VOLUME XXXI NUMBER TWO SUMMER 2016
C O M M U N A L W I S D O M
Scoring The Next Gig By Jeremy Borum
he ultimate question, “How do I find work?” is one that can baffle even the most successful artists. Any industry relating to the arts is whimsical. Styles change, tastes change, the personalities of the creators and consumers change, and the arts themselves change. It can be very difficult to pinpoint a need and position yourself to fill that need. Even if you’re able to do that, it can still be difficult to monetize what you have done. The methods of finding work are constantly changing, and the type of music that sells is changing even faster. At least half of our job as composers is simply finding work, and finding the work can be harder than doing it. No matter how long your music career lasts, the difficulty of finding work will persist throughout for all but a lucky few. Yoav Goren sums it up nicely when he says “It’s an art-based career. There are no guarantees in any culture in the world that art is going to be sustainable and provide you a good living.” Resumés, job applications, certifications, degrees, job interviews, and depth of experience don’t guarantee work for musicians the way they do in other industries. Instead of a corporate ladder, musicians have a huge rock face to climb. It’s difficult. You can move in any direction at any time, but you can also fall from great heights very quickly. Very few have the fortune to find a niche in the rock face that lets them climb to the top quickly and with ease. The uncertainties are very real. Craig Stuart Garfinkle says, “I don’t think anybody who is just starting realizes just how hard it is to be a professional musician, how much you need to put yourself out there.” A huge part of the task is just a numbers game, and you have to knock on new doors constantly. More to the point, Jack Wall points out that, “You
never know where your next job is coming from. You just never know.” Individual stories about how one person found one job rarely can be applied to other people’s careers, but the solution isn’t relentless, undirected hustling. After collecting enough stories some communal wisdom begins to develop, and these are some of the insights which came to light after the 25 hours of interviews I did for my book Guerrilla Film Scoring. There are few musicians who specialize in one specific thing for their whole careers. If you want to stay gainfully employed, you probably need to be a Swiss army knife of musical skills. That way, when one doesn’t keep you busy the other can. As your career develops you may be able to specialize more, but in the beginning you need to exploit your skills in every way possible. Being multitalented is the musician’s equivalent of padding a resumé. Even if a project does not require your whole package of services, your expertise will usually be appreciated and you should be able to charge more as a result. Ryan Shore is a big believer in the need for diversity. “In years past, composers were often thought of predominantly as a television composer, or a film composer, or a game composer, or a composer for advertising, and those composers were often not thought of for the other mediums. Fortunately, some very talented composers have been working to break down those barriers by working actively in different mediums. Being diverse can open doors for opportunities,” he says. There is a very well-known Catch-22 in the music industry: You will never be hired to do something until you have already done it successfully. If you want to score a network TV show, you need to be able to point to other network experience or else that door will not be open to you. If you want to write an Continued on Page 16
At least half of our job as composers is simply finding work, and finding the work can be harder than doing it.
C O N T E N T S
Putting More Money In Writers’ Pockets 5 Tech Talk: Pro Tools Update 7 Lyle Workman: Finding Your Path 12 Musical Shares 23
F R O M T H E E D I T O R ' S D E S K
Jumping A Block Wall By Lori Barth
President ASHLEY IRWIN Vice Presidents ARTHUR HAMILTON CHARLES BERNSTEIN Recording Secretary JONATHAN DAVID NEAL Treasurer/CFO CHRISTOPHER FARRELL The SCORE LORI BARTH, Senior Editor Advisory Board ALAN BERGMAN MARILYN BERGMAN CHARLES BERNSTEIN BILL CONTI CHARLES FOX JAMES NEWTON HOWARD QUINCY JONES ALAN MENKEN THOMAS NEWMAN LALO SCHIFRIN MARC SHAIMAN HOWARD SHORE ALAN SILVESTRI DIANE WARREN PATRICK WILLIAMS CHRISTOPHER YOUNG HANS ZIMMER In Memoriam Advisory Board Members ELMER BERNSTEIN JOHN CACAVAS JERRY GOLDSMITH MAURICE JARRE PETER MATZ DAVID RAKSIN Directors RAMON BALCAZAR LORI BARTH FLETCHER BEASLEY MICHAEL LEHMANN BODDICKER RUSSELL BROWER DENNIS C. BROWN MIRIAM CUTLER JOEL DOUEK CRAIG STUART GARFINKLE RON GRANT BENOIT GREY IRA HEARSHEN LYNN F. KOWAL Hélène Muddiman GREG PLISKA ELIZABETH ROSE ADRYAN RUSS GARRY SCHYMAN ELIZABETH SELLERS AUSTIN WINTORY Past Presidents JOHN ADDISON RICHARD BELLIS BRUCE BROUGHTON JAY CHATTAWAY RAY COLCORD JAMES DI PASQUALE DAN FOLIART ARTHUR HAMILTON MARK WATTERS ISSN 1066-5447 Society of Composers & Lyricists 8447 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 401 Beverly Hills, CA 90211 Ph (310) 281-2812
hen some friends tell me that they have writer’s/ composer’s block, I have to shake my head. I won’t say that there aren’t times when I wonder what to write about, but I have a theory that it really comes down to option anxiety. Actually, I think we have too many choices. When it comes down to it, there’s always something to pull out of the air. Suggestion: next time you see that block wall in front of you, close your eyes, take a deep breath and jump at the first thought that comes into mind. It works every g time! Happy jumping. DIAMOND MEMBERS Kristen Anderson-Lopez Lori Barth Alan & Marilyn Bergman Dennis C. Brown Carter Burwell Ray Charles George Clinton
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P R E S I D E N T ’ S M E S S A G E
The Universal/SESAC Deal
By Ashley Irwin
n April 1, Universal Publishing Production Music, ASCAP and SESAC announced that UPPM would remove several of their production music catalogues from ASCAP and transfer the works contained therein to SESAC for representation in the United States. The most controversial aspect of the move is that it was made without the assent of the writers whose works are included in the catalogues. It is Universal’s belief that because these works were created under “Work For Hire” agreements, it has the absolute legal right to exploit the copyrights at its sole discretion, without the creator’s approval and further believes this right extends to works it publishes, not acquired on a WFH basis. A Universal spokesman, intimately involved with the deal, offered the following reasons for the action: 1. Universal believes that performing rights are undervalued and underpaid in the U.S., and while the uncertainty surrounding the revision or repeal of the Consent Decrees exists, it will use whatever means it can to increase the value of the music catalogues it controls. 2. SESAC has guaranteed Universal a 20% increase in payments for the music in the catalogues during the term of the multi-year agreement. Universal will share the receipts equally with the writers (i.e., 50/50) and further guarantees that there are no “side deals” that only benefit Universal at the expense of the writers. 3. The writers will be paid directly by SESAC for performances of their music and will not need to leave ASCAP or join SESAC to receive this income. Universal believes this will guarantee transparency to the writers. In addition, SESAC will offer any composer affected by the catalogue transfer the opportunity to become a direct member should they so choose, while stating it will not actively encourage this action. The SCL board applauds any effort to increase the value of music in the marketplace, and while this deal may indeed benefit the writers due to a 20% increase in payments, the failure to acknowledge the writers’ right to choose their PRO affiliation cannot be overlooked. There are many considerations made by a music creator before choosing to affiliate with a particular PRO, not the
least of which is the personal relationships that develop over time and should not be tampered with by any third party. Moving works without the writer’s assent sets an unacceptable precedent and leaves the door open to abuse by less scrupulous players who, unlike Universal and SESAC, may not have the best intentions. Nonetheless, the SCL board believes writers of the affected works should have been consulted before their music was removed from their chosen performing rights organization—in this case ASCAP—and there have been unintended consequences which, most likely, will continue. There are many foreign writers, licensing their works through ASCAP for North America, who have exclusive assignment deals with the PRO (of their choice) in their local territory who inadvertently have been affected. We have also learned from BMI that there are a nominal number of their writers who moved from ASCAP some time ago and chose to leave their back-catalogue containing these works at ASCAP. BMI admits they are unsure how these writers will be paid at this point in time. For more than 100 years, the music creator has had the unfettered right to appoint the society of his/her choice to collect performance royalties but, much like an arranged marriage, Universal has chosen our partner despite our wishes and determined it has the legal right to do so, overriding a long-standing policy. In conclusion, we urge all composers, particularly those with music in the affected catalogues, to contact Universal Publishing Music Group and stress that the concept of composers’ rights and choices in this, and all instances, is of paramount importance. Now is the time to do so before this practice becomes standard.
