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Dan Moore

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Listen to Issie Barratt’s interview with Jane Garvey here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000nlz

 

BBC Radio 4’s  Woman’s Hour 2018 Power List recognises the Top 40 most successful women having an impact on the music being listened to – whether that’s on radio, vinyl or streaming services.

The list was revealed live in a special Woman’s Hour programme  on BBC Music Day.

Chaired by presenter Tina Daheley, the judging panel included TV producer Jasmine Dotiwala, classical music writer and novelist Jessica Duchen, UK producer of the year Catherine Marks and singer-songwriter Kate Nash.

Woman’s Hour top 40 Power List:
1. Beyoncé (musician)
2. Taylor Swift (musician)
3. Vanessa Reed (Chief Executive of the PRS Foundation)
4. Adele (musician)
5. Stacey Tang (Managing Director of RCA UK)
6. Gillian Moore (Director of Music at Southbank Centre)
7. Rebecca Allen (President of Decca Records)
8. Marin Alsop (conductor)
9. Chi-chi Nwanoku (musician, founder of Chineke! orchestra)
10. Maggie Crowe (Director of Events and Charities at BPI, Administrator of the BRIT Trust)
11. Olga Fitzroy (Recording and mix engineer)
12. Annie Mac (DJ)
13. Desiree Perez (Chief Operating Officer, Roc Nation)
14. Cardi B (musician)
15. Sia (songwriter, musician)
16. Ellie Rowsell (musician)
17. Sarah Stennett (CEO at First Access Entertainment)
18. Nicola Benedetti (musician)
19. Hattie Collins (journalist)
20. Dua Lipa (musician)
21. Kathryn McDowell (Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra)
22. Julie Pilat (Global Head of Operations for Beats1)
23. Alice Farnham (conductor and co-founder of Women Conductors)
24. Fiona Stewart (Director of Green Man Festival)
25. Taponeswa Mavunga (Head of Publicity at Columbia Records)
26. Emma Banks (Co-head at Creative Artists Agency)
27. Edwina Wolstencroft (Editor at BBC Radio 3)
28. Linda Perry (songwriter, musician)
29. Vick Bain (CEO of British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors)
30. Jasmine Sandlas (musician)
31. Anna Meredith (composer)
32. Amber Davis (A&R Director at Warner/Chappell Music)
33. Deborah Annetts (Chief Executive at Incorporated Society of Musicians)
34. Sas Metcalfe (Chief Creative Officer, Kobalt)
35. Fiona Dalgetty (Chief Executive of Feis Rois)
36. Grace Ladoja (founder of Metallic Inc and artist manager)
37. Mandy Parnell (mastering engineer and founder of Black Saloon Studios)
38. Issie Barratt (composer)
39. Nadine Shah (musician)
40. Sara Sesardic (Music Editor at Spotify UK)

BASCA is proud to be represented on the Women’s Hour Power List 2018. BASCA has promoted the issue of diversity for a number of years running regular events that celebrate the work of female composers and songwriters and campaigning to broaden diversity of commissions.

Commenting on the Power List, Helienne Lindvall, BASCA Board member and Chair of the BASCA Songwriting Committee and Ivors Awards Committee said “In recent years, BASCA has worked hard to increase female representation and inclusion across our events and the entire music industry. This is also reflected in the awards we give out, including the Ivor Novello Awards, Gold Badge and British Composer Awards. Though we acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to be done, we are thrilled that the efforts of these committed and passionate women is being acknowledged by the BBC”. 

You can read more here

BASCA believes that the creation of a Sony ‘major-superpower’ would limit creator choice and could potentially undermine the future autonomy of Creator Rights.

Sony is seeking approval of the European Commission for its acquisition of EMI Music Publishing. Sony is already the largest music publisher in the world, as well as the second biggest music label. If this sale goes through Sony stand to nearly double their publishing catalogue, growing it from 2.16m to 4.21m compositions, securing a potential hegemony of the global music market. Combined with Sony’s label interests, this merger would effectively create a ‘major-superpower’ with new capability to dominate licensing markets and (via direct online licensing deals) raise serious implications for the autonomy of collective rights management.

