Music & Sound

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson

If there was a Guinness World Record for handing out more business cards than any other human being on the planet, Eric would be the reigning champ of connections. Heading up Sound and Engagement at Trailblazer Studios, he has the perfect combination of enthusiasm and passion to make magic happen when it comes to both people and projects.

Since joining Trailblazer in 2003, Eric has helped the Sound department evolve from a small shop with a local focus to a major player in the business. He hopes to use the medium of film, television and video to educate, inspire and address some of our world’s most challenging issues.

Both inside and outside our walls, Eric has helped contribute to and build the Trailblazer family. In his position, he has helped make dreams come true for his colleagues and clients. We have no doubt that Eric’s sky-is-the-limit outlook will help Trailblazer Studios continue its momentum to become a major player in the entertainment industry.

 

Professional Summary:

An early interest in architecture couldn’t keep Eric from pursuing his true passion: music. In 1986, he started his own business, Johnsound Productions, producing albums for up-and-coming recording artists, as well as composing, writing, and recording jingles. Later he branched out into music for advertising, soundtracks for non-broadcast corporate video, and projects for clients such as IBM, Caterpillar, Golden Corral, Nortel, McDonald’s and Hardee’s.

In January of 2003, Eric joined Trailblazer Studios and helped launch the sound division (formerly Blazing Music + Sound) as Executive Producer.

Eric is a thought leader in the music and sound industry on a national level. He is a recent past-President of the Society for Professional Audio Recording Services (SPARS), a national organization made up of recording studios and engineers, educational programs, and recording equipment manufacturers. Eric also serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern Documentary Fund.

 

Aaron Keane

Aaron Keane

In the music industry for almost 20 years, Aaron cut his teeth working with some heavy hitters. He engineered album projects for musical artists ranging from folk singers Shawn Colvin and Suzanne Vega to hip hop talent Mos Def. As a composer, he has made music for TV networks including HBO, NatGeo, Discovery, PBS and TLC. And let’s not forget his audio work on video games, independent films, and commercials for brands like Polaris, CarQuest, Travelocity and Georgia Pacific.

Not a big fan of flying, nowadays Aaron likes to keep things interesting on the ground at Trailblazer Studios. He heads up our music department, focusing on music composition and production. He also provides recording, editing, and mixing for our clients in advertising, TV, film and video gaming.

Oh, and he’s also known for his cheese biscuits. Some say they even rival those of our resident studio chef Garye Costner’s famous delicacies.

 

Professional Summary:

Aaron began his career as an assistant engineer in music studios in New York City during the mid ’90s, and moved up the ranks from there. All the while, he was playing in bands and learning his craft of composing and audio engineering from music pros like Mitchell Froom, Eddie Kramer and John Leventhal.

In the early 2000s Aaron moved in to audio post, working on TV commercials for Kill Bill, Cold Mountain, Gangs of New York and Chicago, as well as TV shows for VH1 and MTV. He joined Trailblazer Studios in 2004.

Aaron earned his B.A. in Art History/Photography at Bard College and his M.M. in Music Business and Technology at New York University.

Susan Lacney

Susan Lacney

Executive Producer

As the master of whip-cracking and the official wearer of many hats, Susan enjoys her job most because there is never a dull moment. At Trailblazer, she is universally known as the “tell-it-like-it-is” kind of person who supervises the daily ins and outs of post.

Susan has always been interested in television and dreamed of following in the footsteps of Tom Brokaw – Actually, she’d be happy just to have a conversation with him, so Tom, please call.

Instead of making her mark in the world of journalism, Susan found her niche in the post world, producing commercials for national brands and working on reality TV.

When she isn’t managing people and projects, Susan is probably singing an 80’s song or trying to find a way to make the world a better place for man’s best friend – dogs rule!

Professional Summary:

Susan graduated from Clarion University of PA with a B.S. in Communications. She went on to work for McKinney, producing spots for well-known accounts such as Travelocity, Audi of America and Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

Willie Elias Rivera

Willie Elias Rivera

Willie is one of the most talented and fastest sound designers you’ll ever meet. He regularly works with advertising agencies, independent film directors, artists and TV network producers, which he considers to be the best part of his job at Trailblazer. He finds sharing the creative, fun and collaborative experience to be extremely fulfilling.

At Trailblazer, you can find Willie mixing and editing a variety of projects, including commercials, trailers, games and TV shows. Some of his recent mixing credits include Mini Monsters and Winged Planet for Discovery Channel, The Great Inca Rebellion for Nova, Narco Bling for NatGeo,HBO Latino and BET promos, and sound design and mix for Twice Born Stories from the Special Delivery Unit for PBS.

Willie enjoys teaching and sharing his experience in the audio field with students who are pursuing a similar career path. When he’s not in the studio, he loves spending time with his family and delighting in fishing, soccer, BBQ, cooking and travel.

