I just got home from the ASCAP Awards Banquet, and I’m still buzzing and overcome with emotion. There is no way I’m going to sleep anytime soon. So, I’m blogging instead. I’ve attended the ASCAP banquet for several years now, and have received awards for having music on the airwaves in popular series. For me, the event is mostly a chance to socialize with other composers who, like me, rarely step out of their studios. This year there was a new award category, the Composers’ Choice Award. Unlike other ASCAP awards, this one was decided on creative merit and voted on by peer composers. I was tremendously honored to be nominated alongside industry giants Alf Clausen, Dave Porter, Jimmy Levine and Sean Callery.
Apparently there was a tie, so the award was given to both myself and Dave Porter (the composer of one of my favorite series ever!). The honor was amplified when the award was presented by Mark Snow. Seriously… the guy who wrote all the music for The X-Files handed me an award tonight! Mark called out my name, and the next thing I knew I was up on the stage, stammering like an idiot. I was confident I wouldn’t win this one, so I was totally unprepared to say anything. For the life of me, I can’t even remember what I said.
Now that I’ve had a few hours to mentally digest all this, I want to put my thoughts down. (more…)
Raya and I are proud to announce our greatest collaboration is finally here. (more…)
I won an Emmy on Sunday night, for my “Da Vinci’s Demons” Main Title Theme.
I’m still so overwhelmed by this that I can barely process it. If I didn’t have this winged golden lady sitting on my table right now, I’d hardly believe that it happened at all. At Sunday’s award ceremony, I almost felt like I was watching my speech from an out-of-body experience. The ceremony is airing this Saturday night on FXX, so I’ll tune in then and remember exactly what I said! Since then, I’ve been inundated with a flurry of congratulations, smiles, cards, flowers, champagne and enthusiastic words from friends, family and fans alike. I will likely never have the chance to respond to each one personally, so let me now just thank you all for the chorus of kindness.
From what I can recall, I thanked a few people in my brief speech last Sunday, but 34 seconds is not enough time to thank everyone who contributed to this recognition. Here on my blog, however, there’s no timer counting down, so I can say everything I would have on Sunday if I’d had the whole three-hour ceremony to speak! (more…)
I was fortunate to work legendary composer Elmer Bernstein for the last decade of his life. He was my mentor, friend and first employer. I met him when I was still a junior in high school, in Bellingham, Washington (a remarkable story worthy of its own blog entry one day). Elmer encouraged me to study professionally at the University of Southern California
When I arrived in Los Angeles, I sat in on his film scoring classes, even though I wasn’t supposed to attend them until my final year. During those years, I began to work for him over the summers, organizing his archive of film scores and personal documents, all of which are now housed in the USC Library. I also house-sat for him while he was away for the summer, and he would assign me massive orchestration tasks to keep me busy. I re-orchestrated his complete lost score to the 1963 film, “Kings of the Sun,” as well as concert suites of a handful of other scores for various concert performances. (“Kings of the Sun” was eventually recorded during Elmer’s final recording sessions. My orchestrations can be heard on the album, which I just discovered is on iTunes!) (more…)
Thanks to the blistering speed of news across the internet, many of you already know about this. But here it is anyway. Yes, I am now engaged to the lovely Raya Yarbrough!
There were two things I’ve known for years I must accomplish before I turned 30. First, I had to finish composing my final episode of Battlestar Galactica, since I’d spent more than half my 20’s working on it. More importantly, I also knew I had to finally pop the question to Raya.
I composed my last cue on Saturday the 14th, and Raya and I were engaged before sunset on the 15th. I turned 30 on the 17th. So, I made it, with a day to spare!
Everybody here that works with me on my scores budgets our writing and recording schedules very strictly, making sure that every day is precisely planned out. We don’t have any other choice. With scoring going full-steam on both Battlestar Galactica and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, there’s not a lot of time to mess around.
I don’t usually factor in time to have an organ removed. But I might have to start.