Today we are celebrating the Birthday of composer Nino Rota. He is most famous for his astonishing film score music, a list of credits that includes Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliette, almost every film that Fellini directed, and oh yeah …. Coppola’s “The Godfather(s).” His style has been influential to so many of today’s film music composers; Danny Elfman may be the first to come to mind.
As we saw his name appear on our “Famous Birthdays” list (yes..we are the type of geeks who follow famous Birthday lists) with his birth year listed as 1911, we began to wonder what would have been different if he had been born in, say, 1991; a time in which Nino would have had access to things like Fruity Loops and Garage Band as tools for his expression of genius. Speaking of Nino, would his name have been Nins or Kyle or something derived from an order of Primates? Would he have been bitchin’ on a skateboard half pipe? And, would he have used stock, looped material to create his film music?
We wondered further:
Would he have created the Godfather theme starting with Apple’s “Exotic Beat 03” stacked underneath “80’s Dance Bass Synth 02” with “Middle Eastern Oud 01” on top, dropping in alternating occurrences of “Latin Lounge Piano” and “Modern Rock Guitar?” Would he have shared it with his iTunes library and uploaded it to his favorite “Crowd Sourced” production music libraries that accept any and all submissions no matter the source? Would the scene of Sonny kicking the living s*&t out of Carlo, his schevey brother-in-law been underscored with Italian Mandolin 04?
We think not.
Since we are TV and film composers ourselves who, more importantly, have the privilege of representing the music of some of the world’s most talented writers, we are aware of the fact that even though these shortcuts are available, our gang, as it were, chooses not to overindulge in this sonic vice.
Music by numbers is like Elvis on Black Velvet: good for a tawdry laugh, bad for your creative endeavors.
Filmmakers, TV editors, and creative directors who take pride in their footage should be on the lookout for these atrocities. Picture the following (all too familiar) scenario:
You are in a rush to find a production music cue to fill in the last 30 seconds of a particularly nauseating fast food chain expose while your intern has his finger on the upload button waiting to launch a file to meet your client’s deadline. You, harried and haggard from lack of sleep and too many Carmel Lattes stumble upon one of the afore-mentioned crowd-sourced libraries. You enter search term “Food-Poisoning”, this produces 2,456 results. You grab the third one, “Klezmer Gangsta” since you have no time left.
And this, my friends, is how such music can seep into, and despoil your stellar productions.
This is why libraries like the Organic Music Library are the best option for content creators who truly value the tremendous impact music has on their footage: We, and others like us, are CURATED sources of production music. We’ve spent years cultivating our catalogue; there is no filler, no junk. Our boutique, “Non-Walmart” approach provides you, the user, manageable search returns of consistently higher quality music. Trust us, you don’t need 4,652 results when entering “ROCK” or “AGGRESSIVE” or some other utterly subjective nomenclature like “EDGY” (what is that anyway-these relative terms are time wasters for people searching out tracks-we don’t employ them) when you’re under the production gun.
And you most certainly don’t need a track generated by Nin’s experiment in combining “Lounge Vibes 11” with his mom’s Oxycontin.
Since we are celebrating the birthday of one of the finest film composers of all time, we would like to know your favorite composers/scores. Tell us in the comments below.
Amarcord Nino Rota, and long live real music by real composers!