VOLUME XXX NUMBER FOUR WINTER 2015
THE SCORING PROCESS
Team Building In An Indie World By Jeremy Borum
hat is the fastest way to become a better composer? It’s probably to stop doing everything by yourself. The traditional division of labor in the scoring process has eroded completely. Composers used to be one player in a fairly large music team. They put notes on paper, attended recording sessions, and bore few other responsibilities. As our industry has evolved our responsibilities have steadily increased. Today’s composer is responsible for every step of the music team’s process, and very often a lone guerrilla composer replaces the entire team of yesteryear. The support network, which used to be built-in, has evaporated. We don’t have the luxury of being specialists any more. As scoring budgets shrink,
novelty. They were quirky gypsy types who walked the streets with instruments tied to themselves in all sorts of creative ways. Today, all of us are like one-man bands because very often we must also be the orchestrator, copyist, studio owner, producer, performer, conductor, recording engineer, music editor, and mix and mastering engineer.
Today we must have a thorough balance of artistry, craft, and business, wearing all of the hats and managing many disparate tasks single-handedly. We are expected to own and operate our own studios and do a huge number of other tasks not expected of us ten or twenty years ago. We’re not composers, we’re the CEOs of small music businesses and we’re responsible for every aspect of music production. Lower budgets and package deals naturally give us fewer incentives to hire help. The less we spend, the more we keep. The
scoring often appears to be the hermit method, where we hide away in a dark studio doing as much as we can by ourselves so we can keep the cash. Without adequate funding the music team shrinks. Although the music team shrinks, our has the job description of every team member he doesn’t hire. One-man bands used to be a
It is an irreversible reality imposed by the relentless progression of technology and duction. A lucky handful of composers still have the luxury of working within a Hollywood system that is well funded and has clear division of labor. The rest of us must music industry. But must we do it alone?
Today’s composer is responsible for every step of the music team’s process, and very often a lone
If you want music to be your business, you should treat it like a business. There is a big difference between a sole proprietor and a small business owner, and most composers operate more like sole proprietors. Sole proprietors’ businesses begin organically. They take a liking to a certain type of work and begin to charge money for it. As they get more and more successful they get busier and busier. When they start to get very busy their career begins to own them, not the other way around, because they are time-poor and yet continue to do everything themselves. The need for total control is a very common malady, and it often limits professional growth. A small business owner has a better plan for future growth. Those with the mentality of a business owner are more prepared to build a team and are always looking for good help. They try not to do work unnecessarily, and they recruit more troops instead of increasing Continued on Page 4
guerrilla composer replaces the entire team of yesteryear.
The Challenges Faced By Heirs: Part II 5 Be The Change 7 Tech Talk 9 Danny Lux: A Journey Forward 12 Musical Shares 23
FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK
A True Voice From Above 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 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
n the last issue of The Score, Gary Woods entitled his column “A Voice From Above.” A few days before publication, we were sad to hear that Gary suddenly passed away. Was there a message in that title that none of us knew about? Gary Woods was part of The Score family. His column, “Music and Technology,” was an important part of The Score from the very beginnings of our quarterly journal 30 years ago, and he never missed a deadline. He was a great friend to The Society of Composers & Lyricists, and would give his time, happy to help anyone who asked. The SCL can never replace him and Gary will be missed!
DIAMOND MEMBERS Kristen Anderson-Lopez Lori Barth Alan & Marilyn Bergman Dennis C. Brown Carter Burwell George Clinton Bill Conti
Robert Lopez Johnny Mandel Blake Neely Randy Newman Mike Post J. Peter Robinson Mark Roos
Lalo Schifrin Richard Sherman David Shire Alan Silvestri Mark Snow Dennis Spiegel Mike Stoller
Federico Vaona Mark Watters John Williams Patrick Williams Maury Yeston
DIAMOND SPONSOR / SPECIAL FRIENDS Chantal Burnison
PLATINUM MEMBERS Mark Adler John Beal Marco Beltrami Amin Bhatia Steven Bramson
Joseph Conlan Darren Criss Mychael Danna Alexandre Desplat Ashley Irwin
Steve Jablonsky Bear McCreary Peter Melnick Alan Menken Garth Neustadter
Atli Orvarsson Gary Rottger David Schwartz Carlo Siliotto Angela Rose White
Paul Williams Austin Wintory
PLATINUM SPONSOR / SPECIAL FRIENDS Jeffrey L. Graubart
GOLD MEMBERS Cato Neal Acree Elik Alvarez Neil Argo Diane Arkenstone Alexander Arntzen Sebastian Arocha Charles-Henri Avelange Ramon Balcazar Glen Ballard Steve Barden Ed Barguiarena Nathan Barr Joe Barrera Jr. Jeff Beal Joel Beckerman Charles Bernstein Peter Boyer Richard Bronskill Russell Brower Dan Brown Jr Benedikt Brydern Kenneth Burgomaster Dennis Burke Patric Caird Christopher Cano Jay Chattaway Shawn Clement Elia Cmiral Kaveh Cohen Jerry Cohen Jim Cox Chanda Dancy Tim Davies John Debney
Erick Del Aguila Massimiliano (Max) Di Carlo John Dickson James DiPasquale Joel Douek Dennis Dreith Bruce Dukov Robert Duncan Laura Dunn JC Dwyer Erich Einfalt Isabel Epstein Joel Evans Sharon Farber Jack Faulkner Shelley Fisher Pablo Flores Andy Forsberg Alexandre Fortuit Steven Fox Pam Gates Scott Glasgow William Goldstein Harry Gregson Williams Lorna Guess Eric Hachikian Crispin Hands Wayne Hankin Bruce Healey Reinhold Heil Shari Hoffman Lee Holdridge Scott Holtzman Trevor Howard Russ Howard III
Todd Brabec William Brewster Les Brockmann Jonathan Broxton Jon Burlingame Ray Costa
Marylata Elton Laura Engel Arlene Fishbach Susan Friedman Lynda Jacobs Anne Juenger
Sam Hulick Asuka Ito Ken Jacobsen Garrett Johnson Quincy Jones Federico Jusid Aaron Kaplan Alexander Khanukhov Bruce Kimmel Dave Kinnoin Grant Kirkhope Christopher Klatman Kevin Kliesch Christopher Knight Penka Kouneva Lynn Kowal Michael A Lang Edie Lehmann Boddicker Christopher Lennertz Michael Levine Daniel Licht Joseph LoDuca Charley Londono Glenn Longacre David Majzlin Tracey Marino Vance Marino Shelly Markham Craig Marks Billy Martin John Massari Michael McCuistion William McFadden Joel McNeely Robert Messinger
Jeffrey Michael Bryan Miller Bruce Miller Tricia Minty Brian Moe Sandro Morales Jeff Morrow Helene Muddiman Jonathan Neal Eimear Noone Matt Novack
Dan Romer William Ross Atticus Ross Enis Rotthoff Adryan Russ Steven Saltzman Garry Schyman Roxanne Seeman Ryan Shore Michael Silversher Helen Simmins-McMillin Gregory Smith Stanley Smith Curt Sobel Bijan Olia Arturo Solar Jose Luis Oliveira (a/k/a Ze Luis) Sally Stevens Anele Onyekwere Candace Stewart John Ottman Karen Tanaka Julia Pajot Jeremy Tisser Art Phillips Pinar Toprak Stu Phillips Tyler Traband John Piscitello Kubilay Uner Kim Planert Cris Velasco Chandler Poling Jack Wall J Pulido Lopez Diane Warren Judi Pulver Beth Wernick Mac Quayle Frederik Wiedmann J. Ralph Alan Williams Ron Ramin David Williams Tom Ranier Jonathan Wolff Anya Remizova Gernot Wolfgang Regan Remy Doug Wood Trent Reznor David Wood Michael (Chris) Ridenhour Jenny Yates Lolita Ritmanis Gary Yershon
GOLD SPONSORS / SPECIAL FRIENDS
ISSN 1066-5447 Society of Composers & Lyricists 8447 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 401 Beverly Hills, CA 90211 Ph (310) 281-2812
Clint Eastwood Dan Foliart Charles Fox Elliot Goldenthal Arthur Hamilton James Newton Howard Mark Isham
Costa Kotselas Richard Kraft Beth Krakower Patty Macmillan Kimberly McMichael Stacey Neisig
Nick Redman Mark Robertson John Rodd Michael Ryan Jeffrey Sanderson John Tempereau
John Traunwieser Steven Winogradsky
The Good, The Bad, And The Unrecognizable By Ashley Irwin
f you’ve ever been brought in to replace a score you’ll likely agree it can be both a blessing and a curse. On the upside, you’ll be welcomed with open arms as the savior who is going to correct the inadequacies of your predecessor. The downside is that you probably won’t get much time to do your best work and the interaction you have with the producer and/or director may not be as collaborative as you might expect, because they just need a score…and they need it now. It’s important to remember that some of
scores thrown out. Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Alex North and many of our contemporaries are just a few who’ve had their scores replaced for reasons that, frankly, might not have been at all wellreasoned. While utterances like “going in a different direction,” “not working as well as the temp,” “creative differences” and so on may be bandied about, it ultimately comes down to a lack of communication. However, it should never be taken personally nor cause the composer to question their musical or dramatic sensibilities, because if it can happen to the four icons I’ve listed above, it can happen to anyone. Communication is the key and often taken for granted until it’s too late. There are some account as early as possible: 1. Who really has the power? Is it the director? A producer? A studio or network executive? This is sometimes hard to determine early on until you have met all the players. But it must be determined because
ASMAC Golden Score Awards omposer John Debney was honored with the ASMAC Golden Score Award on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at the Skirball Cultural Center. Also honored with the Golden Score Award was Conrad Pope.
you may not be able to please “all of the people, all of the time”. 2. How attached are they to the temp? The longer they’ve been working with the temp, the more likely the attachment to it, particularly if reactions by executives or test audiences have been positive. 3. Which cues in the temp are they particularly in love with? It’s a brave composer who dares change the fundamentals of these pieces. Staying with the same tempo, key, sonic pallet etc. is advisable in such instances. 4. If they want you to listen to the score they are replacing so you understand what not to write, politely decline the invitation. Nothing good can come of it, because once you hear it, you can’t unhear it. There is nothing worse than second-guessing yourself as you’re trying to meet the impossible deadline—What’s wrong with the original cue? I think it works well. Does this cue are all impediments to your creativity. 5. How brave are you? Do you really want to sell them on a new approach altogether and if so, what’s the best way to accomplish it? Obviously, demos and mock-ups come into play but describing the Mona Lisa as “a lady with a smile on her face” can be risky as initial enthusiasm for your new concept may wane or, worse still, descend to disappointment and the reconsideration as to whether you are the right choice for the gig. This approach requires the utmost communication skills. Not withstanding, while it can be quite rewarding to “rescue” a project, it’s always
Not withstanding, while it can be quite rewarding to “rescue” a project, it’s always disappointing to have your score replaced. We are, by nature, creatures seeking approval for the fruits of our labors.
