Monday, May 19, 2014

The devil's coming round now honey: So, you want to write music for films? Start here.

Today I learned about writing for music libraries, which is considered a viable way of making a living. And it's all due to a promotional commercial for the TV show CSI.

The song with the lyrics "The devil's comin' round now honey, you better lock your front door," appeals to me. I've only heard it in the CSI commercial. What liking this song says about me, however, I don't know. It's dark, bluesy, and thrusting.

There's case, there's no way to embed the song that I can see, but
you can listen to it at the APMmusic website here.

The Devil's Comin' Round is listed under Kingdom 2, Motorcycle Blues by Level One Black (?). The Motorcycle Blues collection is said to be music that can "accompany you on your trip down the dusty interstate," and it was composed by Gooding, who has a band by the same name. Kingdom 2 is Gooding's catalog at APM.

According to the APMmusic website, "APM Music is the world's leading creative music house and production music library." Basically, it provides music scores for films of all types.

Perhaps the following information about Gooding will clarify what that means and what it means to write music for the library music business:
He has also placed over 100 songs in film, TV, and DVDs for Iron Man 2, Walk the Line, Children of Men, We Are Marshall, Ice Age 2 and The Matrix: Revisited. In addition, he's also helped sonically rebrand CNN, CNNi, CNN Espana, A&E and PBS. Gooding accomplishes all of this through his own indie label, S3 Records, and his publishing catalog, Kingdom 2 Music.
 Also, here is APM's 2014 Music Showreel from its YouTube channel:

Something in this video is bound to sound familiar to you if you watch TV and movies.

Finally, if you're curious about writing music for music libraries, listen to this SXSW discussion on "writing for music libraries." According to the panel's description:
Writing for a music library allows composers and artists to build their composition skills, expand their musical vocabulary and generate income on an on-going basis...and it can be done in your spare time while you pursue your core artist career.
Gooding's included in the panel, and he's a straight shooter about earning a living by writing for libraries.  If I was a musician/composer, I'd really be stoked by this information. In a way, it sounds like writing for content agencies (aka "mills"), but I suspect writing for music libraries pays better.

It's good for writers and composers of all types to remember that not every writer will be famous, not every writer will be wealthy, but quite a few may be able to earn a living doing what they love.

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