Yesterday, I had the amazing privilege of speaking with renowned composer Brad Kelley! Mr. Kelley is a renowned and well-traveled composer having written music for Universal Studios, Paramount Parks, McDonalds, IBM, and, currently, Disney on Classic.
I ended up speaking with him for an hour and received some incredible advice for starting out as a composer. While we talked about a lot of different topics (and I took several pages of notes!), here are a few of the highlights:
For the past several months, I have been working on writing the soundtrack for an independent film called My Brother, My Hero. As of this past week, I finished all of the music and the final editing of the movie is taking place.
I wanted to share with you a sneak peek of some of my favorite parts of the music that I wrote for the film. Enjoy!
Note: While the movie doesn’t have anything to do with space (rather the journey of a brother), I found the pictures really went well with the music – which is why they were chosen.
During the concert, I saw a precious little girl who was absolutely enamored with the story of The Light Princess. It was so much fun while I narrated watching her face as she was completely taken with the story.
After the concert, I had the opportunity to meet her and I was surprised to learn that she had just arrived from Germany and didn’t understand any English! But even with a language barrier, she had been so taken with the music and the paintings that it almost didn’t matter that she couldn’t understand the words.
One of the greatest privileges of being a composer is being able to write music for people I know. During the process of writing the concert, instead of just picturing sounds as I wrote the music, I also pictured the people I was writing for.
Having been a part of the Grace Baptist Orchestra family for several years now, I had the opportunity to get to know the other members of the orchestra and learn what they enjoyed playing and the things that they didn’t.
It made it so much more meaningful as I wrote solos or melodic passages to try to write lines that I knew that those particular people would enjoy – and so much more exciting when they nailed those passages!
One of the most special moments during the concert was hearing The Awakeningbeing played again. This piece is especially meaningful to me as it was the first song I ever wrote on paper now almost six years ago. Tenor James Phillipps, who had originally recorded the piece with the orchestra, came back six years later to perform the piece during the concert.
This song still remains one of my most famous pieces as it really was the piece that helped me decide that I could actually be a composer (I was going to be a kindergarten teacher!) James did a fabulous job with the solo and the song really took on a life of its own!
Here’s the original recording from six years ago.
I’m still amazed at what an amazing journey this has been and thankful for everyone who has taken part in making it all possible.
Two major concerts in one week with 1,000 people in attendence listening to over 2 1/2 hours of completely original music isn’t something that happened overnight. It took four years of an incredible and an amazing amount of support.
I have already been highlighting many of those people that helped pull this together, I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight the group of people who supported me the most and did the most to make this all possible – my family.
Whether it be critiquing my music, designing promotional material, marketing, videotaping, photographing, practicing, performing, or doing countless other tasks to make this possible, my family is the reason behind my success.