Aaron Tsang is a Canadian composer and producer who has provided original music, sound design and post-production audio to over one hundred titles and releases across videogames, commercials, television shows, and films. In 2021 the University of Toronto commissioned Aaron to compose an orchestral overture for the inauguration of their new campaign “Defy Gravity”. The premiere was a music video project performed by the UTSO and conducted by Lorenzo Guggenheim, marking an exact decade since Aaron was first commissioned by the University of Toronto for the previous campaign “Boundless” in 2011, where he composed a brass fanfare anthem for a 30-piece brass band and was performed numerous times at every faculty and campus. During the covid pandemic, Aaron was also commissioned by the University of Toronto to compose an orchestral score for six consecutive virtual convocations held in absentia and streamed online between 2020-2022.
Since 2010, beginning with “Smurfs’ Village”, one of the oldest and most downloaded in mobile games, Aaron’s music and sound design work can be found in games of many well-known franchises such as, Shrek (DreamWorks Pictures), Ghostbusters (Sony Pictures), as well as Yu-Gi-Oh! (Konami). In 2014, Aaron provided original music and audio services for Kim Kardashian’s “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” game, the success of which launched a wave of celebrity themed games, many of which Aaron would continue to compose original music for such as “Kendall and Kylie”, a follow-up game featuring the Jenner sisters with Glu Mobile, and “Guava Juice: Tub Tapper” for YouTube celebrity Guava Juice, whose channel currently has 17 million subscribers. In 2017, Aaron was the composer for “Shuyan Saga”, a graphic novel style 3D action videogame released on Steam starring Kristin Kreuk (Smallville, Burden of Truth) as the titular Shuyan. The game features a full orchestral soundtrack, and was nominated by the Canadian Screen Awards in 2018 for “Best Original Interactive Production for Digital Media”.
As a recording, mixing and mastering engineer, his work for Christos Hatzis’ and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s “Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation” won a Juno award for “Classical Album of the Year” in 2017. Using a new approach to producing classical recordings, Aaron has become increasingly sought after as the producer and recording engineer of new music. His current and upcoming collaborations include recording and mixing Matthias McIntire and Rachel Fenlon’s song cycle “Sing Nature”; producing, recording, and mixing Sarah Slean and Christos Hatzis’ orchestral song “Nothing But The Light”; as well as serving as recording engineer and musical sound designer for “Kimiko’s Pearl” a Bravo Niagara! full-length ballet production choreographed by Yosuke Mino and music composed by Kevin Lau.
Aaron also teaches at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music.
Composing / Scoring
University of Toronto “Defy Gravity” Fundraising Campaign 2022 Orchestral Commission
This celebratory orchestral work was commissioned by the University of Toronto for the inaugural launch of the Defy Gravity campaign. It was performed by only 25 members of the UTSO (University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra) due to covid restrictions – conducted by Lorenzo Guggenheim.
University of Toronto Virtual Convocations 2020-2022
This orchestral suite was initially commissioned by the University of Toronto for the 2020 Spring and Fall convocation ceremonies held in absentia and streamed online as a virtual convocation due to Covid-19 restrictions. This spring convocation served over 15000 graduates across all faculties. The theme is based on another orchestral work I composed for the “Boundless” fanfare commissioned in 2011 by the University of Toronto Boundless campaign.
Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC “Moment of Sun” Advertising Campaign
This television commercial is part of a campaign that explores the 30 days without sun in the Northwest Territories in northern Canada. This particular commercial follows a photographer as he prepares for the capturing of the first sunrise after a month of darkness in the arctic.
“Shuyan Saga” Videogame (Lofty Sky Entertainment)
Shuyan Saga is a graphic novel 3D action game released on Steam in 2017 with a current average rating of 9/10. The main character is played by Canadian actress Kristin Kreuk of Smallville fame, and features a fully orchestral original soundtrack on Amazon Music, Spotify and other music platforms. The game was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award (CSA) for Best Original Interactive Production. In addition to my original music and sound design for the full game and initial trailers, the third trailer features voice acting performed by Kristin Kreuk recorded and mixed at my studio as a promotional trailer for FanExpo 2017.
“Tap Titans 2” Videogame (Game Hive)
In 2016 I was the composer a mobile game “Tap Titans 2”. This was one of the very first “infinite tapper” RPG games and went on to have more than 10 000 000+ global downloads. This is the main gameplay theme.
“Dino Hunt Canada” (History Channel / National Geographic)
In 2015 I was the composer for the full season of “Dino Hunt Canada”, a documentary television series narrated by Dan Akroyd of paleontologists searching for dinosaurs and the evidence they left behind.
“5000 Years of Heroes” (True Legend Studio)
In 2017 I was the composer for the full season of “5000 Years of Heroes”, a docudrama television series chronicling the legendary Chinese Han Dynasty general Han Xin.