Professional Summary:

Willie began his career in Puerto Rico working with advertising agencies including Leo Burnett, Young and Rubicam and McCann Erickson. After a move to Miami, he discovered his talent for sound design and worked on numerous TV projects for Nickelodeon, MTV, Disney and HBO Latin America.

Willie joined Trailblazer in 2003 where his primary focus is on sound design and mixing. Other work includes audio post and music production. Spanish is Willie’s first language, which is a definite bonus for Trailblazer Studios, giving us the ability to work on Spanish language projects.

After attending the University of Puerto Rico, Willie continued his audio and video education at the Business Music Institute in Atlanta.

Willie is one of the most talented and fastest sound designers you’ll ever meet. He regularly works with advertising agencies, independent film directors, artists and TV network producers, which he considers to be the best part of his job at Trailblazer. He finds sharing the creative, fun and collaborative experience to be extremely fulfilling.

At Trailblazer, you can find Willie mixing and editing a variety of projects, including commercials, trailers, games and TV shows. Some of his recent mixing credits include Mini Monsters and Winged Planet for Discovery Channel, The Great Inca Rebellion for Nova, Narco Bling for NatGeo,HBO Latino and BET promos, and sound design and mix for Twice Born Stories from the Special Delivery Unit for PBS.

Willie enjoys teaching and sharing his experience in the audio field with students who are pursuing a similar career path. When he’s not in the studio, he loves spending time with his family and delighting in fishing, soccer, BBQ, cooking and travel.

Professional Summary:

Willie began his career in Puerto Rico working with advertising agencies including Leo Burnett, Young and Rubicam and McCann Erickson. After a move to Miami, he discovered his talent for sound design and worked on numerous TV projects for Nickelodeon, MTV, Disney and HBO Latin America.

Willie joined Trailblazer in 2003 where his primary focus is on sound design and mixing. Other work includes audio post and music production. Spanish is Willie’s first language, which is a definite bonus for Trailblazer Studios, giving us the ability to work on Spanish language projects.

After attending the University of Puerto Rico, Willie continued his audio and video education at the Business Music Institute in Atlanta.Senior Engineer/Sound Designer/Director of Audio PostWillie is one of the most talented and fastest sound designers you’ll ever meet. He regularly works with advertising agencies, independent film directors, artists and TV network producers, which he considers to be the best part of his job at Trailblazer. He finds sharing the creative, fun and collaborative experience to be extremely fulfilling.

At Trailblazer, you can find Willie mixing and editing a variety of projects, including commercials, trailers, games and TV shows. Some of his recent mixing credits include Mini Monsters and Winged Planet for Discovery Channel, The Great Inca Rebellion for Nova, Narco Bling for NatGeo,HBO Latino and BET promos, and sound design and mix for Twice Born Stories from the Special Delivery Unit for PBS.

Willie enjoys teaching and sharing his experience in the audio field with students who are pursuing a similar career path. When he’s not in the studio, he loves spending time with his family and delighting in fishing, soccer, BBQ, cooking and travel.

 

Professional Summary:

Willie began his career in Puerto Rico working with advertising agencies including Leo Burnett, Young and Rubicam and McCann Erickson. After a move to Miami, he discovered his talent for sound design and worked on numerous TV projects for Nickelodeon, MTV, Disney and HBO Latin America.

Willie joined Trailblazer in 2003 where his primary focus is on sound design and mixing. Other work includes audio post and music production. Spanish is Willie’s first language, which is a definite bonus for Trailblazer Studios, giving us the ability to work on Spanish language projects.

After attending the University of Puerto Rico, Willie continued his audio and video education at the Business Music Institute in Atlanta.

Willie is one of the most talented and fastest sound designers you’ll ever meet. He regularly works with advertising agencies, independent film directors, artists and TV network producers, which he considers to be the best part of his job at Trailblazer. He finds sharing the creative, fun and collaborative experience to be extremely fulfilling.

At Trailblazer, you can find Willie mixing and editing a variety of projects, including commercials, trailers, games and TV shows. Some of his recent mixing credits include Mini Monsters and Winged Planet for Discovery Channel, The Great Inca Rebellion for Nova, Narco Bling for NatGeo,HBO Latino and BET promos, and sound design and mix for Twice Born Stories from the Special Delivery Unit for PBS.

Willie enjoys teaching and sharing his experience in the audio field with students who are pursuing a similar career path. When he’s not in the studio, he loves spending time with his family and delighting in fishing, soccer, BBQ, cooking and travel.

Professional Summary:

Willie began his career in Puerto Rico working with advertising agencies including Leo Burnett, Young and Rubicam and McCann Erickson. After a move to Miami, he discovered his talent for sound design and worked on numerous TV projects for Nickelodeon, MTV, Disney and HBO Latin America.

Willie joined Trailblazer in 2003 where his primary focus is on sound design and mixing. Other work includes audio post and music production. Spanish is Willie’s first language, which is a definite bonus for Trailblazer Studios, giving us the ability to work on Spanish language projects.

After attending the University of Puerto Rico, Willie continued his audio and video education at the Business Music Institute in Atlanta.

