I’ve been wanting to blog for quite some time now, but for some reason it doesn’t end up on the top of my priority list as often as I would like. Somehow time with Miles seems to take precedence, and I’m totally ok with that.
I have probably half a dozen things I want to blog about, since there have been changes a-plenty around here. Have you heard about our new studio space? ADDY awards? Center X Productions recordings? No? I haven’t blogged about any of that yet? Hmmm. Ok, maybe tomorrow. For now…
This blog starts in the year 1998. I was out of college and living in Atlanta. I had left teaching middle school band at that point, and was surviving off of private lessons and ramen noodles so I could pursue my dream of writing music for film and television. As part of my exploration into the field, I visited a local studio or two to see what they do, and ended up on a tour at the Todd AO studio in down town Atlanta. Half way through the tour I watch a guy putting shoe squeaks, net swooshes and basketball dunks to a video. It was an ESPN commercial for March madness. I was totally fascinated watching him time out each dunk and swish. Sweeeeet. I was in nerd heaven. I could have sat and watched him the rest of the afternoon.
So… jump ahead to this past fall, and, well, check this video out:
Go watch it again. And crank it up… That’s right, every swish, swoosh, squeak, dunk, cheer, and beat, baby. The only part I didn’t create is the voice over. I even grabbed a handful of basketball sound effects from various foley sites to create a custom basketball synth in Kontakt to make the rhythm track. It was a fun project in part because Punch hadn’t actually edited all the footage, so I wrote the music based on his concept. Then he edited it to what I wrote. Then I re-worked several parts of the audio to really fit the visuals he had created. This tight back and fourth creates a really strong connection you just can’t get with stock music.
Unfortunately, I haven’t see it on TV yet! I’ve actually heard it’s even been playing on radio. Let me know if anyone out there hears it!
Put sound FX to basketball promo. Check.
Thanks for watching!
I’m blogging from my iPhone, so this is going to be brief, but I just had to post that Totally Rad Actions is running a giveaway you don’t want to miss!
There’s still time, so be sure to leave them a comment for a chance to win!
BTW, if you aren’t the lucky winner, they have a coupon for 15% off there too. So everyone’s a winner!
I know this is a little shameless self promotion, but I just have to blog about a couple photographers who are using some of my music!
First, Robin Cornett has posted a blog featuring her slideshows, so her clients can get excited about seeing their shoot set in motion. I have to say, there’s definitely a thrill seeing something I’ve written paired up with someone else images. (She’s using The Artsy Girl With An Edge, in case you wondered.) Of course, it helps that her photography is beautiful and she did a wonderful job capturing this sweet, happy family!
I feel kind of honored and even a little proud when I watch one of these shows. I recognize that the music a photographer uses becomes a part of their brand, so I’m genuinely honored when someone puts that kind of trust in something I’ve created. Thanks, Robin, both for the blog love and for letting me be a part of your photography business. Oh, and if you’re in the Fort Myers, FL and need a photographer, I definitely have one I would recommend…
The second photographer I wanted to share is Cassie. She’s a relatively new photographer in Ontario who has chosen to use The Girl Next Door and The Popular Girl as background music for her entire website! I actually have to thank Cassie for her patients. When she placed her order, I had a problem with my shopping cart and she didn’t get her music. However, it took me a week to realize it! So, a big thank you to Cassie for her patients and for helping my troubleshoot my shopping cart. (Which is fixed, by the way!) I also wanted to blog about Cassie because even though I offer my music for slideshows, she is using it to set the tone for her entire site!
Thanks for letting me share some of my little successes. I’ve been trying desperately to write another show for high school marching bands, so it’s been a tough week. Revisiting these sites has been just the pick-me-up I needed.
I moved to Fort Wayne in December before 2000 to work for Sweetwater. They where hiring musicians from all across the country to work as sales engineers there, so just after Thanksgiving I packed up my few belongings and (with the help of my Dad), moved from Atlanta to Fort Wayne to sell music technology to other musicians.
