soundtrack.academy

Jonny Armandary

Advice, tips, and techniques on film / TV / game / media music composition, production, and industry.

Featuring industry guests offering insights into their processes.

00 Welcome to soundtrack.academy
Trailer 5 min 51 sec

All Episodes

Jack Hughes is the director of the newly formed Northern Film Orchestra, based in Manchester, UK. Their mission is to break down the barriers to entry for composers, making orchestral recording accessible to composers from all types of backgrounds. I was really excited to bring Jack onto the show to talk about what composers can expect from an orchestral recording session, and how they can get the absolute most out of the experience. So if you’re thinking about working with live musicians, or you’re interested in what the process looks like, this is a must-listen episode for you! Here’s what you’ll learn: 1. When you should first approach orchestras and contractors, and what you should have prepared 2. How you can use orchestras and recording sessions more creatively 3. The biggest mistakes composers make when writing for orchestra, and what composers can learn from orchestral recording sessions Get more info and book your recording session with Jack and the Northern Film Orchestra, visit their Facebook, Instagram, and SoundCloud, and connect with Jack on his personal Insta.

Nov 2020

1 hr 5 min

If you recognise the name “Ben Osterhouse” that’s likely because you’ve used one of his sample libraries. For a while they were the best kept secret of the composer world, until someone let the cat out of the bag and they became a favourite for so many people. I had to get Ben on the show to talk about his approach to creating libraries, and I was not disappointed! We dove deep into the many considerations when it comes to developing sample libraries. So here’s what you’ll learn in this episode: How the pursuit of learning can lead you down all kinds of unknown paths Learning scripting by STARTING with ideas and THEN finding solutions How boring technical exercises can actually inspire creativity You’ll hear all that, and much more, including the benefits of being a solo developer and whether or not composers should create sample libraries for financial gain. Find out more about Ben by visiting his website, and check out his sample libraries on KontaktHub.

Oct 2020

37 min 7 sec

This week’s guest is the wonderful Gunnard Doboze. Gunnard has scored some of the most challenging type of documentary subject matter that you’re likely to come across as a composer. Projects like: Septem8er Tapes, about the search for Osama Bin Laden in the wake of 9/11, Saving Face, about a plastic surgeon helping victims of acid attacks in Pakistan, and State of Control, where two documentary filmmakers become targets of the Chinese regime. I really wanted to interview Gunnard to find out exactly how he tackles documentaries that have such dramatic and emotional storylines - and I absolutely love how he describes his approach, which you’ll hear in the episode. Gunnard also has some really interesting methods when it comes to his workflow, so this really is a must listen episode if you’re still trying to find your flow, and want to learn how to deeply connect with challenging subject matter. Three things I think you’ll really takeaway from this episode include: 1. How to make your music become a character in the documentary 2. Working with non-linear timelines and the challenge of last-minute edits 3. Mixing as you go to inspire creativity in the composition process If you enjoy listening to the podcast, I would really appreciate it if you left a review to help more people find out about it. I’ll even give you a shoutout in the next episode! Follow Gunnard on Twitter, hear his music on SoundCloud, and visit his website for more.

Sep 2020

58 min 18 sec

If you recognise the name “Steven Melin” it could be from one of many different places! Steven is primarily a video game composer - and in the show you’ll hear us chat about niching down into specific topics like he’s done - but he’s also an author, online instructor, YouTuber, Podcaster… …you name it, he’s done it! One of the really wonderful things about Steven is that through all of his musical projects he’s always maintained a “Family First” focus - which is the title of his bestselling book, Family-First Composer. His approach to everything he does has been to support his life as a father, foster parent, and husband. I’ve followed Steven for a while and one of the things that I’ve been fascinated by, and the reason I wanted to get him on the show, is his approach to business and marketing as a composer. You might have heard me talk in the past about all the the marketing books and strategies I’ve studied to help me build soundtrack.academy - and I’m always wondering how those books can be applied to composition. Well, Steven has dived head first into implementing and experimenting with a lot of these strategies - many of which I’d just assumed wouldn’t really work in the composing world. So if you’re looking for some new strategies to market yourself as a composer, then this episode is a must-listen for you! Here’s three things you’ll learn: Exactly how Steven has built a team of music assistants, and why that’s essential for growth as a composer Why starting fast and changing slowly can help you build a pyramid of skills that support your main goal How you can increase your income by five-hundred percent without ever having to ask “what’s your budget?” again! If you enjoy listening to the podcast, I would really appreciate it if you left a review to help more people find out about it. I’ll even give you a shoutout in the next episode! And to learn more about Steven and how to become a video game composer, check out Steven’s website, and his (super resourceful) YouTube channel. Start with his “10 Steps To Become A Game Composer” video to see what he’s all about. You can also get his Family-First Composer book on Amazon (UK / US).

