Multimedia book author writes soundtrack for her novel

Sunday, October 7, 2012
Hallie Pritts

Hallie Pritts' project description of a multimedia book caught the attention of the judges when she applied for the Composing Your Life Fellowship at the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow. Writing and performing a sound track to accompany her own novel was such an unusual and original idea that the judges wanted to give her an uninterrupted week to devote to furthering her project.

Pritts has been a songwriter and musician for more than 10 years, and while she says her book isn't a memoir, the life of the book's main character does mirror her own experience of living as an independent musician in Pittsburgh, Penn.

"Writing music and writing fiction have always fulfilled very different but equally satisfying urges in me," she says. "To be able to combine these two aspects is wildly exciting to me and allows me to create a finished project with the emotional depth and breadth I've been seeking."

Pritts has had a number of songs released, including a French language single, and four full-length albums. Her album "Get Out of Sin City" reached #17 on the EuroAmericana charts, #38 on the Americana charts and #1 on the Pennsylvania Roots Radio charts in 2011. Her song "Lake Erie" was featured on NPR's "All Songs Considered" blog, and she has also had songs released by both Norwegian and Irish record companies.

She visited high school students at Clear Spring School during her fellowship in September and shared some of her experiences as a musician.

"The students loved her songs, and asked many questions about the origin of each one, wanting the "liner notes" on how each song developed. Pritts shared stories about her travels and recording projects that led her to where she is now and about the jobs she has held to pay the bills so she could continue playing music," said Karen FitzPatrick, Director or Communications at Clear Spring School.

Pritts also told the students that a fellowship is very similar to getting a scholarship because it gave her the opportunity to devote her full attention to completing her novel and its music, Karen added. She filled an hour with her presentation and shared the process of recording; adding tracks, layering, and how the process builds into a final product.

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