "I see it as both an encouragement that I'm on the right path, and a challenge to prove that they made the right decision. I'm excited for what God has in store for the next year."
"Catacombs of a Rose" Wins First Place
Maffe's piece for string orchestra, "Catacombs of a Rose," has won first place in the 2017 Biola Composition Competition.
The piece gained traction after its premiere in Anchorage, Alaska back in April. The judge of the Biola concert ultimately determined that Maffe's piece which features an original modality was best in show.
Maffe's first collaboration with filmmaker Brandon Douglas premiered on May 4.
The film is about a man who is on the loose, pursued by masked HEXIT agents. His only weapon is a bionic arm attachment which momentarily slows down time to a near stop. He must find out who is chasing him and why.
The film stars Bobby Brodney (The Man) and Mikki Hernandez (Aila).
The music mixes electronic elements with a traditional symphonic orchestra in a way that seamlessly immerses the audience in the action.
'Catacombs' with Q&A
Maffe returned to the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, for the first time since Cajolery of the Forest in 2013, for the premiere of Maffe's piece for string orchestra, "Catacombs of a Rose" (listen here). The music was reduced to a string quartet instrumentation for the performance but still held the main object of interest, the tonality.
Maffe invented a new modality (musical scale) for the construction of his work which he calls the 'Maffian Mode'. Among other functionality, the mode is an octatonic scale which aims to shift the tendency of dominant chords to come to rest equally on both an aeolian and ionian tonality (a mixture between the major and minor scales).
After the concert, Maffe discussed the development and implementation of his scale as well as general thoughts on music philosophy and composition in a formal Q&A forum which featured a selection of other composers, performers, and music professionals.