Moving works without the writer’s assent sets an unacceptable precedent and leaves the door open to abuse by less scrupulous players who, unlike Universal and SESAC, may not have the best intentions.
http://www.umusicpub.com/ UPPM Composer Relations Jackson Abbeduto Jackson.Abbeduto@umusic.com (310) 235-4981 SESAC Writer/Publisher Relations Sam Kling firstname.lastname@example.org (323) 937-3722 http://www.ascap.com/uppm ASCAP SVP Project Leader, Global Services Seth Saltzman email@example.com (212) 621-6144 3
N O T E S F R O M N E W Y O R K
SCL New York Diary April 16—NY Society of Composers and Lyricists, and New York Women in Film and Television presented a live concert and a conversation on composing and songwriting for film with panel of songwriter/composers Jenny Bruce and Julia Weldon and music supervisors Missy Cohen and Ricki Askin at the Cutting Room.
January 6—SCL hosted a screening of Racing Extinction with J. Ralph at Soho House. The film featured J. Ralph and Anohni’s Academy Award-nominated song “Manta Ray.” February 9—Touch Screen Optimization panel. Experts Philip Rothman (Composer and Music Preparer, NYC Music Services) and Andrea Pejrolo (Assistant Chair of Contemporary Writing and Production, Berklee College of Music) joined the SCL’s JoAnne Harris for a talk about optimizing your tablet for faster workflow. April 12—As composers, it is easy to focus on honing our artistic and technical skills—but what about the crucial issues of networking, self-promotion, and maintaining a social media presence? SCL NY Steering Committee member Mark Roos moderated “A Composer’s Guide to Networking and Self-Promotion,” a discussion on marketing and networking for the working composer, with special guest panelists Allyson Leyton-Brown, Fiona Bloom, Larendee Roos, and Chandler Poling.
L-R: JoAnne Harris, Chris Hajian, Eric Hachikian
April 15—SCL NY and White Bear PR presented a Tribeca Composers Networking Event. Composers from the SCL NY joined festival film composers at this event on the occasion of the Tribeca Film Festival at Soundcat Productions in Brooklyn.
SCL NY Mentor Program has been moving ahead under the leadership of steering committee members Chris Hajian, Eric Hachikian, Mark Roos and Elizabeth Rose. This spring’s program includes another talented group of mentees—composers from a wide spectrum of compositional style and diverse production methods. Under the guidance of our mentors they will undoubtedly have a terrific opportunity to perfect their craft as writers as well as develop networking and business skills to prepare them for their next career steps. Select SCL NY Mentor Program events: March 30—Kickoff event at Man Made Music April 14—Entertainment Law (Aileen Atkins, guest presenter) April 19—Production Music (hosted by Joe Saba at VideoHelper)
L-R: Danny Gray, Chandler Poling, Duncan Thum, Eric Hachikian Mentor Program Entertainment Law workshop, L-R: Aileen Atkins, Chris Hajian, and mentees
L-R: Allison Leyton-Brown, Larendee Roos, Mark Roos, Chandler Poling, Fiona Bloom
Panelists and attendees at “A Composer’s Guide to Networking and SelfPromotion” 4
Mentor Program Production Music workshop: Joe Saba and mentees
V I E W P O I N T
Putting More Money In Writers’ Pockets Universal Is Bringing Production Music Writers & Composers More Revenue Through A New Relationship With SESAC By Jackson Abbeduto, UPPM Composer Relations
n today’s ever changing and complex music business environment, songwriters, composers and publishers are definitely on the same page about one thing—we all have to work even harder and get even more creative to maintain and increase the value of our music. Universal’s production music company, Universal Publishing Production Music (UPPM), whose U.S. companies include FirstCom Music and Killer Tracks, has recently managed to do just that. UPPM struck a new deal that will bring up to 20% more money to its thousands of writers and composers through a unique arrangement that moves certain works from ASCAP to SESAC. More money sounds incredible, so we thought we’d explain the specifics of what exactly the deal does and what, if any, effect this change would have on an individual’s membership with a performing rights organization (PRO). We [UPPM] caught up with Gary Gross, Worldwide President of UPPM, to find out more about this landmark move, why it happened, how it affects composers, and to clear up any misconceptions. Q. You’ve just announced that you struck a new deal with SESAC that will bring composers of songs in your UPPM catalogs more money. This means you have moved your production music works from ASCAP over to SESAC. Why did UPPM do this? A. Gary Gross: We are constantly looking for ways to increase earnings and opportunities for our writers, whether it’s on a creative or administrative level. In this new deal with SESAC, we are now going to be able to bring more revenue (estimating up to 20% more) specifically to our writers of the production music that we have commissioned. It is not every day that we can make one decision
that can significantly affect the performance income for our writers, without them having to do anything. We’re very proud of this new arrangement. Gary Gross
Q. How many composers and works does this affect? A. Gross: A lot! As a world leader in premium production music, UPPM has one of the largest and most well-regarded catalogs in the industry. We are constantly hiring composers to create new music to fill the voracious needs of our clients. Globally we produce more than 5,000 new compositions each and every year—bringing lots of opportunity to our composer community (a community currently exceeding 1500 of the world’s top composers!). This new deal only affects the production music works that Universal owns or administers (works in the catalogs of Universal Music Production Music, Killer Tracks and FirstCom) that are with ASCAP. Q. This is an unprecedented move, did you hesitate at all? A. Gross: As leaders in the industry, our actions affect the earnings of so many hard working composers, and we take this responsibility very seriously. So after careful consideration and analysis, we realized there was only an upside for the community. So no, we didn’t hesitate. We acted as quickly as we could to make this happen.
UPPM struck a new deal that will bring up to 20% more money to its thousands of writers and composers through a unique arrangement that moves certain works from ASCAP to SESAC.
Q. For the higher payments to start, you are moving these specific works from ASCAP to SESAC. Composers are wondering if this means they have to personally leave ASCAP as their PRO of choice, and what specifically do they have to do in order to get paid their performance royalties from SESAC going forward? Continued on Page 8
DISCLAIMER: In an effort to provide a complete and objective analysis, the SCL extended an invitation to Universal Publishing Production Music to write a piece for The Score explaining the rationale behind its decision to withdraw the catalogues from ASCAP and transfer them to SESAC without the composers’ assent. The following article is presented unedited and in its entirety as it was received from UPPM. While there may appear to be some discrepancies with the information elsewhere in the President’s Message, both articles were considered accurate by their authors at press time. 5
ASCAP Screen Music Awards
Top Network Series winner Timbaland with ASCAP President Paul Williams (left) and ASCAP EVP Membership John Titta ASCAP President Paul Williams and Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone present Craig Armstrong with his Henry Mancini Award Bear McCreary accepts his second Composers’ Choice: TV Composer of the Year Award from SVP of Music Creative for NBC Universal Television, Alicen Schneider
Austin Wintory wins the Composers’ Choice Award for Best Video Game Score from ASCAP’s Rachel Perkins, for his score to Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Grammy and Golden Globewinning ASCAP songwriter Diane Warren with Henry Mancini Award honoree, Craig Armstrong James Levine wins his Top Cable Series Award for Rizzoli & Isles from ASCAP’s Jennifer Harmon
L-R: Orange Is the New Black star Michael Harney with the show’s co-composer Scott Doherty, who won the ASCAP Top Streaming Series Award 6
Most Performed Themes & Underscore winner David Vanacore plays his music from The Apprentice and Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader
T E C H T A L K
Navigating The Murky World Of Pro Tools Updates
By Fletcher Beasley
ith the introduction of Pro Tools 12, Avid moved to a new model for Pro Tools users. Rather than buying the software, users now have the option to purchase a monthly license subscription similar to Adobe’s Creative Cloud. To many longtime Pro Tools users, the idea of “renting” Pro Tools was met with anger and derision. Users had been used to “owning” the software and the thought of having to pay a monthly fee to use an integral piece of the studio seemed wrong. At least, that is how I felt. When you the look at the numbers, however, the subscription isn’t a bad deal. A Pro Tools annual subscription is $299 per year and includes upgrades and support. Avid has never provided free upgrades to new versions of Pro Tools, so the subscription fee (by my unscientific calculation) ends up being roughly equivalent to the cost of upgrading to a new version each year. Avid also provides the option of buying Pro Tools 12 outright for $599, which provides you with a perpetual license and access to upgrades through their annual upgrade plan, which is renewable after a year for $99 annually. The big difference between this and the monthly subscription is that if you purchase the perpetual license, you can still run your most recent version of Pro Tools if your annual upgrade plan lapses. If you are on the monthly subscription and you let your subscription lapse, you won’t be able to run Pro Tools 12 and above until you renew the subscription. The $599 perpetual license includes an Ilok2 (the USB dongle where Pro Tools licenses are stored) with the price. For Pro Tools users who have resisted upgrading and own Pro Tools 9 or higher (users of Pro Tools 8 and lower aren’t eligible for upgrades), Avid offers an enticing upgrade offer. For $299 you can upgrade your perpetual license to Pro Tools 12 and, in addition, you receive the annual upgrade plan for one year. After that expires, you can renew your annual upgrade plan for $99 per year. This is the equivalent of the $599 perpetual license purchase for users who own an older license. A nice bonus to this offer is that you get licenses for Pro Tools 10, 11 and 12 and can download installers to run all three versions on the same machine. This upgrade includes an Ilok2 license for all three versions but