Continued on Page 22
L-R: John Debney and Randy Newman
L-R: John Debney, Richard Sherman, Conrad Pope and ASMAC’s President Chris Walden
Team Building In An Indie World Continued from Page 1
their personal time commitment. A concert hall composer can take two years to complete a piece and boast about how they used their own hands for everything. As commercial composers we can’t be that precious about our music because the industry doesn’t have that luxury of time. There is no shame in getting good help. On the contrary, a team of people is an admired and respected asset that converts easily into income. It is possible for you to be successful as a sole proprietor artist, but you will have better chances if you think like a business owner. Although it may feel like you need to work alone, it’s often possible to build a team. There are always other people working at your level, and you can to team up with them. Even if you’re a brand new composer with no budget who is trying to break into the industry, you could team up with a brand new sound engineer who also needs credits. If you’re creative and you reach out to other people in the industry you can build a team. The wonderful thing about teamwork is that the end product can often have a certain magic to it that is more than the sum of the team members’ skills. A great team has great synergy, and that inspires creativity. As people gather together, work towards a common goal, and inspire each other, the collaboration can become a fertile creative soil. Wonderfully artistic things can result that could not have been imagined by the individuals on their own. that the more I open up my circle the more I can do, the more I can create, and the more interesting the results are. It becomes effortless, actually. It becomes easier to do more, and I love that. When you bring more people into the mix suddenly one plus one is larger than two. When you see what your part is in that, it becomes really satisfying and fun.” —Jack Wall If there is one common thread between successful modern composers
NOTES FROM NEW YORK
SCL New York Diary By Mark Suozzo SCL NY Steering Committee News
SCL NY Steering Committee welcomes its newest member, Eric Hachikian (Marco Polo). Eric’s enthusiasm and knowledge has already had a positive impact on the committee’s work. We’d also like to welcome SCL NY’s new Associate Administrator, Danny Gray. SCL NY Mentorship Program
The SCL NY Mentorship program continues to grow. Our current crop and industry contacts of the steering committee members. Props to our own Mark Roos and Chris Hajian. SCL NY Presents Composing For The Theatre
On September 24th Chris Hajian hosted a panel on writing for the theater featuring Broadway composers Dan Moses Schreier (Merchant of Venice, Act One) and Greg Pliska (Shakespeare in the Park, War Horse, Sylvia). The event illuminated the crucial but often overlooked craft of composing incidental music for drama. BMI and SCL present An Evening with Charles Fox
On October 15th, BMI and the SCL NY cosponsored a talk with Charles Fox. Moderator Steve Orich kept the discussion focused on Fox’s remarkably Always generous and open with anecdotes, career advice and insight into his creative process, Fox treated the audience to a medley of his hit songs (“Killing Me Softly,” “Ready to Take a Chance Again,” “I’ve Got a Name”) and Film and TV Themes from 9 to 5, Happy Days, Love Boat and Love American Style. Reminiscences about his studies with Nadia Boulanger and Lennie Tristano and stories about his concert and ballet compositions rounded out a most satisfying evening. it’s that when push comes to shove, they are able to work as guerrillas and deliver a high quality product. Even at the very high end of the market, the A-list composers do a large percentage of their work in their personal studios with few people around them. However, we all have strengths and weaknesses and your end product will be better if you get some help. The set of skills required for scoring is so vast that it’s impossible for one person to completely master them all. When you score in do-it-yourself mode you limit “When I’m deciding how much I do myself versus delegate, it all comes down to quality of life. When you have to do everything yourself it means you’re not sleeping. You can play in all the parts of a symphony orchestra, but think of the time for 1 person to play 80 parts versus an 80-
piece orchestra playing one part per person. Do the math. It’s a lot more complicated when you’re alone, and it takes a lot more time. Time is money, so sometimes the key to getting fast, good, and cheap is to avoid Have Your Team Ready
A collection of skilled people isn’t necessarily a team. When you assemit may work out wonderfully. If they are seasoned professionals, they will surely get the job done. However, a team is something more than an assembly line that functions well. A team has a connectivity and a synergy that generates energy, ideas, and superior results. A newly assembled group may work like a team, but you might get a collection of impassive service providers instead. Continued on Page 18
FAM I LY M U S I C CATALO G S
The Challenges Faced By Heirs: Part II The Practical Aspects of Managing Rights and Collecting Income— (With a little bit of reality about the succession of a music catalog) By Angela Rose White My mother passed away on July 20, 2015. At the time of her death, we were in the process of reviewing the titles in the David Rose Publishing catalog. We were also preparing notices to publishers advising them that we would be exercising rights known as “reversionary rights,” collectively referred to as “British Reversionary Rights” (BRTs), triggered by the 25th anniversary of my father’s death (August 23, 1990). The music portion of our family’s estate consists of over 500 copyrights, from the 1930s through 1990. The “rights” are owned by more than one trust and more than one individual heir. We are dealing with an actual library of my father’s movie, TV, concert, and recording scores; a publishing company, artist and songwriter interests; performance rights; ownership of master recordings; publishing and songwriter contracts dating back to 1941, and complicated appraisal issues. The result is that in Part 2 of this article, I not only address some solutions to challenges mentioned in Part 1, but also now highlight some new challenges. Sorted Papers Are the Back Bones of the Database and the Key to Unlocking Mysteries and (Possibly) Saving Estate Taxes! The stacks of sorted papers provide the essential information for creating a database that will be invaluable. If you haven’t already started entering information into a database— start it now! If you don’t think you are ready, hire someone with experience to create the database. As the database is being prepared it is important to understand the catalog and the actual business of your family. In order to appraise a music catalog for estate tax purposes, or for a sale, be prepared to have a list of all copyrights by song title, author/ composer, copyright year, renewal terms / copyright expirations, and income share of royalties. The essential are as follows: Song Titles Writer(s) Publisher(s) Current Owners Copyright/Authorship Date(s) PRO (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) To be added along the way: Territories
Important Dates Relevant Documents or Facts Alternate or Translated Titles Song Titles—Searching the Title and Establishing the Correct Name: The song title is the identity of the song. It is not copyrightable so there can be more than one song with the same name. The challenge with title entry is entering the correct title in the database with all the right variations. Song titles can be simple, rarely duplicated, easily matched to the melody, and easy to decipher if translated. Consider “Unchained Melody” written by Alex North and Hy Zaret and made famous by The Righteous Brothers. the title isn’t likely to be re-used or confused with other titles. In contrast, “The Stripper,” written by my father, the late David Rose, appears simple yet easily confused because it is frequently used as an album title, a movie title or as part of another title. And, because there is a “The” in the title it is sometimes
In memory of my lovely Mother—Betty Jane Rose, widow of the late David Rose
search in the “T” or in the “S” section? What happens when a succession of publishers enter the song and the “The” is left off? When entering titles for TV themes and cues it is important to pick up on potential for the show Little House on the Prairie has been released on several albums, licensed for use in movies, and included in games and print folios. The title, or some version of it, has been used as a cue, a theme and even as the name of an episode. The title shows up several ways in royalty statements: “Little House Theme,” “Theme to Little House on the Prairie,” “Little House on the Prairie Background Cues,” and more. In the 1982 to 1983 season of Little House, the entire Season was called: “Little House: A New Beginning.” A single episode in the 1980 Season was entitled: “A New Beginning.” But, we also had a theme with the same name. We have spent hours researching statements, PRO sites, TV listings, and websites such as Wikipedia and IMDb. We have been making title corrections where we can, or re-registering the title altogether with our PRO and Publishers/ Continued on Next Page 5
The Challenges Faced By Heirs
title. Double-check a few sources before assuming that there is only one writer. One heir reported that they were sued
Continued from Page 5
Administrators. Why have we spent so much time correcting this title? A theme while cues can account for close to 30 minutes of a show. The longer period usually translates to more income. Using your foreign language skills: While you don’t need to be a linguist, you do need to recognize a foreign translation of a song, TV theme or cue. The Little House on the Prairie theme and cues have frequently been translated into French appearing as some variation of Petite Maison dans la Prairie. Through time the foreign translation morphed the title into something entirely different—the original translated title evolved to Le Petite Prairie and Le Petite Maison;—in English—Little House or Little Prairie, which explained why we Watch out for challenges with TV Cues, Themes and TV Show and Movie Titles: Be weary of a title that is simply “Background Cues” or “End Title.” You will have to use your research skills and review statements to try to link the title to a particular TV show or episode. We have even seen a title of a movie show up on one of our statements in place of the actual song used in the movie. “The Stripper” was licensed for the movie Cats and Dogs. We started to see “Cats and Dogs” as a title on our royalty statement. We knew that we had licensed the song for the movie so we were able to catch it; but we are still seeing it on our sub-publishing statements. It is a reminder that titles can show up on royalty statements that have nothing to do with your catalog and you need to be very careful. Duplication of Titles: Be on the lookout for a title that appears more than once, which could indicate an arrangement— authorized or unauthorized, co-writers, and/or works for hire. Also, be aware that your songwriter may have covered someone else’s song, and through a simple mistake, that songwriter’s title shows up in your catalog as authored by your songwriter. Writers: Make sure that you have and all songs or versions with the same
when they claimed and collected for 100% of the work. Ask questions! Is the work a work-for-hire? A commissioned work makes the identity of the actual writer (author) a puzzle: Look for workfor-hire agreements and any other docauthor is. And, don’t be surprised if a copyright search reveals a co-writer or a new arrangement that has not been authorized. It is not uncommon for a novice “lyricist” to add their own words to someone else’s music and claim authorship. In all cases, any title that shows up more than once in a search of song titles or statements, rewhat you expected is worth investigating further. Publishers: Double-checking with the ASCAP, BMI or SESAC search tools and contact information for the title. ownership when a third party publisher is not a publishing agreement actually transferring ownership of a copyright or portion thereof to another party; it may simply be a “publishing administration agreement” or a simple administration or collection arrangement. Look for terms such as “OBO” (on behalf of) or “in care of” which can identify simple administration agreement. A good article, written by Michael Eames, addresses the basic difference between a publishing agreement and an administration agreement in a plain and simple manner. (See “What’s the Deal: Understanding Co-Publishing & Admin Deals” by Michael Eames available at www. ascap.com/playback/2013/12/we-createmusic/whats-the-deal-michael-eames-penmusic.aspx). And, be aware of the fact that a territory can be represented or owned by a different publisher than the U.S. publisher. Identifying and locating the publisher from an older catalog (dating back to the 1940s for example) can be frustrating. Many of the earlier publishers no longer control the publishing; some have gone out of business and some were sold and/or merged
