MICHAEL FRAGOMENIMUSICIAN AND PRODUCER
Alumnus Michael Fragomeni studied audio at SAE Perth in 2005 and has since established a solid career producing music for a variety of clients across a range of industries.
What inspired you to enter into the career you’re in?
Straight out of high-school, I began studying a Bachelor of Music at WAAPA (the W.A. Academy of Performing Arts), but I wasn’t enjoying the course as much as I had hoped. Around that time, I was listening to music with intriguing production techniques, albums like Kid A (Radiohead), Medulla (Björk) and Felt Mountain (Goldfrapp). I started to crave a better understanding of the sound recording and production process and that curiosity lead me to SAE, and eventually down my current career path.
What are your fondest memories of your time at SAE?
I think back to the early months of the Cert. IV, when we first started getting hands-on in the studios. That was my first experience of consoles/Pro-Tools/microphones etc, and I distinctly remember the excitement of that period. I still get a thrill walking into a recording studio to work every day.
Are you able to shed some light on how studying at SAE lead you to where you are now?
My current career began with a phone call inviting me to visit Brainestorm Studios in West Perth. The lead engineer there had heard some recordings that I’d produced as a graduate, and knew that I’d studied at SAE. That’s how I got my start, through the combination of my skill-set, my SAE qualifications, and pure luck!
What are your career highlights?
Early in 2013, I composed and recorded music for a Lotterywest Grants TV campaign here in Perth. It was a suite of 11 TV commercials, all of which required unique compositions, with all the music revolving around one central theme like a film score. The music was developed and refined over several months, which is almost unheard of in the advertising world, where most jobs are turned around within days or even hours. It was quite a large scale project to be involved with so early in my career.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on the film score for my second feature film, which is proving to be a really fun project. It’s an ambitious brief, requiring a collection of musical styles ranging from hip-hop, to funk, to brit-pop, to vintage French cabaret. I’m a complete film nerd, and have always sought to write music for film, so it’s exciting to have landed this gig. The film, “Broken Contract”, is due for release in early 2015.
What advice would you give to students aspiring to become successful in their field?
In my experience, the most overlooked skill for a professional sound engineer is “customer service”, or the ability to treat your clients well. To me, that means listening carefully to the brief, communicating well, caring about the job, and taking criticism with a smile. Sound engineers are service providers, and unhappy clients don’t come back!