About Hali

Twenty-four years ago, I picked up my first and last instrument that I would ever play: the violin. I had just turned three. My parents started me with the Suzuki Method, and formal lessons for the first six months of this endeavor. But after that, the world around me was my teacher. My mom, my pianist and guitarist, helped guide my music ability, but I also learned from anything I could get my hands on - from CDs and cassette tapes, to VHS movies and DVDs, to PBS specials, and jamming with others. 

By the age of five I had moved away from the formal classical realm and dove head first into the fiddling world.  From this journey in life inspired my love for composing music. I would compose simple fiddle tunes that I would play at the fiddle contests I competed at, or I would perform them at the various functions my mom and I played at.

I gained my music inspiration from traditional American Fiddling, Celtic, Classical, Jazz, Blues, Swing, and anything Film Scores. Ah yes, the infamous film score. I started collecting these scores on CD when I was 10, 11, on up into my teenage years and beyond. They were my first real taste of what composing could be like outside of the fiddle tunes I was used to. But film scores weren't the only thing I started to enjoy outside of this music realm.

On the side, I found I had a love for telling stories, so I would write. I wrote little short stories, but I also wrote film scripts. And all the while I was writing scripts, I was out filming these short films with my brother, friends, and cousins. In the most unconventional ways, we created stories that will always be timeless in our family. Not because they were great (or even remotely good for that matter), but because they captured a moment in time that would forever be remembered, but never repeated.




I never felt that my music "fit" in any specific genre: When I would fiddle, people would say that my music sounded too Celtic. When I played classical, my music was too "fiddly". So what was a girl to do? Well, I found the film score was the perfect combination. I could combine any type of music I wanted and use it to tell the story that needed telling. So that's exactly what I did.

Music for me is a representation of what I am feeling...A look inside, a way to express that which cannot be told with words. Music will forever be a part of who I am, my makeup, my soul. That, I have found, I can never escape. But how do you control the beast inside? That thing which gnaws away at your soul wanting out so desperately? You embrace it.


 Hali Duran. Photo by Gabriel Duran. Copyright 2016.

Hali Duran. Photo by Gabriel Duran. Copyright 2016.


Favorite life story

My accidental goose ride, literal goose ride. Yup, that happened.

favorite movie

The movie that started it all for me: Signs. Thank you, Mr. Shyamalan.

favorite score

Most definitely Jurassic Park (and one of my OTHER favorite movies might I add). John Williams is amazing.

Perseverance: That silent yet steady force that leads you through life and gets you where you know you were meant to be.



A few notable moments in my life:

I entered my first fiddle contest at the age of five and won NM Grand Champion Fiddler over all ages at the age of 10, 11 and 12. When I attended Modesto Junior College, I won Best Classical Performer for the Humanities Competition. I was also Assistant Concert mistress at Modesto Junior College Orchestra. I was 1st violin 3rd chair at the 2007 CODA Honors Orchestra, and 2nd violin 4th chair at the 2008 California All State Honors Orchestra. I have produced five albums, written numerous songs for violin/piano, as well as written, produced, directed and composed the scores for numerous short films and commercials.

Fun Facts:

  • I didn't learn to read music until I was 16, I was self taught by ear.
  • My first violin lesson I taught was when I was seven
  • My first "major script" as a kid was "Quest for Mexico"