Interview with Penka Kouvena

Film, TV and game composer and orchestrator Penka Kouneva hails from Sofia, Bulgaria. She has lived and worked in Los Angeles for 15 years. Penka has orchestrated with Hans Zimmer [Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End] and Steve Jablonsky for the Transformers franchise and video games Gears of War 2 and 3

Penka has also composed 2 concept albums, A Warrior’s Odyssey in 2012 on the Howlin’ Wolf label and the recent The Woman Astronaut released by Varese Sarabande. This last album shows Penka’s musical storytelling with it’s sweeping emotional themes and orchestral textures.

Penka is also a member of the Alliance For Women Film Composers, an organization which highlights the fantastic women composers that are out there and to mentor those women in their career aspirations. I talked with Penka recently about her career, The Woman Astronaut and the AWFC.



The Woman Astronaut
Varese Sarabande

1. Earth — featuring Lili Haydn, violin (5:00)
2. Starry Way (3:43)
3. The Forest — featuring Sara Andon, flutes (2:40)
4. Land Of Burning Fields — featuring Andrew Duckles, viola (2:10)
5. Looking Up — featuring Katia Popov, violin (2:45)

6. Training — co-composed with Jeff Broadbent (3:50)
7. Broken — featuring Mike Lang, piano (2:21)
8. Taking Flight — featuring Sara Andon, flutes (4:55)
9. Alarm and Rescue (2:15)

10. In Space — featuring Ayana Haviv, voice, and Nathan Barr, bowed guitar-viol (4:07)
11. Insomnia — featuring Lili Haydn, violin, and Mike Lang, piano (3:45)
12. Siren — co-composed with Christopher Lord (3:30)
13. Goodbyes In Zero Gravity — featuring Lili Haydn, violin (3:19)
14. Solar Flare (4:00)

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