Maybe you will want to stay on hold a little longer... 

I wrote an article for MarketingProfs a little while back about how most businesses, - including multibillion dollar companies who should know better - do a bad job of creating a positive phone experience for customers. Luckily, global software company Zendesk is not such a company. Zendesk will soon be offering a business phone system offering, and I was happy to be a part of their recent efforts to create a fun hold music track. 

Read more on their blog: https://www.zendesk.com/blog/best-hold-music/

Bret Michaels and Overstock.Com Need to 'Rock This House' a Bit Harder 

I just saw the new ad for Overstock.com featuring Brett Michaels (see below).  I was surprised to see that such a stereotypical stock music-sounding track was used in the spot. The music was fine in and of itself (your typical happy-acoustic-guitar-plus-whistling fare common in ads), but it didn't exactly evoke a Brett Michaels kind of vibe. I mean come on, "Rock this house" is the catchphrase! Where is the electric guitar??

I think they are missing some big opportunities here to create some highly…

Read more

Can we finally do away with the term 'alternative rock'? 

As human beings, our minds are wired to categorize everything in the world around us. It's a natural and important aspect of being able to make sense of the seemingly infinite data points we encounter each day. However, categorization is not always a perfect science, and this is especially true in the world of modern music. 

Alternative rock was a concept born out of the 1980's, and was an umbrella term that the record industry developed to describe a group of bands and artists who were making music…

Read more

My Interview With an Audio Branding Guru 

 

Does your company have an audio branding strategy? Does it need one? What exactly is audio branding, anyway?

To start, let's define the term. The Audio Branding Academy (ABA) in Hamburg, Germany is a global thought leader on the use of sound in strategic communications, and on their website they define audio branding as:

 "...the process of brand development and brand management by use of audible elements within the framework of brand communication. It is part of multi-sensory brand communication and

Read more

The Human Touch in a Virtual World 

Though a previous blog post of mine may suggest that our world of virtual samples could one day eliminate session musicians (singularity anyone?), the fact is that in the present day there is still no substitute for the real thing. Lately, I have had more projects where there's been a budget for third party musicians, and it's been fun to collaborate with new people I've never before worked with.

I especially like to use remote session musicians who make my job easier in terms of not having to conduct a…

Read more

Behind the music of Orphan Black - My Exclusive Trevor Yuile interview 

      

If you haven't yet seen the TV series Orphan Black, you're missing out. Since the show's debut season ended in 2013, there's been a groundswell of interest and buzz about this intriguing new program - most of it via word of mouth from newly converted fans. My girlfriend and I recently marathoned the first season on Amazon Prime and I found myself instantly hooked. Season 2 debuts this coming week on Saturday April 19th on BBC America in the states and on Space in Canada - I will definitely be…

Read more

Programming tempo rubato with MIDI 

I recently wrote a minor key waltz while sitting down at the piano. Parts of the piece were beyond my technique level so I decided to orchestrate a MIDI version of the piece using Logic Pro.

Downers_Waltz.mp3

The challenge was that the piece is a slow minor key waltz that is best performed with tempo rubato, meaning the tempo should fluctuate based on a performer's "in the moment" expression. Programming a computer sequencer to emulate a credible tempo rubato interpretation is tedious, and in the end it…

Read more

Write with your samples in mind 

Despite the ever improving orchestral library technology, there is still not yet a substitute for the human feel of live musicians. Nevertheless, composers are increasingly asked to create orchestral music when there is no budget for live musicians. Invariably, we turn to our sample libraries to do the best possible rendition we're capable of. 

When writing in this situation, it's important to remember that an idea in your head may not sound believable when you try to program it into a computer - even…

Read more

Recent Client Work - Anthony Thomas Advertising 

I was recently hired by Anthony Thomas Advertising to score their agency showcase reel video (below). The purpose of the video was to demonstrate ATA's diverse skill set across a variety of media, as well as their ability to integrate all these communications as a whole.

The assignment was to cycle a single theme through several specifically requested musical genres (orchestral, industrial/percussion, techno and rock). Each style corresponds with with a specific category of client work being displayed…

Read more