Ok, so I’m not a salesman. It only took me 8 months to come to that conclusion, which is as long as I worked for Sweetwater, but in that time I met Amil, who had started the same week I did. He was a musician from New York City who also moved here to work for Sweetwater. It is through Amil that I eventually met my wife, Betsy, who ALSO worked for Sweewtater, after I left. Follow me?
Anyway, Amil has always been interested in film making. We even shot some scenes here before he moved back to New York sometime during 2001. We’ve stayed in touch over the years and just this spring he emails me to tell me that he’s going to make his first short film and wanted to know if I’d write the music for it.
Are you kidding me?
I’ve loved getting to work with him again. He’s very talented, very motivated, very tenacious, and very laid back. And a film maker now too. Here’s the trailer for the film:
We also put together a website for the move:
It stars talented actors, Kristen Lewis and Dan Chen. The incredible, original music is by John King. Links for more info about them are on the site.
This film is fairly simple, since it’s my first one. I’m planning on shooting another short (about 30-40 minutes long) late this year or early next year, in Upstate, NY.
I think he’s done an awesome job with every aspect of the production and for his first film, is pretty remarkable. I can’t wait to share the whole short. It was both an incredible challenge and a joy to work on!
Thanks for watching!
Another week, another senior! I know I said a short film was next, but the post has been hijacked. I love having Betsy’s regular demands keep me at the piano keyboard, and this week is no exception. She needed music for her latest gorgeous senior, and I was just the guy for the job. Here’s the slideshow for The Metta One:
So, why The Metta One? Well, let me start by saying I have an INCREDIBLY hard time naming my pieces. It’s almost as if all my creative energy goes into the actual notes, so when it comes time to name it, I’m tapped out. All I can come up with are horribly cheesy names like “Rainbow Lashes” and “Summer Rain”. Not good. So, of course I elicit the help of my wonderful wife and together we are usually able to come up with something. This piece took the better part of 2 days. On our evening pug walk, Betsy suggested “The Zen One” amongst other ideas. I kept saying it, wondering if it worked, when she finally looked me with that “Duh!” look. “The Metta One” she said. Bingo. Now why didn’t I think of that?
Thanks for watching! If you have any questions about the music or the templates, be sure to check out the Music for Photographers section of my website. There’s even a new Help section with a quick ShowIt Web timing template tutorial. Say that 5 times fast.
I have a quick blog post tonight. I just added a FAQ section with answers to some questions I’ve gotten so far regarding my music for photographers.
Of course, I only have two questions so far. That means, more than likely, if you’ve got a question about the music or the timing templates that I haven’t answered, you haven’t asked it yet! So get on the horn and ask away.
Secondly, I’ve added a down and dirty Help Section. Here you’ll find a PDF to help new ShowIt Web timing template users get up and running. Hopefully there’s a lot of good info in there, even for those of you who’ve put together a show or two.
And if you are a member of the short-attention-span club or president of the I-am-so-busy-I-don’t-have-time-to-read-something support group, then I’ve made a quick screen cast with just the basic info you need to apply a timing template.
So, if help is what you need, go check it out.
Up next… A short film!
And then there were seven:
Announcing the 7th piece added to my catalog of Music for Photographers:
The Bubbly One
Each piece I write is like a little child to me. They have their own personality, their own strengths and weaknesses, and I get a little nervous every time I send one out into the world. But send them I must!
So, what do I say about this one? I think it’s different, but in a good way. I focused on the marimba and vibe to carry the tune. They’re a beautiful pair, with the woody warm sound of the marimba in contrast with the more bell like metallic ring of the vibe. My favorite part though is the way the harmony floats around. There’s something very… etherial yet satisfying about it.
This is actually a piece I had written for Betsy a few months ago, and I had completely forgotten about it. As I’m going through my archives and preparing music for photographer use, I re-discovered this one. I remember when I wrote it and played it for Betsy the first time, she looks at me and said flatly “That sounds like marching band.” I don’t think that was meant as a compliment… But in her defense, the marimba and vibe are common instruments in indoor percussion music, which I was working on at the time. However, after listening to it several times again today while I worked on the timing templates, I have to say it has become one of my favorites. And who knows, maybe I’ll turn it into a piece for marching band some day!
