I am in sunny sunny LA (had to say sunny twice because the weather is mindblowingly gorgeous) for the ASCAP I Create Music expo. Now, I have to tell you, when I told some fellow composers (a lot of them much older in the field than I) they poo poo-ed this expo. “There are not filmmakers, no opportunities for gigs, so why go?” they would ask. Also, a lot of composers are annoyed at ASCAP for having a greater focus on songwriters than composers. Basically, many reasons for NOT going were offered to me. However, I pressed on. THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT!
Using all caps is generally pretty obnoxious but I stand by my all caps sentence in the first paragraph because the last two days have been absolutely fantastic. A lot of great things have happened. Allow me to share with you…..
Great Thing #1
I Am Encouraged. I have been to many panels with composers and songwriters and the message is repeated over and over again: work hard, use your unique voice, don’t try to copy others and you will succeed. Fantastic message! In the Ron Jones masterclass tomorrow he had a loud message: Stop Sucking! Work Hard!! Love it.
Great Thing #2
I have heard amazing composers talk. Today: Marco Beltrami. I even had the awesome pleasure of talking to him face-to-face, one-on-one for a few seconds. He is a lovely and incredibly talented individual. Also today, Ron Jones as I mentioned in #1. Yesterday: Trevor Rabin, Ryan Shore, Steve Starrett, Alex Shapiro and Stephen Paulus. Tomorrow: Joey Newman, Bruce Broughton, Brian Lapin, Michael Levine, and Trevor Morris. Let me clarify, these are just the panels and classes that I have been to. There were more panels and classes with other great composers that I didn’t have time to check out.
All of these composers have said something that has changed my paradigm. All of them. If you are a composer and you think you don’t need to check out what another composer’s point of view who is working a lot Today and making money composing Today, then I think you are a crazy person. No offense. But you are crrrrrazy!
Another cool thing about ASCAP I Create Music is that there are a bunch of people like me. It is so great to hang out and talk about the challenges and the wins that we are experiencing. Community, people with a like-minded purpose, keeps us sane, encouraged and enlivened. That is why in Seattle we have the Seattle Composers’ Alliance. We need to hang with people that can give us advice and comfort. It is that simple! It takes a village, people. It really does…..
So, short story shorter, if you are um-ing and ah-ing about whether to drop the money on a music conference like ASCAP’s I Create Music, I say “Do It!” It is worth your time and money. I feel motivated to go home and get stuff done. I am excited! What I have heard over and over again is: if you work hard and get stuff done, you will succeed! There is a place for composer Catherine Grealish in the world of original music.