into another company. For example, Warner Chappell Music Publishing Co. controls titles originating from a 1940s publishing company, Bregman, Vocco and Conn, Inc. (BVC.) 20th Century Fox Pictures acquired the BVC Catalog and now Warner/Chappell controls the 20th Century catalog. Sony Music Publishing (Sony/ATV) now controls titles formerly held by EMI. Universal Music Publishing controls titles formerly published (and/or administered) by All Nations Music and Polygram. Or, a publisher may have acquired another catalog and they now control the publishing and have the obligation to pay. Universal Music Publishing, for example, now controls the Capitol and EMI catalog titles. A note about the “Publisher” versus the “Current Owner”—Copyrights, Renewals and Terminations, and The Importance of Dates: Check carefully to determine if the “Current Owner” of the Copyright. Take note of/or include in your database the following dates which can trigger opportunities for authors and their heirs: 1. The copyright registration date and any renewals; 2. The dates of death of the author and any co-authors; 3. The dates of publishing agreements, administration agreements, and songwriter agreements. The U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC Sections 203 and 304) addresses terminations of transfers of copyright. This is a complicated area of Copyright but an invaluable tool for heirs to regain control of a copyrighted work. It is also an area that requires the expertise of an attorney. In certain countries outside the U.S., on the 25th anniversary of the death of the author (or the last surviving author depending on the country) the heirs can recapture the copyright transfer. There is a great article written by New York attorney, Lisa Alter, which details these rights ( h t t p : / / a k b l l p . c o m / p ro t e c t i n g your-musical-copyrights/statutorytermination-of-transfers-recapturingcopyrights/). There are sections in the resources cited in Part 1 dealing with these rights, as well. When an author’s heirs exercise the termination rights, the copyright interest terminated is Continued on Page 20
THE MAGIC OF MUSIC
Be The Change
…Instead Of Playing The Changes By Dr. Richard Niles
usic has been making human beings
mother spontaneously composed and sang a lullaby to soothe her crying baby. This developed into an art form that, no matter how sophisticated it has become, still performs this fundamental and vital function. As Nietzsche wrote, “We have Art so that we shall not die of Reality.” Though “classical” music is considered a more highbrow genre, popular music is perhaps more effective because it reaches a larger number of people and speaks in a more universal language. The songs spoke of contemporary issues. Folk music has been spreading the news about how the times were “a-changing” from the Middle Ages to Woody Guthrie and his disciple Bob Dylan. My teens were spent in London in the 1960s. I snuck into clubs to see groups like The Who, The Rolling Stones, Ten Years After, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and a talented jam-trio who later called themselves Cream. My friends and I cared passionately about lyrics seemingly written to us and magical sounds we’d never heard before. A typical evening’s fun was going to someone’s place to listen to and discuss records, lovingly holding the covers as if they were holy icons, reading every word of the liner notes. The ideals of the 60s became mainstream in the 70s. Now in our 20s, even though there were a few casualties and people had tried to put us down, my generation felt we had won. Hadn’t we stopped the war? Wasn’t Hendrix right when he said, “If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music”? The times they had a-changed! Entering the music business in 1975, it was hungry for talent and had plenty of cash to pay for my grandiose jazz-tinged productions and arrangements and the orchestral players I needed to play them. I’ve worked closely with stars such as Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, James Brown and ent, a new challenge, a distinct message, a particular sonic landscape to express. I was in music heaven and this continued through the 80s. I worked with expensive keyboard players who had mastered the new synthesizers and came up with new noises. As a
producer, arranger and songwriter, my work was expected to be unique. My employers felt that an innovative record was a successful record. No one wanted to sound like anyone else. I was being well-paid to do my thing in a way that made their thing more fun to listen to. Hits and happiness. What went wrong has been discussed in articles and books and I won’t bore you with more than one anecdote. When the CD was being rolled out by the record companies (1982-ish), I had a chat with the Managing Director of one of the British major labels. “So, we’re going to be giving the public a disc of the highest ‘digital’ quality? Virtually indestructible you say?” “Yes,” he said, “isn’t it marvelous? And we’ll be able to sell each one for £15, maybe 20 pounds!” “Until the criminals and consumers start making bootlegs. Except now the quality of the bootlegs will be equal to the original.” “Don’t be ridiculous,” he scoffed. “Consumers will never be able to afford the equipment to copy CDs! And it’s a highly technical process for a criminal. Not like a cassette machine, you know!” “Yes, I know, I work in studios every day. And I can tell you that within six months everyone will be copying CDs and we’ll all be in real trouble. Why not include copy protection on every disc?” “We looked into that and it would take another year to develop that technology. We
get out of the system! Linked with your talent and imagination, the Internet allows you to go “off grid.”
revitalize the industry.” “Enjoy them while they last.” He looked at me paternalistically. “That kind of attitude is why you are only a producer and I am the head of this company. You musicians simply don’t think like a businessman.” Although I got the chance to say “I told you so,” it gave me no pleasure to see that greed had turned the cash-cow of digital and next with unregulated downloads of mp3s. Then in the 90s the majors bought up the indies and started replacing the musicloving entrepreneurs whose A&R had made the companies great with businessmen more experienced with bottom lines than talent. They signed artists based on a racing-form Continued on Next Page 7
Be The Change
James Newton Howard Honored
Continued from Page 7
mentality. If X is successful, go and sign six Xs! And artists began to sound the same—boy bands, girl groups, songs written to a formula. Not surprisingly, the public lost interest. I certainly did. Producers began career, to copy other records. When I worked with Trevor Horn on “Slave To The Rhythm” he gave me the creative direction, “Impress me!” Now I was being asked for nothing exceptional, nothing individual and don’t scare the horses. TV talent shows such as The X Factor. I arranged hits for British boy bands Boyzone and Westlife, whose executive producer was Simon Cowell. On one session he said, “So record sales are dropping. I’ve come up with an idea where we can make a fortune without selling one record! Have you ever heard of premium rate phone lines?” These shows devalue the music and the performer. Forced to perform oldies in arrangements identical to the original, all personality and dignity is stripped as the performers are subjected to the scrutiny of the judges. Audiences think of singers as competitors doing “battle” instead of artists creating magic. They perform to be subjected to criticism from celebrities often a real artist like Sinatra, Dylan, Lennon or Springsteen subjecting themselves to this humiliation? Popular music has always been driven by youth. Now, although music plays a part in their lives, it’s way down the list of priorities. The YouTube phenomenon of non-musical “stars” gives PewDiePie three times as many subscribers as Taylor Swift and an income musicians no longer dare to dream about. Why should the young care about these cloned pop confections? The tracks sound the same, (drum sounds, highly compressed and auto tuned vocals, breakdown sections, “wohoh” football crowd vocal chants) because many are produced by the same production machine, directed by Max Martin. I asked a teen wearing headphones. “Who’s your favorite artist?” 8
L-R: Hollywood in Vienna founder, Sandra Tomek, BMI Composer James Newton Howard, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations Doreen Ringer-Ross and agent Sam Schwartz
“Oh, I don’t know nothin’ about painters,” he grunted. “No, I mean what’s your favorite music – singer or group?” “Oh, I don’t know their names. I just have it on while I’m working out.” The unreasonably low royalty rates for performers and writers from streamlive gig make the future look bleak for new artists. But I’m not here as merely another old fart moaning about how good it was in the old days and cursing the darkness, I’m actually saying that those of us with an old Zippo lighter, a box of matches or even two dry sticks should light a candle. Commerciality does not (and should not) depend on copying whatever is getting played on the radio today. In fact, it doesn’t even depend on the of the system! Linked with your talent and imagination, the Internet allows you to go “off grid.” Are you a songwriter tired of hearing cynical, amoral, greed-drenched lyrics of the “whatever” generation (songs such as “Blank Space” or “You Mine”)? Write a positive, joyous song of your own—as catchy as bubonic plague and more fun than a box of puppies. Or write something important about social injustice or the meaning of life. Tell stories people today need to hear. Make people laugh or cry or spontaneously combust. You’re not a singer? Find a great performer. They may not be getting record deals, but they are out there. Produce a track that sounds like the new thing. If Make listeners say, “WHAT on EARTH was THAT? I need to hear that again!” Develop your knowledge of social
On October 16, 2015, BMI composer James Newton Howard was celebrated with a longstanding ovation by a cheering Viennese crowd while receiving the Max Steiner Film Music Achievement Award.
media and how to use it to promote your new thing. Learn how to use Facebook Ads, Mailchimp and YouTube to build a fan-base. Create a website that fascinates visitors. Make it like a video game—like a party— like a murder mystery. Be provocative. Be unfashionable. It can be hip to be square. It can be square to be hip. Try being triangular! What am I doing? You may well ask. I don’t claim to have any answers but I do what I can. I take any opportunity to spread the dharma. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (yeah, the Beatles guy) once said, “For the forest to be green, each tree must be green.” I’m going at it one tree at a time. I introduce young people to creative concepts. I direct my son’s band of 13 year olds and force them to play music by James Brown, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis and Bill Evans. I play my vocal students great voices—Michael McDonald and Deniece Williams and Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald and Richard Page and Mel Tormé. I tell kids about history and politics. I show them Marx Brothers movies. Crucially, I encourage them to follow jazz trumpeter Clark Terry’s advice to imitate the greats, assimilate their ideas and then innovate. Write something new, express yourself! If you’re not happy with the way the world’s headed, why follow it? Create your own world. Don’t just play the changes on the music stand in front of you. Be creative. Be yourself. Be the change. © 2015 Richard Niles
Dr. Richard Niles is a composer, arranger and author living in California. His book The Invisible Artist—Arrangers in Popular Music is available from Amazon.
