Dika Chartoff | composer
collector and fuser of acoustic and electronic sounds. conveyer of feelings and images.
tunesmith of uncommon music.
“I don't remember my dreams too much. I hardly have ever gotten ideas from nighttime dreams. But I love daydreaming and dream logic and the way dreams go” - David Lynch
The narrative nature of Dika’s music derives from her love of living, imagining, and interpreting stories. Always in search of an honest expression, her music becomes a vivid and colorful sound journey that blurs genres into a unique fingerprint.
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.
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
Claire 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 Claire Longendyke and Amir Farid