When you forget you’re “you”!

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I have a need to flesh out a rant of sorts. Ok not entirely constructed on the bed of venom or angst but more like sheer frustration. Not for me, not just for others striving with me, but the fact we do at times neglect our strong points and in the process we expect ALL RESULTS TO BE THE SAME!!!

My angle on this is music libraries once more. I feel a need to make return visits to this universe because

A its changing so fast, not all of the advice you give has a lifespan past 6 months.

B the common factors are still largely misunderstood.

And its the second aspect i need to get into. I hear so very often this statement and variations of it.

                                                                                          “I APPLIED TO THAT LIBRARY , THEY HAVEN’T PLACED ANY OF MY MUSIC?.”

The variation of this is legion. From why do you feel its such a good market, to “i need to try such and such.com as i heard they pay big upfront fees”. Or “im holding out for a deal and shopping around cos i know there will be something thats ideal for me”

well the last one has certainly got some mature adult thinking behind its motivation. We all want to make sure we get the best deal but the key thing is we are ALL very different and what we bring to the market is uniquely different to the next 20 composers.

This is part of where my frustration comes from. Why use XXX library/agency? they have never replied or given advice or placed any music. Your buddy writing for the same place has already had 5 shows placing 50 times and making good in roads. To the extent that the music supervisors now send you briefs for there projects knowing they have “there guy” onboard.

Did you ever apply to a regular 9-5 job and once you clocked in everyday, did you start to notice some of the other workers weren’t committed like you?, maybe there whole attitude as to what was going to happen over the next 12 months of employment was startlingly different to your mindset? There are often many interpretations to a request from your boss as to the efficient and timely manner it gets done.

This whole analogy of sorts applies in many ways to what we perceive and what that end result is. This negates for one moment all  the unique ways we compose, treat sound and understand and interpret the task/genre/ brief. So many variables.

And then we begin to digest our differences with a clearer understanding.Some people are hired onto a gig because they do have a certain one off take on approaching music. Its a good fit for the gig, for the show identity.How can we possibly expect every single composer to perfectly click with those needs and have a style and sound that mates up every time??

Is annoying for this reason – We place so much importance in developing or own styles and we spend years and years molding into our very own voice but as soon as we start pitching for work, we forget this immensely powerful and crucial factor.

You will always come out of this with some angle or twist that makes you “musically you”.

So my rant gathers pace when i say, quit moaning that your successful mission to become your own person with your own ID when you don’t have the exact same success rate as any other composer.IT MAKES NO SENSE!!!!

Its what you wake up for and yet its a road block and you built it.It is your key strength and unique take on the world as you see it. so what if you dont mirror the success as your colleagues in one chosen area. You cant compare someone over a 30 minute or less sound clod grilling session either. It just doesnt work like that.

You harness your “angry ears” over another composers music asking, why is this more right for the job, why is it that i THINK what i do is perhaps better, yet this guy is knocking it clean out of the park.Well you spent all your time learning all those skills, did you really think that you would end up as a clone of your peer? and is that what you really want?

Its when you see lists of music libraries and agencies and a rating next to them.People giving you a list of reasons why they have rated them and how successful you might become if you send in a bucket of cues.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! argggggggggghh It drives me nuts.The music business isnt like retail, hospitality etc. So stop trying to rate it like a nice hotel you stayed in or a airline you fly with. It just doesnt work like this

But Russ what about companies that screw you??? well to some degree, most would say that all of them have faults and as the landscape continues to shift, some part of any one deal will be considered workable for one guy, and repugnant to the next. so it doesn’t work does it.

What about the client list for each library?????

Well it sometimes holds water but mostly it works out a little more like this. You “think” a bunch of there clients are what you will be hitting each week. In fact they deal with dozens and dozens of clients and over a period of a few years, someone big throws them a bone.It doesn’t mean that seeing there boast list will apply to you.

It just meant after a persistent life on the phone, at meetings, they bagged a few chances.And if this big high brow list is more consistent,what makes you think you will be the guy who places???? read all the above. we are all different!

One more painful misconception is the networks they deal with. Your shaking your head at this point and walking away from all those smaller cable networks cos they just dont make any money.

Well this isnt true at all. In fact the opposite can be true with some good usable cues.Yu forget the survival of these shows is competing for space, airtime for sponsors. FOR NUMBERS. so they get repeated over and over, your cues get paid over and over.Before you know it, half of those shows everyone says ” i have never heard of this show” just paid for your mortgage for 3 months and settled the Xmas bill.so don’t knock it.

Libraries that promise big cuts of the licence fee and then all writers share plus some take of the publishing,assuming you have a self pub registered with your pro etc?

but exactly how long do you think you will be waiting on lots of placements if this is the deal they offer AND, they currently have extremely high submission rates from hundreds of composers??How on earth will you be seen??

Its all well and good saying you are signed to someone who will pay you the highest set rate for all your hard work when the chance to place comes around like Halleys comet.So you don’t like paying your bills??? lol i get it. your arty and will only sell when someone appreciates your artistic bent. good luck tell me how that worked for you …..


Oh boy. ok so you and 3 dozen other composers that week sent in 5 tracks. Do you have any idea the man hours it takes to not only work through those cues, but tailor your clients request to some of this music you just received? and some of these libraries are so big, so successful, they get HUNDREDS of cues every few days .So you expect an email reply to every single composer??? you are dreaming im telling you now.

if you run a business like this, you will reply to the first dozen guys who have totally nailed it.first off they got it so tell them. then ask them for any revisions, then print off the stems and alt mixes and then point them towards other stuff you now know they can do.

if you operate a big business in any other working model, it had better be something special cos your going down.

But we are artistic creatives we deserve a reply?

No no we dont. its not an ideal world as we keep telling ourselves on facebook lol. Its a hard thing to do somedays to wake up and tick all the boxes and come out in one piece.The world doesn’t owe us a living but for some reason, music, not being a “proper job”, its ok to assume we have special rules and common sense goes out the window. But it really doesn’t.

we’re either hitting ir, or we’re not. id like to wrap this up with a Jerry Springer like final thought, or a joke, a food for thought proposition but im not going to do any of those trite things. I just want everyone i know around me who i know works fucking hard, to get everything they can from this. But ultimately to understand why its not life or death if they dont share the exact path of the next guy.

You fought so hard to be you, so you have to live with it.


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