requires that you own an Ilok2, which is not included with the upgrade. If you own an original Ilok (it’s the translucent turquoise colored USB dongle that stores your Pro Tools 9 and earlier licenses), you will need to buy a new Ilok2. The Ilok2 is not an Avid product and can be purchased online from many vendors for around $40. To take advantage of the subscription and upgrade offers, you need to purchase them through Avid’s website. Fortunately, Avid has redesigned their website so it is somewhat less confusing than it used to be. When you go to www.avid.com, you will see a tab for Pro Tools listed in a column on the left side (assuming they don’t redesign the site by the time you are reading this). Click on the Pro Tools tab and you will be taken to the Pro Tools page where there is a link entitled pricing. Clicking here takes you to a page where you can subscribe, purchase a perpetual license or upgrade your Pro Tools 9 or higher license. Students and Educators should note that more significant discounts can be found by clicking on the word “Education” on the Pricing page. I keep a version of Pro Tools 10, 11 and 12 running on my system because you could say I am a “you never know when you might need it” type of guy. I don’t really need Pro Tools 11, but I keep it around in the event that I let my Pro Tools 12 subscription lapse and need to open a session. Pro Tools 11 can open sessions created in 12 so I figure I might as well leave it on my machine. To keep things straight, I have renamed each application file by its version number, so the applications are named Pro Tools 10, Pro Tools 11 and Pro Tools 12 respectively. They all work fine and seem to coexist happily. The primary reason you would want to have Pro Tools 10 available on your machine is that Pro Tools became a 64-bit program with the release of Pro Tools 11. This release introduced a new plugin format to Pro Tools—AAX—and support was dropped for the 32-bit TDM and RTAS formats used in versions prior to 11. If you have TDM and RTAS plugins that you like to use and have not upgraded them to the AAX format, you cannot use them in Pro Tools 11 and above. Most plugins now come in AAX versions but the upgrade costs can add up and some plug-
You need to be aware if you are running legacy versions of Pro Tools that they are not officially compatible with the latest versions of the Mac OS.
Continued on Next Page 7
Pro Tools Updates Continued from Page 7
ins have never been converted to AAX. If you wish to use 32-bit TDM and RTAS plugins, you will need to run them in Pro Tools 10 or earlier. Sadly, there is no 32-bit wrapper for TDM and RTAS plugins to run as AAX plugins, as are available for 32-bit AU and VST plugins to run in the 64-bit versions of programs like Logic and Cubase. You need to be aware if you are running legacy versions of Pro Tools that they are not officially compatible with the latest versions of the Mac OS. Pro Tools 10 is supported on Snow Leopard through Mavericks (OSX 10.9), but has an irritating visual bug in Yosemite (OSX 10.10). It is useable on Yosemite but makes instanciating plugins annoying because the plugins’ name is blanked out until you scroll your mouse over it. Pro Tools 12 is the only version of Pro Tools that officially
Putting More Money In Writers’ Pockets Continued from Page 5
A. Gross: We know this might be confusing, so let’s clear up any misconceptions. First, our new arrangement with SESAC does not affect any composer or writer’s personal ASCAP membership or affiliation. Anyone who is an ASCAP writer stays an ASCAP writer, unless they decide to make a change. Second, our writers don’t have to do anything in order to get paid their writers’ share of performance. All necessary payment information will be given to SESAC so that they can account directly to our writers of works in these specific catalogs.
works on El Capitan. Avid has a compatibility chart which you should consult before assuming that all will work well on your OS. The same chart has information about Windows compatibility. Owners of Pro Tools hardware would be wise to check with Avid about hardware compatibility before upgrading. If running multiple versions of Pro Tools on your machine isn’t appealing, collaboration with users of earlier versions of Pro Tools is not a problem. Avid does a great job of making Pro Tools backwards compatible. It is one of the few applications that allows you to save your session in an earlier version of the software. For example, if you are working in version 12 and you want to collaborate with someone working in 9, you can use the “save copy in…” function (found under the file menu) and save your session in Pro Tools 9 format. Naturally, the earlier version won’t retain any features, such as clip
gain, that are found in newer versions, but Pro Tools gives you a list of what information will be lost so you can fix your session before saving it to make it more compatible. This backwards compatibility is a godsend to Pro Tools users and a source of great envy for users of other DAWs. Avid provides a lot of upgrade paths for Pro Tools users, provided you know where to find them. Hopefully this article demystifies the process somewhat. Pro Tools keeps getting better and better and Avid has an upgrade option that should work for just about everyone. Now if Avid would just make their website and account system easier to work with I would be a truly happy customer. But then I wouldn’t have anything to complain about and that wouldn’t be any fun. If you have any comments or suggestions for future articles, please email g me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
not bound by a Department of Justice “consent decree,” unlike ASCAP and BMI. Therefore, SESAC is able to negotiate certain licenses that can bring more money to our writers.
which continues to license performing rights for many thousands of musical compositions that we publish. Our decision to move these works was purely based on making the right decision for our writers.
Q. When does the deal take effect?
A. Gary Gross: Nothing changes. Any songs they have written, outside of their dealings with UPPM, remain unaffected.
A. Gross: It started April 1. First and foremost we’ve made sure no one will miss a single payment! SESAC is responsible for licensing, reporting and distributing royalties for both newly created works and for all new performances of existing works. And then ASCAP will still pay our writers for other certain performances (performances outside the U.S., “licenses in effect,” and certain other exceptions). So it’s very likely that our writers will be getting payments from both SESAC and ASCAP. But again, no one will miss a payment. Please remember, as always, royalties will vary from period to period, and from writer to writer, since the number of performances and placements ultimately determine the royalty amount each writer receives for each payment period.
Q. How is SESAC able to increase the payments?
Q. Does Universal still have a relationship with ASCAP?
A. Gross: SESAC is unique, in that it is a performing rights organization
A. Gross: We continue to respect and have a close relationship with ASCAP,
Q. So what about the music that composers have written for anything outside of UPPM?
Q. If I am already a SESAC member, do I also get the benefit of your new deal? A: Gross: This does not affect current SESAC members; however, our understanding is that current SESAC members are already receiving a similar benefit. Q. If anyone has questions or needs help understanding the process what can they do? A. Gross: For any questions or full details, we encourage writers to visit our website: http://www.umpg.com/ #contentRequest=servicesascapsesacfa q&contentLocation=sub&contentOpti ons=%26bookmark%3DBookmarkServ icesAscapSesacFaq&articleID=6645&fr om=currentnews. Any writers can also contact (UPPM Composer Relations) at Jackson.Abbeduto@umusic.com. At SESAC, writers are free to reach out to Sam Kling (SESAC Writer g Relations) at email@example.com.
N E W G E A R
Heavyocity Gravity Review
By Jack D. Elliot
eavyocity has come a long way in the world of film, television, and video games since the introduction of their well-known Evolve and Damage Kontakt Libraries. Will their new library, Gravity, be a home run like their other products? Let’s find out. Gravity is a modern scoring tool including pads, risers, string FX, and hits. It comes with over 2,200 sound sources with 1,200 Kontakt presets. The pads are set up in three-channel complex, menu, and single-channel formats to support multiple workflows. Risers are fully customizable, allowing you to combine strings with synths and FX, which is amazing for sound design. The Hits & Stings section, which Heavyocity has always done so well, allows you to combine up to four of the 192 distinct elements to create infinite combinations. The interface also has a new tool called Motion, which allows you to do step mangling to pan, pitch, and volume. Everything is synced so you can make glitch or stutter effects. There are so many variations you can do with the step sequencer using the Motion pattern chain, which film, television, and video game composers will love. And with the step sequencer manipulation, DJs and pop producers will love this too. The effects are top-notch and it has
Heavyocity’s signature Punish and Twist effects included. Additionally, the interface graphics are awesome. Overall, I feel Heavocity did a great job with the Gravity library. The sounds that come with the library are very good, but a final tip is to customize the sounds to your musical style to really take advantage of the library, and avoid sounds that may be more generic. The Gravity library is very intuitive g and fun to use. I recommend it. Jack Elliot has created five libraries for Big Fish Audio and has recently been working on a Film and TV Kontakt library.
