The Next Generation

A couple weeks ago Jeremy Taylor, my band director from high school asked me to come in and give a lesson to one of his MIDI classes about what I am up to and how MIDI is used in film scoring. Admittedly I was a bit nervous about this as giving lessons is not my strong suit. What Jeremy recommended was I talk about what I did in LA and then he would give me a clip that I had never seen before and I would bring in my rig and score a bit in front of them. I liked the idea so we set up the date.

That morning I brought in my equipment and set everything up. The class started and I spoke about my time in LA working on Law and Order and talked a bit about the important things to remember while film scoring, like tempo and honing in on what the music needs to do for the picture. The kids had some good questions and seemed really interested in the process. Then Jeremy gave me the clip. It was a scene from an old Betty Boop Cartoon. This was great because I got to talk about how the animators would draw with a tempo in mind and how the music in those days usually needed to serve as both the score and sound effects track for the show. I scored a little bit and showed everyone how to fix mistakes in the MIDI recording and moving phrases around and they really got into it. The time flew by and we only got about 10 seconds into the score but it was really great to do that, and hopefully if just one of those kids decides they want to try their hand at film scoring after the presentation, then that would be really amazing.

Jeremy and I were talking afterwards and he gave them all a small scoring assignment. I suggested that if a couple kids do a really good job on their project that I could come back and convert their scores into finished recordings using my system and the better-sounding instruments. He liked the idea and we’ll see where that goes. He also told me that he ran into Jack Bradley after my meeting with him and Jack said that once I get out to LA, he may have some work that he could throw my way. I hope so. That would be a great start to my life out west if he does. Other than that, things have been pretty quiet around here in terms of music but very busy trying to finish up my side projects and get ready for the move.

Tomorrow I’m headed to Providence, RI for the SENE Festival. Our short film, A Step in the Wrong Direction has been accepted in the festival and will be shown there. We were also invited to speak on a panel about the film, so it will be excited to see what the audience reaction to it is and (especially for me) how the music is viewed for the film. I’ll be sure to post an update once the festival is over.

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