Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2012


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name





Mary Pappert School of Music

Committee Chair

Lynn Purse, Judith Bowman

Committee Member

William Purse

Committee Member

Stephen Benham

Committee Member

Edward Kocher


Compositon, Film, Mill, Performance, Pittsburgh, Steel


The Mill is an original film and music performance piece chronicling the history of the steel industry in the United States, with specific connections to Pittsburgh. In addition to scoring the project, I designed the sound and produced the film and music and also shot and edited the film. About eighty percent of the film material is historical footage (in black and white, as well as color), while I shot the remaining portions, on location, in various areas of the "Mon Valley" region of Pittsburgh. Separated into four distinct sections, the film portrays the rise, the zenith and the eventual collapse of the steel industry in the late 1970s and the early 1980s from its epicenter in Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania.

The musical score is composed of two elements: a live performance ensemble consisting of a clarinet in B flat, a flute and piano; and an electronic soundtrack that mostly supports the live instrumentation but also, at times, creates ambiguity between what is heard live and what is pre-recorded. I also created the ambient sound design and Foley effects.

The purpose of this document is to closely examine the various stages in the creative process of The Mill, to describe the inception of the idea, the implementation of technology and the overall aesthetics of a multimedia production. Although the project was intended to be solely a musical film piece, the final product resulted in an educational quasi-documentary The document is divided into seven chapters, each describing the techniques and tools utilized to achieve the final product.