The Hits & Stings section, which Heavyocity has always done so well, allows you to combine up to four of the 192 distinct elements to create infinite combinations.
Television Academy Mixer
L-R: SCL Board Member Lynn F. Kowal, TV Academy Governor Rickey Minor, Composer James Levine, TV Academy Governor Michael Levine
The Television Academy held its Music Peer Group mixer on April 19, 2016 at the Beverly Hills Montage Hotel. The event was well-attended and the event was a success!
L-R: Lolita Ritmanis, TV Academy Governor Rickey Minor and Diane Warren
L-R: Cathy Grealish and Kathryn Bostic L-R: BMI’s Anne Cecere, Jeff Fair, Starr Parody, Laura Karpman and Lolita Ritmanis
L-R: Pinar Topek and Chandler Poling
L-R: Lori Barth and Jack D. Elliot
By Lori Barth
The SCL and the CCC presented a panel entitled: “Breaking the Sound Barrier—Women in Film, TV and Live Production Music.”
reception was held at the Gibson Baldwin Showroom to celebrate Chris Arena’s Daytime Emmynominated original song “Dreams”for General Hospital. Chris and co-writer Pauline R. Hall performed at the event.
Front Row: Diane Synder-Ramirez, Music Attorney and President of the CCC (California Copyright Conference); Adryan Russ, Songwriter and SCL SongArts chair; Eric Palmquist, President of Recognition Songs and Past CCC President; and Starr Parodi, Composer Back Row: Miriam Cutler, Composer and SCL Board Member; Lolita Ritmanis, Composer; and Jonathan David Neal, Composer & SCL Recording Secretary
L-R: SCL Board Member Lynn Kowal, Chris Arena and SCL President Ashley Irwin g g g
BMI’s Vice President and Assistant Vice President of Film/TV Relations, Doreen Ringer-Ross and Ray Yee, along with BMI composer Christopher Lennertz, were guest speakers at the University of Southern California’s Scoring for Motion Picture and Television program, a one year master’s program for composers who want to learn to score for visual media. The class was led by Program Chair Dan Carlin and USC Adjunct Assistant Professor Jon Burlingame.
Shelly Peikin celebrated the release of her book, Confessions Of A Serial Songwriter at the home of Lisa Brown and Jason Leopold on April 2, 2016. Shelly read passages from her book and did a guitar and voice performance for guests.
L-R: Tracy McKnight, Shelly Peiken, Lisa Brown and Kaylin Frank g g g
L-R: Russell Brower and Joel Douek pictured at the 2016 Game Developers Conference, just after the GANG Music Awards L-R: BMI’s Ray Yee, USC Adjunct Assistant Professor Jon Burlingame, USC’s Scoring for Motion Picture and Television Program Chair Dan Carlin, BMI’s Doreen Ringer-Ross and BMI composer Christopher Lennertz g g g
Star Trek Celebrates its 50th Anniversay at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, CA. L-R: Dennis McCarthy, Jay Chattaway, Mark Mc Kenzie, Ron Jones, Nichelle Nichols, Justin Freer, Cliff Eidelman, and Brady Beaubien 10
L-R: Director Film/TV Relations, Anne Cecere, pauses for a photo with Midnight Special composer David Wingo and Rainbow Time composer Heather McIntosh during the SXSW Film Dinner at Cantina Laredo on March 14, 2016, in Austin, TX
By Lori Barth
MI’s Director of Film/TV Relations, Anne Cecere, and White Bear PR’s Chandler Poling, partnered again this year at WonderCon to moderate another unique panel discussion for an enthusiastic crowd of badge holders. “Rise of the TV Musical” explored the growing popularity behind musical series, movies and musical live broadcasts on television. L-R: Gabriel Mann, The Disney Channel’s Steven Vincent, BMI’s Anne Cecere, BMI composer Christopher Lennertz, White Bear PR’s Chandler Poling, Fox’s Rachel Rusch and director Jeffrey Hornaday
Songwriter Julia Battistin (center) receives The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Songwriting Scholarship at Berklee College of Music from (l-r) ASCAP’s Tim Maginnis, Berklee Songwriting Dept. Chair Bonnie Hayes, ASCAP’s Seth Saltzman and Rachel Perkins
Award-winning composer Rick Marvin was the guest speaker at the Society of Composers & Lyricists seminar held March 23 at AFI. The presentation was moderated by Matt LaPoint from MOTU, who provided a guided tour of the innovative products.
Cyril Morin pictured at the 14th Annual Indian Film Festival, on April 6, 2016 for the premiere of Angry Indian Goddesses, directed by Pan Nalin, for which he composed the music L-R: BMI composer Rick Marvin and BMI’s Ray Yee pause for a photo during the SCL Seminar
Women In Film, Los Angeles To ChampionThe Talents Of Women Composers
t an event on May 7, 2016, Women In Film, Los Angeles unveiled a new committee designed to champion and promote the careers of women who create music. The goal is to provide more support and opportunities for female composers and songwriters in the visual mediums. The members of the newly formed Women In Film Music Committee, chaired by Board Member and acclaimed music supervisor Tracy McKnight, includes Kaylin Frank of Disney, Loretta Muñoz of ASCAP, and Christine Belden of Nettwerk. Spurred by statistics that show that only 2% of the top 500 films in 2015 were scored by women—an increase of just 1% from 2014—the committee elaborated on its goal of facilitating more opportunities for female music talent. Melissa Etheridge performed at the launch event.
L-R: Roxanne Seeman, Heitor Pereira, Lori Barth, Lynn Kowal
Imbued in the traditions of Broadway musicals and having
Finding His Path INTERVIEWED BY LORI BARTH
Lyle Workman started playing guitar as a young boy, moving on to playing in bands. As luck would have it, his extraordinary playing landed him gigs as a guitar player for some of the top acts in the business, such as Sting, Tony Williams, Todd Rundgren, The Pixies and Beck. By chance he got a chance to write a jingle, and then onto bigger and better things: scoring television and film. Here is his story. Score: What is your setup here? Lyle: I do everything in Protools; writing, recording audio, mixing, editing. Score: And you have a room full of guitars….But let’s go back to the beginning. You came from San Jose? Lyle: Yes. 12
Score: At what point did you decide to start playing, and when was the turning point for wanting to do film and TV music?
sion guitarist, but they were aware that I wrote music as well. They asked if I wanted to try my hand at writing and I ended up landing some big spots.
Lyle: I started playing guitar as a nineyear-old boy who loved The Beatles, which was the music that got me started. As a teen and young adult I played in local bands and eventually one of them signed a record deal. We made a few records and toured, and after the band dissolved I wanted more touring and session work, and that’s what brought me to Los Angeles.
For my break into film, it was through a record I had done in Los Angeles. It was for a group and one of the core band members, John O’Brien, was friends with Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn. The two were making a film and asked John to score it. By that time, John and I had written songs together and I had brought him into some of my jingle gigs. The music we worked on together encompassed a wide range of music, and he thought I’d make a good collaborator for the movie. That was the film, Made.
Score: What was your first gig for either TV or film, or was it a commercial? Lyle: Well, my first to-picture gig was working for a jingle agency here in Los Angeles. I was initially hired as a ses-
Score: Had you any training for writing to picture or were you a natural?
Lyle: No training; at first it was seat of the pants and I learned simply by doing it. I had long enjoyed music in movies and paid attention to how it functioned. My next big break was through Ed Shearmur, one of the composers I worked for who asked me, “Do you want to do a favor for a Universal Pictures executive who needs music for his own personal project?” I said, “Great”, and the guy who came over was vice president of music, Harry Garfield. I gave him a demo CD on his way out explaining that I’d written music for jingles, and had composed for an indie film. Shortly afterwards he called back to say he liked what he’d heard. “You’re a guitarist that can score and write in other genres not guitar oriented,”he said, adding, “We’ve got this movie and are looking for some additional music that I think you’d be perfect for.” It was the Will Ferrell film Kicking & Screaming. The music I wrote made the cut and one of the producers was Judd Apatow. Around that time Judd signed a deal with Universal to direct, his first film to be The 40-Year Old Virgin. I believe it was Harry who suggested to Judd that he give me a shot at it, and I was sent a couple of scenes to demo. To my surprise and utter delight, I ended up getting the job. I have Harry to thank for believing in me, and of course I owe so much to Judd. Score: You’ve had a long-standing relationship with him. How do you work with him? How much freedom does he give you and how much direction does he give you? Lyle: He likes to work with musicians and composers who have their own sonic DNA; who are artists in their own right. Being such a huge fan of music, Judd has respect for the artistry and wants us to follow our muse. Across the board he casts people for what they do, which is part of his genius. He gives me a lot freedom and along the way offers feedback that is constructive. He’s articulate in that regard. That was the case with 40-Year-Old Virgin and it continues to this day. On a side note, I’m extra grateful for that film because its success was key to my longevity in this business. Score: So, now that you’ve worked on more than one film with him, do you have an unspoken communication?
