The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Monday morning, composer AJ Hochhalter was settling into his new workspace at The Livery, a downtown Lexington space he shares with four other artists.
Moving into a cool downtown location is an exciting step for the 24-year-old University of Kentucky graduate, still wading into his career. But a lot more excitement for Hochhalter lies west this week, in the mountains of Utah.
Hochhalter, above, composed music for Blood Brother, a documentary about a man who gave up a design career in the United States to run an orphanage for children with AIDS in India. It is an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.
“Every year, something I have been a part of has been submitted,” Hochhalter says. “And honestly, anyone can submit.
“But I watched it for the first time with the group that made it in Pittsburgh, and after we were done watching it, you know, everyone thinks whatever they’re involved with is the greatest thing ever, and I try to take a step back and say, ‘If I wasn’t so closely attached to this, would I think this was a great movie?’ The answer was yes a hundred times. We thought it had a lot of potential.”
That means Hochhalter’s trip to Park City, Utah, this week has a lot of potential to get his own name out there as a film composer for hire, certainly a non-traditional career path for a business major.
Hochhalter was born and raised in Louisville, spending his entire school career at Christian Academy of Louisville. There, he got into a variety of musical endeavors, from school ensembles to bands, and he knew he wanted to pursue a music career.
“I had gotten into Belmont,” Hochhalter says, referring to the Nashville university with a prestigious music program, “and I thought, do I go into music or do I go into business? And business made the most sense. Everyone thinks they’re going to make it in the music industry, and it’s a very small crowd that actually gets in, so I knew most of the bands and that they were businesses, and you need to know how to market yourself and do stuff like that.”
So the lifelong Wildcats fan came to UK and majored in business marketing. At the same time, his market was being defined.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich