I’m thrilled to share that the series I composed music for last year, CBC’s 18 To Life, will air in the US this summer, on the CW television network. CW is now the 5th largest network after the big three and Fox. 18 To Life will air in back-back-episodes from 9 to 10 pm, on Tuesday nights starting August 3. Read more here.
For the past few months, I’ve been composing music for a new CBC prime-time domestic comedy, 18 To Life. The producers and I decided early on that the music production and performances should not be too slick. I opted for some country-blues inspired music, along with simple jazz-blues riffs and rhythms. I bought or rented a bunch of great instruments for this truly fun project: national steel guitar (also known as a Dobro), harmonicas, a banjo, a late-70s Gibson Les Paul, a kazoo (!), etc. I also rely on software instruments like Spectrasonics’ new Trilian basses, RMX with Cajun and Jazz percussion/drum loops, AcousticsampleS‘ Kawai piano, SAM Symphobia and LASS strings.
Produced by Montreal’s Galafilm, the series will premiere January 4, at 8 pm.
Here are a few examples of my cues:
Close The Blinds
Flirting On Bench
I’m thrilled to report that Roger Cantin‘s Un Cargo pour l’Afrique is in the official competition of the Montreal World Film Festival. I composed part of the soundtrack, which includes as well the beautiful songs and voice of Oumar Ndiaye. The music I wrote features traditional african instruments like drums and kora, alongside orchestral strings. I attented the premiere last night, and it was a rousing success! The film features the superb acting of local acting legend Pierre Lebeau, and will be out in Quebec theatres in the second week of September.
While writing the soundtrack, I met and became friends with the very talented Senegalese singer/songwriter Oumar N’Diaye. His infectious joie de vivre, his professionalism and amazing voice make any musical collaboration a real joy. Here are a couple of recent photographs, taken by my wife Brenda Keesal:
Award-winning composer Leon Willett offers his analysis of film scoring devices, complete with score and audio examples (Willett’s an excellent mock-up composer). This is a really great resource for composers interested in learning more ‘tricks’ of the trade. The composer also offers one-on-one courses in harmony, counterpoint, creating mock-ups and more. Click here to explore it.
For the past few months, I’ve been composing the music for YTV’s new reality-tv competition series, In Real Life. The music is a mix of action orchestral and power-pop, and it’s been a fantastic challenge for me to keep ramping up the musical adrenaline! Produced by Montreal’s Apartment 11, the series features 12-14-year olds competing in various incredible challenges. I couldn’t have created this music without these amazing tools: Nine Volt Audio libraries, Stylus RMX, StormDrum 1 and 2, Tonehammer instruments. Keep a lookout for new YTV episodes on Wednesday nights, at 7 pm.
Here are some examples of the music I created for the show:
Running Out of Time
Watch Out For Teeth
Battling To The Finish
An exciting new player has arrived in the world of sample libraries. Tonehammer, the brainchild of composer Troels Folmann and sound designer Mike Peaslee, offers very affordable, out-of-the-ordinary deep sample collections for the Kontakt virtual instrument. What is ‘deep’ sampling? Most of the instruments offer up to 10x round-robin, assuring that you’re always going to get new sound variations when you strike the same MIDI note twice. Furthermore, many of the instruments/objects were sampled in interesting acoustic spaces. This combination of real spaces and multiple variations adds up to an organic sound. These are truly musical sample collections. The ‘instruments’, of which there are far too many to list here, include sneakers, museum railings, bamboo sticks, whale drum, coins, hangdrum, bathtub, yells, marching band percussion, a sofa, etc. The official website features superb demos. For more info, click here.