Lyle: Somewhat. On this most recent show, Love for Netflix, at the beginning I asked him if he had any ideas of a sound for the show; initially he didn’t. He said, “Just write some stuff.” I wrote in a certain vein, submitted it and he said, “What else you got?” He wanted to leave me to my own instincts and explore possibilities, knowing we’d also be building a library that would serve us in one way or another. As it turned out, the very first piece I wrote ended up being the main title. He then offered a few ideas style-wise and when I came upon something he liked, he approved it and we were on our way. I should also mention that a Love score CD has been released. Score: Let’s talk about Get Him To The Greek. What was that experience like? Lyle: That was a different kind of job; I was two things, a composer and a record producer. We cut somewhere around 20 songs. The character Russell Brand played, Aldous Snow, a very famous singer and outrageous rock star, required a bunch of songs for him to perform in the film. Many songwriters and performers were hired to write and submit material. Among them, Jarvis Cocker from Pulp, Carl Barat from The Libertines, I wrote with Jason Segel, we also had Mike Viola and Dan Bern who wrote many tracks. Everyone submitted rough demos, which then had to be newly recorded with a live band and fully produced. We wanted the music to stand on its own merit as good songs with top-notch production, and a lot of time and care was taken. It was the longest period I had been on a film because of how many tunes we recorded. To find the best ones suited for the film, added onto my other job of composing the underscore. Score: As opposed to producing for records and doing film music, is there one thing you like about one as opposed to the other? Are there things you like about both of them? Lyle: Yes [laughing out loud]. Score: The answer to my question is yes? Explain please. Lyle: In a production environment, the goal is to tell the entire story with only music. That has certain limitations by design. But for the visual medium of
film and TV there are other parameters to follow. The music is a part of the story and often it most effectively takes on a minimalist role and plays subtext. But what I also love about composing is how a good piece of music can be made great against a compelling scene. It can be very powerful and in the best cases, very moving. Score: Do you want to talk about any of your experiences working on Finding Sarah Marshall, The Wonderful Burt Wonderstone, or Stand Up Guys? Is there anything specifically that happened? Lyle: Well, meeting Al Pacino was pretty cool. I worked with Jon Bon Jovi on Stand Up Guys; he had written a song for the movie. At the premiere Jon was there, and off in a corner Pacino was sitting with some friends. I walked up to Al to introduce myself. He looked up with a warm smile and was complimentary about my score. The next day I got a short email from Jon, simply saying that he enjoyed seeing Al’s face light up when he and I were talking. Even though it was fantastic meeting the great Al Pacino, the best part was how sweet it was of Jon to send me an email just to share that. Score: Now on working on Dinner For Five with Jon Favreau, you used Django Reinhardt-inspired music. Where did you learn to play like Django Reinhardt? Were you a fan of his? It’s a specific thing.... Lyle: I’m a longtime a fan of Django. I think he is one of the most influential guitarists in history. Certainly what he did back in that time, a Belgian gypsy living in a remote caravan, he created such an inimitable, unique style all his own. He was one of the great pioneers of the instrument. It was Jon Favreau’s idea to have that gypsy–jazz music. Score: You’ve played with some of the top musicians in the world, from Sting to jazz drummer Tony Williams. How were you able to stretch so much? Lyle: Growing up playing music, I would get attracted to the next level up in terms of musical sophistication, which in turn required more skill to play. What intrigued and inspired me was the endless depth and scope of music, the incredible possibilities for Continued on Next Page 13
Workman Interview Continued from Page 13
my chosen instrument. I was very excited about jazz, especially it’s improvisational element, I listened to classical, loved rock and popular music of the day, R&B, funk. During my formative years I wanted to be able to play the music I enjoyed, or at the very least understand it on some level. Having gone down those paths has helped so much to be a composer. Score: When you hear a certain style, is it easy for you to emulate that? Do you just assimilate it? Lyle: Of course there are certain kinds of music that require complete mastery to play and far surpass my abilities, but for the most part, yes. My musicianship is at a level where I can go many places with comfort. For very challenging material, when what I hear in my head is more advanced than my instrumental agility, luckily technology helps get those ideas fleshed out, and then fully realized through the aid of great musicians. Hiring the right players for the right job is very important too. For example, on the film Superbad, the title itself coming from a James Brown song, the filmmakers from the outset wanted to have 60s and 70s soul, R&B and funk music be the sound of the score. Assembling a band of very talented local musicians would have worked perfectly fine in the movie, but I wanted to go one step further and make it as stylistically legitimate as possible. With Sony’s blessing and resources we banded together some of the original architects of that music. I called in the James Brown and Parliament Funkadelic bassist, Bootsy Collins, as well as bringing in the original James Brown
drummers along with a few other funk legends. We had the horn section that played with Earth Wind and Fire and countless other amazing records, led by the great Jerry Hey. The whole group recorded together at Capitol records in Los Angeles. That was the band for Superbad. Score: You are predominantly a guitarist or do you occasionally play any other instruments? Lyle: I’m most proficient on guitar. But I do play keys, drums, bass, anything that’s strung in the family of guitars, mandolin, banjo, uke, etc. Score: And you are an artist too. What do you like best about that? Lyle: I enjoy creating music where its purpose is complete personal expression. I have ultimate control over the product and only have myself to answer to, whereas in film and TV I am providing a service where the prime job is to service the needs of the show and make the director or show runner happy. But I do love those collaborations too; getting more than one mind on things can lead to places in music I might not go on my own. Score: So what do you think you are going to do now? More of your own music, more film music, TV, cable shows? What do you see in the next year, the next ten years? Lyle: More of the same. I want to keep doing film and TV and making records. Just keep it all going. I’ll begin scoring another Apatow production, Crashing,
Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation Celebrates 20 Years To celebrate their 20-year anniversary, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation hosted a gathering at the home of MHOF Board member and producer of the original film Mr. Holland’s Opus, Robert Cort. L-R: Composer Joe Trapanese, MHOF Board member and BMI composer Ed Shearmur, BMI’s Doreen Ringer-Ross, and BMI composers Christopher Lennertz and George S. Clinton
for HBO shortly, and also coming up soon is season two of Love, on Netflix. One great thing about composing for film are the incredible resources; for example, a film studio to fund a seventy-five-piece orchestra playing your music, and you’re getting paid for it! It’s very difficult to have that kind opportunity anywhere else. The experiences I’ve had in film have yielded much growth in my musical development; it’s afforded me the absolute pleasure of working with so many unbelievably talented musicians. I’ve written in genres I might not have on my own, and for it all I feel so fortunate and blessed. Score: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to The Score! g Lyle: Thank you, Lori! SCL AMBASSADORS BURT BACHARACH
ALAN & MARILYN BERGMAN GEORGE S. CLINTON CHARLES FOX
ELLIOT GOLDENTHAL DAVE GRUSIN
PATRICK WILLIAMS PAUL WILLIAMS
JAMES NEWTON HOWARD
ROBERT LOPEZ &
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD BILL CONTI QUINCY JONES
HONORARY LIFETIME MEMBERS JAY L. COOPER, ESQ. CLINT EASTWOOD
DENNIS SPIEGEL JOHN WILLIAMS
Scenes From The SESAC Holiday Party 2015
L-R: Danny Lux, Bruce Miller, SESAC’s Erin Collins and Jason Miller
L-R: SESAC’s Trevor Gale and Erica Ender
L-R:SESAC’s Dennis Lord, composer John Keane and SESAC’s Erin Collins
L-R: SESAC’s Erin Collins and Jon Ehrlich
L-R: SESAC’s Glen Phillips, REO Speedwagon’s Kevin Cronin and SESAC’s Sam Kling
L-R: SESAC’s Ellen Truley with composer Todd Burns
SESAC Hosts Reception At NAB Show SESAC hosted a cocktail reception during the 2016 NAB Show® where dynamic innovation and cutting-edge technologies are unleashed. The reception drew a large collection of songwriters, composers, publishers, producers, engineers and other industry attendees. L-R: Composer Veigar Margeirsson, SESAC’s Erin Collins and composer Brian Brasher
Scoring The Next Gig Continued from Page 1
orchestral score for a film, you need to be able to point to other orchestral film scores. Thankfully, the Catch-22 only applies to the big front door. By diversifying your skill base and the types of work that you do professionally, you enable yourself to work for and with more people. As your group of colleagues grows wider, you will gain closer associations with the type of work that you ultimately want to be doing. Your connections will grow stronger, your credits will grow, and little by little you will gain the legitimacy that people seek. By doing jobs that support and surround your specific career goals you can sneak past the Catch-22 and enter through the back door. That diversity also helps you to become a one-stop shop. Producers and directors usually don’t want to be bothered with any of the details of the scoring process, and especially not with the problems. They want their composer to handle it, to get help and build a team if necessary, and deliver a great product. If you are able to take a score from concept to completion quickly, cost efficiently, and with high quality, then you will get work. It doesn’t matter to your director if you do it alone or with help; only the end product matters. One of the important keys to finding work is to remember that composers, no matter how established, are always auditioning. Everything you do needs to represent you fully, because every piece of work is a calling card and an audition piece for the next gig. Every performance you give is a representation of your artistry. Every person you work with is an opportunity to leave a good impression. Everybody you know outside of work might know somebody in the industry. Every event in your musical life has the opportunity to be an influential impression that leads toward future work. You never know when an old track will resurface or when somebody’s impression of your live performance done years ago will suddenly have profound importance. Jack Wall explains why this is not unreasonable. “We’re always auditioning. It does not 16
