Oberlin Conservatory alumni experienced in performing and recording genres such as hip hop, metal, and indie. Have collaborated with artists such as Bonnie 'Prince' Oldham and Bela Fleck.
Hello! My name is Brianna Tam, and I'm an experienced classical and electric cellist looking to bring your project to life. As a cellist who simultaneously serves as principal cellist of a local symphony as well as a member of a hip hop band, I'm very comfortable playing a variety of genres. I'm also a composer and arranger, so I'm constantly writing, recording, and mixing my own music.
I provide a variety of services, such as recording cello parts provided by the client, harmonizing over given parts, or helping the client write and arrange parts for their project. I collaborate often with local artists of all genres, and am therefore very comfortable improvising over many different styles of music. If you have an idea or vision involving cello, please don't hesitate to share it with me! As a creator myself, I understand how important it is for your creation to be as close to your imagination as possible. Let me help you realize your vision!
P.S. I can also make sound effects using my guitar pedals and/or Logic.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
3 ReviewsEndorse Brianna Tam
Brianna is a really talented cellist and I will definitely reach out to her again in the future! She was great at taking direction, and the delivery was very fast and seamless. Her ability to learn my difficult Bossa Nova song really shows me that she's able to adapt to all genres quickly.
Excellent musician, completed my project very swiftly. Highly recommended.
Brianna was a joy to work with. She took an idea I had, and breathed life into it. She's very reasonable and easy to work with. Brianna keeps a good attitude and has a very quick turnaround. I enjoyed how thorough she was with communication, and how she went above and beyond to get the goal met. I you need an intimate or even BIG string section in a track, she's your girl!
Interview with Brianna Tam
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: My album!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise that my product will exceed your expectations, and that it'll make you feel some type of way emotionally.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: People seem to think that I wont want to work with them because they play a certain genre or they're concerned that their compositional skills aren't up to my level, but I'm truly open to trying out any genre, and if you need assistance getting your project to the level that you want, I am definitely down to help where I can.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What's your vision? What inspired you to write this song/piece? Why do you want cello on your project? What sound are you hoping to achieve by adding cello?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Include as much detail as possible! The challenge with collaborating is accurately sharing your idea with another human being, and then hoping that they're on the same page with you. The more information you provide, the more likely you'll get the results that you seek.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: 1. Acoustic cello 2. Electric cello 3. Amp 4. Loop pedal 5. High quality camera OR recording device (i.e. a Zoom)
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Minimalist with some rock/metal characteristics, but never over the top. I've also been told that I tend to incorporate some hip hop characteristics into my music.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Hans Zimmer. I love his music from a listener and compositional standpoint. Also, he often works with string musicians.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If you want the "surround sound" feel, one way you can achieve this is by creating a "left" and "right" bus channel for each range. For instance, you would have a "highs" channel, a "high lefts" channel, and a "high rights" channel. Then, you use the directional mixer to send your "high lefts" as far left as you would like, and then apply the same principle to the "high rights." This way, you have a centered channel, a left channel, and a right channel, which makes the listener feel like the sound is all around them. You could even make a channel to have the parts feel like they're behind you. This is all part of "shaping" your sound.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Classical, hip hop, film score, singer-songwriter
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Playing expressively in such a way that captivates everyone in a room
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring a rich tone, diverse colors, and my expressivity to the songs that I record on. My goal is have listeners' perk their ears when they hear my cello come into the song. I can bring whatever emotion or style the client needs for their project. I also use my creativity and composition knowledge to elevate a client's idea, if they so desire. This includes adjusting their idea slightly to make it catchier, or more fitting for the cello, as well as adding harmonizing layers that perfectly complement the main layer.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I'll listen to what the client has so far, and then ask them about their vision for the project, and what they hope to accomplish by adding cello. It's important to me that I know exactly what they want. That way, if they need or want help beefing up the cello part, or adding more layers, I know what approach to take. I then record, and mix the parts as necessary.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have both my acoustic and electric cello (Yamaha), an AKG C414 condenser mic., a PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL, a Yamaha keyboard, an Acoustic amp, and a bunch of guitar effect pedals.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm inspired by cellist Giovanni Sollima, whose a classically-trained cellist who often writes music that delves into genres such as rock, metal, and minimalism, yet, he never sacrifices the integrity of his music. His music is catchy and accessible, but never simplified as a means to increase traffic. I'm also inspired by Hans Zimmer; his music takes films to entirely new heights and really brings the story and characters to life. This is a crucial skill to have as a composer, which is why I admire him so much.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I'm a session cellist as well as an arranger. Using my knowledge as a composer, improviser, and experienced musician, I often help clients spice up the part(s) or idea(s) provided. In that way, I often help the client write/arrange the cello part(s), and then record for them.