Aug 2020

1 hr 8 min

Nainita Desia has achieved so much in the last few years that I don’t even know where to begin. So let’s just start with 2019 - she was the IFMCA’s Breakthrough Composer Of The Year, nominated for Best Score at the British Independent Film Awards, and was the composer for Oscar nominated and BAFTA, Cannes, BIFA and SXSW winning documentary “FOR SAMA” which features some of the most complicated subject matter a composer will ever encounter. My talk with Nainita was so enlightening; I hope you take away as much from the interview as I did. For the full transcript visit: https://soundtrack.academy/nainitadesai Check out Nainita's website: http://nainitadesai.com/

Mar 2020

59 min

Jamie Salisbury is a composer who loves keeping his career as diverse as possible. From production music to music for live events with everything in between, he seems to have a found an amazingly balanced way to make a living from composing, while satiating his love of exploring the various avenues of music. Visit https://soundtrack.academy/jamiesalisbury for the transcript

Feb 2020

45 min 8 sec

Welcome back to the soundtrack.academy podcast after some time off! Here's the plan for 2020: the podcast is coming back regularly. I already have some absolutely amazing guests lined up.  But I'm going to slow down the release schedule a little bit.  Honestly, I was really struggling to keep up with releasing a new episode every week, particularly alongside everything else I'm focusing on at the moment. So for now, I'm going to release a new episode on the last day of each month.  Hopefully, someday I'll be able to get it back up to a weekly release. But for now, I hope one episode a month will give you all the insight and inspiration that you need. We're actually starting off this new year with a super exciting episode.  Olajide Paris has such a fascinating history in the film music industry, as you'll hear in the interview. From working as an assistant studio engineer to some of the biggest stars in the popular music world, to now working for Native Instruments designing instruments geared towards film composers. But the journey to how he got there, honestly, is just absolutely fascinating.

Jan 2020

43 min

Miriam Sternlicht is a media composer who’s actually fairly new to the game, but I think you’re really going to get a lot out of this episode as I’m sure many of you listening are in a very similar boat to Miriam. If you recognise her name that might be down to her excellent work as an administrator for the Global Composer’s Network, and we’re actually going to chat a little about that work and how being involved in groups like that can be so beneficial to you as a composer. We’re also going to talk about how one masterclass, Hans Zimmer’s to be precise, totally changed the direction of Miriam’s life. Show notes, links, and the full transcript is available here : https://soundtrack.academy/composer-networks

Sep 2019

42 min 35 sec

So many composers dream of being able to quit their day job to pursue music. Maybe you do too? The problem is : taking that leap of faith is a big deal. You need to have a huge amount of faith in yourself, as well as a mechanism to support yourself as you work towards your dream. Well, today’s guest, Rob Hicks, took that leap of faith just a couple of years ago, and is already ahead of the target that he set himself before he did. And, most importantly, he’s loving living the creative life, and treating it with such enthusiasm and professionalism. Before pursuing music full time, Rob Hicks had a successful career in IT – not just as an employee, but as the owner of a thriving internet services business. So he had a lot to lose if it didn’t pan out. Thankfully, his hard work as a business owner not only equipped him with some really important business and interpersonal skills to prepare him for the world of music, but it also gave him a financial buffer when he first decided to quit his job to pursue music. I know that you’re going to get so much out of this episode – personally I found Rob so inspiring to listen to – and I hope that you can action some of the tips he gives in order to get yourself one step closer to being a full time composer. Here’s what we cover : [03:55] How Rob first learned music & the early technology that allowed him to make music [10:04] How technology impacts the creative process [12:40] What Rob did before pursuing music full time [17:30] Balancing work and music while running a full time business [18:30] Business skills that can help your career in music [21:45] Quantity vs quality (or creativity) with production music [24:52] How royalties / residuals work and can payoff in the long term [28:02] Should you have a backup plan or a time limit? [32:50] How Taxi can give your days structure as a composer [35:56] What to do with ‘rejected’ tracks [40:28] Should you transition gradually into pursuing music full time, or dive right in? [42:23] Rob gives advice on learning where your weaknesses lie and how to improve them [49:21] Rob’s composing process – starting with the vacuum cleaner… [55:12] Recommended equipment that Rob uses [1:04:01] A final piece of advice from Rob Rob’s Links: Website : www.rhicksmusic.com Email : rob.hicks@rhicksmusic.com SoundCloud : https://soundcloud.com/rob-hicks Twitter : https://twitter.com/RHicksMusic Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/rhicksmusic/ Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/RobertHicksMediaComposer/

Sep 2019

1 hr 5 min

Michael Kruk is a composer specialising in documentaries, having worked extensively with the BBC on a number of their programmes including those narrated by the wonderful David Attenborough. Join my Facebook community: https://soundtrack.academy/facebookgroup In this episode we discuss the ins and outs of composing music for TV and documentaries, and also talk about the key takeaways from Michael’s new book, “An Introduction to Writing Music For Television”. For the book, Michael had the opportunity to interview three Emmy award winning composers - Michael Price, Walter Murphy, and Mac Quayle - so we also discuss the main things he learned from those interviews too. “An Introduction to Writing Music For Television” : bit.ly/tvmusicbook