matter how long you’ve been composing, because people want to see what you would do for their project. It’s like an actor. You might be the best actor in the world, but if you’re not right for a project it’s not going to work,” he says. You can never predict when opportunity may arise, and if it goes badly you may never even know that opportunity was there. Whatever you work on, put your absolute best into it. Since relationships are so critical to the career path of composers, it’s important to think about how you want to go about forming and maintaining those relationships. The soft skills connected to interpersonal relationships are just as influential in your career as the hard skills of music that you are hired for, and maybe more so. Don’t make a souless marketing plan for relationship building, but develop some philosophies about how you want to build and develop your work relationships. They need to be genuine, but because you are also working on career development they need to be genuine in a conscious and directed way. As Craig Stuart Garfinkle says, “You don’t really get paid for what you do. You get paid for the relationships that you have. To get paid for anything, you have to have somebody fighting to get you paid. That’s the nature of the economy almost everywhere, but in the music business especially. Your goal is to go into a project where you have powerful friends and allies that you’ve been working with for a long time who take it as a personal affront if you don’t get a decent salary.” Composer careers grow organically. The growth may be fast or slow, but it is not as random as it may appear. New growth and opportunity springs organically out of what is already there. If the music stands on its own and speaks well for itself, and if the composer does the same, then opportunities and relationships grow naturally. Over time a career increases in size and substance. At some point a snowball effect begins and it can begin to roll on its own, picking up size and speed without too much effort. The key to the growth and the snowball effect is that the core has to be strong, because it can’t hold together otherwise. For composers, the core is made
of relationships. If you maintain and strengthen them then your career will be strong enough to survive. If the relationships are weak and people consistently fall away, then it will be much harder to gain critical mass and achieve a snowball effect. The relationships are not only with clients, they are with colleagues, competitors, friends, acquaintances, and admirers too. The solid core of a successful career is a whole community. Austin Wintory has reassuring perspective about how long the process can take and says, “Careers develop on their own, and you have to be unafraid of the fact that you don’t know how long it will take. That’s the part that’s really daunting. Some people meet someone in school that ends up setting their career off. Before you know it they’re doing massive stuff, and it seems like they came right out of the gate doing really big things. But John Williams was 43 when he scored Jaws and 45 when he scored Star Wars. He had almost two decades of experience that no one knew anything about. He was just biding his time.” One of the most tried and true ways to develop a career is to find directors who are working at your level and grow with them. If you can maintain your working relationships with them while you walk the bumpy road of the industry together, then your successes become mutual. Most collaborations are there only for a season, but there are many stories of collaborations that became lifelong and highly successful. It is difficult to work as an equal with people who are much more successful than you are, because they usually don’t feel a need to reach down and pull you up to their level. In the same way you should avoid working with people who you feel are below your own level, because they will diminish the quality of your work. You need to find people at your own level, whatever that is, grow with them, and make yourself indispensable to them so that they bring new projects to you. Peter Golub sees great benefits in long-term collaborations. He says, “The best working relationships are the ones with people who you have worked with before. When working on a second, third, or fourth film with somebody, there’s a level of trust that isn’t there the first time. The further Continued on Next Page
Scoring The Next Gig Continued from Page 1
down the line you are, the more trust there is. They tell me what they want, they give me notes, but it’s not the feeling that I’m auditioning or that I could get fired.” On a practical level, there are many ways in which you can position yourself for new relationship opportunities. The most obvious is to surround yourself with people who might want to hire you. If you are selling water, you want to be where people are thirsty. If you are composer, you want to be where people are making products that need music. The fastest career development happens face to face, person to person. In a perfect world you would be the only composer in a community of potential clients, and over time you would get to know all of them. If you choose a group of creatives and make yourself a part of that group, then over time you will be recognized as the composer of the group. That can eventually turn into work opportunities. As Peter Golub affirms, “I have gotten quite a lot of work through picture editors, more than any other route of getting work. When I hit it off with an editor, often times that leads to another picture.” The musician community is another important source of work. Although it might seem like other composers are your competitors, that is not entirely the case. The reality is that musicians hire each other back and forth all the time. The opportunity for learning is also a very important factor that makes your community of musicians important. Whether it is a professional organization like the SCL, or a group of band buddies that meets at a bar, having a community of other musicians can give you support, knowledge, experience, and sometimes additional work. If your goal is to score for video games, then it is the game designers you need to meet. The video game world is inherently more tech oriented than films, so online approaches can work better in the beginning. There are many game designer forums and social media groups, and it’s very possible to get work by being an active member of the online community of designers. Even better are in-person opportunities
like the Game Developers Conference, where you can meet people face to face and interact with a large number of people in a short period of time. Jack Wall has unique insight from working in games, film, and television. He says, “If you’re in video games people are impressed with your credits, but the focus is more on what they hear in your demo. They’re always looking for something new. It’s very different from film and television, which is very credit driven. Game music is more about your sound and how it can benefit the world that they’re building. It’s more driven by creativity than credits.” If you want to score for film and television, then you need to meet film-makers and directors. All the major cities have organized groups of filmmakers that meet to discuss their industries and share their work with each other. There is a steady stream of hopeful new filmmakers coming out of universities, and scoring student films can be a great way for younger composers to build new relationships. Bill Brown says, “It’s very possible for friendships to become lifelong collaborations. Also, if you’re able to help someone with a spec project and it goes really well, there’s a good chance that person will come back to you for the next project. That worked for me in one very key instance, which eventually led to me scoring CSI: NY.” When directors hire a composer they need somebody who they can trust with their art. The need for trust and mutual creativity leads directors to search for composers in very personal ways, because those things can’t come from credits, education, ability, age, or celebrity. Personal relationships trump credits every time. The two need to have a simpatico relationship, a mutual understanding of what music the project needs, and a working relationship that both parties enjoy. In most cases you must first have a genuine personal relationship with a director, and over time that can become a working relationship. If your relationship with a director is solid, when they need a composer they have no reason to go elsewhere, and your competitors will never even hear about the opportunity. Over time that relationship could turn into a reputation within a whole community, and
John Williams receives the Chevalier des Artes et des Lettres at the French Consulate in Los Angeles on April 19, 2016. Pictured with Mr. Williams is the French ambassador in Washington, Gerard Araud.
when it reaches that tipping point it can open a lot of new doors. Miriam Cutler has a fantastic way of describing how important and sometimes impossible it can be to please directors. “The first time working with a director is always difficult,” she says. “It’s important to develop an open line of communication, because 50% of what we do is about the relationship. We need to instill trust and have a deep level of communication right away. I often describe it as marrying someone that you’ve never even gone to bed with, and you’re supposed to know what they like without ever having any experience.” Music libraries are the easiest contacts of all to form. If you want to write for music libraries all you need to do is to start writing. You can write literally anything you’d like. Build up a nice collection of tracks that has a similar vibe and then start reaching out. The most high-end libraries don’t accept unsolicited submissions, but many others will. With music libraries you don’t need much of an introduction or sales pitch. You can simply present your package, describe it clearly, and ask if they want to publish it. If they say no you can just shop it to another library. It’s not unlike selling Girl Scout cookies door-to-door. If you knock on enough doors somebody will buy. The key to finding work as a composer is unquestionably the relationships you have with people. You can
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SCL Oscar Reception 2016
he Society of Composers & Lyricists (SCL) hosted its annual Champagne Reception in association with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Music Branch Governors, on Saturday, February 27, 2016, at La Bohéme in West Hollywood, CA. The gathering celebrated the music nominees for this year’s Academy Awards.
