2018: the year of the open mind
It's around this time of year that it's natural to reflect on the months gone by, and especially if you run a small business. My year has been, well, unexpected. I started out by doing a couple of voice over jobs, launched Real World Sounds and recorded eight broadcast-ready sound packs, proceeded to make six music library albums, launched an audio brand for kids, did some more voice over and soundtrack work, created a sound environment with foley and voice over for a Ted Talk art installation and more.
It has been very fulfilling. For many creative people it helps to concentrate on one area and develop their skills and networks. For me the wide variety of work this year has been so rewarding, that I know it's the way forward. It's so easy to put yourself into a category: composer, painter, sculptor etc. If 2018 has taught me one thing it's this: it's not for you to put yourself into a category, others will do that for you. My voice over clients don't care that I'm a composer. It doesn't matter to my composing clients what else I can do. I'm known to them for that thing.
My new year's resolution is to keep developing creatively. There are things I have planned that will feed into this, and for everything else my mind is wide open.
Have a very happy New Year and a creative 2019.
Simply Uplifting, by screenless
Here's a story of weird coincidence and what transpired.
Earlier this year I wrote an album called 'Strange Emotions' for a new library. When I was close to finishing it I met with Ethan at the library to say hello and discuss potential follow up writing. Later that day I met up with 50 or so other composers for dinner (yes, it happens!), and I randomly sat next to a guy called Mike Holt who, it transpired, had been at the same library half an hour later, having much the same meeting. How weird is that? Wait, it gets weirder, it turns out we had both told Ethan exactly the same thing, that the tracks that seem to perform best are happy clappy, ukulele-filled whistle fests. So we decided to make an album together, and now it's been published.
Now available for licensing (just click on the album cover), this album was 'simply uplifting' to make, and hopefully I'll get to collaborate more with Mike in the future.
I'm delighted to announce a new album, 'Drama Underscores' is now live. Written exclusively for fabulous production music library No Sheet Music, it will hopefully show a more dramatic side to my music.
Click on the album cover to hear tracks at the No Sheet Music website.
Well, a curse and a blessing really. I realised the other day that my mood is directly tied to the amount of creativity I'm consuming. I previously thought it was tied to stress levels, general contentment etc. It wasn't until I was flicking through Twitter (oh, the irony) and seeing new things being released or created that I noticed my mood physically changing.
I saw some new animation transitions for the next Android OS (see, the curse of the creative brain). I saw the band Lo Moon tweeting and made me think of their debut album I discovered this week. I saw Paddington 2 has been released, really looking forward to seeing that. The Last Jedi deleted scenes? I'll put the kettle on! Oh, and the look and feel of that Blue Zoo animated short 'Via'...it all came out of the brain of concept artist Izzy Burton. How cool is that?
I then saw that Will Belcher of Aardman is nominated for an animation award for Shaun the Sheep. I saw that composer and sound designer Matt Bowdler invited female composers to make an album using his soundsets and sample libraries to celebrate International Women's Day and raise money for Women's Aid.
On top of that I'm busy creating. Two library albums are at the mixing stage and I'm gearing up to release my first Real World Sounds sound pack next week.
So if you need to add a spring to your step today, look around at all the new things being created. You won't have to look very far.
The Yorkshire Vet
It's always nice to hear how my music is being used. A track of mine 'Float Away' was used in a Channel 5's 'The Yorkshire Vet' last night.
You can see the episode here.
Crimewatch on the BBC
The latest PRS statement to come through had a few nice uses for my music both in the UK and overseas. Notably, 'Blockscape' was used on Crimewatch on BBC1, chuffed about that one particularly!
Here's to more BBC airings of my music ;)
Will Pound Collaboration
Last September I received a tweet from a harmonica player called Will that said simply 'hey Gareth...be great to compose a harmonica track sometime'. I was aware of Will's standing in the folk world and his pure talent on the harmonica, so it was flattering that he reached out. Within a couple of weeks we'd come up with a bunch of tracks that we thought might suit a production music library.
Fast forward a few months (Will has been touring, I have been busy on a new series), and those tracks have now been assigned to Synctracks in London. We have more unfinished tracks and plans to do more from scratch, but for now here's a snippets reel for you to enjoy. Fingers crossed for some interesting placements!
Every quarter us composers get a statement through from the PRS to tell us where our music has been used. Some interesting ones have popped up this time, including 'No Foreigners Here - 100% British' on Channel 5 and 'Last Call With Carson Daly' on NBC in the US.
Something for the weekend
It's been a little while since I posted about my own compositions. It's suddenly the end of January - how did that happen? So, since it's dark and cold, how about some New York seventies disco? 'Broadway Strut' is part of a collection living at Jingle Punks production music library in New York, and is available for licensing.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Posts by Gareth Davies.