Aug 2019

53 min 28 sec

Composer Bankey Ojo shares some advice that is almost GUARANTEED to help you find more composing projects. Listen in to this week’s episode now! Join my Facebook community: https://soundtrack.academy/facebookgroup Bankey Ojo has scored programmes for Sky, ITV, Channel 4, amongst many others and has worked on award winning short films, branded content for Adidas, Puma, and Jaguar, and also a number of animation projects too. His approach has always been to just go out and do things, and the method he used to find projects when he first wanted to work on an animation is such a great example of that attitude. Bankey’s Links: Website : http://www.bankeyojo.com Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/bankeyojo SoundCloud : https://soundcloud.com/bankeyojo

Aug 2019

55 min 8 sec

 Alexandra Hamilton-Ayres lives and breathes the creative life. Talking about her process made me desperately want to be a fly-on-the-wall while she works, as it sounds like such a natural, exploratory method of creating music.  Join my Facebook community: https://soundtrack.academy/facebookgroup Listen in to hear how her father’s background in film making influenced her approach to music, how Alex has naturally followed what has come her way, and her approach to creating music for film as well as solo album projects. Alexandra's Links Website: www.ah-a.co.uk Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6o0pKKljrn7GYEZTQPFwKp Instagram: http://instagram.com/ahamiltonayres Twitter: https://twitter.com/AHamiltonAyres The Whiteroom Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S745wXMTt9w

Aug 2019

52 min 8 sec

 Hear how soundtrack.academy was born, and the film music process I’ve been teaching, practising, and developing since 2008. Join my Facebook community: https://soundtrack.academy/facebookgroup It’s a bit of a different week this week - instead of my usual format of interviewing a guest, I decided to interview myself! I’ve had a lot of people asking about my own background in film music, as well as about my own process when it comes to composition. So, using the same questions and format that I use to interview my guests, in this episode I take you through how I got started, what lead me to creating soundtrack.academy, and the steps I go through to create a film score.

Aug 2019

48 min 6 sec

 Chris Wirsig is a composer and music supervisor specialising in dark intense soundscapes. His advice on specialising in a niche and what music libraries are listening for is all in this episode! Join my Facebook community: https://soundtrack.academy/facebookgroup Many of the guests I’ve had on the show so far compose in all kinds of styles and genres, but not this week’s guest! Chris Wirsig found his signature style and sound and decided to stick to his guns and become an absolute specialist in that one style. That’s a seriously brave move for a composer to take, and I have the utmost admiration for him for making that decision. Even his own music library focuses on that one specific aesthetic. And the best part? It seems to be paying off! Since moving to the US, Chris has been able to make music his full-time job. Chris’s Links: Composer Website : www.chriswirsig.com Library website : www.counter-communications.com Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/ChrisWirsigMusic/ Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/chriswirsig/ Spotify : https://open.spotify.com/artist/2CFVqb5EoEm8rqxeTVUJMj Spotify for Chris’s Electro Pop band no:carrier : https://open.spotify.com/artist/2SCRrPql1d7gHv7yDoGhEm

Jul 2019

48 min 24 sec

 Bonnie Janofsky is one of those multi-skilled musicians that seems to be able to turn her hand to absolutely anything. Originally coming from a performance background, she’s then worked as an orchestrator, arranger, transcriber, and composer. We’re going to talk about some of the advantages and disadvantages of working with notation and composing for real musicians rather than sample libraries. Join our Facebook community: https://soundtrack.academy/facebookgroup Bonnie hasn’t taken the approach of many film music composers in that she’s focused more on scoring for real musicians rather than with sample libraries. If you listen to samples of her work you’ll hear that it’s full of really interesting instrument combinations. One thing that’s particularly great to listen for in Bonnie’s work is how well the music is arranged for a small number of players. I think a lot of people really overlook how hard it is to get a small group of instruments to create such an effective sound. Bonnie’s Links: Website : http://www.BonnieJanofsky.com IMDB : http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1185225/ Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/bonnie.janofsky  LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/bonnie-janofsky-312706/ Twitter : https://twitter.com/bonnie_r_j

Jul 2019

49 min 43 sec

 Growing up in the south of France studying fine art and design before moving into music composition has given Mathieu Karsenti a really unique understanding of the relationship between music and visuals. Get “The Media Scoring Guide” : https://soundtrack.academy/ebook Mathieu is another fine example of someone who has worked ultra hard to put himself in situations that could lead to more opportunities. As you listen in you’ll hear that it wasn’t some cleverly structured plan to get him to where he is now, he just looked at where the opportunities lay and did his best to make sure that he was a) in the same place and b) that he did a great job of whatever was expected of him. Also make sure you check out Mathieu’s website. I know a lot of you are always looking for ways to make your online presence stand out a bit, and Mathieu has what I think is a really great video on his “About” page that features him being interviewed during a session. A director seeing a video like that can really help them understand who you are as a composer, and not just what you do. Mathieu’s Links: http://www.mathieukarsenti.com/about http://www.mathieukarsenti.com/music-2 https://www.imdb.com/name/nm4230073/