L-R: Diane Warren, Jeff Sanderson, Carter Burwell and J.Ralph
L-R: SCL Vice President and Oscar Reception Chair Charles Bernstein with Music Nominees John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Carter Burwell, Thomas Newman and SCL President Ashley Irwin
L-R: Charles Fox, Adryan Russ and Bill Conti
L-R: Lalo Schifrin and Ennio Morricone
L-R: David Lang, Lalo Schifrin, Carter Burwell and SCL President Ashley Irwin L-R: Thomas Newman, John Williams and David Lang
L-R: Jeffery and Linda Graubart and Jim DiPasquale
L-R: SCL Vice President and Oscar Reception Chair Charles Bernstein with Song Nominees J. Ralph, David Lang, Stephan Moccio, Diane Warren and SCL President Ashley Irwin L-R: Lori Barth, Bill Conti and SCL President Ashley Irwin 18
L-R: SCL Vice President and Oscar Chair Charles Bernstein, David Lang, Mr. and Mrs. Lalo Schifrin, Carter Burwell and ASCAP’s Jennifer Harmon
L-R: Charles Fox, Diane Warren and Stephan Moccio
L-R: Ramon Balcazar, Shawn Clement and Billy Martin
L-R: Past SCL President Dan Foliart with SCL President Ashley Irwin
L-R: Pam Gates and Garry Schyman
L-R: BMI’s Ray Yee, Thomas Newman, BMI’s Anne Cecere and John Williams
L-R: Stephen Endelman and Carter Burwell
L-R: Greg O’Connor, Danny Lux and Fletcher Beasley
L-R: Ron Grant, Adryan Russ and ASCAP’s Jennifer Harmon L-R: Ennio Morricone and SCL President Ashley Irwin
L-R: Jerry Cohen and Lynda Moonshine Jacobs 19
BMI Film/TV Awards he BMI Film/TV Awards was held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on May 11, 2016 celebrating this year’s top film and television composers. SCL wishes to congratulate all of this year’s reciepients.
L-R: BMI Assistant Vice President, Film/TV Relations, Ray Yee; composer Thomas Newman; BMI Vice President, Film & TV Relations, Doreen Ringer-Ross; and BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill pose with the BMI Film and Television Award for Spectre
BMI Icon Award recipient James Newton Howard
L-R: Composer Jeff Danna, Mychael Danna; BMI Vice P resident, Film & TV Relations, Doreen Ringer-Ross; and composer Alan Silvestri
L-R: Composers Atli Örvarsson and Mark Mothersbaugh; BMI Vice President, Film & TV Relations, Doreen Ringer-Ross; composer Brian Tyler; and BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill
L-R: Composer Snuffy Walden; BMI Vice President, Film & TV Relations, Doreen RingerRoss; composers Mike Post and Atli Örvarsson
Composer Rolfe Kent
L-R: Composers Tom Holkenborg and Brian Tyler pose with their BMI Film and Television Awards
L-R: BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill; composer David Newman, recipient of the BMI Classic Contribution Award; BMI Vice President, Film and TV Relations, Doreen Ringer-Ross; and composer James Newton Howard, recipient of the BMI Icon Award
S O U N D D E S I G N
Studio Electronics’ Charcot Circles Eurorack Analogue Step Sequencer By Jack D. Elliot
n this issue, I am reviewing Studio Electronics’ new Eurorack sequencer module, Charcot Circles, which is a format step sequencer with multiple modes and expansion options. Before diving into the review, it’s important to provide a quick explanation of what Eurorack modules are. The Eurorack format modules are cost-effective, small modules, slightly over five inches tall, which are rack-mounted in a powered case. There are a very large variety of modules to choose from now, as it seems like everyone is jumping on the Eurorack bandwagon, as opposed to buying fixed architecture, premade synths. Modulars allow you to buy every OSC, filter, ADSR, VCA, and just about anything else you can imagine in order to make your own personalized synth. This is extremely powerful. Creating a sound is accomplished by using 3.5mm mono phone jacks. Since you can’t save your sound as a preset like you would with a traditional synth, I usually take a picture with my iPhone in case I need to replicate the sound again in the future, although creating something brand new every time is fun. A good tip is to keep recording while you fully make your sound, so that you have all the variety. Then you can go back and comp what you like. Studio Electronics is known for its early popular analog synth, the SE-1, and currently the popular Boomstar Modular. Studio Electronics is now diving into the magical land of Eurorack madness. Their first sequencer module is called Charcot Circles (named for Jean-Martin Charcot, the founder of modern neurology) to awaken your mind and muse. It features a 16 x 8 step sequencer that can be utilized as an 8 x 16 step track preset (8 CVs & gates), 4 x 32 (4 CVs & gates), 2 x 64 (2 CVs & gates), and 1 x 128 step track preset (1 CV & 1 gate). CV and gate expansion is made possible through the BBOX—breakout box interface, which features 4 CVs & 4 gates. Up to 2 breakout boxes per Charcot can be connected. In use, Charcot Circles presents a very fun and user-friendly interface. I went CV out of the Charcot and split the connection using a mult into the two oscillators on my Pittsburg Modular Lifeforms, then the gate out of the Charcot to the ADSR on the Lifeforms. I kept it simple for this review. On
the Charcot, you have a ring of touch pads. Pressing and holding the shift keys allows you to enter different modes like steps on and off, length, glide, and so on. The outer rings on the Charcot are eighth notes, and the inner rings are sixteenth notes. The module also has a push-button endless encoder in the middle for changing many settings, and is very easy to use. When you enter notes mode, you can pick your pitches per step in two ways. While the sequence is playing, you can hold the touchpad of the step in the sequence and turn the encoder to tune the pitch up and down. An alternative is to enter key mode and be able to change the pitch without the sequence playing, and be able to hear the tone per pad. There are a few choices for your sequence direction. Your sequence direction can play forward, backwards, Pendulum mode (forward-backwards), or random, for some zany rhythms that let you contact the aliens. Other important features allow you to change the base midi channel, shuffle for adding swing, transpose for your key, or tune to adjust the tuning of the CV output. VEL (Velocity) can also be controlled by a CV out to your synth for anything from filter to whatever you can imagine. There are 256 locations: 8 banks of 16 presets to save your sequence. You can enter track play mode which allows you to combine your sequences together.
The Eurorack world seemed overwhelming at first, but Charcot Circles was easy to learn and made composing with new sequences enjoyable and fast.
