Dika Chartoff | composer
collector and fuser of acoustic and electronic sounds. conveyer of feelings and images.
tunesmith of uncommon music.
I love to express stories through music and explore the visceral space that surrounds them. Sometimes I’m interested in creating sound collages, or tapestries of sound that are varied in their nature but unified in their aesthetic aim. Other times I surrender to something lyrical. Most of the time, I feel compelled to make sense of the world, which is impossible. But, after some work, which includes frustration, and occasional eureka moments, I find deep meaning and satisfaction in my music, especially as I near the finish line and embark on a collaborative journey with fellow creatives. DIKA
A classically trained pianist, Dika found her path to composition by exploring Apple’s Logic software and being intensely curious about recording and manipulating electronic sounds. Eventually, her sound experimentation and love for collaborating with filmmakers led to her scoring several award-winning independent films and developing a passion for contemporary concert music.
As a concert music composer at the Mostly Modern Festival Festival in 2022, Dika premiered four works for ensembles and orchestra. Most recently, multi-Grammy-nominated cellist Dave Eggar commissioned her to compose Un-controlling, a piece for cello, piano, and two e-bows that premiered at Bargemusic, NY in October ‘22 with pianist Yifei Xu, and recorded in Los Angeles in February ’23 with pianist Clare Longendyke.
Future engagements and work in progress include commissions for piano by Clare Longendyke; Tasha Warren and Dave Eggar for their upcoming album in 2024, as well as music for Attack Theatre dance company in 2024. Dika's album for piano and electronics will be released in June 2024.
Dika's recent film scores include a feature film Corazon Azul, and the DGA student award Grand Prize winner and BAFTA-nominated live-action short, Variables. Among her credits are two Sundance-selected films; Knife Point and Memories of Overdevelopment, as well as the student Academy Award winner, Down in Number 5.
Dika was born and raised in Sarajevo, spent her teenage years in Germany, studied and lived in the US and New Zealand; and presently lives with her husband Bill, daughter Jazzy, and their exuberant dog Heidi in Santa Monica, California. She holds a Master's Degree in Music (piano) from the University of Colorado in Boulder where she studied with David Korevaar. Her concert music mentor is Robert Paterson. She was also awarded a six months mentorship with film composer Rob Simonsen by the Alliance of Women Film Composers in 2022.
Dika is a proud member of the Alliance of Women Film Composers (AWFC), American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and executive board member of the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC - West LA).
"Because of Her" by Dika Chartoff
Clare Longendyke, keyboards
Amir Farid, piano
Hunter Gross, bass drum and xylophone
Victoria Paterson, violin
JJ Johnson, viola
Dave Eggar, cello
William Cabison, conductor
"Dinner Chats: Minecraft and Together" for two pianos by Dika Chartoff
Performed by Clare Longendyke and Amir Farid