Thanks for tuning in!
P.S. – Only one more week to take advantage of 20% off your entire purchase! Just enter MettaAudio as the coupon code when you’re getting ready to check out.
P.P.S. Yes, Betsy is one of my toughest customers. And for the record, she loves this piece now too. I don’t know what made the difference. Maybe it’s the strings…
Yes. We’re a little bit nutty about the Johnny Appleseed Festival. Nutty in that we planned our wedding for the same weekend because they ALWAYS have beautiful weather for the festival. Nutty because we will NOT schedule anything else for the weekend it’s here. Nutty because we build up our expectations, get excited, talk it up for weeks prior. And for all that hype in the King family, honestly, the Johnny Appleseed Festival does not disappoint! This weekend is the festival so today Betsy and I took Miles, and I think it’s safe to saw we all loved it. See for yourself:
I think Miles makes a great narrator! This was a really fun bit to put together, by the way. I’ve always had a thing for putting sound to pictures just like this. It’s like NPR, but with photos. For some reason just having ambient audio helps tell the story in a way straight video doesn’t quite do. And now that I can very easily record voice memos on my iPhone, you’ll probably be seeing more to come. Think of it as an audio photograph. Kind of a fitting thing to put to my wife awesome photography, don’t you think?
Thanks for watching. If you live in the big FW, BTW, and you haven’t been to the festival in a while, you should go tomorrow. And if you do, look for us. Even though we went today, we’re craving another fix before the most wonderful time of year is gone once again.
P.S. – Want to see my wife’s take on the festival? She’s blogging about to right now, too. See, told you were were nutty about it!
Today is Betsy and my 4 year anniversary! To celebrate, I thought I’d start with a photo:
In honor of our relationship, I have a little story to share. Before Betsy, I was really good at being single. in fact, the longest relationship I had ever been in prior to Betsy was 4 months, and that was my freshman year of college. That’s not to say I didn’t want to be in a long term relationship, in fact quite the opposite. I just didn’t stick around for very long if you weren’t “The One.” So I lived my happy little life dumping and being dumped, and in general just learning how to be good at being single. Oh, and endlessly pining for, you know… “The One.”
Anyway, long story short too late, (as Betsy would say…) as Betsy and I neared our “4 month dating anniversary”, I genuinely started to get nervous. I’d never made it past this point. And I knew that if Betsy and I were to break up, she’d have to do the dumping, because for me, I’d found “The One.” I just knew I had. Much to my delight, she didn’t dump me after 4 months. In fact, she hasn’t dumped me yet!
So why did I pick these pictures? Because no matter what tomfoolery may be erupting around me, sitting across from my sweet Betsy at the table is my happy place. It was on our first “date” at Casa. It was on our honeymoon. It was this morning. And I hope that it will be for a lifetime to come.
Happy Anniversary, Betsy! Thanks for being my “One!”
After writing about Music for Photographers, I’m switching to another genre I’m passionate about: Music for film and TV! I’ve been very lucky over the last couple months to do some work with Punch Films. If you’re not familiar with Punch, they are the visual masterminds behind the Tin Caps promo. Since working on Tin Caps with Derek and his team, I’ve had a chance to do several other local and state wide spots, each of which brought new challenges and new opportunities.
Although TV ads are the bread and butter for Punch, every once in a while they will put together a longer work that gives them a chance to stretch their legs a bit, show what’s possible. Derek came to me with this spot, looking for music. His request? Write something that’s like Desperate Housewives that doesn’t actually sound like Desperate Housewives. And this is what I came up with. Enjoy!
Part of what makes working with Punch so much fun is Derek’s business partner, John. John does comedy and does it really well, especially when he teams up with Jeff Rogers, the lead actor in this spot. I’m very lucky that part of my day job is writing music to help make people laugh! I’ve got a few more Punch collaborations to share, by the way!
Thanks for stopping by. Oh, and if you’re a photographer looking for more new music, I’ll have some by the end of the week. Promise!