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Topic: Best composerette?

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  1. #1

    Best composerette?

    Gigaphiles:

    I\'ve been a member of this board for about a year now -- and there have been some really great demos posted by some of the members. Some REALLY great ones.

    (And a few awful ones, to be fair. That all-tuba orchestra playing Yes\' \"Tempus Fugit\" was possibly the worst thing I\'ve ever heard. And trust me, I\'ve heard some awful stuff.)

    Anyway, there was a string a while back about people on this list (and people outside the list) whose works pretty much get \"thumbs up\" (but not in the prostate exam kind of way) from everyone on the board. People that have done cool, creative stuff that is a little left of norm.

    Why am I asking? Well, there\'s a project I\'ve got -- and it\'s a paid gig -- but I haven\'t heard stuff in the normal collection of demos our company gets that have blown me out of the water lately. (Please: no \'blown\' jokes. Thanks)

    So, suggestions would be really appreciated. But I\'m not looking for forty people telling me that John Williams is \"da bomb,\" or that Hans Zimmer is \"phat.\" (I know -- I\'ve seen them both in swimwear.) The kind of stuff we\'re doing requires a new way of looking at scoring, and sometimes, an old dog (no offense, you a-list Hollywood types) is hard to teach new tricks. Especially when the old dog charges $230,000.

    Experience not necessary -- but outrageous ability is.

    So, could you guys help me out? Write via this list, or, you can contact me directly at stew@videohelper.com.

    Thanks again -- and no all-tuba stuff.

    - Stew

  2. #2

    Re: Best composerette?

    Oh -- and one more thing: PLEASE -- NO PHONE CALLS.

    Or rocks through our window.

    - Thanks again

    Stew

  3. #3

    Re: Best composerette?

    Check out Tobias Marberger (pseudonym: tob):

    http://62.13.11.115/tobbe/

    He has done some excellent demos for me. Could be what you are looking for:

    http://www.artvista.net/Mp3\'s/128%20Kbit/Purifying128bps.mp3

    http://www.artvista.net/Mp3\'s/192%20Kbit/TribleVibe03.mp3

    Hans Adamson
    Art Vista Productions
    http://www.artvista.net/

  4. #4
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    Re: Best composerette?

    Oh joy...yet another library/canned music company is looking for new material so they can sell cd sets to ad and film companies thereby eliminating any need for a freelance composer like myself.
    Please, where can I sign up?? I\'d love to dig my own grave a little deeper, cause it\'s not like the competition is bad enough as it is. Please, allow me to contribute my most creative works to the undisputed kings of lech in the composition field (aka library music) that is continuously putting the squeeze on the few remaining composers that still have the passion and drive to stick it out, while simultaneously irreparably cheapenenig the value and respect of original music in film and television.
    Yes, I love a good run-on sentence, but at least your windows are still intact.
    -Hudson

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Videohlper:

  5. #5
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    Re: Best composerette?

    Did I mention I\'m not a big fan of library music companies?
    -Hudson

  6. #6

    Re: Best composerette?

    Hudson:

    Uh -- call this a bit of armchair psychiatry, but you seem bitter.

    I don\'t understand why, though.

    You make it sound like libraries are taking jobs away from composers. I hate to break it to you my little oscelot, but whom do you suppose creates the music for libraries -- or as you refer to them, \"canned music?\" Do you have ANY idea how many composers have worked for music libraries? Would you belive names like Zimmer, Rona, Williams and others? Look at some of the more established libraries, like KPM in the UK. They have a roster of composers that includes about 20% (on the conservative side) of the working a-list composers today.

    As a matter of fact, MediaVentures has a library of \"canned music\" too. Why don\'t you call Hans Zimmer or James Horner a hack?

    So, before you denegrate \"canned music\" and blame it for destroying the hopes and dreams of \"poor working souls who are struggling to create art\" maybe you should actually get a job in the business. I don\'t mean to sound like a jerk, but I work in the business. I compose music (scoring to picture) for a living. Been doing it for about nine years.

    I tell you what -- why don\'t you work on a weekly show where you get a timed-out print seven hours before the show gets posted? And have to compose -- to the frame -- a show that, after you\'ve struggled and panicked to get a total of 20 minutes worth of cues together, just to discover that the executive producer has jauntily removed 20 frames here and a second there, to COMPLETELY screw up your \"art.\" The horror of seeing your \"art\" regular pooped upon sound/post guys who accidentally upcut your opening pad, amidst other mixing calamities (including one exec prod who, at the mix, who insisted on placing his own electric guitar solo over a theme. Remember when Hendrix played with his teeth? Hendrix had better intonation.)

    Dude, I\'ve done all that. And, for some reason, I still do it. Because it\'s a challenge -- kind of like a music triathalon. But after the umpteenth person has suggested \"can we add a bassoon -- my son plays\" I sometimes hesitate to call writing for most shows and films unabridged \"art.\" Art is something you do for yourself. Art is a reward in and of itself. Money is secondary. When you can merge the the two, that\'s luck -- not manifest destiny.

    BUT -- ranting aside -- library music IS NOT taking money away from you. Or anyone. It\'s been around since 1956. Call me crazy, but it seems like composers have still been getting jobs since then. The only person you have to blame for starving for your art is yourself.

