In March 2012 I was getting frustrated and impatient. Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands game had come out in 2010. Gears of War 3 (on which I did arrangements) came out in 2011 but I was not getting the windfall of scoring jobs I hoped I’d get after my “breakthrough” jobs. My credit was “additional composer” for Steve Jablonsky.A wise mentor and friend, Adam Levenson, said to me, and I quote, “TWO THINGS — your CREDITS and your MUSIC — will propel your career forward.””Additional composer” is a complicated credit deserving its own future blog and discussion as to why it’s so hard to jump upwards from “additional composer” to “lead composer”. So, back in 2012 I decided to focus on the *music* – to compose and release a stand-alone artist album. In hindsight, this was the best career decision I’ve ever made.Here are the results that came directly out of releasing my artist CD’s:
1st CD (A Warrior’s Odyssey, released on Howlin’ Wolf Records – 2012) — got the best professional relationship in my career, got a windfall of game scoring jobs, increased my visibility. Helped me become an industry leader in games.2nd CD (Woman Astronaut, released on Varese Sarabande – 2015) — got the NASA scoring job – a $30M multimedia exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center that will live on for decades, got signed by my current Agent, got 4 feature film scoring jobs, and more visibility. Got to score an amazing Sci-Fi drama feature ENCOUNTER directed by my dear friend Paul Salamoff.3rd CD (Rebirth of Id, just came out on Varese Sarabande – 2017). It consists of four mini-soundtracks telling four original, unrelated stories (Sci-Fi dystopia; period romantic drama; supernatural time-travel thriller; and fantasy). All stories feature women protagonists. I tackle political, environmental and feminist themes in it. While the production and mixing was in progress (2017) I sent out tracks as demos ….. and got three feature film scoring jobs. One of them, “Aga,” was just selected in the SPECIALS at the Berlin Film Festival’18, alongside Steven Soderbergh’s new film.For this film I had to invent music for an Inuit couple living behind the Arctic circle. While still in the “demoing stage” I collaborated with the violist Miriam Mayer and the violinist Emer Kinsella. I coached them to play with mutes and “sul tasto” to achieve the “Sound of the Tundra.” It was an unusual creative challenge. I met and got to know Miriam and Emer via the PERSPECTIVES Forum (Emer was recommended to me by Catherine Grealish, via the Alliance for Women Film Composers).WHY DO I CREATE THESE ARTIST CD’s?
1. To grow as a composer. To write my music.
2. To write in genres I haven’t had a scoring job yet (but want to get a job!). And therefore, to steer my scoring career in the direction I want it to go (fantasy, Sci-Fi, horror films, games, VR).
3. To pitch tracks as demos for opportunities.
With my albums I achieved an upward leap to bigger & better jobs.
Besides the benefits to me, it’s incredibly rewarding to see how my CD’s have affected the others. A few young composers recently told me that they composed and released their own EP’s because they were inspired by The Woman Astronaut – Britlin Lee, Nikhil Koparkar and others.Britlin recently scored a Lifetime telefilm — I’m sure her own terrific cinematic instrumental EP (on iTunes and Amazon) helped her get this awesome scoring job.
“REBIRTH OF ID” (Varese Sarabande) is available now on Amazon, iTunes and everywhere. If you like to have the score PDFs, PM me and I will email them to you. The album was mixed and mastered by engineer extraordinaire John Rodd. My dear friends Christopher Lord and Reuven Herman helped with the production. The album also includes a high-concept experimental track for guitars and train noise (from a field recording) co-composed with the amazing guitarist-composer Dan Diaz. Enjoy!
Write your music. Your music and your credits will propel your career forward.