Michel Marrano Holbrook

Michel Marrano Holbrook

If you see Michel twirling her hair, that means she’s intently thinking, so be ready. She’s about to have a “Eureka” moment! Using audio, she brilliantly tells stories through the use of music, sound effects and pristine dialog.

At Trailblazer, she’s definitely spent time swirling her hair on the DIY series Salvage Dawgs. As her proudest project to date, Michel loves this series for two reasons. One, she enjoys dedicating time to an entertaining and educational show that has a “good heart.” And two, she’s been more involved in the sound design process – from recording some of the production audio all the way to final mix – than any other job.

Keeping things interesting, Michel is an eternal learner. Whether it’s the films or shows she spends time mixing, she’s always exposed to a slew of different, interesting topics – from architectural salvage to gourmet cooking. She can’t help but learn a thing or two along the way.

 

Professional Summary:

If Michel started singing “The Sound of Music,” it wouldn’t be because she’s going to Broadway. It would simply be due to the fact that she literally made the (Tar)heels come alive with the sound of music (and her other amazing sound design skills). Prior to joining Trailblazer in 2009, Michel served as the resident sound designer for Playmakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill for three years. While at Playmakers, she worked as an instructor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, teaching “Introduction to Sound Design” classes. Marrano has also held positions in sound design and audio supervision at East Carolina University’s Loessin Theatre, Triad Stage in Greensboro and Vermont’s Weston Playhouse Theatre.

These days, you can spot Michel in the Trailblazer studio mixing multiple long-form television series, mixing and sound designing documentary films, engineering client sessions and managing production audio.

Josh Bain

Josh Bain

Never a dull moment – Josh is always creating something new. As a self-proclaimed mumbler, he usually allows his talent to speak for itself. In the studio, you can witness his passion for composing original music and feel how he can influence moods.

When he’s not composing, Josh is either in the field recording or mixing and editing TV shows, commercials and documentaries with the Trailblazer crew. He’s quite proud of the collective body of work he has delivered while at Trailblazer, including mixing for Kate + 8, Sister Wives and Salvage Dogs and composing for Sister Wives, Project 22, Twice Born and numerous corporate projects.

Someday Josh hopes to work on a major film among the ranks of other notable composers and music producers such as Hans Zimmer or Trent Reznor.

 

Professional Summary:

Josh is a graduate of Full Sail University with a degree in Recording Arts. He worked as a freelance audio engineer and composer in New York and Nashville, while interning at Blackbird Studios.

He began freelancing for Trailblazer Studios in 2008, handling the mix for TV shows and composing music for a number of our advertising clients. He officially joined our team in 2012. Lately Josh has focused primarily on music composition, but he regularly assists with mixing of television shows and films and has also added location sound recording to his resume.

David Hill

David Hill

David has two homes or should we say dual citizenship? Born in Her Majesty’s England, David moved to the United States when he was 10, so he delightfully has both accents. You will never notice it because he is very in tune with his sound – speaking “American” when speaking to Americans, and English when either by himself or with family. The only person (or more like computer) that notices his dialect is Siri. She’s so stubborn, he had to switch Siri on his phone to the British butler version just so it will understand him.

True to his love of sound design and music, David is an awesome guitarist, and guitar was actually one of his courses of study in college. Ironically, many people may not be aware of this talent, because he doesn’t broadcast it. In his spare time, you can catch him playing the blues or eyeing vintage guitars and amps.

 

Professional Summary:

David is a Mountaineer who received his degree in Music & Recording from Appalachian State University. While attending the university, he had an opportunity to hone his craft by recording concerts and installing commercial sound systems in theaters and stadiums.

Bringing his sound design skills to Trailblazer Studios in 2014, David enjoys the variety of work he does each day. He mixes and records for short- and long-form TV shows, documentaries, films, commercials and voiceovers.

Aurelia Belfield

Aurelia Belfield

Music & Casting Supervisor/Sound Coordinator

 

If you hear “skiddly bee bop shoop a doo,” you can expect to see our resident pop culture expert, Aurelia, coming down the hall. Bringing a fun, fresh, colorful perspective to Trailblazer Studios, she loves discovering new talent and thinks every day is a new and hilarious adventure!

Aurelia is a go-to resource for editors, producers, composers and networks. Just ask her about anything from voice talent casting to music libraries to a definitive ranking of 90s teen movies. Her open-book style has been instrumental in the development of our supervision tools and workflow.

When she’s not working with incredible independent artists, performers, and music libraries, Aurelia advocates for more diversity in media; she believes that art should reflect reality as much as possible, especially in the global society in which we live.

 

Professional Summary:

Aurelia is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Dramatic Arts. Prior to joining Trailblazer Studios, she honed her skills in educational outreach at WTVI Charlotte and in casting at Bunim/Murray Productions.

Her primary focus at Trailblazer is on music and casting supervision, which covers finding and booking voice talent, developing and nurturing relationships with talent agencies, managing music libraries, and music placement and licensing for short and long-form projects.