Commenting on the pending transaction BASCA Chair, Crispin Hunt said, “At a time when the EU is looking to restore a balanced, diverse and competitive online marketplace for music, to allow the concentration of market leverage in this way seems antithetical to that purpose. As yet, there appears little evidence that the (unchallengeable dogma of the) market-share-music-model will successfully deliver the flourishing musical environment that consumers desire. Sony is a great music company; indeed they acquired, publish and service much of my catalogue. But if we are to heed the economic lessons of ‘too big to fail’, it seems incautious to concede near absolute control of the music market to one player. Setting up the music ecosystem so that it once again runs on competition as opposed to oligopoly is the key to a flourishing market, both online and off.”

A Sony Super-Power could intimidate the creator’s voice and erode the autonomy of collective rights management.

 Creators rely on the transparency, governance and fair distribution of royalties. Collective rights management plays an integral role in ensuring this happens. Improvements are needed to how some CMOs are managed, but the Collective Rights Management Directive in Europe should soon address concerns. However, there is no such regulation over how labels and publishers license, collect and distribute royalties.

Hunt said: “While we recognise the advantage of large music companies in securing value for collective licenses, we also note that large catalogues can exert an asymmetric influence on CMO’s.  Naturally, such catalogues tend to optimise policies for the convenience of the big guys, which could disadvantage the expanding indie and self-releasing sector. The CMO network provides a critical lifeline for most music creators and indie publishers alike. Gigantic catalogues can be good for business — but a Titanic one?”

A super-sized Sony could reduce choice and service for creators

Historically, some creators have found a reduction of service and diligence inevitably accompanies the absorption of catalogue.  Aggregated catalogues, arguably, lack incentive to extract maximum value from each newly acquired work and one-to-one publisher/creator relationships can deteriorate accordingly. Commenting on behalf of the BASCA Songwriters Committee, Helienne Lindvall said, “Creators should expect that their copyrights will be known to the publisher and exploited fully. They should also expect their publishers to work closely with them on a personal level to develop their careers. The opposite has been found to be true for songwriters and composers – including myself – when their rights are transferred from their original publisher to a corporation such as Sony, in merging vast catalogues.”

BASCA is seeking for the Sony transaction to be blocked in favour of EMI being run as a standalone business or else combined with smaller music companies to guarantee a fair and competitive market for European talent.

Whilst commending yesterdays EU Copyright Directive vote result, The UK Council of Music Makers (CMM) launches today comprising of BASCA, the Featured Artist Coalition, the Music Managers Forum, the Music Producers Guild and the Musician’s Union.

The CMM campaigns for a better future for music makers, to ensure that they can thrive in the digital age. The CMM’s mission is to fight for the rights of songwriters, musicians, music producers, music managers, and performing recorded artists that contribute to the music industry’s £4.4bn GVA contribution to the UK economy.

Following the result of the EU Copyright Directive vote, (announced September 12th), the CMM says: “The CMM commends the positive progress made with the vote result. We have supported the activity of our UK and European counterparts on this matter and lobbied at home and in Brussels, to ensure that our message is heard on the importance of the Copyright Directive as an opportunity to modernise the laws and commercial landscape governing how music makers get paid and how music fans engage with music. Music makers bring untold joy and entertainment to the masses. They are significant contributors to culture, as well as providing a grand boost to the economy beyond most other sectors. The CMM believes that the full package of the proposed EU Copyright Directive as a whole will support our community, help modernise the industry, encourage a healthier market with fairness and transparency and promote a sustainable, innovative music business with music makers at its heart. This is vital in ensuring music makers are clearly and adequately remunerated for their work.”

To mark its launch, the CMM teamed up with creative and executive talent at London’s Strongrooms.

