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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island


    <font size=\"4\">We are pleased to announce our next guest in the series of Garritan Orchestra &quot;Meet the Artist&quot; Interviews featuring:

    JOHN KEANE</font>


    <font size=\"3\">We are pleased to present this interview with composer John Keane and is an honor to have John as our featured guest.

    John M. Keane is the composer for the current most-watched TV series: \"C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation\" on CBS. In each episode, John\'s music adds a crucial element to the story that keeps viewers involved and in the moment. His music is always there to punctuate the point. Subtle yet effective, composers are often the unsung heroes of many films and television projects.

    John Keane has been in the music business since he was only 11 years old when he and his brother, performed as the Keane Brothers. After being one of the youngest performers ever to appear on the Tonight Show, they landed a network television show shortly after the release of their debut record. The Keane Brothers went on to release four albums, the first of which was produced by David Foster. In addition, they had their own prime-time variety series. John also has he worked as a session drummer for a number of great producers, and can be heard on records from Chicago, Celine Dion, Michael Bolton and others. John also wrote the theme and the thematic material to the Reality hit \"Amazing Race\".

    Here is a short clip of John\'s music from CSI: http://www.garritan.com/mp3/CSI.mp3
    John\'s website is at: http://www.jmkeane.com

    It is indeed an honor and a privilege to have John Keane as our guest. We are now inviting questions for John from forum members. If you have any questions you would like to ask John about his work with CSI or other shows, projects he is working on, how he scores, the music business, or have any other questions; now is your opportunity to ask him. At the end of the questioning period, your questions will be presented to John and we will then post his response in interview form. I wish to thank Scott Cairns who will be assisting in this interview.

    Please post your questions at the thread on the Garritan Orchestra forum , or below, or email them to me.

    Thank you for your participation,
    Let the questions begin!

    Gary Garritan

  2. #2


    Hi John, nice to talk to you and thanks for agreeing to this interview.

    I was wondering if you could walk us through a typical week for you, i.e; How many minutes of music do you usually need to compose for a CSI episode? Do you ever bring in live players?

    Also, your production quality has to be amongst the best I\'ve heard on TV (or anywhere else for that matter) can you let us in on any secrets in that regard? [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Do you do all the mixdowns yourself?

    Gosh, I have so many questions... Could you go into detail about your music setup?

    Have you ever been on a tight schedule and had equipment failure? Do you have a contingency plan?

    I read elsewhere that you have particular EQ settings when using GOS, would you mind sharing the details of what you do there?

    Sorry about the barrage of questions!

    Regards, Scott.

  3. #3


    Nice music.

    Many of those crime dramas seem to have rushed together music that doesn\'t inspire like your CSI music. I always thought they needed to come out with a modern version of \"Quincy\" at some point and it looks like this is the answer. Tell them they need to have Jack Klugman as a guest sometime just for fun.

    How stressfull is episode TV work? What kind of deadlines and how many minutes of music etc..? Are you able to juggle other projects at the same time?

    What tools are you using for the grooves. Sample loops, custom created loops? Acid, Project 5 or Reason for any of them?

    Perhaps you can share some of the buisness aspects of composing for TV like publishing rights, ASCAP, BMI, royalties, syndication, things like that. Those are areas many of us are new to.

    David Govett-Composer & Sample Developer
    Part of the Giga Team

  4. #4



    Thanks for sharing with us

    How did you get that gig (C.S.I)?

    How difficult do you think it would be for you at this point to switch to film vs TV?

    What is the piece of equipment you wish existed that would make your life easier (aside from a virtual slave composer)

    Thank you and good luck with the rest of your career.

  5. #5


    Thanks for doing this interview.

    I have to admit I SERIOUSLY think that one of the main reasons that CSI did and is doing so well is the music. Its the music that makes these characters and what they are doing \"cool\". You\'ve managed to find a nice balance of \"cool music\" and enhancing the drama. Its perfect for the show I\'d say.

    HAve you been nominated for/won an emmy for this show? As much of a fan of 24 I am (I believe it is the best show on TV actaully but we\'re talking about you [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] ), I personally think that you have made the perfect music for your particular TV show, and as much as I like Callery\'s stuff in 24, I think you deserve the EMMY.