Jul 2019

54 min 2 sec

Described by none other than Hans Zimmer himself as an “incredible artist”, Suad Bushnaq is an an award-winning Arab-Canadian film and concert composer who is making some serious waves in the film music world. Get “The Media Scoring Guide” [FREE] : https://soundtrack.academy/eBook I’m not really sure where to begin with the intro to this episode as we covered so many topics from practical composition techniques and equipment, to discussing what it’s like being an Arab woman composer in the film and concert music industry. Suad even shares the amazing story of how one of her scores was recorded in Syria, during some of the heavier bombings. An absolutely incredible story, to think how determined those musicians must have been. Since recording the interview, the film that Suad mentions the she created during her residency has also been released, so I’ll include links to that in the show notes. Suad's Links: The Borrowed Dress : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsEmXt3AolY A Very Important Appointment : https://vimeo.com/341647271 Website : www.suadbushnaq.com Audio Reel : www.soundcloud.com/suadbushnaq Credits : https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6883900/

Jul 2019

47 min 3 sec

In this week’s episode Jenny J Nam discusses the differences and crossovers between performance, composition, and songwriting. Get your FREE eBook: https://soundtrack.academy/ebook Jenny is an award-winning composer, songwriter, and pianist. We’re going to talk about how different her thought process is while she’s improvising on jazz piano compared to when she’s composing for film.  Her composition process isn’t as simple as just drawing from her background in improvising, and instantly composing to picture. In fact, it’s the opposite, as you’ll hear. One of the really fascinating areas that we explore in this episode is how different the Korean music industry is from the American and UK industry. And, of course, Jenny shares some excellent advice on compositing for film. Jenny’s Links: Facebook: www.facebook.com/jennyjnam Instagram: www.instagram.com/jennyjnam LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennyjnam YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/y4sz5x5l Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/y6o4xeo9 Apple Music/iTunes: https://tinyurl.com/y4esavl5 

Jul 2019

30 min 40 sec

 From working as a staff piano player at Disney, and session musician for Mike Post, to scoring some of the most iconic movies, and now writing and directing his own documentaries, Stephen Edwards truly has some fascinating stories to share. Get the FREE eBook: https://soundtrack.academy/ebook Let me introduce Stephen by listing just a FEW of the films he’s scored that you might have seen: Point Blank,  True Vengeance,  Bloodsport 2 & 3,  The Patriot,  Never Look Back,  Undisputed 2… …the list goes on and on! And those are only some of the action films that he’s scored.  If you take into account other genres, and films he’s had tracks featured on, or has worked as an arranger or a performer on, the list is almost endless! He’s the first American composer to be invited to have his music performed at the Musica E Arte Sacra festival in Vatican City. That was for his choral work Requiem For My Mother - which we’ll talk about in the show. So, we’re going to hear how he got started, how he creates his film and concert music, and we’re also going to chat about the amazing stories behind his two documentaries: Requiem for My Mother and Syndrome K. It’s truly an honour to have had Stephen on the show. Links: stephen-edwards.com requiemformymother.com https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0250373/

Jun 2019

46 min 16 sec

 Oscar Fogelström is a two time Swedish Grammy winner, has had over 100 million streams on Spotify, and has worked with Academy Award nominee Lasse Hallström on Sweden’s Oscar entry, "The Hypnotist”. Let’s hear how he got started, whether he recommends that composers also work as songwriters, his creative process, and advice on working as a film composer. Get my free eBook: https://soundtrack.academy/ebook Oscar is an absolutely wonderful example of someone who became involved in the music industry not through forcing new relationships or coldly marketing themselves to anyone who’ll listen, but from having a genuine passion for music, collaborating on as many projects and events as would come their way, until eventually the right connections started to come along at the right time. As you’ll hear, he has a wonderful tale of how he naturally came to work in the industry. People Oscar has previously worked with often mention his ability to bring new stories and emotions to their projects, which we’ll explore in the episode. Links: www.oscarfogelstrom.com http://facebook.com/oscarfogelstromcomposer/ http://moviescoremedia.com/aurora-oscar-fogelstrom

