Mickey Matson and the Pirate’s Code

July 24, 2014

I’m pleased and proud to announce that our second film, “Mickey Matson and the Pirate’s Code,” is complete and we will be holding a “sneak peek” this Saturday in Manistee, Michigan at the newly-restored Vogue Theatre. Showtimes are: Noon, 6:00 PM, and 8:00 PM. Admission varies,and more information can be found here. This is a charitable event to benefit the City of Milwaukee, where we filmed a good portion of this project. I’ll be flying in for the weekend, and I’m looking forward to spending time in Mason / Manistee County, even if it is just for the weekend. Would love to see you there!

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Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure

July 12, 2013
As some of you know, in 2011 I produced a children’s adventure film with writer / director, Harold Cronk and producer, Matt Tailford. I’m proud to announce that Tuesday, July 16 marks the DVD release of “The Adventures of Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure.” The movie will be available exclusively at Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com. All in-store purchases will include a code for a free HD download of the movie from VUDU.com.
It’s a film that can be enjoyed by the whole family, especially those with kids in the 6 to 13 age group.  Please help me get the word out that Mickey Matson is great, wholesome entertainment and it’s in Walmart stores in just five days!

Scoring for Film and TV – Breaking In

August 7, 2012

Whenever I speak with aspiring film composers the question always arises: “How do I get my music in front of producers and directors?” Like most things in life, this is a process, not an event. It can be a painfully slow road to success no matter how talented you may be. But there are some steps you can take to make a great impression.

First and foremost, it is quite important to be organized. Are your audio files where you can access them easily? Or are they scattered around on several hard drives and CDs? Do you have all the writer / publisher information for every title in your library? If not, this would be a great place to start. It’s so much easier to deliver if you can put your hands on things without having to turn the house upside down. And if you do happen to get something placed, you will be required to supply writer and publisher information, so have this information readily available.

I suggest an Excel spreadsheet. Or you can add all that information, called “metadata,” to the actual audio file. This requires some dedicated software, however, and there is still a good amount of head-scratching about metadata and how to embed it. Here’s a link to a discussion about embedding metadata in WAV files.

If you are submitting songs with vocals, by all means send along a lyric sheet. There are a lot of old guys like me who are decision makers, with compromised hearing (and that’s a whole ‘nother subject) from playing rock ‘n roll. If I don’t get a lyric sheet, I can’t understand what you’re singing. Even for those who have great hearing, there’s something about being able to see the words on a page that helps convey the message a little better. Be sure and include the title, writer and publisher information, and contact information on the lyric sheet.

If you are submitting CDs, please label them. That means the disc itself and any sleeve or jewel case. Things get lost. Make it easy for someone to “find” you if they are interested in your music.

Now, what do you do with all that wonderful music you’ve created? Arguably, the best opportunity right now for composers is music libraries.

Now, I admit that libraries are a double-edged sword. Whenever a production uses a library for a show, they are not going to hire a composer, and that has made it tough on a lot of composers. The purpose of this article is not to debate the merits of music libraries. All I am saying is that music libraries are interested in fresh, new cues to keep their catalog current and there are actually folks at some of the music libraries who will listen to your stuff. I am affiliated with Scorekeepers Music Library, and have enjoyed a productive relationship with them for several years. I asked them directly if they accepted outside material, and this is the response I received from Ryan Sager, VP of A&R:

“ScoreKeepers’ job is to produce or acquire the best music in the industry to provide to production companies for use in their broadcast productions. Our music library search application (known as the Virtual Music  Supervisor) is the best in the industry. Our doors are always open for instrumental music of every genre that is written, performed, and produced to professional standards. We like artists who are courteous, responsible, and easy to work with.

We are happy to listen to anyone who contacts us. Any composer, artist, or band who is interested in licensing opportunities should introduce him or herself by emailing me at ryan@scorekeepersmusic.com. I will  email the artist back with instructions on sending us music which will serve as the artist’s audition. If we like what we hear and feel it’s a good fit for us, we’ll advance the correspondence to the next step. If the music  is not a good fit for us, we’ll let the artist know.”

Any decent music library provides a conduit between you and television producers, and this is a great way to get started on a composing career. If you can write a few good cues for a music library that end up getting used, it is only a matter of time when someone will ask “Who wrote that?” Since writer information is supplied by the library, it should be easy for a producer to find you if there is further interest in your work. You do have a website or a Facebook page, right? And these sites contain a sampling of your material, right? Good. You’re on your way.

Edgar Struble writes music for TV and films. His book Working In the Music Industry, an invaluable collection of straightforward advice on preparing for and entering careers in the music business, can be purchased as a hard copy by clicking here, or as a digital download by clicking here.


The Great Rat Hunter

July 25, 2011
So we were just getting to sleep last night when we heard the dogs rustling around at the foot of our bed. I turned on the light and when I did, Lauri discovered a rat by her side of the bed. A RAT!, A RAT! And the chase was on! 
The chihuahua and the retriever managed to run him down the hall and into the living room, with mom and dad close behind. We must have woken Hannah with all the whoopin'  and hollerin'  . . . She found a flashlight and Lauri went to grabbing brooms and blankets so she could trap and pulverize the little thing. I went to the garage and retrieved my trusty Benjamin pellet pistol, a gift from a friend many years ago. The dogs were still on the scent, and indicated the culprit might be under a chair. As I pumped up the Benjamin, Hannah shone the flashlight under there, and sure enough, we spied two beady eyes staring at us. I took careful aim . . . (actually I couldn't see the damn sights on the pistol, so I went back to the bedroom and grabbed my glasses) . . . and POP! He ran for about two feet and dropped. I whacked him with the broom for good measure, but that was more for show. He was already assuming room temperature. Roxy, the retriever, did what good retrievers do, she picked him up.  Ewwww.
The rat is now in the trash bin, Roxy and Chili have been duly rewarded for their valor, and Hannah went back to bed and stuffed a towel under her door just in case . . .Lauri tossed and turned most of the night, and I slept with a loaded pellet pistol on the night stand. After church I might carve a notch in the handle.

