Film and Soundtrack: The collaborative process of filmmaker and composer

Musician and film composer John McDowell ( achieved worldwide recognition with his soundtrack to the Academy Award-winning documentary “Born Into Brothels”. Winner of Best Musical Score at the Bend Film Festival, McDowell’s compositions blend Western and Indian music in a mesmerizing mix. Subsequent film scores by McDowell include Higher Love, Holy (Un)Holy River, Who Does She Think She Is? Orgasmic Birth, Salam, Stolen and Sold, produced by Emma Thompson, Ganga (Holy Unholy River), and Salam- the definitive story of Abdus Salam, the first Pakistani scientist to win the Nobel prize.

Known for much more than just his film scores, McDowell served as founder, artistic director and leader of several musical projects including The Born Into Brothels Ensemble and the world music band Mamma Tongue. He has toured and recorded with Rusted Root and Krishna Das, co-producing Pilgrim Heart and Live on Earth, and has produced several albums including his solo CD Speaking the Mamma Tongue. McDowell is the music director and arranger for Tibetan singer Ani Choying. McDowell’s formal musical composition education at Chicago’s DePaul and Northwestern Universities and subsequent informal global training have made him a largely self-taught ethnomusicologist of a widely-ranging scale. McDowell is an Adjunct professor at Ramapo College teaching Soundtracks: A study of sound and music as designed for narrative and documentary film, radio, television, advertising, multimedia, and a wide range of public spaces, commercial venues, and events.