Studio Life: Piano Recording for Film/TV

When you think about Christmas break in college, you might imagine sleeping in, spending time with family and old friends, and just doing nothing.  While it’s true that I did do all of the above a little bit, for me, going home is always a time for recording and composition.

This is what my "break" looked like
This is what my “break” looked like

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Starting a New Chapter!

I’m excited to say that I have just been brought on as a composer by the production music library Musinc!  From now on, anything I write and record, once accepted into the library, will be available for licensing for film, TV, and other media.  The material from Airborne is already in the catalog.  There will also be opportunities for filmmakers and music supervisors to commission me to write custom pieces.

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The Secret Life of a Music Major

“Music students: as the semester grinds on you may feel intensely burnt-out. You may even consider dropping out of music altogether. If that happens, go back and listen to your favorite recordings, make music with your friends, do anything you can to remind yourself why you loved music before you started studying it. An education in music can be a very good thing, but it can also squeeze the life out of any love you ever had for it. Don’t let it.”

Recently, I came across this quote by Eric Whitacre from his blog, via Facebook. The timing couldn’t have been better.

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How I Overcame Composer’s Block

String Quartet No. 1

It was a Friday night, and I found myself, once again, sitting alone in my dorm room, alternating between staring at my much-too-blank score and at the dusty keys of my keyboard. Making progress on my midterm composition project seemed impossible. I’d never even written a string quartet before. How was I supposed to write my first one in three weeks? And it wasn’t like I could spend the entire day working on it for three weeks—I had fifteen other credit hours of course work to deal with on top of daily two-hour piano practicing.

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Exceptions Are the Rule – “Airborne” Studio Diaries, Part 1

In The Studio

After five years of studio work, I somehow continue to hope that, maybe, my next recording session will be “normal”—no technical problems, no surprises, and no burnout.  But I’ve never had a “normal” session.  Apparently, in the studio, exceptions are the rule.  

Recently, as I’ve been recording my piano album Airborne, every day has been an exception:  five-hour experiments gone bad, poorly timed thunderstorms, and unexpected results.  Don’t believe me?  Read on. Continue reading “Exceptions Are the Rule – “Airborne” Studio Diaries, Part 1″

288 Hours

Oh, the doom of May 18!
Oh, the doom of May 18!

May 18.  The day is burned in my mind.  It ominously looms over me like a storm cloud, on the verge of raining havoc upon my world.  So what dreadful tribulation shall befall me on this date?

May 18 is my album’s tracking deadline.

No big deal, right?  Wrong—I still have to finish writing one of the pieces (which I’ll refer to as “F Minor” for now) on the album.  That’s a serious problem—really serious. Continue reading “288 Hours”

Studio Diaries – “My Heart Beats,” Part 1: Long Hours and Little Sleep

I know I said I was going to make posts about everything that happened this summer, but right now, I’m in the middle of something big–I’m producing my first album.  I’m producer, engineer, executive producer, and keyboardist on Singer/Songwriter Lily Garay‘s debut bilingual pop EP “My Heart Beats.”   For the next few weeks, I’m going to be keeping a “Studio Diary” so you can have an insider’s look at the whole thing.  I will also have some mixing and production tips interspersed here, too, to make it even more interesting. Continue reading “Studio Diaries – “My Heart Beats,” Part 1: Long Hours and Little Sleep”

Finishing a Project: The “Now What?” Question

After several months of work, I have finally finished a song I wrote called “I Am Free.”  It’s by far the best pop or rock song I’ve ever written, and it’s definitely the best mix I’ve ever made, too.  (I’m still waiting for a few things before I can upload it, but in my next post, I’ll probably have it uploaded and I can talk about it more.)  Emotionally, “I Am Free” took a lot out of me to write.  I’ve put so much into this one song, but now I’m done.  So I ask myself: “Now what?”

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I’m sure of what I hope for

When people ask me, “What do you want to do for a career?” and I tell them that I’m a music producer and composer, they always look at me like I don’t know what I’m talking about.  They always seem to be thinking “That’s nice, but don’t you want to eat?” and they often ask about my “backup plan.”  But the way I see it, if I don’t go all out, I’m definitely not going to make it.  I work as hard as I can and dare myself to fail harder.  If I had a backup plan, I would already be admitting my failure.  I know that God has called me to music as a career, and to not believe it will work out is to say that I don’t trust God.

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