Practical Approaches To Making Sounds That Evolve By Fletcher Beasley
ustained sounds need subtle changes and movement to remain interesting to our ear. When an instrument like a violin sustains a note, there are subtle pitch and timbral variations imparted by the player that keep the note from remaining static. Electronic sound sources, on the other hand, don’t change or evolve without some help from parameters within the synth. Textures
cularly when mixed against dialogue and sound effects and played back on a medium like television under less than ideal listening conditions. Giving your synth sounds movement and evolving timbres will make them sound richer and add more depth to your mixes. Let’s take a look at some techniques for making a sound evolve. 1. Use multiple LFOs set at different rates to modulate instrument parameters. Low frequency oscillators are key to creating timbral movement because they can provide cyclical change to a parameter. LFOs are often used to simulate vibrato and tremolo by modulating pitch and volume but can modulate virtually any parameter in many plugins. A classic way to provide sonic off, set the LFO shape to a sine wave for a smooth transition and the LFO frequency to a low number (1 Hz or lower) so the change happens slowly. This makes the sound get brighter and duller over time as the LFO moves through its cycle. To make complex evolving sounds you need multiple LFOs to modulate discrete parameters at different rates. Many synths only have a single LFO, but instruments such as Omnisphere, Massive, Zebra2 and Logic’s Alchemy (brand new in version 10.2) feature up to six LFOs that can modulate almost any parameter on the instrument. By setting different rates for each LFO, you create a sound that is constantly changing and non-repetitive since each parameter cycles through its changes at a different speed. It isn’t necessary to provide a lot of modulation (usually represented as depth or amount) as subtle changes are often most effective on pads and sustaining tones such as drones. Good
resonance, panning, timbre shift, and volume. 2. Use envelopes in addition to LFOs. Envelopes modify the attack, decay, sustain and release of a parameter. The limitation of an envelope is that, unlike an LFO, it doesn’t repeat, so when an envelope reachthe parameter until the note ends and the envelope goes through its release portion. Synth envelopes have traditionally been many plugins, envelopes, like LFOs, can be routed to modulate virtually any parameter. For pad sounds, envelopes are useful for movement as their shapes are more complex than the cyclical LFO. Omnisphere and Alchemy are examples of synths that feature very long envelope times. These plugins can have attacks, decays and releases of up 20 seconds, which translates to 60 seconds for an envelope to go through its entire cycle. For a drone that needs to sustain for minutes on end this may not be enough for a constantly evolving sound, but for many sustained tones 3. Automate parameters to precisely control the way the sound changes over time. A plugin’s parameters can be automated with MIDI continuous controllers and via track automation. Most plugins allow you to assign a MIDI continuous controller by right clicking on the parameter you wish to automate, clicking learn MIDI CC and moving a knob or fader that sends that MIDI CC on your MIDI controller. You can then record or draw in any fader moves you wish to make. Most plugins’ parameters can also be automated using your DAW’s track automation if you simply want to draw the automation in with your mouse. Automation is a great choice for sonic variation if your instrument doesn’t provide many modulation options or if you want very precise control over the way the parameters change over the course of the cue.
Giving your synth sounds movement and evolving timbres will make them sound richer and add more depth to your mixes.
4. Use more than one sound source to create evolving textures. Synths that use more than one sound source are great for evolving textures. By changing their relative levels over time, you can create an ever-shifting soundscape. A cool effect is Continued on Next Page
Practical Approaches To Making Sounds That Evolve Continued from Page 9
to apply independent LFOs to pan the sound sources at different speeds. I generally like to use subtle panning, as a small amount gives gentle movement without calling too much attention to itself. Orbit is an example of a great sounding Kontakt instrument built around the idea of using multiple sound sources to create shifting textures. Orbit uses four sound sources that it cycles panned and tuned independently and the movement between sources creates a constantly evolving timbre. Alchemy presents another method for switching between its sound sources and parameters. In Alchemy’s performance section there are eight boxes representing different parameter settings for a given patch. The boxes are bounded by a blue rectangle that can be dragged smoothly from one box to another, incrementally changing preset parameters and morphing the sound. You can add these movements to a recorded MIDI track by setting your sequencer to overdub MIDI and recording the mouse movements.
5. Use sampled sound sources rather than electronic oscillators. Synths that can play samples are useful for creating rich textures since samples of acoustic sounds are more timbrally complex than electronic oscillators. Omnisphere, Alchemy and Izotope’s Iris 2 are examples of plugins that can load samples as sources. You can quickly make a sound your own by out the sound source. I often use this method in Omnisphere when I want to create a unique sustain sound. I create a basic sustaining sound, use LFOs and as described above, then replace the sound sources to create a number of variations of my original sound. 6. Use insert effects to create variation. If you have a patch you like on a synth that doesn’t feature many modulation options, insert effects can be used to create variation. I often will give my pads a subtle pulsing effect by using tremolo. My favorite plugin for this is Tremolator by SoundToys. Tremolator has a number of shapes you can use and it syncs to tempo. I add a small amount of depth to give the sound some movement. A similar effect can be achieved with Logic’s Tremolo plugin, which can create either mono or stereo tremolo effects depending
2015 Production Music Conference The Production Music Association held its second annual Production Music Conference on September 9th at the Directors Guild in Hollywood, CA.
“Blurred Lines: Legal Considerations for Music Libraries” panel (L-R) Moderator Ron Mendelsohn (CEO Megatrax), John Houlihan (music supervisor), David Helfant (attorney), Cary Ginell (musicologist), John Graham (composer)
ter a sound with an envelope or LFO that syncs to tempo. Your DAW probably has one as part of its stock arsenal of effects. I like to use FilterFreak2 by that can run independently of one can be used to create long slow changes by unsyncing the plugin tempo from the DAW’s tempo, setting it to its lowest setting of 30 bpm and letting it cycle through 16 bars. At this setting complete its cycle. As media composers, our work is deadline driven. While I love getting lost in the sonic possibilities available to me through plugins, I rarely have the time to program a unique sound from scratch in the middle of a project. A lot of presets sound great, but may not evolve in the way that you need them to in the context of your track. These techniques will help give your sounds movement and keep them from sounding dull and lifeless. Small changes can go a long way to keeping a sound interesting over time and add richness and depth to the electronic textures you use in your music. If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to email me at
SCL AMBASSADORS BURT BACHARACH
ALAN & MARILYN BERGMAN
GEORGE S. CLINTON
DAVE GRUSIN ARTHUR HAMILTON
“Writing The Next Library Hit: Composing Techniques panel (L-R) Benoit Grey (composer/moderator), Jeff Rona (Liquid Cinema), Nick Phoenix (Two Steps From Hell), Brad Segal (FineTune Music), Brett Levisohn (Trailer Park) Nan Wilson introduces the Mo’ Money: Performance Royalties for Commercials panel, featuring ASCAP’s Shawn LeMone—with Nan Wilson, Adam Taylor, Aaron Loring Davis, Shawn LeMone and Ivy Tomback
where you set the phase settings.
JAMES NEWTON HOWARD
ROBERT LOPEZ &
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD BILL CONTI
HONORARY LIFETIME MEMBERS JAY L. COOPER, ESQ.
By Lori Barth
n January 15, 2016, 8pm at the St. Francis of Assisi Church in Silver Lake, the Contemporary Performance Collective (CPC) will give the world premiere of Shie Rozow’s album Musical Fantasy, which will also mark his concert debut.
The team behind the 18th annual BMI conducting workshop series joins the program’s participants for a photo. Pictured (L-R standing) are: BMI’s Evelyn Rascon, participants Andrew Morgan Smith, Joel Richard, Heather McIntosh, John Kaefer, BMI’s Doreen RingerRoss, participant Josh Moshier and editor Chris Ledesma.(sitting): Participants Joseph DeBeasi and Michael Kramer, BMI’s Philip Shrut, instructor Lucas Richman, contractor David Low, participant Bryan Senti, concertmaster Mark Robertson and BMI’s Ray Yee. Photo: courtesy of Annamaria Disanto
“Sister, Brother, Father, Mother,” from the ASCAP Songwriter Residency: Volume 7 album. The track was co-written and performed by Gabriel Mann (composer of Modern Family, Rectify) and 16 America SCORES Los Angeles students of Braddock Elementary. It was written over the course of two afternoons, and recorded on a third at The Village Studios.
L-R: Reginald Van Lee, Chair of the Washington Performing Arts Society, awards Carter Burwell
The Middleburg Film Festival honored Carter Burwell with the Distinguished Composer Award at this year’s festival on Saturday evening. In addition to the award, the nearby Loudoun Symphony Orchestra was on hand to perform a selection of Carter’s scores, and in between Carter spoke with The Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday.
On September 23, BMI again proudly partnered with the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) to sponsor a panel discussion about the exciting process and opportunities of transiTV and beyond. Moderated by BMI’s Vice President of Writer-Publisher Relations, Doreen Ringer-Ross, the panel provided a candid look at the demands, constraints and differences in freedom of working providing compelling music for shortduration pieces.
L-R: ASCAP’s Mike Todd, ASCAP Board member Dan Foliart, John Debney, ASCAP Board member Bruce Broughton and ASCAP’s Shawn LeMone at The ASMAC Awards Dinner at the Skirball Cultural Center
BMI proudly presented its annual roundtable discussion entitled “Music in Film, TV and New Media ’15” on Saturday, August 15, at the Don’t Knock the Rock Film & Music Festival, held at Cinefamily in Los Angeles.
