The Making of a Composer:
Arlen L. Card was born on the west coast in 1961 to a family that loved the arts in the broadest possible fashion. The house was always full of music. Because his father’s work allowed it, the Card family periodically had “home theater” nights, where Dad Card would bring home a 16 millimeter projector and prints of old movies home from work at the university. Those days hooked Arlen on the old MGM musicals, and shows like “The Court Jester” with Danny Kaye, “The Prisoner of Zenda” with Ronald Coleman, the Gene Kelly version of “The Three Musketeers,” and Peter Sellers’ “The Mouse That Roared.”
Later in his childhood, Arlen’s family actually produced full-length plays and musicals under auspices of a local church congregation, casting local youth (and a few adults) in the roles, and “frankly doing a bang-up job of it.” During that time, Arlen and his sisters would often render ad lib multi-part vocal harmonies on family-favorite songs, a practice to which he attributes the development of much of his early native ability.
Always exploring more than one talent or interest, Arlen was variously a child actor (on stage and in locally produced films), an artist, winning a city-wide art contest when in fifth grade (pencil and charcoal were the tools of choice), a short story contest when in eighth grade, and then turning to jazz saxophone and basketball with an equal vengeance until, at age nineteen, he served a full-time mission in Chile for his church. Upon returning, he quickly moved away from his electrical engineering and computer science majors, and centered on “long hair” music composition studies.
Meanwhile, his saxophone skills grew to be considerable, and he was soon a sultry and sassy saxophone voice for a great many national, international, and regional television programs (“Good Morning America,” “ABC Sports”, and numerous movie trailers and national commercials, to name just a few). Two degrees and numerous composing and songwriting awards later, he entered the recording world again, this time as a composer, arranger, and producer. He scored his first film in 1987 at the ripe old age of 26, and worked his way up in the industry until he got his first major film (with a budget to match), “The Mountain of the Lord,” in 1992. Released to a specialized but worldwide market in 1993 and the years following, it is still discovered, purchased, and watched by new fans to this day, and has been seen worldwide. More major projects followed, many of them for media produced by his church, some of them for general entertainment markets. Scattered in amongst all the films were numerous CD productions, stage musicals, concert works, and special-interest projects
To date, Arlen has scored well over 100 films and videos, and aided in the production of dozens of CDs. His latest major work, a collaboration with golf-buddy Merrill Jenson, “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration,” is still being exhibited in giant-screen format at a specialized venue in Salt Lake City, and numerous recent independent feature films are or will soon be available at retail outlets everywhere.
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