F A Q
Q. You say you’ve been a professional in the business for years. Doing what?
A. I’ve worked various jobs in broadcast television, commercial production, even teaching music at a college level, before venturing out on my own. I have also worked on numerous independent films and productions in a variety of jobs on set, and in post-production, including scoring, music supervision and editing. I gravitate to music and scoring because I studied music as a teenager and have never lost that passion.
Q. You describe your music as sparse and minimalist. What does that mean?
A. The simplest way to put it is I tend to stick to relatively small arrangements, and structures that evoke emotion through intricate rhythmic patterns, abstract chords and harmonies, ambient beds, and subtle expression in melodies and playing, augmented by non-traditional sounds and instruments . My music may also appear to some as dark or dissonant, tense yet meditative, though not all of it. Here’s a Wikipedia link on Minimal Music that may help. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimal_music
I’ve scored all sorts of projects in all sorts of genres. But I do not try to be or label myself as versatile, someone who can play any style or sound. I can’t and don’t really try. But I will say if you are looking for music that is grand, full, active, bold, symphonic, I’m not your guy.
Q. Where are you located?
A. Connecticut. I’m about 2 hours from New York, if you happen to be there and wish to meet me face to face for business. Of course airplanes and cars can get us anywhere, though with today’s wired world, me working from my home studio, while you work from yours, is usually enough. Facetime and Zoom work pretty good too.
Q. I have no budget, but like your music. Will you work on it for free or screen credit?
A. If you are a true 501(c) 3 non-profit, give me a shout. I'm especially open to help those truly less fortunate, having volunteered time with the Special Olympics, Unified Sports, and Autism Awareness. I also do all I can to stop animal cruelty. If you're just a struggling independent artist looking for free music, I can't help you there.
Q. What’s the going professional rate then?
A. It varies, and is negotiable, usually commensurate to the budget of your project and expected distribution, which is why no one likes to answer this question. For most independent projects with a budget of any sort I charge $100 per minute of completed music to start, while retaining all rights. There’s a lot of nitty-gritty beyond that and must be negotiated in the open. I do however have a preferred rate that is negotiable if certain terms are met.
Q. Ooooh, a preferred rate! How do I get that rate?
A. If your project is something I really connect to, I sense honor and respect from you, and you’re over about the age of 40, have a family, a passion or yearning to help those truly in need, and possess realistic, but positive expectations of your career in the business. Or we’re already friends. Those tend to do it.
Q. You say you worked as a Music Supervisor, can you help me score my project this way?
A. It's possible. Using a music supervisor who has access a large music library, and knows how to use it, plus understands licensing can be a good alternative for independent filmmakers on a budget. If you're not sure what this entails, the music supervisor watches your film the same way a composer might, spotting where music may or may not appear, then finds existing music that will work as, or after you edit the movie. On big Hollywood movies music supervisors often just work with famous songs. On independent projects it could be anything, often just finding instrumental music that fits your work. It's not the same as having a dedicated composer, but in a pinch, it can sure help a project.
Q. Can you play any instruments?
A. I play a synthesizer. That’s not a trick answer. I don’t mean I’m a “producer” of electronic music. I mean I understand music synthesis at a master level, and what it means to be a synthesist. I hope to make a video explaining this at some point. I learned piano when young and can still play a bit. I can play a flute just a little, and use my voice vocally from time to time, though those are often buried in any mix. But I'm not a virtuoso at any instrument. No one would realistically pay to hear me play or sing anything at a recital for example.
Q. What famous film composers would you say your music is like?
A. Everyone hates this question. We’re all trying to be original. It may be best to just say that I don’t try to create music that sounds like a traditional symphony orchestra, or traditional anything. So, don’t think of the classic John Williams type score. Also, despite using synthesizers and computers, I don’t liken myself to what some call a “MIDI” composer, or hybrid composer who makes fairly traditional sounding scores, be that from electronics or an orchestra, combining the two, sort of like what Hans Zimmer may do. While you will hear acoustic sounds in my music, I do not shy away from calling it, and keeping it electronic and electronic sounding. Take a listen to the samples I provided. I hope that helps.
Q. What about famous composers or musicians that inspire you?
A. Though my music sounds little like him, Vangelis comes to mind. In rock/pop music I always loved the Alan Parsons Project. I grew up liking film scores from John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream for their electronic originality. But always look in awe at classic greats like Jerry Goldsmith, and Bernard Herrmann, whom I consider the most important film composer in history.