BMI’s “Don’t Knock the Rock” roundtable, L-R: GSA agent Andrew Zack; BMI’s Doreen-Ringer Ross; actor, writer, producer and director Joshua Leonard; director Allison Anders; moderator Michael Des Barres; BMI composer Heather McIntosh; director J. Davis; and music supervisor Tiffany Anders (front center) maker Diana Whitten, BMI’s Doreen Ringer-Ross and music supervisors Joe Rudge and Barry Cole at BMI and IFP’s informative panel discussion 11
Danny Lux A Journey Forward I N T E RV IE WE D B Y L ORI BARTH
Emmy-nominated prime time composer who has scored over 1,000 episodes, from dramas to comedies to horror feature shows like Grey’s Anatomy, The Millers, My Name Is Earl, Boston Legal, Boston Public and Party of Five, just to name a few. Now we get to know the man behind the music and his personal musical journey to where he is today. Score: I heard your dad turned a room in your house into a studio for you when you were in high school. Tell us about the beginning. Danny: Actually my bedroom became like a control room and the living room was where my band mostly practiced. I was the drummer and co-wrote all the songs in the band at the time. When tracking I would just run long microphone cables all over the house. Really my mom was the one that had to deal with my band and me most of the time from about 12 years old until I was 15 years old. At that point our band moved into the guitar player’s house and basically turned his whole house into our rehearsal recording space. What started out with a basic Fostex 4-track cassette recorder evolved into a really nice Fostex 1/2” 16-track studio by the time I was 17. My father’s main contribution to the launch of my composing career happened by total accident, or as I like to think of it, as fate. This was back in a month after I graduated high school. Mike Post had an in-house engineer who was out looking for a music store in Burbank. Charlie walked into the wrong building across the street from the music store, which just happened to be where my dad had a print shop. When Charlie asked where the music store was my dad struck up a conversation about how he has a son who is very into music, etc. Apparently he did such a good job selling me that Charlie was kind enough to leave him a contact phone number for me to call about a possible job. I got in touch and was interviewed and hired to basically to be a “cartage” guy for the equipment Mike Post would Continued on Next Page
bring to his live sessions. Back then they were still recording everything live with about 30-35 players on shows like Magnum P.I., Hunter, L.A. Law, and such. Mike owned the three keyboard setups and the electronic drum setup. I was initially paid $40 a session to meet Charlie Sydnor at whatever studio the session was at and help him unload and setup the keyboard and drum setups. The best part was I would hangout through the whole session and tech support if anything went wrong. This hang during the session was the best part of the job. I got to see and learn so much about every aspect of the sessions. The social part of these sessions were so great, and I miss that the most out of how secluded I am most of the time these days. I made a lot of great friendships with many musicians and composers on those dates. At the end of that ‘87-‘88 television season, Mike hired me full-time as his gopher/studio assistant. At that point I was fairly skilled as an engineer and music producer due to years of doing it with my own band, so most of the gear was very familiar to me. I however had no experience at all on any sort of computer or sequencing software. Charlie was a great teacher in regard to showing me the Mac Plus and Performer software that they used in Mike’s studio. The ‘88-‘89 TV season was a great learning environment for me as I was able to hang out almost full-time in Mike’s studio with Charlie. That TV pilot season in 1989 was really a big opportunity for me as Mike let me take his six line sketches of two or three of his main titles for these pilots. He gave me pretty much free reign to see what I would/could do with them. He seemed very pleased with how everything came together. Shortly after pilot season Charlie sort of burned out working for Mike and decided to leave. I was only 19 years old at the time but Mike offered me the job to move up full-time as his in-house engineer. That almost sounds crazy to me now that Mike would even offer it to a 19-year-old, but I remember he said, and I paraphrase, “I think you are too young for the job but I know you can do it.” Needless to say I was incredibly excited for the opportunity let alone the job. Careful what you wish for however.... Right out of the gate a Steven
Bochco show came in the door called Cop Rock. The coolest part of this was that Randy Newman was hired to write all the songs for the pilot. He Randy came over to work with Mike and me at Mike’s studio every day for several months. It was so great to work with Randy and I actually got to play drums on almost all of his songs and main title for the show. Not to mention that I recorded and mixed every single one of the 55 songs plus main title for the show. I won’t bore you with the lengthy details, but what started out so great at the beginning became the hardest, craziest job I think I have ever had. We recorded all the vocals on set live via the Record Plant remote truck that another engineer would take care of, but I was responsible for creating all ing, etc. Without getting into too much detail, it was the most challenging job from a technical standpoint due to the fact that there was only old school analog gear on a project that would have been a thousand times easier to accomplish in our modern digital world. The hours were 80+ hours a week with maybe one day off a month while this show ran its eleven-episode run. I seriously started questioning if this was really what I wanted to be doing even though at times it was awesome I just was burning out on that particular show quickly. I can honestly say that was me paying my dues for sure; nothing has been as hard since. To quickly wrap up my Mike Post years: Shows were starting to transition from live sessions to our own studios around that time and I was becoming much more involved in the actual scoring process within the next year. I also started writing a fair amount of source music for the shows. Back then there were virtually no music supervisors and composers were responsible for the “bar” source, etc. No composer really wants to or should spend their focus on source cues rather than score. I was happy to do it back then. Mike saw I was doing a lot of that and was very encouraging to push me into trying to actually write scores. When I was 21 in 1991 a low budget cop show called Silk Stalkings came in the door and Mike decided to give me and new comer, Roger Neill, a shot at it. We did season one together and it
worked out really well. I took the show over in season two as Roger went on to another show for Mike. I stayed working for and with Mike until the summer of 1996. By the end I was shows like NYPD Blue, News Radio, etc. It was such an awesome place for me and Mike was such an incredible In a lot of ways I miss working over there as it was almost entirely fun for me. It was time to move on and I can was invaluable for the success I have had since. Score: You have scored over 1000 episodes of television…. Which have been your favorites, which have been challenges, what has changed the most since you began scoring? Danny: I think my two favorite shows to work on were Ally McBeal and Boston Legal. I am a huge David Kelley fan and think these were some of his best moments. Grey’s Anatomy is on the list because they tend to want to try totally different ideas and directions sometimes. Usually when there is an episode that feels different than normal. But after 12 seasons if they didn’t throw me curve balls once in a while it would probably get too formulaic. I don’t know if anything has been terribly challenging music-wise. It’s always a bit scary to start a new show and hope you can come up with something the producers will love. Ultimately we are in a creative business but it is a business in terms of us as composers working for the show runners. At the end of the day I don’t look at my job as mately their sandbox we get to play in and we are really there to help them tell their story. I like to think I can make a but for the most part I write music for some satisfaction for me creatively as well. Some days both goals are met which are the best days for sure. I think the most challenging part of the job can be the politics on certain shows. Sometimes you can just get hired on a show that just has a lot of opinions. I always say it is almost impossible to write music for a committee. It always Continued on Next Page 13
Lux Interview Continued from Page 13
works best if you are trying to please one person or as close to one person of opinions and politics is the most challenging thing. Much of the time you just can’t be successful and those are the ones that are either just not fun or you end up leaving the show one way or another. I think it happens to all of us at some point. The biggest change in my opinion is the business itself. We all have heard stories about the good old days where composers were highly respected and highly compensated. Starting out in the “business” in 1987 I certainly was witness to how someone like Mike Post was treated. It was truly amazing by today’s comparison on many gigs. Some still hold us in high regard for our talent and contribution but many do not. The “change” that I noticed when the rules changed was that the networks were allowed to own the shows. Before this rule changed networks had to buy shows from studios and producers had power over their shows and even their shows’ budgets. Now most are treated like mere employees and have to get everything approved by the networks. The shows now have way too many voices and ultimately I think it hurts the product. Most of what I am describing is major network television and I think because of this process the product suffers. Places like Amazon ing a more old school approach and letting the producers make most if not all of the decisions. I think it is obvious why their shows are better and attracting some pretty serious talent. Score: Tell us about the way you like to work (on piano, guitar, synth, computer)? Do you have a formula? Do you prefer live or electronic and how much of both do you get to do? Do you get to often use real players? Danny: the project. If it is an orchestral or modern hybrid style score then I am writing in Cubase in front of my keyboard controller. If it is more of a guitar-oriented show then I will most likely sketch out the cue on a guitar. I don’t necessarily consider that I have
words sometimes what just comes natural. I tend to just watch a scene and get a feeling and go from there. Is it major, minor, etc. I map out the to how composers use to do it on paper. Mike Post showed me years ago how he did it and I do it in a similar fashion. He used to get the tempo from the click book and map it out on paper. After he tempo-mapped a cue, he said to me that the cue is already half done. In a lot of cases that statement is not too far off. But correctly mapping out the tempo is a major part of the process. I love both live and electronic. It depends on the style of music if I need or bring in players. As composers we need lot of instruments “good enough” for most things, but if I need some guitar playing that is above my ability I will ago it seemed like woodwinds were in a lot of my shows and I would bring in players. I would still do that for any major featured soloist; no matter how good the samples are the players always sound better. On Boston Legal I brought in a guitar player, upright bass and a singer every week. It really just depends on the show. Much of the time the schedule is so ridiculously tight that I can’t bring in real players, especially if the schedule is tight yet they still want to preview and give notes. Score: What is the most important thing about the composer/director relationship? Danny: On a TV show it is a composer/producer relationship. The director rarely interacts with me except on pilots. I am not sure what the most important thing about the relationship is. Communication might be the most important once you have the job. It is what they are going to like. Listening to what they say and turning that into musical sense is sometimes easy; other times totally challenging. Score: What/Who has been your bigDanny: I grew up wanting to be in bands. I wanted to make records
mostly bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, the list is a mile long. Once my focus changed to scoring I think I have a list just as long when it comes to composers. I am a huge fan of John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Bernard Herman, Danny Elfman, but there are way too many to list. There are so many great composers working today. A score can be very simple and still be amazing if it glues itself to the picture in a special way. There are so many ways you can write to picture. It is always interesting to me to see something that is totally different than what I might have done but still works great. Danny: I have done only a few real features. All were around 2002 and 2003. The movies were Stolen Summer and Halloween Resurrection. I also did one in 2010. I also worked a bit on Scary Movie 2 before that and have written a handful of cues on some Adam Sandler projects. Creatively movies win almost every time. I have also scored many TV movies. Score: How do you think not having a classical background or schooled background has allowed you to become the composer you are today? Has that made it easier or harder? Danny: In some ways it has worked in my favor and in other ways it has been a bit challenging. Most of the scores in television are pretty far removed in terms of a John Williams kind of style. Although at times that style does cross my path and I do my best to write in that world. I think at this point I can write in most styles that are required, but not being someone that went through a traditional composition and orchestral training course, I have just picked up mostly by ear over the years and feel like I know how to do it fairly well. If I were hired on a big project that indeed needed that sound I would probably enlist some orchestrators to put polish on it all. On most TV gigs however it is usually more of a hybrid approach and even when it does get very orchestral I doing whether it is orchestral or not. I think my “more of a band songwriter/ producer/engineer background” has Continued on Next Page
the coupled instances for every cue so
Continued from Page 14
complicated but I think you get the basic idea of the setup.
actually been most helpful when it comes to the shows I work on. I said earlier that composers need to be selfare all over the map, but in general I would say most of the composition in the shows I do are not overly complex from a composition standpoint. I often tell people that I believe the music production skills are probably at least 75-80% of the skill set needed to write and produce a score these days. There are many times that the cue is actually just sitting in one tonality for quite a while waiting for something in the scene to make the shift. My approach is to constantly look for the subtle things happening in the seen to cue off of. When the music is mostly sitting in one tonality, which happens often, that is where the production skills come in big time. I feel the way for the cue to be successful is to keep it interesting by constantly having elements change and come in and out to keep it from getting boring. The other skill that is important is to tell your story musically around the dialogue. Score: Do you still use the template method where you have everything loaded up? Any tricks to that you can tell us? Danny: I have a ridiculously large template with about 2000 midi tracks, much of them connected to Kontakt banks with many more choices available on a per track basis allowing for literally tens of thousands of choices. It is overwhelming at times and it is constantly evolving. But in a nutshell, I run all PCs with Cubase as the main six VE PRO slave machines. I have a very large amount of “decoupled” instruments that don’t change, i.e., the orchestral template. Then on every machine there is usually a Kontakt instance that is “coupled” to allow me to change some instruments out on a per cue basis. I also have many instances, Halion, Omnisphere and a bunch of synth type plugins coupled as well so I can freely change the sounds on a per cue basis. I score an entire episode or movie in one sequence and have come up with a method of saving all
Score: Has the wider use of library cues had any effect on the amount of score you write for a show now? Danny: My shows really don’t use much library music and it has had no effect with the amount of music in a show for me personally. Network expectation and some producer’s insecurities about what is on the screen has led to much more score then is needed in most shows. There is this fear a lot of times that if the music and pace stop, viewers will get bored and change the channel. I think that is a bit silly. If the show is great, then let the music play where appropriate or music itself starts to lose all its impact on helping to tell the story. Again, it is not my sandbox so I do what they want whether it is the best way or not to approach it. Score: Which libraries do you use? Danny: Too many to list. For orchestra also have Hollywood Strings and Brass as well as many others. Native Instruments, Heavyocity, Spectrasonics, 8DIO, Cinematique, etc. The list is too big—so many great choices. I am also a huge fan of Halion 5 and Padshop by Steinberg and make a tremendous
amount of my own sounds in these engines. I really like making sounds and having content that I don’t hear in a million other scores. Score: What advice would you give young composers starting out? Danny: I am so far from the start of my career at this point that it may be hard to give the best advice. What I can tell you is what I think are strong skill sets to have when someone like me is looking for a new assistant. I always look for someone who is already capable of composing and producing great music on their own. In other words someone who shows great promise as a composer. I want someone who can contribute to my process in a creative way such as being very strong at helping me create new sounds in soft samplers like Kontakt and Halion; someone who is very good in general with synth programming, sequencing, mixing, etc. My best advice is to try and get an internship or assistant gig with a working composer. I came up through the Mike Post camp and still believe working under a solid composer is the best way to learn. I also think no matter what stage you are at in your career, it is always a good exercise to look at someone who might be a step or two ahead the steps they have taken to get there. I myself did that early on and it paid off fairly quickly.