Pictured left to right: Top row – Keith Ames (MU), Graham Davies (BASCA), Crispin Hunt (Music maker/BASCA), Fiona McGugan (MMF), Cameron Craig (Producer/Engineer/Mixer/MPG), Frank Carter (Artist), Matt Greer (ATC Management) and Dean Richardson (Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes). Middle row – Andrew Hunt (Record Producer/MPG), Annabella Coldrick (MMF), Jess Iszatt (BBC), Kevin Brennan MP, Dave Rowntree (Musician/FAC), Olga Fitzroy (Recording and Mixing Engineer), Richard Lightman (Producer/Composer/Sound Designer/MPG). Bottom row – Jill Hollywood (Producer manager, Echo Beach Management), Jack Savoretti (Artist), Helienne Lindvall (Songwriter/Musician/BASCA), Ninja (Artist), Issie Barratt (BASCA), Naomi Pohl (MU), Ric Salmon (ATC Management/MMF), Cam Blackwood (Record Producer/MPG). Photo credit: Joanna Dudderidge

As the business of being a music maker continues to evolve, the CMM will continue to campaign for a music ecosystem that is fully fair and fit for purpose – post-Brexit this will be at UK level with government and the IPO, for modernisation of the legal framework.

The CMM is keen to engage partners to collaboratively aid its mission. It calls for government to convene representatives of the rights holders and creators in the music industry, to instigate a thorough discussion on transparency, updating pre-digital era contracts, ensuring contracts are fair, addressing value gaps and inequalities and reviewing revenue flows. The CMM reminds government of its manifesto pledge of; “We will ensure content creators are appropriately rewarded for the content they make available online.”

Without music and someone to perform it, there is no music business.

BASCA Chair, Crispin Hunt says “As CMM, Music Makers provide the UK with a ‘one stop shop’ forum allowing labels, publishers, innovators,  platforms, politicians or lobbies of any kind to commence constructive dialogue towards the fairer , more accurate, more transparent , more progressive, more innovative , more competitive music marketplace we all seek and the future demands. We look forward to that journey’.  Crispin Hunt Chair BASCA. 

Music Maker / FAC / MyCelia, Imogen Heap, says  “As a Music Maker in the digital era, and as part of CMM, I want to ensure the future is positive, progressive, and flourishing for creators in their development and beyond. The current climate around the economics of streaming and the digital transition of the music business has been hampered by outdated laws and outmoded contracts which can be convoluted, confusing and unfair – particularly for those music makers without the resources to fully understand or challenge them. With collective voice and clout as the CMM, we pledge to take action on such issues with government, working with the IPO and others, to create an economy in which music makers can progress and thrive alongside innovations in technology.”

Record Producer / MPG, Cam Blackwood,  adds: “Music makers are the foundation and the future of the music business. The CMM wants to change the broken economics creatives face. The current model is failing future talent while it is based on the past. The CMM is here to make sure it’s sustainable.”

 

CMM launch – Imogen Heap Message from CouncilofMusicMakers on Vimeo.

Two years ago, the European Commission prepared a draft directive “on copyright in the single European market”. This legislation aims to reconcile digital copyright laws throughout the European Union. Under this Directive, creative content on the Internet could flourish and while those who create it could be fairly compensated. Read about the campaign launched by Europe For Creators

 

We need you to Sign the Petition ahead of the EU vote on September 12th
to make the internet fair for creators.

 

We also urge you to take a few minutes to contact your local MEP and…

  1. Introduce who you are and ask for them to approve the Copyright Directive and fix the value gap using Articles 11 and 13.
  2. Explain that some of the global tech giants are laying waste to our creative world, threatening music’s vibrancy and diversity by not fairly compensating creators for the use of their work and that creators need protection, or the world of music will suffer.
  3. Say that you are one of over 37,000 creators from across Europe who have already signed the petition calling on their elected officials to do the right thing.

 

The UK Music industry has united to call on EU members of parliament to secure music’s future. 

Ahead of a crucial vote at the European Parliament on 12 September on the Copyright Directive, which aims to boost the tiny amounts that some tech firms pay out of their enormous profits for music played online, UK Music has launched the #LoveMusic
campaign.

UK Music is fighting for the best possible future for everyone who works in the music industry and who relies on music to make a living. There are some people and tech firms out there trying every trick in the book to block a change that would mean a fairer deal for pretty much everyone in the UK music business.

