COMMISSIONING MUSIC

Hire the composer to write new music to celebrate an occasion, for a film or other media, your musical group, to remember a person or event, or just because you think more new music is important.


Cues & songs you hear on this site are available for licensing in your project directly through Campbell (send a message via the Contact link), and its an easy process. In all cases, rates are determined with regard to the scope and distribution of your project. Just send a message if you’re interested in a particular track to start the process.

PRECOMPOSED MUSIC for LICENSING


Most film editors and directors are using pre-composed music they download from a service and then modify to fit scenes. Rather than providing tracks to an online service, I work on specific projects and write bespoke or tailored music to fit the film. Instead of just adding music, then, you get film music that suits a visual sequence.

To begin with, the director or editor sends me stills or short video clips of the project along with a general outline of the film. They may also send some short audio/music files or links to tracks that fit the mood, genre, style, etc. I use these not as a model for copying but as a helpful point of reference. I’ll work on some music for a couple days in my studio and then upload and share it. We talk about what may work and creatively collaborate on how to revise the music to better fit the intention of each moment. I go back in the studio and finish the music.

The visual film is all that is needed and is the reference I use to compose; it is all the “temp track” I need. In considering a moment or extended scene, I put myself into the film and think like a director, or editor or actor, and communicate meaning through music to the audience. To make this collaboration work, discussion at this stage with the director is critical (and something I like doing!), and that dialogue is the basis for the creative process; after all, we’re collaborating on communicative art or an information piece. Musical jargon isn’t needed. In essence we’ll describe what’s going on, such as if a scene is tense or needs to be fast paced. That way I know the goal and have the context to do my job as composer. If the music isn’t working, we can determine what needs to change and I’ll implement the musical change.

In practical terms, when syncing the music to the video it is necessary for me to work with files stamped with timecode to make sure everything aligns properly. This also provides a fixed point of reference for communication between the editor and director. I usually receive files via a sharing platform in a format that I can import as Quick Time into my music scoring software. Depending on the project I use various combinations of electronic, sampled, and acoustic music sources. If the editor or director want something quick, the composing and recording usually happens completely in my control room. If we have time and resources, a much more elaborate score even with live orchestral musicians can be created and recorded in my own live recording space. Regardless of the timeframe or scope, I’m confident that the music I compose can elevate your film and help express what you want.

[Discounts available for social justice films and student filmmakers]

CUSTOM FILM SCORING


The majority of Campbell’s music you hear on this site, on an album, streaming through a service or the radio, or experiencing live in concert was commissioned specifically by an individual or organization. The reasons vary. Some of the music has been to celebrate a significant anniversary, such as the 100th anniversary of the Quad City Symphony, or the installation of the President of St. Ambrose University. Other works were commissioned by an ensemble to promote their particular way of playing or singing. Still others were written just to promote the idea of new music by a living composer. Please reach out if you have an idea.

COMMISSIONING CONCERT MUSIC