Jun 2019

40 min 12 sec

 Sian Elizabeth Selway got into film music in what many would consider the wrong order - she gathered her industry experience first and then went to study. We’re going to talk about the pros and cons of that, and also explore the differences between writing for shorts, features, and documentaries - because Sian’s done it all! Get my FREE eBook, “The Media Scoring Guide” : https://soundtrack.academy/ebook Sian is an award-winning composer who’s worked on many highly acclaimed projects, and is going from strength to strength as she adds up more and more feature films to her credits. But one of the really interesting things about Sian is her diversity. In her film work she’s tackled short films, feature films, documentaries, and even children’s TV shows. And beyond the film world she’s written for Chamber Choirs, music libraries, and even for live dance and theatre projects. She’s a true example of someone who’s built a diverse portfolio around her passion. And of course, she shares all of her insights, advice, and lessons learned completely openly for us to benefit from. So let’s get to it! Links: Sian’s website: http://ses-soundtrax.com/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sianelizabethselwayComposer040501  Twitter: https://twitter.com/SES_SoundTrax  LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sian-elizabeth-selway-90b606b3/

Jun 2019

42 min 45 sec

 Tristan Noon is a media composer, orchestrator, and music preparer. His list of recent music placements is literally pages long, and as an orchestrator he’s worked on everything from LEGO movies to Gary Numan’s live tour. Get a MASSIVE discount on my string orchestration course: https://soundtrack.academy/stringscourse This week’s guest is Tristan Noon. Alongside being a highly successful composer, Tristan also has some amazing credits as an orchestrator and music preparer - and that’s what we mainly focus on in this episode. As a career path, orchestration and music prep can be a really exciting and creative route, but many composers don’t fully understand what it is and what it entails. This week’s episode will hopefully clear that up! Tristan also runs an amazing blog on his website where he shares real-world tips on orchestration and music preparation, as well as insights into the life of a composer and orchestrator.  Links Tristan's website: https://www.tristannoonmusic.com/ Tristan's amazing book on music prep: https://www.tristannoonmusic.com/shop Credits: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6121306/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/NoonWithATune

Jun 2019

56 min 40 sec

 Leanna Primiani used to be a conductor working at the highest level, but then discovered a love for film composition. In today’s episode we’re going to explore the crossover between conducting and composing, and how really understanding an orchestration adds to your own voice as a composer. Get my FREE eBook: soundtrack.academy/ebook Being a conductor isn’t simply waving a stick in front of an orchestra. As you’ll hear in the episode, you can get a full doctorates in conducting. It’s all about getting inside the music, and figuring out how to bring the composer’s intention to life. What that means for us, is that today’s episode is like a masterclass in the crossover between film score and concert. Leanna fires off tip after tip about orchestration, including her top three recommended scores for study. At this very moment Leanna is also on a best music Emmy run for her work on Rob Lowe’s “The Bad Seed” - Lifetime’s highest rated movie to date. So I feel very lucky to have had her on the show - and I’m sure you’ll agree there’s a mountain of information to learn from Leanna’s expertise. I’ve linked to a couple of Leanna’s pieces on YouTube where you can listen to her music alongside reading the score - a fantastic opportunity to visualise what she’s talking about in the episode, so be sure to check out those links below. Links: Leanna’s websites:  - http://leannaprimianifilm.com/ (film works) - http://leannaprimianicomposer.com/ (concert works) - http://leannaprimiani.com/ (main site) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anasialeannamusic/ Twitter:  https://twitter.com/anasia5mice SIRENS FOR ORCHESTRA: https://youtu.be/5skBtLIN6Xc 1001 for ORCHESTRA AND PRERECORDED ELECTRONICS: https://youtu.be/wm21bHdJCAs

May 2019

1 hr 5 min

Trailer music composer Michael Cristian, better known as "MCR", has had his music placed in all kinds of trailers, TV shows, and commercials.  Having pitched on over 300 projects per year, we’re going to talk about whether he’d recommend that for new composers, and what other advice he has for those getting started. Get my FREE eBook, "The Media Scoring Guide" : soundtrack.academy/ebook Michael has an extensive background in music. In the late ‘70s he had a recording contract with Warner Brothers, he then went on to set up his own indie record label, before Napster made him realise where the future of music was heading and he made the jump to synchronisation. In our interview we talk about: - How developing technology has, and continues, to disrupt and change the industry - in both good and bad ways - The inner workings of trailer music composition, including sync fees and writer’s shares - How even just listening without analysis can still help you improve as a composer - The fundamental mixing techniques that composers need to learn All that and more! Links: http://www.offoffindie.com/

May 2019

1 hr 2 min

Edith Mudge is about to turn you green with envy! Let’s hear what she has to say about the pros and cons of working as a SALARIED in house composer... Get your FREE eBook: soundtrack.academy/ebook Today I’m joined by Edith Mudge. Edith is an in-house composer for a library music company where her task is to write three new pieces of music every day. I’ll let you do the maths on how many tracks that is per year! Her music has been placed in over 600 episodes of more than 200 different series. Something I found particularly inspiring when talking to Edith was hearing how witnessing panels from groups such as the Alliance for Women Composers made her realise that she can be a professional composer. It’s great to know that the work of these organisations is really working - and I hope that by featuring so many amazing women composers on this podcast that we can inspire a few more people into the industry. Links: Edith's website: https://edithmudge.com Edith's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/composer.edith.mudge/