We need your help to stop that happening and to ensure musicians, creators and everyone in our world-beating music industry are not denied a fair reward for their work. We ask you to sign the petition to support music creators and make the internet fair.

You can read more about the campaign and watch the video below.

Over recent weeks BASCA members have been electing representatives across Classical, Jazz, Media and Songwriting genres, with a number of new faces joining those Committees and the Board.

As well as nine existing Board members – Crispin Hunt, Gary Carpenter, Issie Barratt, Mark Ayres, Marc Sylvan, Helienne Lindvall, Paul Hartnoll, William Sweeney and Rupert Hine, who all retain their seats, Stephen McNeff returns with four new elected members. These are Jo Thomas, Martyn Ware, Dru Masters and Orphy Robinson. Two independent Board members will be announced in the near future.

Following these elections Crispin Hunt – who will remain in post as Chair of the BASCA Board for a further three-year term – said, “I’m delighted to unveil our new Board and Committees, which demonstrates the amazing strength and depth of expertise and experience that we have among the BASCA membership. There are big challenges ahead of us , not least the ongoing issues surrounding Article 13, but I am confident that these strong , diverse teams can be instrumental in taking us forward towards what we all think can be a bright future for songwriters and composers.  ”

>Click here to read more about the Songwriter Committee<< 

>Click here to read more about the Classical Committee<< 

>Click here to read more about the Media Committee<< 

>Click here to read more about the Jazz Committee<< 

 

 

Last night over 300 guests including BASCA members and music industry professionals enjoyed the summer sunshine as BASCA hosted it’s annual summer party at Camden Fest in north London.

David Manders, Jonathan Morrish, Paul Brindley, Michael Stack

Helienne Lindvall, Fiona Bevan, Fay Hine, Orphy Robinson

Entertainment on the night came from 3 finalists competing to secure this years BASCA ACM Scholarship place. Samuel Deed, Elsa Thurley and Leoni Kennedy all performed for guests but it was Elsa that the judging team chose as the winner of a scholarship place at the Academy of Contemporary Music to study Creative Songwriting and will now have her entire course fees funded.

3 finalists, Samuel Deed, Elsa Thurley andLeoni Kennedy

Crispin Hunt (BASCA Chair) with scholarship winner Elsa Thurley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACM first offered the BASCA Scholarship in 2015 when Ivan Proctor was chosen as the first ever recipient. Other winners are Tom Gortler (2016) and Nathan Morgan (2017)

 

The 44th Gold Badge Awards at the Savoy Hotel on Monday 2 Oct. 2017.
Photo by Mark Allan

 

BASCA is delighted to announce that the Gold Badge Awards return for their 45th year to The Savoy in London on Friday 19th October 2018.

The Gold Badge Awards are sponsored by PPL and PRS for Music.

These awards celebrate a unique contribution to music; recognising the achievements of outstanding individuals who have supported and inspired the British songwriting and composing community.

The ceremony celebrates eleven unique contributions to music. The day includes a drinks reception in The Savoy’s River Room overlooking the Thames followed by a three course lunch in the Ballroom.

Tickets are now on sale. If you’d like to receive details please email cindy@basca.org.uk or fran@basca.org.uk

BASCA will announce the identity of those collecting this year’s Gold Badge Awards on Monday 17th September.

 

The 44th Gold Badge Awards at the Savoy Hotel on Monday 2 Oct. 2017.
Photo by Mark Allan

In celebration of her 90th birthday, Thea Musgrave CBE, master of the modern orchestra
and recent Ivor Novello Award recipient, talks about her life in music.

When did you start making music as a child?
My first musical experience was my very first piano lesson as a child of five in Edinburgh. My teacher had the wisdom to ask me to stand on the piano bench and peer over the top of the opened upright piano and look in at the mechanisms all the while as she played the notes on the keyboard. Well, naturally, I was hooked for life! I also had a baby sitter who used to sing Swanee River to me! You studied at the University of Edinburgh, but began studying medicine before switching to music.

