Elia Cmiral: Composer

Home-based creative juggles the pros and cons of house as workplace

Elia Cmiral beams with pride as he listens to his 9-year-old son, Tamao, play the piano inside the house connected to his studio.

“It’s great to have a studio at home, especially with two young kids,” he says. “I think it’s important not to forget there’s a life outside a Hollywood career.”

He found his home studio in a slightly unconventional way.

In 1997, Cmiral composed music for the TV series “Nash Bridges,” but something didn’t seem right. He and his wife decided to invite a feng shui practitioner to their home to see if the house’s energy was off.

Indeed, it was declared as having “not good energy,” so Cmiral and his wife went on an odyssey to find a new home. One hundred and twenty houses later, they fell in love with a yellow and brick house with its own studio.

The move proved to be successful in more ways than one, with Cmiral scoring a number of studio projects including “Ronin” (1998) and “Stigmata” (1999).

The studio’s packed with the latest equipment including six PCs with Giga Studio, four Macs, two Yamaha O2R mix boards, plus Pro Tools and Digital Performer software.

Also tucked in one corner is his treasure, a Stingl piano his grandfather owned in Czechoslovakia.

Cmiral says there’s little, beyond actually having a full orchestra, he can’t do from home.

“Digital technology has made it possible to work from a home studio,” he says.

Just 10 years ago the equipment alone cost close to $200,000. Now Cmiral says someone can start his or her own studio for five to six grand.

Though he has his kids and wife close by, Cmiral admits he still gets lonely in the long hours spent on his own.

“I love to work with people,” he says. “It is a little isolated.”


Pulse (2006)
Blackbeard (2006)
Journey to the End of the Night (2006)
Ronin (1998)

“Pulse” is being released Aug. 11.

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