2015 ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop
The composers, orchestra and staff of the 2015 ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop recording session—with Ray Parker Jr., Paul Williams, Michael Todd, Richard Bellis, Charles Bernstein (composer), Yvette Mtz, Bruce Broughton and Jeff Jernigan at 20th Century Fox Newman Scoring Stage L-R: Workshop mentor (and ASCAP Board member) Richard Bellis, ASCAP CEO Beth Matthews and ASCAP EVP of Membership John Titta
2015 Emmy Reception
Music Nomiees—Top Row, L-R: Walter Murphy, Dustin O’Halloran, Abel Korzeniwski, Maurizio Malaguini, Jeff Beal, Jeff Roach, SCL President Ashley Irwin, Christopher Guardino, Matthew Skylar, Bear McCreary, Jeff Danna, Kevin Kliesch. Middle Row, L-R: Kyle Dunnigan, Dominik Scherrer, Mac Quayle. Bottom Row, L-R: Darren Criss, Bill Ross, Sean Callery, Mike Reiss, Duncan Thum, Governor Rickey Minor, Greg Phiillinganes, Governor Michael Levine, Mychael Danna
Scenes From The Television Academy Emmy Reception For Music Nominees held at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills on September 10th, 2015
L-R: SESAC’s Erin Collins, John and Joan Beal, SESAC’s James Leach, Marilee Bradford and Jon Burlingame
L-R: Jeff and Mychael Danna
L-R: SCL Treasurer Chris Farrell, Billy Martin and Richard Bronskill L-R: Judi Pulver, SCL President Ashley Irwin, Lynn Kowal and Darren Otero
L-R: Ryan Parmenter, Tracy and Vance Marino with Miriam Cutler
L-R: SESAC’s James Leach and Erin Collins with The Score Editor Lori Barth
L-R: ATAS Music Governor Ricky Minor and nominee Mike Reiss
L-R: ATAS Music Governor Ricky Minor, Bear McCreary and ATAS Music Governor Michael Levine
L-R: Matthew Sklar, ATAS Music Governor Michael Levine and nominee Dominik Scherrer
L-R: Claudia Murphy, Nominee Walter Murphy, Pinar Topek, Nominee Sean Callery L-R: ATAS Music Governor Ricky Minor, Rachel Collins, Darice Richman, Jay Cooper and nominee Christopher Guardino 16
L-R: Nomiees Kyle Dunnigan, Dustin O’Halloran, Bill Ross, and Maurizio Malaguini
Recent SCL Events Cinderella— September 27. L-R: Composer Patrick Doyle, Moderator Tim Greiving
The Martian— October 20: L-R: Composer Harry GregsonWilliams, Moderator Jon Burlingame
Mission: Impossible, Rogue Nation— August 6. L-R: Moderator Jon Burlingame, Composer Joe Kraemer
SCL Mentor Session with Miriam Cutler— October 6. L-R: Mentees Nami Melumad, Aaron Ramsey, Composer Miriam Cutler, SCL Annual Membership Meeting—October 27. L-R: SCL President Ashley Irwin, Moderator Steve Winogradsky, Panelists Kevin Korn, Sarah Kovacs, Seth Kaplan
Penny Dreadful—August 16. L-R: SCL’s Dara Taylor, Composer Abel Korzeniowski, Moderator Steve Chagollan
Chef’s Table—August 23. L-R: SCL’s Dara Taylor, Editor J. Santos, Moderator Tim Greiving, Composer Duncan Thum
Steve Jobs—October 9. L-R: ASCAP’s Rachel Perkins, Composer Daniel Pemberton, Moderator Jon Burlingame
Sicario—October 29. L-R: Composer Johann Johannson, Moderator David S. Cohen
The Missing—August 25. L-R: Moderator Tim Greiving, Composer Dominik Scherrer, ASCAP’s Jeff Jernigan, SCL’s Dara Taylor
SCL/ASCAP Seminar: Art in the Business of Songwriting—October 13. L-R: Steve Schnur, SCL SongArts Chair Adryan Russ, MoZella, Julia Michels, ASCAP AVP Loretta Muñoz, Darrell Brown, Mike Knobloch, ASCAP’s Patrick Clancy Beasts of No Nation— October 15. L-R: Moderator Jon Burlingame, Composer Dan Romer SCL Songwriter Sing Out!—September 6.
L-R: SCL’s Ashley Irwin, Adryan Russ and Hostess Patty Silversher with the attendees—Sebastian Aroca, JB Eckl, Michele Brourman, Pablo Croissier, John DeFaria, Joel Evans, Louis Gentile, Tracey & Vance Marino, Shelly Markham, Lisa Mazzotte, Julia Othmer James Lundie, Michael Silversher, Sally Stevens, Tyler Traband, Tanya Utunen, Jean-Marc Tardieu
The Hunting Ground—November 2. L-R: with Moderator Tim Grieving, Bonnie Greenberg, Diane Warren, Miriam Cutler
Spectre— November 4. L-R: moderated by Jon Burlingame with songwriters Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes 17
Team Building In An Indie World Continued from Page 4
The only way to know a team’s dynamic is to test it, and that’s why it’s important to have your team in place team members, get recommendations, meet people, try them out on small jobs, or do any number of other things to test the waters. Doing that will give you experience with those people, and that’s very important. A very skilled your music or your personality. If you explore your options and try out lots of people you’ll know whether to keep those freelancers in your back pocket or not. Then, when you need your team you’ll be able to pull everybody together and the team dynamics will be based on the relationships you have already built. That situation is much more likely to produce good results. The deadlines and pressures of the scoring world can sometimes make scoring feel like a battle. Once you have experience with trusted collaborators you will be better prepared to go to battle together. When you have some history with people they are more likely to want to see you succeed, so you can more easily trust your team and put your reputation into their hands. When they are invested in you to the point that your goals become theirs, then the team’s effectiveness rises to a new level and carries your music much further.
stronger, and you effectively become a better composer as a result. “It’s very important to have a community of composer friends and other music people. You need that support. The of people who have different skills and are available to each other. You pull people in for one project and then you let them go when it’s done, and you hope that they’re available the next time that you need them.” — Miriam Cutler “You need to know your team in advance. I’ve had experiences working with people who have a good reputation, and I’ve found it to be a great frustration because I still have to micromanage. It’s important to — Garry Schyman “For me personally the most valuable thing in this industry, as a composer but also across the board in my opinion, is loyalty. If you have a creative team in which there’s a sense of loyalty, your success is important to those people as well. If I’m just using a random music editor, a random engineer, a random orchestrator, then I’m just another job. If I’m using people that I have history with, that I have a trusted relationship with, and I’m loyal to those people and I feel like that they do right by me, then it becomes mutual and we all creates a better product and creates better people at the same time. That’s how you build your team.” — Nathan Furst Gather Your Troops
First and foremost, your schedule will dictate the size of your team.
BMI At Woodstock Film Festival BMI kicked off its participation in the 16th annual Woodstock Film Festival on Friday, Oct. 2, with a private dinner in The Barn at Cucina in Woodstock, New York. The next day, BMI’s Vice President of Film/ TV Relations, Doreen Ringer-Ross, moderated BMI’s signature “Music in Film” panel, 1 Giant Leap II: What About Me?
“Music in Film” panel, L-R: Krishna Das, Stewart Copeland, BMI’s Doreen Ringer-Ross, Duncan Bridgeman and Festival Founder Meira Blaustein
BMI’s annual dinner during the Woodstock Film Festival, L-R: animator Bill Plympton, Woodstock Film Festival Founder Meira Blaustein, BMI’s Doreen Ringer-Ross, and directors Atom Egoyan and Guy Maddin, who both received the 2015 Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Award
Many composers like to keep their teams small so that they can make as much money as possible, but that’s not always practical. Delivery dates are usually non-negotiable because our timeline. Even if you have the expertise to do all things well, if you don’t have help to be successful. The majority of composers hiring help do so not because they’re unable to do things, but because they don’t have the time to do them alone. Second, your weaknesses dictate what you must outsource. They are the bottlenecks in your schedule and the limitations in your production value. Begin by delegating the tasks that are the most tedious or unfathomable to you. They will be the easiest to let go of, and you will be more willing to trust in the expertise and authority of your colleagues in those areas. In the long chain of scoring production tasks, from the identify your weaknesses and get help with them. It’s a smart way to begin building your team and the fastest way to strengthen your position. Thirdly, your budget dictates the size of your team. Deadlines and production values are usually non-negotiable. will meet your schedule and quality goals can you assess your budget and decide if it can support additional team members. You may want to get additional help for creative reasons, hiring more live players for example, or to free up more time. If your budget won’t allow it then you have to take care of everything else yourself. Because composers feel attached to their work it is a consistent temptation to use all of the available money to make the best product possible, but if you do then your career quickly becomes a hobby. There are times when that investment is appropriate for your business, but unless you have a clear business plan that requires investment your budget should probably limit your team size every gig. Another important factor in deciding which tasks to delegate is the kind of experience you want to have. Whatever you want to be doing in your
Continued on Next Page
Team Building In An Indie World Continued from Page 18
ideal successful future, you should be doing that thing right now. We become known for the things we are actively doing, not the things we hope to do. Work brings more similar work, and success breeds success. You should try to delegate anything that gets in the way of the work you want to do. For maximum success you should spend the majority of your time on the things at which you excel. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and the scoring process requires so many different types of skills that there is space for all types of musicians and skill sets. If you focus on your strengths and exploit them consistently, in time you will become known for those things and also become even better at them. That is how people build niches for themselves. If you are a jack of all trades you have no niche, you have no differentiation, and you will not stand out in people’s minds. If you are extremely good at just one thing it will stand out and it can become your brand. No matter what your musical strength is, you should set your sights on it and do that thing relentlessly. People will remember you and come to you for it. The other side of that coin is that you should identify your weaknesses and get help with them. You don’t want to become known for sub-par work, so always try to avoid doing tasks that you know you can’t pull off very well. If you’re not great with string arrangements and can’t afford an orchestrator then write for other instruments. If you need to write in a genre that you don’t connect with well, get some authentic players. If you don’t who does. You will often be asked to do things that are not your forte, both in art and in business, and instead of saying yes and attempting them you should stay focused on your strengths and get help with your shortcomings whenever possible. Delegate Effectively
A lot of composers do things incorrectly when trying to delegate.