How did you realise that you needed to change path?
Well, unlike the rest of the University, the medical school and the music school happened to be in close proximity to each other. Originally I had started studies in medicine intending to find cures for all (yes, all!) the major diseases – but I found myself spending more and more time in the music school rather than cutting up frogs. And the creative opportunities in music eventually won out for me with a different kind of ‘discovery’.

After Edinburgh you moved to Paris for four years to study with Nadia Boulanger. What was she like as a teacher?
Nadia Boulanger was a very important influence on me. The four years I spent with her in private lessons and at the Paris Conservatoire really shaped my discipline and technique as a composer, and helped me enter the wider world of music where I came to find my own individual voice. After studying, you established your career in
London. What was the musical scene like there? It was filled with concerts. I went to one almost every night – frequently with Richard Rodney Bennett, or other composers, or with friends. How did your idea of ‘dramatic-abstract’ composing come about? From a dream actually! I woke up in the middle of the
night terrified from dreaming that, while I was conducting an orchestra, suddenly an instrumentalist stood up and challenged me by going his own way with the music. I laughed about that with my friends at dinner that night. And the very next day (and I mean the very next day) I got a commission to write a piece for Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. That became my very first ‘dramatic abstract’ piece – The Concerto for Orchestra, during which the clarinet
stands up to defy the conductor.

How do you decide which topics or stories are going to work as operas?
The stories that have attracted me and have formed the basis of my operas have all been about issues such as power struggles, sexism, racism, and individual heroic journeys – whether they were successful in the end or not. They are also often about well-known historic personages like Harriet Tubman, Simón Bolívar, or Mary, Queen of Scots – who were all up against strong odds but nonetheless still persevered. But always dramatic situations. As a composer I have been fascinated to shape their journeys for the stage, to write the words they might really have said. And to set and surround their emotions with music, bringing their
dramatic confrontations and lives to the stage so others can feel them as I do.

You have written some of your own libretti. What are the advantages of doing this and what are the challenges?
It was from Mary, Queen of Scots onwards that I took over writing my own libretti. And never looked back. Although other writers may be more experienced at writing plays and poems and prose, I find that the needs of words that are going to be set to music are very different indeed. For instance some pages of text can fly by in fast-moving music, and yet just a few lines can suffice for a long slow aria – where the orchestra can also elaborate upon the feelings and the moment. And it is certainly more efficient for a composer to write the words for the music they will eventually compose, thereby consolidating and organically intensifying their understanding of how the drama moves. It also means one can change words up to the last minute if one needs to. Nobody’s permission needed! Richard Wagner certainly understood the benefit of that process! Ultimately, it is easier for me to talk with myself as both librettist and composer. There is much less chance of misinterpretation, and certainly no need for tact or compromise.

You have written a lot of orchestral music and often conduct your own works. Which orchestras have you particularly enjoyed working with?
I have loved working with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, which gave me my first chances, as well as the other BBC orchestras. In the US, the Philadelphia
Orchestra, Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras as well as several opera companies including San Francisco Opera and the New York City Opera. And then I must mention the years in Virginia.That is where I really learned about opera: from my husband, Peter Mark, who conducted there for nearly four decades, and from all
the wonderful singers, directors, musicians and organisers as well!

Which soloists have you particularly enjoyed working with?
Barry Tuckwell, the famous horn player, now retired. Oboist Nicholas Daniel and French horn player Martin Owen, who are both very active. Conductors Norman
del Mar and Colin Davis, earlier in my career – and, more recently, Martyn Brabbins and Susanna Mälkki. I have only mentioned European (and Australian!) performers.There are also many, many wonderful American performers that I have had the pleasure of working with. I must mention Ashley Putnam, soprano, who gave the first US performances as Mary in Mary, Queen of Scots. She was right at the beginning of her career.

Which composers’ music do you most enjoy listening to?
A long list, inevitably incomplete: Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, Witold Lutosławski, Luciano Berio, Peter Maxwell Davies, Richard Rodney Bennett, the classics, and, of course, Johann Sebastian Bach. Then there is opera. And let us not forget Claudio Monteverdi.