May 2019

38 min 56 sec

 Sean Staples is here to talk about how his diverse musical and entrepreneurial background has influenced his career path as a media composer, Nashville songwriter, and staff writer. Get your free eBook: https://soundtrack.academy/ebook When you have someone as diversely skilled as Sean on the show, it’s hard to know what to focus your time on! Whether it’s Nashville songwriting, running a multinational drum & percussion company, scoring for film & TV, or working as a staff writer - Sean has done, and IS DOING it all! As you’ll hear in the interview, he’s a huge advocate of continuous learning and practice - always finding new ways to improve his skills - both musical and technical. Alongside composing for film - for which his work has been recognised by the Burbank International Film Festival where he won the award for Best Original Score - Sean also does some work as a staff writer for a major composer, so I took the opportunity to dive deep into how that process works and we explore how remote composers communicate and collaborate to ensure a consistent approach to a final result. His songwriting work and his drum & percussion business has led him to all kinds of projects, from writing for Flo Rida to working with artists such as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and The Temptations, to name just a few. Like I said, hugely skilled, massively diverse, and an absolutely amazing guest to have on the show. As you’ll hear, he shares his experiences so openly, and is so encouraging of new composers - in my conversations with him outside of the interview he’s constantly talking about new ways to help up and coming composers gain an insight into the professional process. Links: http://seanstaples.com/

May 2019

48 min 59 sec

Four time Emmy nominated composer and VP of the Alliance for Women Film Composers Sharon Farber joins me this week. We explore both her film music and concert music works, and Sharon so openly shares her advice for new composers. Get your FREE eBook: soundtrack.academy/ebook When I first mentioned my podcast in the PERSPECTIVE Facebook Group - which is an amazing group filled with some absolutely incredible people - I asked if anyone would be interested in featuring on the show. Then this message came through from Sharon Farber, and I was absolutely stunned. Sharon is such an inspirational person and composer, with some absolutely unbelievable backstories to her compositions - as you’ll hear in the episode. I COULD list off her credits and accolades, but it would take so long that you’d get bored of listening to me! Sharon was so gracious with her time when I spoke with her, so much so that we ended up going over DOUBLE the amount of time that I usually aim for with these episodes. And I honestly could have kept chatting with her all day! Plus, it was all such amazing stuff that I couldn’t bring myself to edit any of it out! So, sit back and relax, because this week’s episode is a feature-length presentation absolutely jam packed with inspirational stories, advice from the very best, and a look into how we can really make a difference for women in the film music industry. Links: https://www.sharonfarber.com/

May 2019

1 hr 19 min

In today’s episode Italian composer Giovanni Rotondo talks about how foreign credits don’t have the same impact as local ones, and how he’s ended up convincing Oscar winning composers to feature on his website: filmscoringtips.com Get your FREE eBook: soundtrack.academy/ebook Giovanni Rotondo is an Italian composer living in London, and if you’ve spent anytime searching for advice on film scoring, it’s likely that you’ll have stumbled across his website: filmscoringtips.com The unique thing about this site is that it brings together music editors, film directors, composers, and all the other creatives that are involved in putting music to picture, to give you a well rounded view of the professional film scoring process. He’s even had Oscar winning composers write for the site! Let’s hear what Giovanni has to say about moving countries for your career, the power of making friends through networking, and how beneficial it can be to embrace working with other composers. Links http://filmscoringtips.com/ https://www.giovannirotondo.com/

Apr 2019

42 min 22 sec

Daisy Coole is a founder of Two Twenty Two - a film, documentary, and media composition company - and a huge advocate of composers working as a team. Listen in as we explore her unique way of finding projects. Get your FREE eBook: soundtrack.academy/ebook Daisy had an extensive background in music performance, particularly jazz, before entering the composition world. We’re going to explore how much her knowledge of jazz theory and improvisation has influenced her as a composer. She’s also a huge advocate of working collaboratively as composers, breaking the common stereotype that we’re all lone rangers. With Two Twenty Two, Daisy has scored all kinds of films, documentaries, and media projects. She's particularly focused on finding projects that she can really get behind and that tackle greater issues in the world. Projects such as Ask For Jane, her first theatrical released which is out in cinemas this summer. Ask for Jane and is based on the true story of Chicago’s underground abortion network in the early 1970s. This has lead her to what I think is an amazing method of focusing on a niche and seeking out people who you actually want to work with. Not just leaping for the next gig! Links https://www.twotwentytwomusic.com http://instagram.com/two22music

