The Price of Sex

This past year I had the great privilege of contributing some original music to documentary photographer Mimi Chakarova‘s current project, “The Price of Sex”.

Although the film is still in post-production, there is already a well-designed website full of deeply moving stories selected from Chakarova’s 7+ years of research, visits to eastern europe, and dangerous undercover work.

The photography is stunning, the stories are compelling, and the cause is exceedingly worthy of your time. If you have even the smallest interest in this issue then I hope you’ll visit the site and see for yourself.

If you know community leaders, educators, activists, or anyone else who could be effective links in the chain that will increase the reach of this important work, then please take a moment to share it with them.

You can hear some of the music I contributed in my portfolio.  Watch for a release of the film during the spring of 2011.


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I Make Tracks For Your Thing!

Need gooshy piano or swoopy strings or glitchy electronic tracks for your new album?

How about a sprinkle of “ding ding ding” or “bong bong” or “boom”?

I love contributing tracks to your projects and can do it all remotely thanks to the magic of the internet.

Here’s how it works.

First, there is YOU.

1) You create great music. You have a vision. You follow your ear.

2) However, sometimes your ear wants things that you just can’t deliver. Like orchestral arrangements. Or bells. Or intricate piano melodies. Or moody cello lines.

3) Sometimes you know your music is missing an extra something, but you just don’t know what that is. An added texture or depth or groovy hook, perhaps? You’ll know it when you hear it.

Then, there is ME.

1) I’ll ask a question or four and you’ll spill your vision. This might be very very specific in terms of tonality and instrumentation, or it may be just a broad commission to “add something great.”

2) I’ll dive into your music and follow my own ear, laying down a number of tracks. Depending on your time frame, I can provide multiple takes on one instrument, or a whole collection of options that range across styles and instrumentation.

3) I’ll deliver session-ready tracks that you can drop into your project. Use what you like. Mute the rest. You own it.

4) I help make your Awesome-ness just a little bit Awesome-er. Tada! You win!

Fees are quoted on a per-project basis, please enquire. Consultations are free. Send me the project for a listen and I can comment and, when applicable, point you to samples in my music library that indicate the direction my ears might ask me to go…

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Rules. Just this once.

Advice from the Important People and Top Ten lists are not things that usually excite me. However, I recently stumbled across this excellent list from author Zadie Smith that shares rules/advice for writers. I found them to be shrewd and insightful and prophetic and good. I also immediately thought of half a dozen talented folks in other artistic disciplines who have learned and shared similar lessons…

I automatically translate these into music/composition terms as I read them. I hope you’ll receive them as helpful tidbits that speak to whatever your craft is…

1 When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.

2 When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.

3 Don’t romanticise your “vocation”. You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no “writer’s lifestyle”. All that matters is what you leave on the page.

4 Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.

5 Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.

6 Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.

7 Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet.

8 Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.

9 Don’t confuse honours with achievement.

10 Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied.

(All credit and thanks to the guardian.co.uk and Zadie Smith.)

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