What are the differences in the musical scenes between the UK and United States?
The UK of course is much smaller and its musical life is more concentrated and interconnected. The US is enormous and one simply can’t be in contact with all the
different music centres that exist there. There is also a huge difference in how musical organisations are funded.We need to keep that in mind and make very sure that young people can get the right kind of exposure to the wonders of music at the right age.

Your 90th birthday year is being celebrated with performances throughout the US and Europe. How much will you try to get to? And what are you most looking forward to?
As many as possible! It’s great to see old friends and haunts as well as meet new friends and colleagues. I am very much looking forward to hearing my two new works, Missa Brevis and A Collect for John the Baptist, for the Wells Cathedral this June. And I’m also to going to Stockholm, Sweden – where I have never been – for four concerts of my works as their FOCUS composer in November.

What advice do you have for young composers starting out today?
Be true to yourself. And don’t try to be ‘original’! Above all, make friends with wonderful performers.

At London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama, BASCA curated a day of events
dedicated to media composers – bringing together industry experts and high profile composers
from the worlds of film, TV, adverts and gaming

 

PANEL 1. THE COMPOSER TEAM
A discussion with people who creatively and technically support the composer: what do their roles involve?

Speakers: arranger/conductor AndrewSkeet (AS), score mixer Rich Aitken (RA), musical sound designer Simon Ashdown (SA), and music editor John Warhurst (JW). Moderated by Laura Rossi.

AS: “My role [as arranger/conductor] is to remain as calm as possible and communicate effectively. Ultimately, I’m working for the composer so it’s important that I protect them from complicated social dynamics… “Nowadays, many composers don’t read music but they still have sufficient understanding of the score. However, there are some situations where the composer wants to write a piece with strings that are very high (or in a tricky key) without realising that this will be technically difficult to play.”
RA:“[As a score mixer] I’m often working with, or providing assets to, the dub mixer and director, so I have to be diplomatic. However, my loyalty lies predominantly with the composer… “When I work with stems, I aim to go with what the overall vision for the music is. Normally, the director has the final say on this. It can be difficult when you’ve put a lot of work into live orchestration but hopefully I can spot any potential problems early on, so that I can incorporate different opinions.”
SA: “When I worked on my own as a composer, I struggled with being alone all the time. I made a conscious effort to reach out and start collaborating with other composers, which took some of the pressure off me.”
JW: “[With music editing] it’s important to understand the construction of film, as well as music – ensure you’re just as well acquainted with sound effects and dialogue.”

 

PANEL 2. VIDEO GAME MUSIC
A panel of top video game composers discussed how to break into their industry and the specific challenges of working in the interactive medium.

Speakers: Joris de Man (JdM), James Hannigan (JH), Jessica Curry (JC), and Tess Tyler (TT). Moderated by Richard Jacques.

JdM: “Rather than scoring for a specific scene, think about what the player’s experiencing. For example, if they’re traversing beautiful landscapes, aim to score the experience of what they may be feeling, rather than focusing on their surroundings.”
JH: “There is no set or standard approach to scoring games. It depends on the genre and the role that the user is playing. Ask yourself: are they being told the story? Are they part of the story or an inhabitant of the world?”
JC: “I played piano growing up and composed for pleasure but it never occurred to me that it was a job I could make money from and enjoy, which was an important realisation.”
TT:“It’s important to develop the ability to write little golden nuggets of music that are loopable, and encapsulate an environment or a narrative in four bars that can segue into any game state instantly – whether that’s flying, shooting or exploring. Try not to think of a beginning and an end point. If you have a traditional compositional background, it can be a challenge to switch off that part of your brain.

 

PANEL 3. MEET THE MUSIC SUPERVISORS
A discussion examining the current landscape of the industry, the relationship between the composer and director, advice on what music supervisors are looking for, and how best to secure sync deals.

