Why am I a Composer? (Part 2)

When I was about seven or eight years old my mom bought me a Muppets keyboard. It was little and only had about two octaves. It taught you how to play songs from The Muppets using lights as training and then you could try and play them without help. It wasn’t long until the onboard songs got old and I began making up my own songs and figuring out familiar melodies by ear.

When I think of playing that keyboard the first song that comes to mind isn’t one of the built in Muppet songs, and it isn’t “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Happy Birthday.” The song that comes to mind is the main theme to Jurassic Park, a beautiful melody written by the brilliant film composer John Williams. Being able to play that song by ear and hear it whenever I wanted gave me a lot of joy. And although I didn’t realize it then, it also paved the way for my curiosity as to why I loved film music and how it served the movie it was intended for.

It was evident early on in my musical development how important music was to any form of media, be it a commercial, radio jingle, television show, or feature film. That moment you hear the rush of a string quartet and feel a lump in your throat during a love scene, or the sound of eerie intermitant piano notes in a horror movie right before the victim is attacked. Imagine watching the Rocky training montage without hearing “Gonna Fly Nowby Bill Conti, or any Mission Impossible movie without the main theme by Lilo Schifrin. In both cases you’d just be left with a lot of sweating and running. No one runs like Tom Cruise though, let’s be honest. That can almost carry the scene on its own.

Until about a year ago I had no serious aspirations of pursuing film composing as a career, but then I met Nate. Nate overheard me playing one of my own original songs on the guitar and said, “hey, you should come record that at my studio.” Well, one song turned into eight, and the next thing I knew I had my second solo record and developed a great new friendship and working relationship in the process.

After that record was done Nate asked me if I’d like to start a business being a composing team. I was thrilled and said, “YES!!”. Actually I probably said more than that, but this is a G rated blog. And thus, Scotch and Coda Productions was born.

Nate and I have a great way of working together. Our personalities mesh really well and we share a lot of common musical influences. There is a lightness and comfort level that allows for inspiration to bloom without the fear of judgment or rejection. This kind of creative chemistry is very hard to find and I am grateful for that.

We have already done several projects together now and I can honestly say it’s one of the most enjoyable things I do as a professional musician. It is so creatively satisfiying to compose music to a scene and see it come to life when it works. We had the priveldge of seeing a short film we scored play to a full audience in a theater a few months ago and it was quite a revelation. I’m very inspired to grow as a composer and serve whatever project I’m working on the best I can. I can also rest easy knowing I have a supurb composing partner and engineer to work with in Nate. I’m excited about the future of Scotch and Coda and where the music will take us.