Apr 2019

49 min 54 sec

Julian Guidetti's background is mostly in music for advertising. He's worked on countless campaigns as part of a full post-production team. Listen to this week's episode to learn the full post-production process, and advice on how to create amazing tracks with tight deadlines. Get your FREE eBook: soundtrack.academy/ebook The world of advertising is a fascinating one. Multiple creatives work under strict deadlines and often talk via intermediaries such as music supervisors. This makes the advertising post-production system one of the most streamlined, efficient, and consistent creative forms. But that's certainly not to say that every project is the same though! My guest this week, Julian Guidetti, has worked in ad agencies for years. Because of this, you can hear in his work how versatile he's become as a composer. It also means that he has systems in place in order to create high quality music in as little time as possible.  Listen in as he shares his insights into the post-production process, as well as ample amounts of advice for composers getting started. Links https://www.julianguidetti.com https://www.instagram.com/julianguidetti_music/

Apr 2019

51 min 50 sec

Daniel Suett was handpicked out of literally thousands of people by Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe, Junkie XL, Jacob Shea, Russell Emmanuel, and Steve Kofsky to be part of the Bleeding Fingers Music Team. https://soundtrack.academy/ My guest this week is Daniel Suett, who works as part of Hans Zimmer and Steve Kofsky’s Bleeding Fingers Music team. You might remember that a few years ago Hans Zimmer ran a competition to find a new composer for Bleeding Fingers Music. Well, Daniel is the composer that WON that contest! I think a lot of people expected that whoever won that competition would end up as an assistant or apprentice. That’s far from the case, as Bleeding Fingers Music threw Daniel right in as a fully fledged composer. As you’ll hear, Daniel really stepped up to this massive boost to his composition game - which is absolute testament to his skills. Daniel has so much knowledge and so many insights to share about the process of composition, and how he talks about storytelling and finding solutions really helps to re-contextualise how media composers should be thinking about their music.

Apr 2019

47 min 2 sec

Claire Batchelor - a media composer specialising in both film and production music - joins me for this week's episode. Visit the website: https://soundtrack.academy/ We talk about how the 2008 recession caused her to almost accidentally end up as a full time composer, how the schools and education system needs to encourage more girls and women to pursue technological paths, and Claire shares the exact steps she goes through when she first takes on a new project. Links: https://clairebatchelor.co.uk

Mar 2019

48 min 42 sec

This week’s guest, Jordan Killiard, works in a really interesting, and hugely overlooked field: creating music for audiobooks.  https://soundtrack.academy/jordankilliard Jordan first got started in the audio world by recording voice-overs and ADR on all kinds of projects: including major motion pictures, animations, and corporate videos. It was fascinating talking with Jordan about the audiobook process - as he is basically in charge of the final product, including dialogue, sound, and music. This gives him a unique insight into the relationship between the three, and clearly gives him a stronger understanding of what’s required of the production music that he also creates. Links: http://jordankilliard.com/ https://soundcloud.com/jordankilliard

Mar 2019

48 min 39 sec

For this week’s episode I’m joined by the multi-talented Neil Spencer Bruce.  https://soundtrack.academy/neilspencerbruce Neil has a wide-ranging creative background: having toured the world as a gigging guitarist, studied soundscapes and psychoacoustics at PhD level, directing over 700 commercial film projects, AND creating sound design and production music that’s had placements on TV, Film, apps, and video games. Alongside his creative output, Neil also lectures at University level, runs a successful YouTube channel focusing on guitar technique and equipment, and also hosts a podcast centred around the freelance lifestyle, called “There Is Another Way” Links: http://www.spencerbruce.com/ https://www.theguitarrecordingfactory.com/ http://www.manipulatedacoustics.com/

Mar 2019

49 min 41 sec

This week’s guest is James Asher, who has a fascinating background in all kinds of music, but with a particularly interesting focus on world music.  https://soundtrack.academy/jamesasher Having been leant his first 4-track recorder by Pete Townshend of The Who, James has gone on to create over 50 albums, one selling over 200 thousand copies. He has a wealth of experience in the music industry, and fully utilises his music studio as a compositional and creative tool - not just as a means to record. Links: https://www.james-asher.co.uk/ http://www.starfieldstudios.co.uk/

Mar 2019

40 min 13 sec

My guest this week is Brian Stephen Adams. Brian runs a studio in Worthing, UK helping people develop their ideas into full tracks. More recently, he’s taken the leap into library music and is with me today to share his experiences so far.  https://soundtrack.academy/brianstephenadams Thanks to his years of working in music production, Brian has heaps of knowledge to share, particularly around the creative process and mixing side of things. We dive deep into the specific plugins he uses, and how he uses busses, as well as some other tried and tested techniques.  Links: http://theknightimeproject.com

Feb 2019

51 min 32 sec

Italian composer Francesco Berta joins me this week to talk about his views on how social media steals your time, how he learned to compose as a self-taught musician, and his approach to composition. https://soundtrack.academy/francescoberta Francesco was originally self-taught, but through meticulous study has learned how to create gorgeous hybrid-orchestral pieces drawing on his electronic and ambient background. He is also a director, so has an interesting view on music in film and also on the role and responsibilities of the composer. We discuss how perhaps composers should view themselves more as filmmakers, rather than musicians. Links Francesco’s BandCamp: https://francescoberta.bandcamp.com/ Francesco’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/francescobertaofficial/

