The artistic dilemma

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  • #35801 Reply

    A little while ago I received a brief from a library and they had reference tracks. I listened to the first one a couple times. It was a solid track and is clearly getting placements/attention if the library sent it as a reference. Here’s my issue: it sounded like it was written by Heavyocity. I’m not saying someone has stolen a track. I’m saying it sounds like the Heavyocity sound palette, not the composer imho. Not throwing shame, it WAS a good track. If this is the TARGET for your composition, it brings up my internal battle between art vs. commerce. I always lean towards the art side (so my piece will have meaning and more substance than an Evolve chug), even if I miss the mark a little bit.

    How are you dealing with this? Write as close to the mark as possible and don’t sweat it (after all, it is business)? Create as much art within the context of the brief as possible? Write polkas from now on and hope that the universe catches up?

    Thanks for any and all opinions.

    #35802 Reply

    My 2c… I’m a fulltime muso… But, relative newb in the library business… Just 2 years in.

    While writing for libraries, I don’t worry about artistry… Just match the brief… And off it goes.

    To satisfy my artist side, I compose and produce songs without any tangible outlet. I do this maybe once a month… Just so I don’t forget why I started doing music in the first place. Keep the music fan alive… 🙂

    #35803 Reply

    Unless it’s a work-for-hire I always compose for myself first. Music is my life’s work. I don’t want to be a copycat composer. No satisfaction in that. However I’ve purposely have composed in the style of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Gershwin, Albenez, etc. Kind of novelty tracks. “In the stlye of”, but still original. Like this one:
    BTW, just because you compose for yourself, doesn’t mean a library can’t use it.

    Best, John

    #35804 Reply

    Fully agree… I’ve started submitting my individualised songs to libraries… My tastes do lean towards the mainstream… So, hopefully that’ll help.

    #35812 Reply
    Art Munson

    BTW, just because you compose for yourself, doesn’t mean a library can’t use it.

    So true. Robin and I have composed in many styles just because it was fun to do. I would say that the majority of them have been placed somewhere. There was one strange piece, written about 10 years ago, that never was placed until a couple of years ago. It showed up in a well paying commercial.

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