“M&M’s Moviephobia” Commercial
This was a 2014 Cineplex Preshow commercial for M&M’s
“Arena of Small Town Life” Tim Hortons 2012 Commercial Feat. Sidney Crosby
The music to this commercial was recorded by members of the TSO (Toronto Symphony Orchestra) at Imprint Music.
“Bloom” Single Release - Jess Leung
Jess Leung is a Canadian singer-songwriter from Toronto whose music blends indie, jazz, pop and electronic influences with her classical flute and piano background. Bloom is a single in January 2021 written and performed by Jess Leung, produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by myself.
“The Cliff and the Road” Original Soundtrack
The Cliff and the Road is a film shot and directed by Theo Skudra (Photographer and Drake’s Visual Artist) in Paris 2015. I composed this soundtrack using creative layering of solo recordings to create the effect of a full orchestra, featuring Canadian cellist Rachel Mercer.
“Direct from Pluto: First Encounter” Documentary (Discovery Channel)
“Direct from Pluto: First Encounter” is a Discovery Channel documentary which chronicles NASA’s “New Horizon” mission where a spacecraft completes its harrowing journey to capture the first-ever images of Pluto and its moons. This music track is a cue I composed as a contributing composer to the film.
Recording / Mixing
Three Songs On Poems By Anne Michaels
Christos Hatzis – “Three Songs On Poems By Anne Michaels”
This song cycle features tenor Lawrence Wiliford and Pianist Steven Philcox performing the poetry of Anne Michaels set to music by composer Christos Hatzis. This recording was created over many sessions in 2022 with musicians recorded in isolation and enhanced in post with pop production techniques.
St. Michael’s Choir School - “Ubi Caritas”
The St. Michael’s Choir School boys choir hired me to record, mix and master this arrangement of “Ubi Caritas” in 2022 during the covid restrictions. The recording technique for this project was quite unconventional as each of the 60 members of the choir were standing 6 feet apart from one another in a basilica singing while wearing face coverings.
Woman Runs with Wolves
Beverley Johnston “Finding HER Voice” Concert – “Woman Runs with Wolves”. Composer: Alice Ping Yee Ho
I was hired to provide live mixing, concert recording, post production audio correction, post mixing and mastering for this multi-setup live percussion concert featuring Beverley Johnston. The concert was a celebration of International Women’s Day in 2022 and all of the compositions were based on iconic historical or mystical female figures.
Kevin Lau – “Kimiko’s Pearl” Audio Recording from Act 1 Scene 2
“Kimiko’s Pearl” is a full scale ballet presented by Bravo Niagara! with music composed by long time collaborator Kevin Lau featuring musical sound design by me. This music was recorded throughout 2021 with musicians in different parts of the world recording in isolation in their own homes due to covid challenges. The recording of this piece was facilitated entirely remotely where microphones and other recording equipment were shipped to the performers. Microphone setup was then achieved through zoom video sessions where I provided real-time directions for microphone placements.
Bravo Niagara! Presents - "Menorah" Music Video - Music Composed by Christos Hatzis
This recording was one of the earliest attempts at employing my “soundtrack” approach to classical recording where the performers are recorded separately in the same studio microphone setup and then reconstructed in post production in order to achieve perfected tuning, timing and sonic fidelity all while remaining in the same sound stage perspective. “Menorah” was commissioned by BravoNiagara! To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the holocaust in 2020. My role for this project was as recording, mixing and mastering engineer.
“Libertango” Project MainStream Music Video – Music Composed by Astor Piazolla
Project MainStream is a group of young professional musicians who individually play in various professional orchestras around North America, but collaborate online to produce music videos that promote classical music with a modern pop music production approach. I am their lead recording engineer. In this video, the performers are again recorded separately in the same space and reconstructed in post for optimal sonic quality.
Hymn to the Eternal Flame
“Hymn to the Eternal Flame” Project MainStream Music Video – Music Composed by Stephen Paulus
As a contrast, the same string quartet is recorded here traditionally at Mazzoleni Concert Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music. The intent with this recording was to capture the acoustic warmth of the blended chorale chords in a singular space.
- “Songwriting” – an undergraduate and graduate course on the art of songwriting and modern production
- “Composing for Film” – a comprehensive undergraduate course on the technical process and musicality of film scoring
- “Studio Orchestration” – a graduate course on the unique orchestrational approaches and harmonic language axioms of modern film music and its production
- “MIDI Sequencing” – a graduate course with a focus on advanced MIDI orchestration and realization through music production techniques
- “Advanced Orchestration” – co-taught with Professor Christos Hatzis
- “Counterpoint and Diversity” – co-taught with Professor Christos Hatzis