Conclusion: The Eurorack world seemed overwhelming at first, but Charcot Circles was easy to learn and made composing with Continued on Next Page
Scoring The Next Gig Continued from Page 17
not take them for granted nor draw on them in a way that makes the give-andtake unbalanced. The relationships that will lead to the most long-term success are loyal ones based on mutual respect, generosity, common interests, and shared passions. Laura Karpman says, “I made a rule for myself that I wouldn’t network with people that I didn’t want to be friends with. I don’t want to be careerist and befriend people just because I think they will be really successful. I only connect with people that I love, and that understand me as an artist.” When you build real community around yourself and pour yourself into it, you will find yourself in fertile soil where your career can grow freely and with support. And the best way for composers to build genuine community is to be generous, wellrounded, multi-faceted, dynamic, curious, and productive artists. Miriam Cutler explains how that approach worked for her. “My involvement with the Sundance Film Festival has been very fruitful for me. I think we
create our own opportunities. Because I was very committed to pursuing Sundance, it has been truly opulent. I first went in 1997, and as soon as I got there I realized that the documentary film community was what I had been looking for and Sundance was a place where they gather. For me, it’s just like heaven. Everything I am interested in and care about, I can find there. It’s been wonderful because it was a mutual love. We found each other, me and Sundance,” she explains. Most importantly, be open, honest, and excited about what you do. Enthusiasm goes a very long way, and positive energy can impress people long before they listen to demos or talk to you about a potential project. You probably shouldn’t be in the music industry if you don’t love it. If you do love it, then let it show. A genuine, honest expression of passion and expertise will excite and impress the people around you, and that enthusiasm can produce results from the most ung expected places. Jeremy Borum is the author of Guerrilla Film Scoring. SCL members can get the book 25% off through Premiere Partners. www. GuerrillaFilmScoring.com
Charcot Circles Step Sequencer Continued from Page 21
new sequences enjoyable and fast. The unit is really sturdy, so no worries about pressing too hard. It has a USB connection on the front for firmware updates and midi sync from the many sources like DAW, iPads, and so on. The price is also extremely good for what you get, as many alternatives cost more, and some have less features. Charcot Circles was well thought out. A small adjustment I might have liked would be for the unit to be a little wider so the text would be easier to read...but then it may not be possible to keep the circle configuration, hence the name Charcot Circles. g Rating: 10/10
SCL Premier Partners SCL members can find out the member discount details and how to contact Partners on our website. ALFRED MUSIC AUDIO PERCEPTION BANDZOOGLE
ASCAP At Sundance Film Festival L-R: ASCAP’s Jennifer Harmon, composer Joel Goodman, Amanda Goodman and composer Paul Brill (The New Yorker Presents, Trapped)
BIG FISH AUDIO BLACK LION AUDIO CINEMATIC STRINGS CINESAMPLES COMMERCIAL SCORING WORKSHOP FOCAL PRESS AND ROUTLEDGE MUSIC GORILLA FILM SCORING GRAPHICALLY ENHANCED MANUALS MEGATRAX RECORDING STUDIOS MELROSE MAC MUSIC BUSINESS REGISTRY MY MUSIC MASTERCLASS NOTEFLIGHT PAGU BATONS PC AUDIO LABS PUREMIX THE RICHARD BELLIS MASTER SERIES SAMPLELOGIC
L-R: Alliance for Women Composers board member Kathryn Bostic, ASCAP’s Jennifer Harmon, and composer Germaine Franco L-R: ASCAP’s Mike Todd, composer Dan Romer (Gleason, Jim: The James Foley Story) and ASCAP’s Rachel Perkins
SONIC FUEL STUDIOS SONOKINETIC SOUNDIRON SPITFIRE AUDIO TUNECORE UCLA EXTENSION
M U S I C A L S H A R E S
BY CHARLES BERNSTEIN
Film Music: Boulez The Enigma
ierre Boulez did not write film music. In fact, the towering figure of 20th century musical modernism had little admiration for movie music. Not only that, Boulez took a negative view of many of our cherished musical idols. He famously disparaged iconic composers like Shostakovich and Stravinsky, minimalists like Glass and Adams, and just about every other beloved composer from the past and present, most of whom wrote “useless” music in his opinion. So, why should film composers care about Pierre Boulez? Why should we venerate, and deeply mourn the loss of this great musician, who left us suddenly last year at the age of 90? Boulez was truly an enigma. His personal life, his music, his thoughts, were almost purposely opaque and uncompromising—some might even say paradoxical and intentionally vexing. He seemed to renew his enfant terrible card at every stage of his life. But most musicians of every stripe will agree, Boulez brought an authority, a power and purity to our lives, as inescapable as it is undeniable. At some point, every composer has had to “come to terms with” Boulez. Let’s put Pierre Boulez in some historical context. He was born into an era when the musical language was already under pressure from the serialists and innovative composers like his teacher Olivier Messiaen. We can look back and observe huge stylistic “earthquakes” in musical consciousness from time to time. Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring certainly shook up the first half of the 20th century in ways that still reverberate today. Perhaps, Boulez’s Le Marteau Sans Maitre may have done the same for the second half of the 20th century. Who didn’t have an “Oh My God” experience upon first hearing that work? Imagine what our local musician friends like Bill Kraft and Ralph Grierson must have felt when they were asked by the French maestro to perform initial concerts of his revolutionary and challenging music? Everyone agrees that there was something particularly energetic and pristine about works like Le Marteau. Many of us remember wondering what the sound of that piece would “look like” on the page. Surprisingly, there was nothing radical or odd looking in the score. The mysterious, pointillistic, disembodied sounds were easily captured in normal looking notation. Most impressive was the way a musical
line seemed to start with one player and then move on to the next, as if the phrases didn’t really “belong” to any one voice but were being tossed back and forth like a basketball or a hockey puck. One thing was certain, this music didn’t sound at all like film music. If we can imagine such a thing as “anti-film-music,” then Boulez could be thought of as a composer of such music. We don’t hear Le Marteau Sans Maitre used in temp tracks. When the great director Stanley Kubrick sought music from the available modern classical pieces, he undoubtedly had access to Boulez. Yet, he seized on compositions from other composers like Ligeti and Penderecki and even Bartok for so many of his soundtrack choices, but not Boulez. To be sure, the music of many other concert composers has found its way into the world of film music. The accent-driven rhythms of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring shows up in cinematic scenes. We also hear the primitive grandiosity of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, the triumphant bellicosity of Shostakovich’s orchestral works, the dreamy landscapes or seascapes of Debussy or Ravel, the hypnotic minimalism of Philip Glass or John Adams, the emotional epiphanies of Wagner or Mahler, even splashes of 12-tone angst embraced by Leonard Rosenman, all these concert styles can be found in abundance highlighting musical moments in films. And yet, by its very absence, the music of Pierre Boulez stands out. The demanding fierce purity of Boulez’s music somehow places it outside of film music’s purview. That absence should call for our attention as film composers. Why is his music so rare in films? Why is it so seemingly antithetical to the musical needs of films? It’s true that we can learn a lot about film music by studying the film scores of great movie composers. But, it may also be true that by studying the sounds of someone like Pierre Boulez, we can learn the equally important lessons of what film music is not (at least not so far). Try listening to some of Boulez’s music and see if any film scenes easily come to mind. Not likely. His aesthetic seems to challenge our relationship to imagery, to ourselves and to the world around us in unusual and unpredictable ways. Boulez’s musical world, what we might call his umwelt, does not seem to reflect the physical, emotional and cognitive world we live in. As a result,
At a time when the practice of film music is in grave danger of feeding on itself, on losing its passion, invention and immediacy, Boulez is a powerful and welcome voice to attend to, both musically and personally.
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Musical Shares Continued from Previous Page
Boulez brings us face to face with a different, more demanding and disorienting set of musical values. These sounds are more abstract, not so “pictorial” as with the Impressionists. Nor do they lilt and swell, touching us in sentimental ways, as with the Romantics. Even those scary textures and clusters often found in pieces by Eastern European modernists are rare in the music of Boulez. He simply does not create music brimming with cinematic imagery and human emotion, but instead seems intent on abandoning the familiar and on challenging, even alienating, the listener. Essentially, Boulez is happy to turn away from the very musical impulses and conventions that film music is founded on. In the true sense of the word, Pierre Boulez was a revolutionary. His job was to destroy and disconnect from the old and to imagine and invent the new. He often spoke of not just defacing, but of completely demolishing familiar art works like the Mona Lisa. He also fantasized the blowing up of opera houses, of starting from scratch, of breaking free of any vestiges of yesterday. And yet, he also spoke of putting an expiration date on things, even on his own
rhetoric. Many of the nihilistic things he said in the 1950s were refuted by his outbursts in the 1970s or 90s. He was forever updating his own opinions and he recommended that we do the same. Still, over his 90 years, he never really warmed up to the movies. When asked by an interviewer in the 1990s if he ever goes to the movies, Boulez answered dismissively, “Rarely. I look at movies when I am lazy, when I am tired. I look at movies on television. They appear on television one year later. Most of the movies can wait a year, I suppose.” Here is a man who has little love for films, let alone for film music. And yet, in some odd way, he may be the perfect person to address the state of movie music today. At a time when the practice of film music is in grave danger of feeding on itself, on losing its passion, invention and immediacy, Boulez is a powerful and welcome voice to attend to, both musically and personally. He spoke of first cold pressings of olives as being flavorful and rich tasting. The third pressing, he said, is quite another matter. He may not write music for the movies, but he certainly knows what it means for an art form to descend into the lackluster flavors of its third pressing. As a sort of revolutionary anti-filmcomposer, Boulez may be the perfect
person to speak to our own community right now, and to stimulate our need for renewal, for regenerative energy and perspective. There is still a sense of wonder to embrace, and fresh olives to render, as the movie music business approaches the age of Boulez himself. Here is one of his more upbeat pronouncements to carry away. “Music is a labyrinth with no beginning and no end, full of new paths to discover, where mystery remains eternal.” Also eternal is the indomitable spirit, the inspirational power, and the revolutionary dynamism of that wonderful non-film composer, Pierre g Boulez. © Charles Bernstein 2016 www.charlesbernstein.com
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DISCLAIMER: The articles in the SCORE do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society of Composers & Lyricists.