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So Much to Say, So Much to Learn

 Hey everyone,

Time is moving so quickly here. It’s crazy. I feel like there is so much more to learn! I mean, there is obviously so much more to learn, but it’s more that I don’t want to leave LA before I learn it! There are moments where I feel like the task I’m doing may not be teaching me anything, but then I get home, and I have so many thoughts and questions. My mind is racing constantly. Maybe it’s just me that’s crazy… hm. 

One of my bosses, Lucas Vidal, wrote the score for Fast & Furious 6, The Quiet Ones, Nobody Wants the Night, The Raven, and more!

I’ve had a pretty cool week at both my internships. At MuMo/CHROMA, I was asked to pull cues from our catalogue for a Game of Thrones trailer. Their music supervisor emailed my boss, Steve, asking for a submission. When I saw the email, my stomach dropped. Another intern from Berklee, Monica, and I went through our catalogue together and pulled 8 cues that worked. Steve, wasn’t in the office, so it was all on us… How could he trust us with that responsibility?!?! Pretty incredible that he did. I had an insane amount adrenaline and excitement in me. I watch so much Game of Thrones that I feel like we pulled a great selection. He thought so too! (If one of those songs gets picked…. I’m going to freak out… to say the least). The feeling I got after doing that assignment was incredibly fulfilling. It took three hours, but it felt like it took five minutes. That’s the feeling I need to find with every job I take. It was such a cool moment, and I don’t want to settle for anything else.

Additionally, yesterday, Lucas Vidal, the composer I am working for, asked me to pull cues from a bunch of his film scores. These cues are going to be arranged and performed at an awards show in Spain this coming January. He asked for five or six cues that would work well for an orchestra to perform live. Characteristics include melodic, cinematic, and also varying in mood. I listened to a number of Lucas’s film scores and pulled what I thought worked best. When Lucas came back to go over them with me, he was nodding his head with every track, and agreed with everything I decided! He then told me to get in touch with the arranger to get the individual instrumental parts for all the scores, and that he wanted me, personally, to keep track and be a part of this process. What I did next was go over the entire orchestral score of the cues (pieces) we had. Some scores we had were for the same cues, but different versions, meaning I had to listen to the audio and figure out which score was accurate, and mark down if anything was wrong or missing. Lastly, I drafted an email outlining what which parts were needed and which scores we needed arranged. I copied Lucas and Steve on the email and sent it out to the orchestrator – from my personal email! The best part of my day was when Lucas came out to personally tell me that the email was really great and very organized – and he asked me when I was coming in next! I felt like I had been handed a job with significant responsibility, and that I made a good impression.

At Tunecore, the past two weeks have come with an increase in responsibility as well, and with the assignment I’ve been working on, I’ve been learning a lot. Basically, when artists register for publishing, it means they are paying a one time fee to have the ability to be pitched / placed in TV and film. Lots of artists register for this service every day, and it’s people on our end that actually listen to each artist one by one and separate the music into different categories. The part that I’ve been struggling with is the fact that music is undeniably so subjective, and everyone comes from a different musical background. This is where we have to try to make music as objective as possible, by narrowing down the music with both the best production, and music that is marketable to the TV industry. Some things could be awesome jams, but might not work for TV. It’s a cutthroat industry obviously, but I’ve never actually been a part of that process. There are a few different people doing the listening of incoming artists, but there is no way that we can all have the exact same opinion about the market value of each song! I was definitely struggling with this concept in the beginning. Some people may be more lax about it than others, but that is why I’m not making any final decisions without going over them with my boss, so that I truly understand the thought process behind which artists are chosen to be pitched more than others, and which artists simply don’t work. 

A reassuring/positive aspect of this is that I’m learning the behind the scenes of what it takes to get pitched and placed, and what publishing companies look for. I can take this information back to my countless friends trying to make it as artists. And if I end up in this side of the industry in the future, maybe I can make a difference and get them placements. And maybe I’ll be able to place my friends’ scores into epic movie trailers!

That sounds like a pretty great dream.

Christina Azarian
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1 Comment

  1. Christina, I can recall being at your house when you were about 8 years old and you had just gotten the book of piano scores for the new Harry Potter movie. You were in heaven playing them for us on the piano, sharing your favorite phrases of your favorite songs, and telling us why these sections were so beautiful. I’m so happy to read that you are still seeking out those special parts of special pieces of music!

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