Delegation is not giving instructions and monitoring the result. That is supervision, and it is what most composers do. The reason most composers supervise instead of delegate is that they don’t correctly transfer authority. Supervision is very involved, and the people under you need to check in with you continuously to stay on track. Delegation requires that authority is transferred to your team members, enabling them to take the actions necessary for accomplishing their task autonomously. Only then are you truly free to focus on other things. When you bring somebody onto your team you should focus on the result that you want, not the process that your team members use to get there. When you micromanage their process you are not giving them the freedom and authority to help you in the best way possible. When delegating you should let go of the details and embrace the value of your team members. Give people credit for their work, even if and adequate space to do that work to maximize their potential. If you’re working with a mix engineer then you should give him as much authority as possible. If you have an orchestrator doing something for you, let that person re-voice your ensembles and just check it at the end. You should arm your team with information about your goals and your artistic intent, but you should also empower them to make their own decisions and accomplish your goals their way. You should be a guiding force, but you should not be in the middle of what they’re doing. “Delegating responsibility applies to all businesses. However, for me, the biggest reason I delegate responsibility among my team is so that I can keep my focus on the creative aspects of the work, and to free up as much of my time for composing as possible.” — Ryan Shore Delegation allows you to focus on the important things and equips you to do the things you need and want to do. Perhaps you want to be free to write every single note yourself, but maybe you want to be free to strategize about publicity and marketing strategy instead. No matter where you want to focus your energies proper delegation
can make it happen, but only if you consciously delegate both the tasks and the authority instead of simply supervising tasks. Learning to delegate is sometimes doing everything on our own, and most composers are opinionated artists. Your name is going on everything that leaves your studio. It can be a scary art, your reputation, and your success into another person’s hands. It’s very common to believe that nobody else could do a particular task as well or as most small business owners in most industries have. It will serve you well to remember the humbling fact that all of us in the music industry are highly replaceable. There is a huge world full of musicians and very little of what we do is actually unique to us. That’s a bit depressing for the individualist in every artist, but it can also reassure you that there is plenty of good help out are free to let go. The best way to make the process of delegation easier is to work with people who have expertise that surpasses your own. You have excellent reason to trust them, it’s much easier to let go, and the end product is better as a result. Many composers begin their team building by ing younger inexpensive helpers. This is a good way for you to get help, but you need to supervise and educate. If instead you look up the experience with people whose skills surpass your own, delegation becomes a real pleasure. It also becomes a situation in which you can learn and grow, and that you more to do so, but it may be well worth it. “I think there are questions that each composer needs to answer for themselves. What do they do best and what is best to delegate to somebody else? What is going to do everything, to sketch, orchestrate, and do the mixing, because that was a very — Ron Mendelsohn
Continued on Page 22 19
The Challenges Faced By Heirs Continued from Page 6
owned by them. If the heirs have not assigned the rights back into the family company, or another company, then the heirs own the rights. If a valuable copyright transfer has been terminated there might be a savings on estate taxes by reducing the size of the taxable estate. On the other hand, the rights may now be owned by several individuals as co-copyright owners (and not by the estate of the deceased) raising new problems that arise with co-ownership. PROs and New Trends: Make sure database. Be aware that there may be ated with different PROs. Check the relevant PRO site for titles, publishers, authors, administrators, and identifying numbers such as ISWC codes and song ID numbers. As the database emerges you will likely need to update and re-register certain titles with your PRO. The PROs also require ownership or payees and changes of addresses. Each PRO website has its own method and set of documents that need to be submitted. The process can be slow—especially if there is no plan for succession in advance. Questions heirs have to deal with initially include: Who is going to collect the PRO royalty—an individual, an entity such as a Limited Liability Company, an administrator, or a new publisher? Is it best to separate the writer share and pay it directly to the heirs? Will the company pay more than one person? convenient, is invaluable. Introduce yourself and update them about your songwriter. Obtain a copy of their reginformation you have. This is when you can really become versed in the titles controlled by your songwriter and the errors that have been integrated into the registrations. Does the writer’s (foreign) statement indicate activity outside the US? Take note of the countries. Are you receiving royalties from a PRO outside the US? This kind of activity can be indicative of international activity requiring a 20
publisher or administrator outside the U.S. Historically, PROs only collect royalties from the public performance of a music work. However, SESAC recently acquired The Harry Fox Agency, which collects mechanical royalties (including interactive and digital downloads. See http://www.billboard.com/articles/ business/6693385/sesac-finalizesacquistion-of-harry-fox-agency). This demonstrates one of the new trends in the PRO/digital music industry. Income Streams, the Internet, and Making Money: Know your income streams: A music catalog will include any and all of the following: Performance Income for the Writer Share and Publisher Share of Performances (collected by the PRO); Mechanical Income collected either by Harry Fox Agency, a publisher, or by direct license agreement with your songwriter/publisher; synchronization fees for synchronizing your music to videos, greeting cards, TV shows, movies: Income from Sound Exchange for the Public Performance of Sound Recordings distributed digitally in noninteractive streaming sites (Pandora) and satellite radio such as Sirius XM; Musician/Conductor writers will also have additional income streams such as the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund. Payments are made by the Motion Picture and Television Producers who are subject to an AFM Basic Theatrical and/or Television Motion Picture agreement negotiated with the AFM; master license fees if your songwriter also owned master recordings; Sound Exchange and a shared income paid to label owners. Which of these income streams will apply to your situation will depend on the nature of the music interest held by your songwriter—as a writer, performer or musician. Circulating on the Internet are two great resources addressing income streams for songwriters and musicians: The “Dummy’s Guide to Music Royalties and Copyright”/Music Biz Blog is one great chart available at http://mesasand. com/?p=266. It is colorful and easy to read; “Artist Revenue Streams,” generated in connection with the Future of Music Coalition’s Artist Revenue Stream research project. The list can be accessed at: http://money.futureofmusic.org/.
What does the Internet have to do with a music catalog? The quick answer is: “Everything.” The internet not only provides vast amounts of information but it is becoming a major vehicle for global exposure of music; the result is your music may now be heard in South America, South Africa, or Japan, although the catalog previously had no play outside the US. A close review territories consuming (listening) to your music. Look at the territories and ascertain if you have a publisher or administrator representing your catalog in that area. If not, you may be losing out on income. Unfortunately, the Internet has also resulted in loss of some traditional income streams such as record sales and licensing of music for mechanical recordings, i.e., record sales. Discovery of music is a lot simpler and the consumer is exposed to more independent music. It is important to become familiar with the new terminology in the digital world: downloads, ringtones, streams (interactive and non-interactive), You Tube, and Spotify, among just a few. Search the Internet for articles discussing these topics. The world of digital distribution is changing fast and there are articles written almost every day addressing these topics. Will we ever see any money from this business? What happened to the artist royalties we used to receive from the record companies? General statement from several heirs: “Be realistic about the income. income and often that is just not the case.” Publishing Income, Synchronization, Mechanical Income: A frequent challenge for heirs is maintaining the turing it when it has dwindled over a period of many years. Some common complaints: (a) the records of the current publisher of an older catalog are outdated or lost; (b) the current publisher either lacks the knowledge and/ or the interest in the author’s work; (c) companies have become so large and gone through so many changes that the title they control has fallen into a “black Continued on Next Page
The Challenges Faced By Heirs Continued from Page 20
can help you—in six months they may no longer be there; (e) “An heir is not treated like the songwriter/composer and is not taken seriously:” (f) it is has grown in numbers—the example, from one heir—an ASCAP meeting years ago was smaller (anywhere from 100 to 300 attendees) compared to thousands today. (ASCAP reports 550,000 members today), (www.ascap. com/about); and (g) the Internet has “Gone are the days of personal pitching with a CD so you need a website and with solid metadata and “search engine optimization terms. This is time consuming and costly—but necessary.” (Julia Riva, the Harry Warren Estate.) Artist Royalties from Record Companies: Record labels, like publishers, have gone out of business, merged with other companies or been bought or sold. Old MGM recordings and Capitol Records are now owned by Universal Music Group. The company records are old, outdated and sometimes unavailable. One heir reported reduction in their artist royalties she learned that she was dealing with a different label, which had confused the record numbers and titles. She also discovered that because numbers had been assigned to certain tracks as part of a particular album when a track showed up in a new compilation, the record company could not clearly match the track to the originating contract. When one or more songs from an album are licensed for a compilation—it is a tracking nightmare, especially if the songs are extracted from different albums tied to different recording contracts with different royalty rates for the artist. Summary of Some Solutions and Some Roadblocks that can interfere with your income: 1. Update records. Re-register cue sheets and titles both domestically and internationally. 2. Know when you are over your
head and seek assistance. 3. Make sure you have a notebook of all contracts relating to a song and/ or a songwriter. 4. Make sure you have done all of your paperwork to make the changes participants. 5. Become the expert on your family songwriter and/or composer/artist and be the advocate for their memory. 6. Be aware that many companies are reluctant to pay out royalties to multiple people/entities; especially when the dollar amount is less than $25. 7. If the catalog has been inactive for a long period consider hiring an educate your PRO, publisher, record label. 8. Check all possible locations, including storage facilities, for not only paper but actual sound recordings, tapes, etc. evidencing possible ownership of master recordings; and 9. Follow the list below for dotting your “I’s” and crossing your “T’s:” a. If you are creating a new name for a publishing company don’t use too many words or a complicated name and try to avoid names that are similar to existing publishing company names; b. Be consistent with how you refer to your song title, publishing company name or author. (Example: “Daniel” can sometimes be “Danny” or “Gershwins”—which one?) c. Don’t have more than one
business address for your company; d. Be aware that many companies are reluctant to pay out royalties to multiple people/entities; especially when the dollar amount is less than $25. e. Using a P.O. Box address exclusively could prevent delivery of certain types of packages—Fed Ex can’t deliver to a P.O. Box! Why hasn’t anyone heard of my father, mother, uncle, sister or brother? Don’t feel bad if someone asks you who your father, mother, uncle, sister or brother were and what did they write. Just make a point of educating people. Make sure there is a Wikipedia article about your songwriter/artist and furnish as much information as your can. Create a website that contains popular songs. Create a playlist (and clear the rights) to either send via you can send to your publisher, PRO, labels, in order to re-acquaint them with the music. Look at old statements and licenses to ascertain if the music was included in TV shows, movies or on compilations. We regularly order videos, DVDs and CDs that reference our songwriter and/or his songs. Thank you to Rosemary Acera, one of the daughters of the late Nelson Riddle, along with Molly Hyman, Julia Riva, and Jill Ferguson (the Allyn Ferguson Estate), for their contributions to Part 2. Thank you to Alicia Ripplinger (JD) for her assistance while she waits for Bar results.
