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Eyes on Oscar: Composer Rooting for Documentary

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Keltonic, 51, attended the University of Richmond, where he earned a degree in psychology. ("It only helps in the negotiating phase" of his composing, he says.) He's been writing music for 25 years with a primary focus on scores for documentaries.

A three-part PBS-TV program he scored, "A Force More Powerful," was nominated for a Best Documentary Emmy. His latest broadcast work was for "NOVA"'s "Concorde: Supersonic Dream," which premiered on PBS last month. "Our Wings Have Caught the Wind," which he wrote for the Atlanta Symphony, has since been performed by more than 25 orchestras.

"Autism Is a World" was originally intended for broadcast on CNN, but Keltonic says the cable network was "so thrilled with the way it came out that they decided to release it theatrically." The program is expected to be telecast by CNN later this year.

Keltonic's work doesn't start until the tail end of a typical documentary production. "I see the film in a rough cut," he says, "and then the director and I discuss where the music stops and starts, what it sounds like, and what the director wants the audience to feel."

Why does he enjoy scoring documentaries? "I have to be interested in the telling of a story instead of just entertaining," he says.

Keltonic isn't planning an Oscar party, but he says he and his wife will watch the telecast at home.

Samples of Keltonic's compositions can be heard online at www.jdkmusic.com. — Don Dale

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