Working in the Music Industry

July 5, 2011

My digital distributor, Smashwords.com is running a summer promotion. For the month of July, you can download a digital copy of my book, Working in the Music Industry for $5.99, a 25% discount. WhoooWhooo! Just click on the link below and enter

Coupon Code: EA65E

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/14666


Rollin’ on the River with John Fogerty

April 3, 2011
There are always some defining moments to most of the TV specials that I work on, and one such moment occurred last night. John Fogerty graced our rehearsal room in preparation for his performance on “Girls’ Night Out,” a CBS special to be aired April 22nd. Wearing a flannel shirt and a gentle smile, John stepped up to the microphone and took us all back to 1969 as we performed “Proud Mary” with him. But this was not an attempt to claim something that had been lost to youth, it was John Fogerty as I remember him sounding when Creedence Clearwater Revival took over the airways in the late 60s and early 70s. I don’t know how old John is, but he still sings and plays with the same energy and clarity that made him a legend. We were all knocked out with John’s performance, and charmed by his humble attitude and enthusiasm for his work.
I’ve played “Blue Skies” with Willie Nelson. I recorded “She Believes In Me” with Kenny Rogers, and taught Donald Sutherland how to sing a song for a movie. Admittedly small moments in music history, nonetheless they are indelible moments in my career. While they don’t define who I am, these memories certainly leave me with a smile. And now I have another.

The NAMM Show and Brian Auger

January 16, 2011
Bob Lefsetz http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/ talks about how real success in the music business is about putting in 10,000 hours of rehearsal time in order to become really good at what you do. That came to mind at the recent NAMM show in Anaheim. The NAMM Show (National Association of Music Merchants) is the music business’ annual trade show, featuring hundreds of musical instrument manufacturers. I was walking through the exhibits when I heard the unmistakable sound of Talent. In one of the booths, all by himself, was a guy just wailing on a keyboard setup. Playing to tracks, but with a fervor and level of expertise that not only drew a crowd, but got rousing ovations at the end of each number. I didn’t recognize him at first, but as I drew closer I could make out his name tag – “Brian.” Then he launched into “Freedom Jazz Dance, ” and I finally figured out this gray-haired chap (who was, by now, working up a sweat) was the legendary Brian Auger. Yep, as a keyboardist, I grew up listening to him. Real talent does not need lights, dancers, smoke machines, or sub-woofers.
http://www.brianauger.com/

Working in the Music Industry – A new book by Edgar

July 30, 2010
I started Working In The Music Industry over twenty years ago while I was still traveling with Kenny Rogers. I put it on the shelf after some false starts by major publishers. It finally dawned on me that I didn’t need a major publisher to get this title in print, and there still was valuable information in the pages, so I picked it up again a couple of years ago and headed for the finish line.
Working In The Music Industry was written primarily for young people, high school to college age, who are curious about the various job opportunities in the commercial music business. My book is not the first to address this topic, but in this book my descriptions about music careers are followed by interviews with people who are actually working in these occupations, and they have a good bit to say. It’s a short, but informative read at about 100 pages. While I don’t expect many of you on my “music alert”  list to run out and order a copy, maybe you know someone who is thinking about music as a career and could benefit by reading this. If so, please send them my way.
For more information click here.
For a text-based sample or to buy a digital download in any of the major formats, click here.

Brooks and Dunn: The Last Rodeo

May 17, 2010

Rehearsing for the Brooks & Dunn Tribute

This Sunday evening, May 23, please look for “Brooks & Dunn: The Last Rodeo” on CBS. We taped this show a few weeks ago in Las Vegas, and if you’re a country music fan, you shouldn’t miss this one. Arguably the most successful duo in country music history, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn are calling it quits after 20 years together, and this show is a celebration of their success.

Dick Clark Productions and the Academy of Country Music  called in all the top artists in county music to participate, and the show has some amazing performances and some very entertaining moments.

The photo above shows me and Reba as we ran through her number, “Indian Summer.” Below are some more photos from rehearsal and the show.

Working with Darius Rucker

Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott and me

Hannah (my daughter) and I get a steel sermon from Rev. Gary 🙂

The Brooks & Dunn Band and Singers

Tim McGraw rehearsing "That Ain't No Way To Go"


Farewell Faroes

September 6, 2009
At the studio in Torshavn

At the studio in Torshavn

With a successful recording session, a well-attended music business seminar, and two great live shows under our belts, we departed the Faroes on September 2. I haven’t had a teary goodbye in years, but the whole family was emotional when it came time to get on the plane. I can honestly say this is the best overseas trip I’ve ever made, and we all look forward to returning soon.

The Faroese people made all the difference. It was a delight to spend time in a country where life is a little slower and perhaps more enjoyed. Our kids ran free, even into the night, without worry of harm coming to them. The kids in the high school that our children visited all came out to hug them the last day we were there – even the teachers.

We were flown to Copenhagen by Olaf, senior pilot for Atlantic Airways, who was a guest in our house twenty years ago when he was receiving flight training in the states. He changed his schedule to be our pilot that day, and I got to ride the whole flight in the cockpit jump seat 🙂

After a evening poking around Copenhagen’s Tivoli amusement park and a decent sleep in a too-expensive room, we traveled for 24 hours from Copenhagen to Los Angeles without incident. We landed at 4:00, but it was 6:30 before we got home because – you guessed it – traffic was bumper-to-bumper. Welcome home…