BMI 6th Annual Golf Tournament On August 24th, BMI proudly hosted its sixth annual golf tournament at Braemar Country Club Education Through Music – Los Angeles (ETM– LA). The organization provides and promotes music education in disadvantaged schools.
L-R: 1st place winners of BMI’s sixth annual golf tournament in support of Education Through Music: Mary Jo Menella, Daniel Salvay, BMI’s Alison Smith, Bennet Salvay and BMI’s Ray Yee
Creative Arts Emmys
Continued from Page 3
L-R: ASCAP’s Shawn LeMone, TV Academy governor Michael Levine, Emmy-nominated composer Maurizio Malagnini, Primetime Emmy Awards music consultant Lynn Kowal, former TV Academy governor Mark Watters and ASCAP’s Michael Todd
L-R: ASCAP’s Shawn LeMone, TV Academy governor Ricky Minor, Emmy winner Greg Phillinganes, TV Academy governor Michael Levine and ASCAP’s Michael Todd at the 2015 Emmys at Microsoft Theater
disappointing to have your score replaced. We are, by nature, creatures seeking approval for the fruits of our labors. We painstakingly select each note we write, nurture our creations and are genuinely surprised when they are received with anything but adulation. But should you, the original comits subsequent score, don’t be surprised if it bears little or no resemblance to anything you had envisioned. In fact, it’s been my experience that, more often than not, the resultant soundtrack exhibits all the skill of a small child let a sure sign that the communication did not improve for your successor.
L-R: Emmy winner Jim Roach, Amy Owens Roach and ASCAP’s Shawn LeMone at the 2015 Emmys at Microsoft Theater
Team Building In An Indie World Continued from Page 19
“I’m used to doing it all myself. Writing, recording, conceptualizing, demoing, it feels like it’s all part of the same thing and that it’s the wrong way to do it. The proper way to work is to have a team. All good composers have a team, from John Williams on down. A good team is critical. As I hear myself talking, I’m talking myself out of the way I’ve been doing business.” — Charles Bernstein With good delegation it won’t take long until you are a more focused composer, more productive, have more
free time, and are creating a product of much higher quality. There is an extremely wide spectrum of how people delegate, ranging from not delegating at all to team composing. The choice of what to delegate and what to control directly is very individualistic and very personal, but in the music business the value of teams can’t be understated. Want to be a better composer? Stop doing everything yourself. Jeremy Borum is the author of Guerrilla Film Scoring. SCL members can get the book 25% off through Premiere Partners. www. GuerrillaFilmScoring.com
Rob Messinger’s company is called Fortress Talent Manageas New Frontier Management. Our apologies.
SCL Premier Partners
ALFRED MUSIC BANDZOOGLE BIG FISH AUDIO BLACK LION AUDIO
GORILLA FILM SCORING
Composing For The Screen BMI’s Vice President of Film/TV Relations, Doreen Ringer-Ross, recently lent her expertise to one of six sessions during the annual “Composmentorship program in New York City, which was directed by renowned BMI composer Rick Baitz.
At the “Composing for the Screen” workshop are, L-R (back row): Andrés Walker, Louis Robert King, Phinees Robert, Doreen Ringer-Ross, Joel Harrison and Nathan Prillaman. (front row): Erick Pepper Rivera, Carrin Tanaka, Rick Baitz, Erin Tomkins and Sami Buccella
BY CHARLES BERNSTEIN
Encouraging Words e might say that courage is a pre-requisite for creativity. A blank page, a vacant computer screen, an empty canvas. Although these can be inviting, they can also be intimidating, even frightening. No one wants to grapple with emptiness every day, especially if your livelihood depends on it. That’s where courage comes in. Professionals who create for a living need
all that emptiness. As if emptiness wasn’t daunting enough, creativity also demands that we confront endless decisions, enormous demands, and unspeakable pressures. And, of course, being creative means being willing to endure intense emotions and brave the heat and the turmoil of birthing new ideas. The great improvisational pianist, Keith Jarrett, described this sort of courage in an interview with Utne Reader back in 1997. In essence, he said that creative people have to time he endeavors to play a newly conceived improvisational work. It seems that the 13th century Persian poet Rumi also embraced this image of creative courage. He referred to storytellers in Story Water as intrepid souls who are willing to bring out the energy from
a clue in the word courage itself. The word contains the Latin root Cor, meaning “Heart.” Courage does not seem to reside in the outside world but, as Paul and others have described it, this force derives from a great inner power accessible through our very core, or heart. Connecting with this force is a matter of the word “courage,” something interesting happens. We can make two potent new words. En-courage and Dis-courage. These words are really important to anyone who sticks their neck out in the creative world. Encouragement and discouragement can feed or deplete the creative process. To encourage is to stimulate, enliven and summon the power of the heart. Courage is the fuel that pushes us forward each day. It allows us to confront the unknown, to take on challenges and bring about new life, to get on with it all. So, to be encouraged, actually feels good. Encouragement can inoculate us from infectious sion and the life force. With a bit of encouragement, our path can seem so much clearer and easier to navigate. Obviously, discouragement can be the opposite, a negative force. When someone has been discouraged, they feel a subtraction, a loss of courage, a diminution of personal power and resolve. With enough discouragement, anyone can lose his
need intermediaries.” These intermediaries are the creative ones willing to brave the hot
With such a compelling case for the value of encouragement, why does it seem so dif-
Those of us who write music or songs on demand may need to pay some attention to the importance of courage. Without it, the intensity and immensity of the creative act can be truly overwhelming, and at times forbidding. The search for courage is not always easy and it can lead down some dark alleys. Throughout history, creative people have often sought strength and sustenance through various addictions. This has too often led to ache. ASCAP President Paul Williams speaks and writes most eloquently on this truth in his new book, Gratitude and Trust a good dose of courage in bottles, fumes, pills or addictive behaviors, then where might it reside? Fortunately, there are time-tested and substance-free alternatives for mixing up a good batch of courage. There may actually be
seems so much more plentiful and persistent in our lives. Discouragement can be particularly harmful early on, when a person or a project is at a nascent or formative state. It seems obvious, but it’s a good idea to avoid anything that might suck the lifeblood out of our creations or ourselves. Perhaps hanging a clove of garlic at the studio door with a sign, “Vampires Not Welcome Here” would be helpful, (unless that would describe your producer, in which case a transfusion may become necessary). The hard part about discouragement is that it can be sneaky and dif-
dose of courage in bottles, fumes, pills or addictive behaviors, then where might it reside?
places, like teachers, coaches, parents, siblings, and close friends. Sadly the most discouraging messages often come from inside ourselves as we repeat the negative things we have heard and internalized. Most everyone Continued on Next Page 23
Presorted STD US Postage
PAID Van Nuys CA Permit 20
8447 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 401 Beverly Hills, CA 90211 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
Musical Shares Continued from Previous Page
has a horror story about someone (too often a teacher) who had completely derailed that essential enthusiasm with a dose of toxic discouragement. In her autobiographical book, Not That Kind of Girl, the versatile actress-director-writer Lena Dunham tells how a department-head in college had disparaged one of her best qualities, versatility. She was handed the withering academic judgment, “You don’t have a particular facility for any genre.” Or, an example music champion and founder of Intrada Records), recounted recently how he had been asked to leave a college course in contemporary music for adworthy of study. Happily, both of these individuals found enough encouragement in their lives to eventually ride out such downers and detours. Movies have always been good at showing us a wide range of encouraging and discouraging mentors. The Whiplash is a disturbing depiction of the worst kind of discouraging mentorship, as a young drummer is relentlessly driven and abused by his teacher in the name of artistic achievement. The 1973 movie Paper Chase is another famous tale of a brilliant but brutally discouraging professor (memorably played by the great John Houseman, and incidentally, scored by a newcomer named John Williams, who had DISCLAIMER:
yet to connect with the young director Steven Spielberg). On the positive side of cinematic teachers are characters like Robin Williams’ Oscar-nominated portrayal of Professor Keating in Dead Poets Society (1989), Michelle Pfeiffer’s tough-love teacher in Dangerous Minds (1995), and any number of similarly brave and inspiring shapers of young minds on screen. In one of the greatest of cinematic speeches, Al Pacino (playchampions real courage in the face of bullying from a prep school headmaster in Scent of a Woman (1992). Cinema can provide us with vast sources of courage and inspiration. So, if it’s too there is no shortage of them on the silver screen. Songs can also provide great infusions of inspiration. There are classics like Jimmy Cliff’s “You Can Get It If You Really Want.” But, consider this corny old cowboy song. “Home, home on the range. Where the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word. And the skies are not cloudy all day.” Doesn’t that sound nice? Sunny skies. Seldom a discouraging word. Alas, that idyllic scene doesn’t describe today’s professionals earning a living in the media world. There are no deer and antelope playing under bright blue skies in composer’s hermetically sealed studios. In the media business, talk can be fast and cheap, and discouraging words plentiful. But maybe there is a more encouraging way to think about
this lyric. We might consider another old chestnut, “Home is where the heart is.” Perhaps that’s what the cowboy song is really telling us. The range isn’t some mythical place, but that home is actually where the heart is, inside all of us, at the core, the Cour; that constant, still, inner domain—our own internal divine landscape, housing a wellspring of courage and strength. So, after we have combed the world in search of that illusive, elusive, and and encouragement, maybe the search would best be directed inward. In a profession with so much outer distraction, adversity, and so many dispiriting messages, it’s nice to know that we can always access that reliably radiant and eternal place… Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day.
Publicity by COSTA COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
The SCL gratefully acknowledges the continuing support of our MEMBERS and ASCAP, BMI and SESAC
Published on Dec 18, 2015