With a passion for film and movies, what better internship could a Hobart student have than to work with a startup music company? Ethan Guralnick ’11 is a media and society major and English minor. Over the summer, he is working with David A. Kaplan ’83, the co-founder and CEO of the music Web site PureSolo.com, http://www.puresolo.com/ based in the U.K., where Guralnick is originally from and where his family still resides. The rising junior owns his own equipment and editing software and is thrilled to be gaining experience with a new music company. He is putting his film skills to work shooting video to assist with marketing efforts.
Pure Solo, similar to iTunes, is free downloadable software. “At PureSolo.com you can pick from 19 different instruments, and from those instruments you can play along with your favorite songs,” he said. The company currently has a selection of 20,000 songs, a collection that is constantly growing. For 1.99£ you can download a song that comes with the sheet music and a professional backing track. “Once you have purchased the song, you can instantly record yourself playing to it!”
Users can re-record themselves as many times as they would like for the one-time purchase price. Once finished, the song with the user’s instrumentals can be loaded into iPod (or any mp3 player) burned to a CD, put onto Facebook, or made the ring tone on a mobile phone.
“This simple way of recording and being able to put the track anywhere digitally is a great educational tool for young music students,” said Guralnick. “It has been found that music teachers really like the idea. Students can send their music to their teachers, have them listen to the file, and then ask teachers for improvement suggestions.”
Earlier in June, Guralnick attended the London International Music Show where Pure Solo had a demo booth. “I went around with my camera and filmed all the other booths. I also filmed the demonstrations at our booth and after the people watched the demos, I interviewed them. With all the footage I shot, I will be putting together a video,” said Guralnick, who also will make weekly video blogs to get customers familiar with the Web site and chart improvements.
Being a lover of music himself, Guralnick is amazed with his opportunity. “A program like Pure Solo encourages aspiring musicians to practice and build respect for the industry. This opportunity is giving me a chance to experience how a small company operates and it allows me to do what I love – filmmaking.”
Guralnick lived in Asia for 10 years and London for seven. In the fall, he will travel to Korea for a semester abroad and will attend Yonsei University in Seoul. He plans to make a documentary on Confucianism and examine how generations of people are moving away from traditional society values due to heavy influences of the West.
Joe Ambrosetti from Career Services helped Guralnick contact Kaplan about his interest in gaining experience in music and film. Kaplan worked for Goldman Sachs in London for 22 years before starting up Pure Solo. He graduated from Hobart College with a B.A. in psychology and was featured in the Winter 2009 issue of the Pulteney St. Survey.
On campus, Guralnick is a co-founder of the Media Club and helped host Faculty Jeopardy. The Media Club helps to promote media in general by holding events for people who have an interest in film, journalism, television and new media.