Live scoring with bass, drums and a TV

It’s been a busy winter and spring. I’ve been stepping in for our creative director here at work, which means I’ve spent a lot more time in sessions and on the phone with composers and clients than what I normally do. It’s left little time for actual writing, but it’s been a great learning experience in regards to leading a room full of people into a musical result. One good example was a jazz campaign that we did for Hyundai. With such amazing musicians in the room, anything is possible and it’s fun to be part of the process of translating the clients’ wishes and ideas into music. Having great musicians of course makes all of that possible. They play to the video. I’d ask them to do something that would underline the little twirl around the logo, f.ex. The next moment they’re placing a trill on it in a way that works both with picture, but also musically. I never stop to be impressed by LA studio musicians. On one of the tracks we brought in an upright bass player and a drummer. They just had a tempo and a lead sheet which just had important scoring moments in it, no chords, nothing. But they did have picture, which ended up being their guide. Within two hours with some trial and error, some direction and lots of creativity, we had a great track for one of the spots. We don’t get to work like that very often, so I really enjoyed it. It’s rewarding to get to write with musicians in the room as opposed to trying to demonstrate something in a synth mockup. Especially when it comes to jazz. Jazz needs people.

We’ve also worked on a bunch of other spots lately, a big campaign for Exxon as well as commercials for Acura Avengers, Home Depot (which happened to be my track), Bon-Ton (got to work with Lisa Loeb on this one, (“You say I only hear what I want to…”) She was very sweet.), Intuit, Helzberg and Dish Network to mention a few…We’ve been pretty swamped.