DN: “If you can keep your emails short and have a point of interest about yourself or about the track that is going to catch someone’s eye, there is a chance it’s going to get listened to and pitched. If you’re starting out, and you’re sending clips of something dark and cinematic and it’s just audio, that doesn’t show us that you’ve got the ability to write to picture – it is important that you can demonstrate that skill.”
LH: “Be very clear about whether you own 100% of the publishing and the master, because as a music supervisor we’re very often caught in a situation where we thought a licensed track was going ahead but then at the last minute something doesn’t get approved… “Everybody has adaptability and can work across different styles, but from our side, it’s much easier to remember somebody if they’ve got one key style that they work in.”
MDV:“Editors often find tracks as well that they will temp in at the beginning, and if it’s working really well then we’ll keep it in. So I would say, if you’re pitching tracks, pitch to editors as well… “I found the perfect track for [a film] – and it was a big sync, it was probably about £15,000 – and the person hadn’t put any metadata on their mp3, so I spent about three days trying to find who had sent it. And I could never find out, so they didn’t get the sync. Going forward, it’s all about the metadata…”
“A really good tip is to contact people on sites like Indiegogo. They don’t get people contacting them, and if you can demonstrate you’re a composer and the directors and producers are interested, you may not get paid, but at least you can create a good show reel if you have about three or four of them at the end of it.”

 

PANEL 4. SURVIVING AS A MEDIA COMPOSER: TIPS + TRICKS
From publishing and pitching to networking and communicating with directors, we look at the art of navigating a career as a professional media composer.

Speakers: Tom Hodge (TH), Nainita Desai (ND), Rob Lane (RL), and Dan McGrath (DM). Moderated by Kevin Sargent.

TH: “If you’re on a tight deadline you don’t have time for writer’s block. Sometimes this can even be helpful to start the flow of ideas. When you
write under pressure or ‘off the cuff’ you might end up creating some interesting, emotionally-charged music.”
ND: “You’re only as good as your last job and can never rely on a few clients alone to bring in the work. Keep networking and searching for new business – otherwise you’ll stay within your comfort zone and only ever work with the same people…” “Directors often want a string of different versions but I think the original one is always the best – this is normally when you have your initial spark of inspiration after seeing the visuals for the first time.”
RL: “We’re all looking for relationships with directors where we have a chance to develop as a composer and work on a variety of projects that stretch us. However,
the way that film and TV is made nowadays makes it harder to build genuine relationships. It’s an ongoing challenge to sustain them… “At some point you have to put
aside your own feelings that are getting in the way of you writing the best music. Ask yourself why you’re committed to defending certain musical choices.”
DM: “We work in a collaborative field. When I decided to make the break from TV and radio production and move into composing for media, the first thing I did was talk to contacts I’d already made within the industry. This has helped me sustain a career throughout the past 20 years… “It’s our job to give back an audio file, within a tight time-frame, that tells a story and makes sense to a producer.”

 

PANEL 5. PRODUCTION MUSIC
Writing production music can offer you a good income and flexibility in your everyday life, but with so many options out there, has the industry reached saturation point?

Speakers: Sarah Pickering (SP), Natalie Dickens (ND), Caspar Kedros (CK), and Dan Graham (DG). Moderated by Marc Sylvan.

SP: “We’re always looking for stems from everybody now, because a lot of the agencies want to do something slightly creative with our tracks. We want to be able to offer that to them without them thinking they have to get something commissioned. Now we can tell them: “you can use this and you can change it.”
ND: “Make your track grow, build and definitely have an end. Do not fade a production music track. Because it’s easy to put an ending on a track, but with a fade, there’s no definite end to it… “When editors are listening to music, particularly library music, jumping through the music really quickly, they are not going to give your piece of music 20-30 seconds. They simply don’t have the time. So, anything that makes it jump out and engage is key.”
CK: “You can write production music, you can write custom bespoke music and you can be in a band. As a person wanting to make a living out of what they love, I think all three are worth pursuing.”
DG: “I gathered a list of maybe 2,000 different email addresses of companies all around the world. I put together some solo piano demos, because that was the easiest thing to do at that point, and just sent them out. Out of the 2,000 I sent out, I got maybe three or four positive responses… “It’s the connections that you make that will lead to other things.”

 

To watch video footage of the Media Composer Conference, please visit: https://basca.org.uk/ display-benefits/videos/

 

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