Feb 2019

43 min 44 sec

I’m excited to be joined by Michael John Mollo, who has worked closely with John Powell, Michael Giacchino, and Giorgio Moroder. https://soundtrack.academy/michaeljohnmollo Michael is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music and the University of Southern California and early on in his career was part of Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control team. You’ll have heard some of his music in the soundtrack for “How To Train Your Dragon” and “Rio.” As well as composing, Michael is also an incredibly skilled orchestrator, synths and samples programmer, and arranger.  And that’s not all! On top of all of that, he also oversees the global operations of production music library Velvet Green Music. Links: Michael's website: http://michaeljohnmollo.com/ Velvet Green Music: http://www.velvetgreenmusic.com/

Feb 2019

44 min 3 sec

This week Chris Presswell, film writer/director, shares his views on the relationship between director and composer. https://soundtrack.academy/ChrisPresswell Despite being musical, Christopher ISN’T a music composer or producer, he’s a film writer and director. That’s what makes this week’s episode so exciting: we’re going to hear first hand how a director collaborates with a composer, and gives advice on what a composer will need to know to work as part of the post-production team. Chris and I have worked together on quite a few projects over the years, and I thought it would be great to get a director’s perspective on the use of music in film, and also to find out about what a director is actually going through while the composer is coming up with a score. Chris is a highly eclectic director, having created music videos (including an innovative 360 virtual reality one), trailers and ad spots with the likes of Warwick Davis and Elizabeth Olson, and short and feature length films. His work has been screened and won awards internationally, with red carpet premieres in both London and LA. Chris' company (Workbus): https://www.workbus.co.uk/ Chris' website: https://www.chrispresswell.co.uk/

Feb 2019

41 min 52 sec

This week I’m joined by Si McGrath, a producer, sound designer, and composer who has worked in many areas of the music industry. A particularly interesting area of his work is the sound design that he creates for productions and live events alike.  For show notes visit: https://soundtrack.academy/podcast Those of you that have played the Broken Sword series of games will have likely heard his co-compositions and productions, and any theatre fanatics will have likely come across his work with Mind The Gap. Hopefully we’ll get a slightly new perspective on music for media from Si, coming from a production and sound design perspective instead.

Jan 2019

48 min 24 sec

This week I’m joined by Martin Gratton, an amazingly prolific media composer specialising in library and production music. Find out how Martin releases 150 tracks per year! For all podcast links, resources, and episodes, head to https://soundtrack.academy/podcast If you own a television, you’ll have almost definitely heard Martin’s music at some point. With syncs on all major television networks, on shows such as The Apprentice, and on campaigns from the likes of Samsung, Wilkos, and Fanta, to name a few - Martin is an incredibly prolific writer. Alongside his production music, he’s also written for many short films, contributed to feature films, and is even writing the music for a musical. Find out more at http://www.martingratton.co.uk/ Resources/links mentioned: Music Library Report: https://musiclibraryreport.com/ PRS Recommended Libraries: https://www.prsformusic.com/licences/using-production-music

Jan 2019

30 min 18 sec

This week I’m joined by Andrew Potterton, founder of Perception Music Publishing, who has a fascinating music career spanning all kinds of genres and industries. For the video version of this podcast visit: https://soundtrack.academy/andrewpotterton Alongside music credits on Oprah Winfrey, Top Gear, MTV Cribs, The Discovery Channel, and National Geographic, amongst others, Andrew also has a background in electronic music, being one of the early pioneers of IDM, or “Intelligent Dance Music”.  He frequently works in the art and sound design space, creating installations in music, art, and theatre performances. Andrew's SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/andrew-potterton Andrew on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andrewpotterton Resources: Audio quality test: https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2015/06/02/411473508/how-well-can-you-hear-audio-quality

Jan 2019

1 hr 5 min

This week I’m joined by composer and educator Neil Myers, who shares his insights into the differences between working with orchestras and sample libraries, how to communicate with directors, and shares his composing process. For the video version of this podcast visit: https://soundtrack.academy/neilmyers Neil’s website: https://www.neilmyersmusic.com/ (Neil is available for Skype lessons) “Rebecca Gold” mini-series, scored by Neil: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se8lTEocPT4

Jan 2019

1 hr 8 min

Welcome to soundtrack.academy! This is an introductory podcast giving a brief overview of who I am, what soundtrack.academy is, and what you can expect from this podcast. If you're looking to get started or improve your knowledge about film music composition, production, and the film music industry subscribe now. The weekly podcast begins in January 2019. Visit us at: https://soundtrack.academy

Dec 2018

5 min 51 sec