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Sound Designer Jory Prum Remembered with Endowed Scholarship for Music Students at CalArts

Sound Designer Jory Prum Remembered with Endowed Scholarship for Music Students at CalArts
Pictured: Jory Prum. Photo Stephanie Mohan. Courtesy of the Prum family.

“The Jory Prum Scholarship for Sounds that Redefine Normal” will support exceptional young artists in the Music Technology and Experimental Sound Practices Programs.

With his boundless imagination and technical prowess, Prum made significant contributions to the video game and film industries in the U.S and Europe.

October 20—Valencia, CA—In its remembrance of the acclaimed sound designer and audio engineer, Forbes Magazine cited the “massive impact” of Jory Prum’s career. An alumnus of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Schools of Music and Film/Video, the Marin County-based Prum passed away in April 2016 at the age of 41. In his memory, family and friends established The Jory Prum Scholarship for Sounds that Redefine Normal. This endowed scholarship will support, in perpetuity, exceptional young artists studying in the Music Technology and Experimental Sound Practices Programs in The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts.

After graduating from CalArts in 1997, Prum quickly established himself as a leading figure in the film and video game industries. Over his two-decade career, he contributed to over 130 video games, many successful and critically-acclaimed.  As part of his video game work, he contributed sound effects, recorded voiceover and music, and mixed cutscenes and orchestral scores.  Most notably, he recorded, edited and mastered the dialogue in 2012’s Game of the Year The Walking Dead: The Game. His portfolio also includes feature films such as Focus Features’ Lost in Translation; and Pixar's Oscar-winning short film, For The Birds, directed by Ralph Eggleston

CalArts alumnus Eggelston was among the first to contribute to The Jory Prum Scholarship for Sounds that Redefine Normal. He recalled, “I cannot say enough about how much Jory Prum meant to me. He was a consummate professional, a dedicated worker, and above all, a truly fine artist. His ear for sound and music—and silence—was unique, and always went far and above the ordinary, delving into both the character and storytelling aspects of sound that add subconscious  levels of subtext to images. There will never be another like him.”

Prum’s willingness to share his expertise was an inspiration to many of his friends and collaborators in the worldwide gaming, animation and sound design communities. He often lectured on game sound design at universities in Europe, Canada and the U.S., and became a change agent for the development of the Norwegian video game industry.  His colleagues and friends rallied around him when he was critically injured in a catastrophic motorcycle accident, raising funds for his care through a campaign and individual donations. Tragically, he did not survive his injuries, and those initial funds, along with an additional contribution from his parents, Sam and Leslye Prum, were used to establish the Jory Prum Scholarship for Sounds that Redefine Normal endowment fund with a total gift of $50,000. Additional contributions in honor of Jory’s legacy will create a lasting, transformative impact for CalArts students in the years to come.

“Jory entered the Institute with a passion for music, art, and technology,” recalled Leslye Prum.  “It was there that he was surrounded by imaginative, divergent thinkers, who like himself, were designing their own paths through life.  Embracing Disney's vision for an interactive art school, Jory actively pursued integrating music and technology with animation and film.  He was determined to create art that combined them all and became an out-of-the-box catalyst who inspired collaboration between other artists and disciplines.”

The endowment is a fitting tribute to Jory, who was passionate about advancing the field of music and sound.  It is CalArts’ first scholarship endowment fund dedicated to BFA or MFA level Music Technology or Experimental Sound students. "Jory was, quite simply, a brilliant sound designer and engineer who left his mark in the entertainment industry in a very short time," said David Rosenboom, Richard Seaver Distinguished Chair in Music and Dean of The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts. "While we deeply mourn his passing, this scholarship is a wonderful tribute to Jory, whose memory will live on through the work of future Prum Scholars. CalArts is grateful to Jory's family and friends for their generosity." Since its beginning, CalArts has pushed the boundaries of innovation in music. In particular, the Music Technology: Interaction, Intelligence & Design Program and the Experimental Sound Practices specialization provide opportunities for some of the world’s most forward-looking music students to explore new areas of music and possibly to invent their own.

Click here for more information about the Jory Prum Scholarship for Sounds that Redefine Normal. For questions about making a gift to CalArts, please contact the Office of Advancement at (661)291-3435 or 

More about Jory Prum’s legacy: After graduating from CalArts, Prum worked at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, and then at Disney online. In 1999, he joined the sound team at LucasArts Entertainment Company. His gaming credits encompass the greatest hits of the genre including games based on Star WarsJurassic ParkBack to the Future and CSI, among many other video game franchisesHe was foley recordist for films including Columbia Pictures’ Adaptation. Prum received three Aggie Awards, A Spillprisen (Norwegian Game Awards), and a Game Audio Network Guild Award for his gaming sound design. In 2013, CalArts’ 24700 blog talked to Jory about his work and time at the Institute. Click here to read the interview.

Scholarships at CalArts: Scholarships are a vital part of the financial aid students receive at CalArts and increasing the number of scholarships is among CalArts’ greatest priorities. In the 2015/16 academic year, CalArts awarded more than $17 million in scholarships to 77 percent of its students, with awards averaging $11,000 per undergraduate student. In addition to supporting students of artistic distinction, the Institute’s goal is to provide scholarship support to all students with financial need.