So there's this one episode of Star Trek The Next Generation where certain members of the crew are losing sleep because they keep getting abducted at night. Ultimately, they realize that they've all been abducted by the same aliens and so, in an effort to crowd source their spotty memories, they head into the holodeck to recreate the place they were abducted to. Here's a clip to give you an idea:
Right? So, the scene progresses like that where everyone mentions something they remember and eventually mold the holodeck into a replica of what they all experienced. Pretty neat stuff, really.
That slow process of describing what you want ('a table. No, a metal table') is exactly what the process of giving notes on music is like. Except instead of describing something physical that you've experienced, you have to explain something only you hear in your head. And brother, it's the hardest thing ever.
I don't know about you, but music was never a huge part of my life growing up and as such I am straight up terrible utilizing the stuff. I generally know when something doesn't work, but I lack the vocabulary to verbalize why it doesn't work. I end up falling back on real general terms like "I want it to be faster/slower", or "It's too happy/sad" which work, but don't really give the person supplying the music anything to work with. The whole What/Why note process strikes again.
Coupled with my lack of music knowledge is my propensity to latch on to what I like to call 'false positives'. You know, those songs that work but aren't right and could definitely be better. Suffice to say, I'm no Tarantino.
Fortunately, I've stacked the deck a bit in my favor. As it comes to scored material, our composer Rob Gokee has been fantastic. He can take my vaguely coherent musical ramblings and turn them into something that is actually pretty cool. Even better, he can make sense of my equally incoherent notes to make the score sound even better. We are in good hands, believe you me.
When it comes to the more traditional song stuff, luckily I have Todd to suss out any false positives in our midst. While the matter of finding the music and if it's in the general vicinity of what works for the movie falls onto my shoulders, Todd has been invaluable figuring out which from those is the actual correct song to use.
Hopefully, if everything works out right (and it will!), by the end of this whole thing I'll have the soundscape that I've always wanted, but couldn't put into words. Then, before the next one, I'll have to sign up for music lessons.
I'm going to head back to work, but while I'm gone you should check out our twitter, Facebook, and/or youtube (updated with a brand new video blog!) pages and then go check out that episode of TNG on the Neflix streaming (Season 6, episode 5 "Schisms").