Interview on Music Composer Blog

Posted By: ryan On:


John Presley was kind enough to interview me for his excellent site http://musiccomposerblog.com/

Below is an excerpt, but be sure to check out the full article here.

“Ryan Leach knows that library music is an important part of any working composer’s portfolio. “Already many networks have realized that they can get away with not paying composers directly for original music,” says Leach. “In my view you can either complain about the good old days and try to fight the system, or you can make the most of reality. I have a lot of music circulating through libraries and I’m always very grateful when that ASCAP check arrives.” Under the library model, composers often receive no upfront money but do get royalties through their PRO. No upfront licensing costs saves money for the networks.

Another trend Leach expects to see more is pre-scoring, recently made popular by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross in the Social Network. “There are a lot of critics in the film music community that say this isn’t ‘the right way of doing things’,” says Leach. “For me this is another situation where old-school composers will complain that it isn’t pure, but the reality is more and more directors are going to follow David Fincher’s lead in the years to come. I’ve tried a semi pre-scoring method a few times already as an experiment, in which I wrote one or two cues before seeing the film, and have had great success with it.”

Despite the changing methods, Leach doesn’t believe the basic principles of music can be affected by technology. “Variation, development, proportion, balance, a singable melody, an emotionally resonant harmonic progression. These core ideas are the same whether you’re writing for string quartets or sine waves.”

Starting at the piano keeps him from getting distracted by all the toys inside Logic. “If it’s something melodic as opposed to textural, usually I’ll sit at a piano with pencil and paper,” says Leach. “Rarely do I sketch out more than melody and chords at this stage. Then I take it into Logic and flesh it out.” When writing for live players, Leach exports a midi file into Sibelius and cleans it up.”

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