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Composer Marina Ortega Mira Showcases Her Unique Abilities Scoring Video Games and Films



Composer Marina Ortega Mira, Fulbright Award-winner and recipient of the 2022 ASCAP Harold Film & TV Award, has been composing music for as long as she can remember. From the early age of 3, Mira has vivid memories of herself creating music and writing songs.

Marina was born in Alicante, Spain, where she studied singing and piano. After moving to Barcelona, Marina began studying Composition at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya. She also studied Screen Scoring at USC and describes her experience. “It was a very rewarding experience. It all started with my thesis on algorithmic music. With that, I received the Fulbright Scholarship, and I do not think it would have been possible to study at USC otherwise back then, so I feel I got very lucky. The recording sessions were also crazily valuable. That is where we really learned about all the scoring intricacies and standards.”

Given the numerous opportunities, Marina was able to gain the skill and practice in order to become such a successful composer. Today, she continues to showcase her broad range of music composition abilities, from scoring films and scoring video games. 

Though Marina enjoys both scoring films and video games, video games require more tedious work. Since the time dimensions for video games vary for each player, the music behind it becomes a lot more difficult to fully sync with the picture on the screen. In regards to films, they can be presented in the same way for every viewer, which means there are no changes in the length or outcome. Even though both are different, Marina enjoys them equally. “I like the experience of scoring for both film and games because their different challenges are quite refreshing, but both ways of telling a story come from the same place and they have a clear common essence.” She is always up for a challenge, which is why she enjoys scoring for both. 

Marina recently released the soundtrack album of the video game Impasto. The soundtrack featured composer William Bourassa-Bennet, and highlighted his paintings. Marina describes, “His paintings talk about grief for oneself, a feeling of decrepitude, of fading out by the second yet being very aware of it. They do portray the fear of death, but most importantly, how that can turn you into someone full of unreachable greed. These paintings hide so many symbolisms and correlations with his life, and we wanted the music score to show that deeper meaning as if each cue was a layer of the painter’s mind, a path from the menu track that goes all the way until the final song.” 

Marina was asked to write a specific song in which Impasto’s plot centers on. The song, “Pilgrimage Song,” highlights a painting, Pilgrimage to San Isidro. Marina became a character’s voice actress and song vocalist. Though it was her first time doing so, she really enjoyed the process. 

Another project Marina recently worked on was the documentary film Abuelita’s Kitchen: Mexican Food Stories. The film highlights Mexican culinary tradition and how future generations can continue to preserve it. Given that there was a great home feel within the film, it was tied in with the music score. It is crucial for all elements of films to come together within the music. 

Although Marina is already such a talented composer, she still has big career goals. “I love working on projects that are willing to take risks and search for new ways of telling stories and implementing their scores. Also, those that take a multicultural approach from within, from their very starting point. I would love to contribute as much as I can in widening the borders in that sense, so we can enjoy more enriching stories whose storytelling style is not particularly tied to a specific part of the world, but rather absorbed from many places.”

 Marina continues to work on new projects and has lots in store for the future.

Learn more about Marina Ortega Mira and check out her sounds


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