Paul Gelsomine – Composer Interview

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    Art Munson

    1.) Your name??

    Paul Gelsomine

    2.) Any credits you care to mention?

    The way some libraries operate today it’s really hard to tell sometimes where all the cues are. But I will mention the following: Music has been used mostly in national and international TV shows: Auction Kings, Food Network, Around the Globe, Travel Channel, DIY Net, HGTV, CMT TV, Swanderosa, Texas Woman, Switched At Birth, TV 2 Norge, RAI Tre TV Italy, Unposto al Sole, All On The Line Cues, AmSale Girls, Best Things I Ever Ate, Big Hair Alaska, CCH Good Energy, Howe And Howe Tech, Little Couple, Originals with Emiril, Surprise Home Coming, Travelers Guide to Life, Ultimate Travel, to name a few. In two films: Heat, Breaker Beauties, and some commercials; WASA, Mastercard.

    3.) How long have you been writing music?

    Over 35 years.

    4.) How did you get started?

    Started working with Shelby Singleton and Royce Clark a long time back on a fluke trip to Nashville one time. They helped me get into it using me as a session player and an in house writer for many years. After moving back to New York (where I am originally from) I started working as a session player and continued writing.

    5.) How long have you been writing library/production music?

    Relatively new at the game. About 5-6 years. Although did do a soundtrack a long time ago that won some awards out in LA.

    6.) Are you making a living wage writing library/production music?

    Not just with Library / production music. I supplement my income composing for other artists & producers, writing lyrics for the same, working as a language consultant, voice-over talent, banjo player, singer, drummer and diverse other music related services.

    7.) Do you care to give any general figures of annual earnings (low/mid/high 5, 6, 7 figures)?

    I guess it will be in the mid 6 figures this year, but my income is like an old roller coaster. Up and down!

    8.) Are you self-taught or have you studied formally?

    Self taught. Was in the marching band in grade school. Learned some rudiments there. A drummer. Started working steady as a freelance /session drummer around 1970, after the basement bands period.

    9.) Do you work through music libraries?

    Yes. Always looking for more / good library opportunities to be part of.

    9a.) If so are they exclusive and/or non-exclusive libraries?

    I currently work with both.

    10.) Do you contact music supervisors, music editors or TV production companies directly?

    Yes, always looking to network with people and build solid business relationships.

    10a.) If so how do you approach them?

    Many different ways. Cold calls, e-mails, links to tracks, connecting on LinkedIn. Some aren’t approached actually, we are just friends I guess, and maybe business will develop. Who knows?

    11.) How do you deal with rejection?

    Take a little here and there, and keep on making music.

    12.) How do you feel about re-titling?

    Don’t think it’s the best practice for composers, but works for publishers / libraries to help keep track of placements.

    13.) What do you have the most success with, royalty free sites or back end PRO royalties?

    Back end. Have never been involved with Royalty Free Sites.

    14.) Any tips about writing descriptions, keywords and/or metadata?

    I guess everyone’s hip to this, but spreadsheets are handy. Saves a lot of time to clip and glue.

    15.) Any trends you would like to comment on (YouTube Content ID, Internet Royalties)?

    In this digital music age (I guess that’s what they call it now) well, I’m waiting for the playing field to even out a little.

    16.) What sort of advice would you give to someone just entering the library/production music world?

    If you don’t have a good portion of patience you’re better off looking for other work.

    And finally!

    17.) If you were not writing music what would you be doing?

    Playing music somewhere.

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