    Do you make loops and grooves and just keep them aside for future use?

    Do you base everything off of some stereo groove loop you\'ve built, or is everything built up from scratch?

    Alot of your electronic sounds, have a very organic touch. Any tricks that you cant live without that lead to this?

    I always find that the music you use is very compressed/limited (works perfect), do you like this or would you like more dynamics?

    thanks for the time, and helping make a great show. I used to take Tuesday and thursday nights off for Buffy, 24 and CSI, but I\'ve had to move that to Tuesday and Wednesday for 24 and Angel, so CSI is on the tivo now (thank the machines for that invention!) tho I\'ll miss the big HD wideshots, and sound! [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Los Angeles


    Hi John, Thanks for taking time out to share your wisdom with us!

    First off: I\'m going to a party this Friday for one of the VP\'s at Bruckheimer\'s, you gonna be there? (half kidding) [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]


    All the questions KING asked are pretty much what I\'m interested in knowing too. BTW- I found your site a while back and was kinda bummed that there was no music samples, or studio pics, what gives? [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] I tape the show so I can listen to the music later, but all that dialogue and SFX ruins the experience! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    I also think that your music makes the show! You create such a cool \"vibe\", it\'s as if you capture those weird requests perfectly, like \"can you make this sound blue\". Seems you are able to do that with ease. What I really like about your music is that it\'s very ethereal, dark, and very poignant all rolled into one. It sets such a perfect tone for the scenes..... it gives the show a very distinct voice and backbone.

    My questions:

    1) What do you like best about your music? What are some aspects of it that make you say \"dang, I\'m pretty good!\" [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] (I know what I like about it, just curious what some aspects are that put a smile on your face as you write)

    2) I\'ve heard that you run Reaktor on it\'s own computer(s?). Why is that?

    3) Have you done any films, any indie? What (if any) types of film projects are you interested in. And do you find it at all politically hard to get jobs in Film being known mostly for great work on CSI. Just curios if it effects someone at your level. (sorry if that is a rude question... don\'t feel obligated to answer)

    4) What role (if any) did your agent play in getting you on CSI? As well who are you repped by? (the reason I ask is my wife is an agent at CAA. I think they repp Jerry?)

    Thanks so much for your time! To continued success with the show!

    -Jayson Smiley

  7. #7


    Hi John,

    Congratulations on making C.S.I. such a success through your music.

    I\'d like to ask:

    1) When you sit down to write music for a new episode, what sparks your inspiration? How do you prevent the \"same ol\' stuff\" syndrome?

    2) Do you have to write a lot of music and pull out the best bits, or do you end up using the majority of music you write?

    3) What is your preferred way of writing? Do you work methodically in a certain structure or is it all creative inspiration?! For example, do you start with a basic patch on the keyboard (e.g. Piano) and work on the main theme/melody, and then build on that?

    4) Do you feel time pressure actually helps you produce your best work?

    Thanks for your time and wishing you every continued success in your work.

    Kind regards,
    Mark Desvaux

  8. #8


    Hi John

    Congratualations on CSI!

    Do you have large templates set up with a broad pallete of sounds to compose with, or do you start every cue with an empty canvas and load in the instruments as needed?

    Do you ever get \"writers block\" and if so, how do you work around it and still meet deadlines?

    If you could score any movie or tv show, what would it be?

    How about influences, favourite composers?

    Finally, (and sorry for the ear bashing!) any favourite libraries other than GOS? Any you\'d like to see developed that aren\'t available now?

  9. #9


    Hi John,

    I enjoy your music, and thank you for taking questions.

    1) Practically every industry/job, (with the exception of pro football player) has seen an influx of women. But percentage-wise, and in comparison with other fields, composing is still an untouched frontier for females. Is that your observation too? If so, any thoughts on why that is?

    2) The law of time dedicated to a particular task says the more you do something, the better you will become. So for those of us who, for a variety of reasons, cannot make music composition our full time career, any encouraging words that we can still reach our potential if we can only do as a serious hobby? Pretty sobering to know you will never be as good as you \"could have been\" because you did not, or were not able to make a career of it.

    Thank you.

  10. #10


    Congratulations for your work!!,
    Realy Good!!;
    I Would like to know something about your beginings, \"Loking for an Agent\", having your first gig etc....

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