    Library companies don\'t \"take\" your music any more than a film or tv show does. When you write music for a library, you keep all your rights as a composer -- and the library keeps the publishing rights. I hate to break it to you -- but that\'s exactly how it works in TV and film, too. As a matter of fact, libraries pay you up front for your work, while there are a growing number of tv and film companies that only remunerate their composers by only giving them a percentage (and usually a small percentage) of their composer royalties (read the trades, my little Tsetse fly, it\'s a popular concept among big media companies).

    You think libraries write junky music? You\'re entitled to your opinion, and applaud you for your unabashed bashing of \"the evil conglomerate\" that\'s kept you down. But I offer you this advice: if you think that music stinks, go write your own. Make the world a better place.

    So regardless of your past experience with libraries, please don\'t paint all of them with one broad, uneducated stroke. Unless you\'re the kind of person that goes out and punches French people because they kept Jerry Lewis from mercifully fading into obscurity.

    I love music. I\'m very lucky to be doing what I do -- but I\'m confident that that I\'m not doing it at another person\'s expense.

    Make yourself useful. Go write some great music.

    Or, go punch some French people.

    - Stew

  7. #7
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    Re: Best composerette?

    I couldn\'t disagree with you more. All the TV work I do is in a local market, and the creative directors have gotten so used to paying license rates of about $150 for use of a library track that they\'ve actually accepted that as the norm, and that\'s the standard by which they set their music budgets for a given project now.
    Trying to get them to pay even a fraction of what I should be getting for original music is like pulling teeth because the library music has cheapened the perceived value of music in their eyes. Now I realize I\'m just a little ol country mouse, and things may be different where you smart city folk are, but this *is* costing me money.
    And your Media Ventures argument simply reinforces my point. Hans and his gang are churning out tracks for library use. Great...lord knows I can really compete with full blown orchestral recordings from A-List composers at $150 a pop now that every town in the country has access to them...not! Granted, they prolly charge a bit more, but you get my drift.
    -Hudson

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Videohlper:
    BUT -- ranting aside -- library music IS NOT taking money away from you.

  8. #8

    Re: Best composerette?

    Hudson:

    I see your point, but library music isn\'t lowering the perceived value of the music any more than, say, Acid -- or the new feature on Apple\'s Final Cut 4 that allows producers to use pre-made loops which will automtically sync with their video.

    Even with those tools, musicians will still have jobs.

    Look, I understand the woes of being a music supplier for a local market. They license a music package for their theme and bumps -- all to make their accounting people happy. I talk with these people everyday -- and some have it so bad that they can\'t even afford production music for their promos. They\'re forced to use the ten or twelve \"emo\" cuts from their news packages.

    I\'ve lost clients too. We\'re in a recession (at best). Which has cheapened the perceived value of music more than library music ever could. We feel the squeeze, too, you know.

    Even here in the big city.

    BTW, little ol\' coutry mouse -- unless you\'re performing all of your music on a jug with \'xxx\' written on the side and a washbasin/tub with a stick and string on it, I\'m pretty sure we\'re using the same equipment. There should be no difference between our music. Do you think we can afford an orchestra? Not really. We play a large number of the instruments ourselves, ask our friends who play in local symphonies to help us out, etc.

    Again, I understand that you think that library music has this evil scheme of supplanting the \"country mice\" out there of all their jobs. It just isn\'t so. We turn down about a job a month from local affiliates to do news packages for them because we just don\'t do enjoy doing stereotypical news music. There are people out there who do it far better than us. They come to us because they might even like our music -- not because we advertise or have salespeople.

    You want to do work? My suggestion to you is go out farther than your local affiliates. Try the cable networks. Try production companies. There are companies outy there that are making tons of programming on the cheap that need music faster than people can write it. Send your demos everywhere.

    I honestly feel for you. If you want to contact me off the list, Dude, I\'ll try and give you a short list of some of the companies you can try and send reels to. It takes a tremendous amount of luck to have your demo at the right place at the right time.

    But I\'m serious about the help thing. I\'m at stew@videohelper.com and when I started, people offered me the same help. You being around doesn\'t mean you\'re competition -- I honestly don\'t think people license library music instead of have original compositions done. I think they utilize them both. But when the average promo department of a local affiliate does seventeen promos during sweeps each night, can you churn it out fast enough? Can anyone?

    - Stew

  9. #9
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    Re: Best composerette?

    Stew, I\'m glad we both cooled down a bit cause you seem like a cool enough guy. Your point about Acid and such...true enough, I\'d agree that library music alone isn\'t lowering the perceived value of music any more than the developing software technology. But when you combine all those different ways for people to produce music better, cheaper, quicker it really adds up, and the end result is the same. I just come up against library music the most because the locals haven\'t figured out how to use Acid yet...haha.
    The general trend I\'m seeing is that music is becoming more and more of an afterthought, and that is very disheartening, to say the least. It\'s probably not as apparent in the bigger markets, but I\'m sure the sting is still felt a bit. And yeah, the economy, or total lack thereof, certainly isn\'t helping.
    But your point is well taken that everything has its place, and there isn\'t much point in bashing library music if that\'s what a big portion of the market is looking for.
    -Hudson


    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Videohlper:
    I see your point, but library music isn\'t lowering the perceived value of the music any more than, say, Acid -- or the new feature on Apple\'s Final Cut 4 that allows producers to use pre-made loops which will automtically sync with their video.

  10. #10

    Re: Best composerette?

    Videohelper: We all know that Zimmer and his Media Ventures are in this for the money, so they\'ll stop at nothing. But please prove to me that John Williams has done music specifically for a library - I somehow very much doubt that...

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