Drew Schnurr

Drew Schnurr is a composer, sound artist, and performer from Los Angeles whose work blurs traditional lines in music, media, and sound.

As a composer for media, Drew has produced music and sonic branding for numerous world brands and media conglomerates. He is also an active concert composer and sound artist with a diverse range of international commissions and exhibits.

Revered by his peers, industry professionals, and critics, his work has been called both “rare” and “remarkable.”

“This composer bends and stretches rules within his own aesthetic, weaving his musical ideas in harmonious waves that threaten to drown, yet gently tumble the listener forward with intrigue and anticipation.” -Adam Rosenthal review for Persee: Orchestrated Perception



for Piano with Four Hands  [cat. sc26]


Hyperventilations of a Fire Dragon harnesses music from my early career as a performer in latin bands, jazz ensembles, funk bands, and rock and metal bands. The underlying fervency of these influences is felt throughout the work, leveraged by the power and agility of the piano, driving the performance often to the edge of playability. This piece initiates a compositional renaissance, a drilling down into the musical cores of “fire” that constitute the music of my youth. It comes from the gut—quite literally, was breathed into life. The melodic and rhythmic motives are all derived from vocal inflections (and hyperventilations) improvised, recorded, transcribed and re-composed by the composer.


Premiered by Vicki Ray and Aaron Kallay — Hear Now Festival, Los Angeles, May 2015.
Video performance by pianists Kookhee Hong and Minji Noh.


The last 6 months have been filled with music and sweat.

My efforts have been focused on the production of the May 10 concert event PERSEE. What an experience. Every time I do something like this I ask my self if the gratification is worth the blood, dirt, and tears required. I always seem to find myself pushing physical and emotional limits on these kind of projects. I came close to the absolute limit this time around. I have been restoring for over four weeks, and am just beginning to feel like my self again.

Why do I do it? Life in many ways would be so much easier as a non-creative professional. Work hard, make money, and play hard. Nice and clean….simple and clear. I admit sometimes I long for that kind of simplicity in my life. I’m just not built for it though, and would be unbearably restless amid a life of convention. So I suppose instead of asking why I do it, I should be asking why I am bulit his way?

One of the ways I have come to recognize my path is it’s winding and uncertain quality. The one thing that anchors me is a certain sense of inevitability, that no matter how many times I try to veer of my path, the maker will eventually put me back on it. I’m not allowed the comfort of certainty, only the option of trusting. I am still learning how to trust…myself, others, and my maker.

And so goes one more step on the inevitable path…D


Construct protects me, but only from myself. I am shackled, held in my own arms. To undo, and begin knowing…this is my life’s work now.


I’ve started reading a blog by Composer Roger Bourland. It is a great example of how blogging can offer real insight into one’s way of thinking. Roger is an interesting guy.

Roger recently posted commentary discussing a study on virtual reality and how it can actually influence real memories. (“Virtual Reality can lead to false memories”) Cool stuff.

I have been thinking about this idea quite a bit lately…that is the notion of reality, and life experience being a choice. It is so much more convenient to believe that we are all merely caught up in the winds of fate, circumstance, and “God’s will.” It allows us to avoid responsibility for our actions and beliefs.

I am often struck by how time sheds light on memories in such a way to completely change my perception of the past. Perspective is everything. I am also increasingly aware of how my own thought patterns reinforce themselves in such a way that makes it easy to believe something that is completely disconnected from reality.

My singer/songwriter friend Tamara Cimmerian has a song she that she sings entitled “No Such Thing.” The chorus of starts out, “Every thought is a prayer…” Well if Tamara and Roger are right, it is wise to be mindful of our thoughts. Reality itself may be at stake.


Everyone has a desire to be heard. I’ve never met anyone who likes being ignored, and so it seems many of our social habits are born of the quest to obtain and maintain the attention of key people in our lives. Our survival often depends on being able to “stay on the radar.” In the material arena, we need to be valued by people who are sources if income. In the emotional realm, we seek to be valued and loved by the ones we love. These needs are basic, and essential.

It begs to ask the question: If this acknowledgment of the individual voice is so essential to our collective well being, then why are we all such bad listeners? I wonder what would happen if we spent less time making noise, and took just a little more time to stop and listen. What would we hear? How would we be different?

I know that the more I try to listen, the more I grow. Seems obvious on the surface, but as I reflect on my life I realize just how difficult it is…to REALLY listen; to put my own emotions and ideas aside, and just listen with an open mind and malleable heart. Transparency is tough.

There are so many ways to make ourselves heard now. Is there a price that we pay? I think true fulfillment comes from relationship, and if everyone is talking, no one is listening. So many of us mistake attention for connection, and a world full of attention seekers is a noisy world, where no one is heard.

