Carl Sondrol graduated from Muscatine High School in 2000, matriculating through the University of Iowa to do what most thought he would do, which was something with computers.

“I went to college and got my degree in computer science and minored in music,” Sondrol said.

Sondrol would graduate and move to Chicago to become a computer programmer, but the world of music had its grip on him. “I minored in music, but that is the world where I spent most of my energy,” Sondrol said. The piano and trumpet player was always finding groups to play with. “I was always playing in groups. I was in classical jazz and salsa groups.” The musician whom high school classmates remember being able to play the trumpet and piano simultaneously in his garage band wasn’t satisfied with his job in the corporate world. “Music was where I always wanted to be, and after a year and a half or so in Chicago, I moved to California in 2010.”

Sondrol now resides in the Los Angeles area. “The move was kind of inspiring, being around so many people who have all these creative projects.” Sondrol has honed his craft as a composer but doesn’t want to feel settled. “Most of what I have done is set music to picture, whether it be short film, internet videos, or commercials. I really do a lot of things, but it seems that most of what I have done commercially has been setting music to picture.”

Sondrol wanted to craft something that was truly original. “For the last six years or so, I just have been so busy with projects that I hadn’t really sat down and focused on creating something that was just truly me, and what I wanted to do. So I started carving out time, even if it was just a few minutes a day, to write something for my own personal project.”

The result of this disciplined approach is Sondrol’s first album, which can now be downloaded on iTunes or other internet streaming services, titled Batika Hawk. The Muskie was inspired by avant-garde bands like Mr. Bungle and their experimental, collage-style music. “As a teenager, I kind of always wanted to listen to stuff that would shock people. Danny Elfman and John Bryant are other composers who have influenced me.”

Sondrol is honing his craft. He has worked on a commercial directed by Jason Bateman and is always working on unique projects. “I think growing up in the Midwest was nice, because it helped me be a better listener. Out here there are a number of fast talkers and cliché Californians. It’s nice not having to have that type of approach, having grown up in Iowa.”