Composer and Musical Director
After only one year of formal education in music Berna Ceppas left school and became involved in various bands as a guitarist before branching out with synthesizers, samplers and computers. At the age of 25 he went back to school to study graphic design, but it quickly became clear to him that music was where he really belonged, as a performer and a composer/arranger.
In 1994, Berna began working with Deborah Colker, the director of Cirque 2009, and wrote music for all her dance company’s shows. “We developed a kind of symbiosis,” he says. “We’re not just business partners, we’re friends. We know each other very well and we’ve established a way of working together.”
Working from his own studio in Rio with countless numbers of leading musicians from Brazil and Japan, Berna is a sought-after producer on the mainstream Brazilian recording scene. He is also prominent as a producer of some of the best Brazilian indie pop-rock bands.
Berna has worked extensively in the film industry since 2000, writing scores for many movies, notably O Passageiro (The Passenger) and Niemeyer A Vida é um Sopro (Niemeyer - Life is a Breath of Air). His work for the Globo television network includes Brasil Legal and Muvuca, and his score for the Discovery Channel series Blast Off was broadcast around the world.
In 2002, he formed A Orquestra Imperial, a band that became immensely popular, revitalizing the contemporary music scene in Rio de Janeiro and further afield. The band has launched its international career with shows in various European and American cities including Paris, Chicago and London.
“I don’t really have a signature sound,” says Berna. “For a while I was known for sampling but that was rather limiting. These days my music reflects the needs of each production.” Berna sees himself as a kind of chameleon, constantly adapting to his creative surroundings. “I am always me, but the challenges I set myself are intimately interwoven with those of the other members of the creative team as we converge toward a common goal.”