Contact: Marygrace Oglesby, [email protected]
Most Recent: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Composer Nami Melumad always had a passion for music and films, and around age 13, she discovered she could pick out the melodies to some of her favorite themes on piano. “I would play the melodies from Home Alone, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, and I figured if I could play those, I could write my own, too,” Melumad says. “I came up with my own ideas—if this movie had a sequel, what would it sound like? I would kind of create demos and experiment with color, tone, instruments. It led me to wanting to do this for real.”
After attending USC’s scoring program, Melumad worked on 2020’s An American Pickle with composer Michael Giacchino, who recommended her to score a Star Trek episode. The gig landed her a job writing music for Star Trek: Prodigy and Strange New Worlds, making her the first female composer for the franchise.
Melumad has also been a board member with the Alliance for Women Film Composers for the past three years and co-founded its mentorship program. “There is still a long way to go with bridging the industry gap between male and female composers. From my personal experience, I’m seeing the TV world is changing faster than film. Still only 2-3% of films are scored by women,” she says. “Of course, I think the right person for the job should get the job, but the opportunity needs to be there for women. It’s still a boys’ club in Hollywood, and it’s not so easy to break through. It’ll take a while, but we’ll get there.”
Melumad says she’s drawn to projects she identifies with. “When I work with Israeli directors and they work on content in Hebrew, that’s a call back home. I’ve always loved sci-fi, which drew me to Star Trek, and it has a great message of hope, a sense of adventure, and it calls for a better future,” she says. “For me, it’s kind of more about story and characters, rather than who’s creating it.”