As Ray Kim ’14 started up Logic Pro X on his Mac desktop computer at home, he hummed the tune of his newest composition. After finding an appropriate melodic progression, Kim finally settled on a smooth ending and decided on the name “Pobi’s Little Adventure.”
“The first thing that came to my head was an adventure by a small kid and I decided to go all the way with that,” Kim said. “Pobi came from my mom’s head. She said after hearing this song, she was reminded heavily of a character called Pobi in a Miyazaki production. I was looking for a cute cuddly name and Pobi fit the bill perfectly.”
Kim was woken up early in the monring by the sound of a ringing phone. Excited but uncertain, he picked up the phone to receive what he called one of the greatest wakes up call of his life, being named one of three winners in the Orchestra category of the 2013 National Young Composers Challenge for his song.
“After the call, I felt like I was flying,” Kim said. “For a while my parents and I were pretty much dancing with joy. Then I muttered to myself that this must be a dream. My mom pinched me afterwards.”
The National Young Composers Challenge is open to musicians ages 13 to 18 in the U.S. Kim’s piece will be performed live Oct. 6 by the Marin Symphony at the National Young Composers Challenge Composium.
The composium will be held at the Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael, Calif., where he will receive $1,000 and a professional recording of his song.
Kim was glad that the judges selected this piece because he said that it was one of his favorites.
“At the end [of the piece], when all of the instruments are brought together with ascending chords, it makes my heart jump,” Kim said. “There is this ineffable feeling that just makes my blood pump with a refreshing feeling.”
Kim started his composing career in sixth grade, when his interest in composing became apparent to his piano teacher.
Also a composer, his teacher introduced him to GarageBand and basic music composition.
From there, Kim asked his parents for an independent piano keyboard for composing, but finally settled on Logic Pro for Mac.
Including “Pobi’s Little Adventure,” Kim has composed around 20 songs to date, all of which can be viewed on Youtube.
On Sept. 20, Kim released a composition, “Moonsilver,” as a surprise for his mother’s birthday.
“After finalizing the music with a slideshow expressing my gratitude for raising me to be a wonderful person, I hoped that she would like it as much as I did,” Kim wrote on Facebook.
After watching, she expressed her feelings to me with tears and cries of joy saying she will treasure this moment and the video for the rest of her life.”
Kim, a clarinet player in the school symphony, says that he has discussed with music teacher Mark Hilt the possibility of having the symphony play his piece later in the year.
“I’m just proud of the fact that this has been accomplished through my hard work without much help,” Kim said. “My teacher was very helpful, but the creativity itself was all me. I always have trouble with endings, but I was able to finish this one with a bang.”