I can’t find Richards’s original “Getting out of your studio” post/challenge – but at the airport in Brussels on the way home and wanted to share my story with the group.  This is actually 2 parts – the other part will be a set of photos documenting my portable composing rig & workflow, which enables me to get out of my studio which, is usually where all the good stuff happens!

So part one here; the non-technical stuff:

I traveled to Gent Belgium for the World Soundtrack Awards (nominee and featured composer)

In only 4 days OUT of my studio so many great and unexpected things happened – thank you Richard Kraft – the ultimate social- extrovert coaches the more introverted Jeff.

As we are actively booking our House Of Cards in concert show (2 dates in Amsterdam/Utrecht Holland already booked for next spring) I hoped I could also drum up interest in other concerts. I successfully closed a verbal agreement on the Brussels’ philharmonic, very close on another, and some great pitch meetings with other presenters where I was able to show my media/video editing along with the music to show them how it’s different etc. Also, from that pitch meeting, I also got a sense of what was really working for them and gave them ideas about new ways of dong this, and how excited they were – basically I learned HOW to pitch this better going forward and what to highlight and create.

And also first hand I also got a real feel for what a hit this HOC show is in Europe and how much people love the score.

I was invited to perform live with an wonderful orchestra, which – since I don’t do as much of this, is always welcome practice in performance poise and concentration. 2 performances on the last of these 4 days.

I firmly believe the best stuff is that stuff you didn’t plan or anticipate, – conductor Dirk Brosse liked my improvising so much on my mini-suite, that after our 1st reh. he came with me of an idea to create a whole evening program with him and the Philadelphia Chamber Orch, where he is principal conductor, where I will improvise, and we’ll do some of my concert and film music on the same program. wow, didn’t see THAT coming!

I was able to encourage and meet many young and up and coming composers and share my advice with them, and I learned a ton from listening to the other panelist share stories about their work and process from pulicists, like Beth Bobo Krakower, and  Jana Davidoff, to a wonderful UK film agent Maggie Rodford, and fellow panelist Jeff Russo on his creative process. So much wisdom in so little time.

I spoke on 3 different panels focusing on my composing, career development, and workflow collaboration in long/form programming – honed my narrative skills at telling my story and figuring out when to stop, and let a point sink in.

Since I was fortunate enough to win the award for TV composer of the year, my press/interview day was filled with 9 different interviews with journalists from all over Europe where I was able to share my stories, and (of course) talk to them about our HOC concert in general at the Concertgebouw.

My last interview was with a wonderful gal from UK and she asked (somewhat catiously) about my MS – and I was happy to be able to share my journey with the disease. She was so inspired by our talk that she want’s to create a follow-up piece on that – this is not something I ever lead with, but feel is really important as a public person to talk about when asked so others with MS can get inspired and feel a little less lonely.

I met other composer’s I admire so much such as Daniel Pemberten, Frans Bak, and Riuichi Sakamoto, etc etc – and reconnected with friends from the UK, incl John Lunn, and my UK publisher of my concert works Lucy Bright – (music sales) who came over from London for the WSA gala concert and awards.

I also had some real quality time with LA based composers Sean Callery, Mac Quayle, Jeff Russo, Benoit Grey – this was really special – four of us played Sean’s amazing them from Homeland -, and on and off stage we formed a level of friendship that only comes from this kind of shared experience, jet lag and Belgian Chocolate. 4 days – wow.

Yes – get out of that darkened hovel once in a while!