Some of the wisest words in history were spoken quietly from modest lips. Modesty is rare in the American Idol-MySpace culture. I wonder what modesty is being spoken quietly under our barrage? Do we have the collective will to stop and listen?

Drew Schnurr


Words are meaningless.

I know your presence by the warmth of your breath. I know your pain by the taste of your tears. I know your joy by the sound of your laugh.

Words are meaningless.

I am certain of your love because I can see it in your eyes. I am certain of your truth because it resonates in your tone. I am certain of your quality because I feel it in nearness.

Words are meaningless.

The truth is found in the substance of action. Knowing is found in the experience of you.


In the eve of my thoughts I cannot see what guides me.

Even the white mare appears as black after dusk. I know her only by the rhythm of her step, and the quality of her guide. The stallion is a skilled impostor. He knows her cadence well, and is versed at imitating her quality. His black form is hidden from me during the night.

In the eve of my thoughts I cannot see what guides me.

She is beautiful. Strength and nobility embodies each step, and I am sure of my path as she leads. Truth is all she knows, and she is steadfast in her deliverance of me. She is filled with life’s passion, commanding fire and wind. I feel bliss while in the wake of her lead, never fearful or uncertain.

He is wild, reckless. The only desire that holds meaning is his own. He is willing to destroy all that is love in order to obtain what he covets. I am his muse. He is a shadow, the essence of a lie pretending to be light. I awake in the morning and weep for what I have done at his pleasure.

In the eve of my thoughts I cannot see what guides me.

All is dim. I know the shadow is lurking, waiting for my hand. I reach for the mare, hoping for deliverance. Closing my eyes I breathe and pray for her, the one who can guide me in truth.


Faith is the substance of hope, the evidence of things to be seen.


Fear is my own.

I will never feel safe in your arms. Fear is my own. Layers upon layers and I will still tremble at the night. Fear is never renounced, only neutralized in acceptance. Life is flawed, uncertain. The truth is a razor cutting mercilessly. It is not in your power to protect, nor should it be for living is precious in fragility. Destiny mandates us broken and remade. Fear is my own, a beacon. Light shines on that which will unbind me. Birth is pain. Fear is my own.

Passion is my own.

The truth of desire whispers to me. Passion is my own. I walk with the air. I am drawn by that which can only be self-known. It resonates of my heart. Fire, you can drink of mine but never kindle. It only flows from depths. Other founts are destined finite. Passion is my own. The tone is faint but pure, impossible to imitate. It calls to me like a lost lover, always patient, poised to suspend time. My lover awaits. Passion is my own.


Emptiness is my own.

Longing is mine. I drink, and drink of you again, but thirst remains because satisfaction binds in truth. Emptiness is my own. I will never be whole by another. Yearning is only satisfied from depths. To covet your fullness is to be blind to you, rationing yours to consume. Your fullness is yours to relish, not mine to harvest. Emptiness is my own.

Love is my own.

God is love. Love is my own. Only the heart can know love, and the heart is drawn by treasure. If you become treasure I loose love. Love surrounds me. It can be given no more than the wind. Love, surging all, ladens every breath, resonates with every sigh. Love is knowing. It is an embrace. To say I love you is only to say I am, and to feel loved is to know verity. We need not give love. We only need know that in love we are one. Love is my own, and yours in truth.


Here I am traveling at 300 meters per second. I’ll be home soon. On the way I’ll damage someone or something, and most certainly mangle myself in the process. But I can’t help it. I’m just a bullet.

She holds the gun loosely in her grip. She doesn’t understand fully the power she holds. She feels like she is holding a toy. It excites her. She likes the feeling of the molded plastic and forged steel in her hand. She doesn’t think of me. She doesn’t have real desire for destruction, just a craving for the complete. Holding a gun will do for now, but she wonders for how long.

She thinks, “What if I squeeze…just this once?” At the thought, she feels blood rush flowing to her shoulders and stomach. Finally, a moment she can feel. It is more than reason can bear. She is dizzy now, released from emptiness and fear. She becomes time. “Just this once…”

She hears no sound. She only feels the air disappear. A sharp pain shoots through her arm. The air returns, a crushing wave. As she reels backwards fullness returns to fear, this time wed to regret. The gun feels different in her hand now.

So, here I am traveling at 300 meters per second. I’ll be home soon. On the way I’ll damage someone or something, and most certainly mangle myself in the process. But I can’t help it. I’m just a bullet.

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Friday, August 4th, 2017

Ascent of Weavers, a film by Rebeca Méndez with music by Drew Schnurr, featured at the 2019 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival.

info @ latinofilm.org/ascent-of-weavers

trailer and credits @ rebecamendezstudio.com


Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

Judging films submitted for the 48 Hour Film Project in Dallas. Screenings on July 31 and August 1.


DREW@SCHNURR.COM 323.243.7653