MEET PENKA KOUNEVA
In 2015, Hollywood composer Penka Kouneva sent shockwaves rippling through the music scoring community with the release of her activist concept album, THE WOMAN ASTRONAUT. Her purpose was to draw attention to a startling fact: more women had traveled into space than had scored studio feature films! The response was galvanizing, and became part of the Women Warriors: Voices for Change movement (created by Amy Andersson). It also didn’t hurt that the album was brilliantly composed and orchestrated, bubbling over with virtuoso performances from several of Hollywood’s top session musicians.
Penka’s music has been called "fantastic" by Billboard magazine. Like a great storyteller, her music takes listeners on a deeply emotional journey with soaring themes and modern sensibilities. She’s one of a small handful of composers with a vibrant career in four fields of entertainment - film, television, video games, and concert music.
Top composing credits include Ubisoft's video game Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands, and the feature film Encounter. TV credits include the primetime TV series Pandora on CW (with Joe Kraemer), and the Crypt TV series Mira Mira.
One of Penka’s crowning achievements was composing original music for a $30M multimedia NASA exhibit Heroes and Legends at the Kennedy Space Center. She was later commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the concert piece "America In Space" at the Hollywood Bowl for an audience of 18,000 people. Her music has been performed at the Lincoln Center (Women Warriors: Voices of Change created by Amy Andersson). In 2020 Penka scored the SuperBowl LIV ad campaign for Olay “Make Space For Women.” Penka’s awards include Sundance Fellowship, Duke University Distinguished Alumna, and the Recognition Award from the Game Audio Network Guild, among many others.
We have selected three of Penka’s soundtracks to spotlight this month. THE WOMAN ASTRONAUT, of course! And two science fiction offerings, her film score for ENCOUNTER, and her television series score with Joe Kreamer, PANDORA. We hope you will enjoy HUGEsound Records’ May 2021 exhibit, “Penka Kouneva – A Hollywood Voice for Change.”