Last Fortnight In Music Supervision and Sync 10.10.16

image from A run through of the latest and greatest news in sync licensing and music supervision over   the past fortnight, courtesy of Synchblog.


Film and TV

The musicians behind Luke Cage on creating a ‘timeless’ sound and the lack of opportunities for black composers (Vulture) 

When Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad first signed on to score Netflix’s Luke Cage, they didn’t consider how the show would consume their day-to-day lives. The two are legendary — Muhammad was a founding member of A Tribe Called Quest, and the prolific Younge has an output that defies categorization.

From ‘Cop Rock’ to ‘Atlanta’: How music TV shows went from punch lines to prestige programs (Billboard)

How did TV finally get over its Cop Rock-induced gun shyness? In short, the music and TV industries both changed quickly and dramatically thanks to technology, and the changes drove them right into each other’s arms.

Ranking the Songs on the Dope ‘Westworld’ Soundtrack

Developed by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, the show intends to be the HBO’s next water cooler phenomenon. But whereas Game of Thrones tries to emphasize the faux-medieval machinations of its ensemble cast, Westworld imbues Wild West action with philosophical musings. It exists at the intersection of horror, technology, and existentialism. And thanks to a dope soundtrack, it also exists in a nebulous place in time, somewhere (somewhen?) postmodern but also aged, like Wild Wild West but good.

Halt and Catch Fire Q&A – Thomas Golubić (Music supervisor) (AMC)

Thomas Golubić, music supervisor for AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, discusses how music is best used to amplify the story, why he builds a music library for every character, and his favorite musical moments from Season 3.

Inside the American Honey soundtrack: 5 key tracks (and a pair of misses)
 (Entertainment Weekly)

It takes a village, especially when trying to procure the soundtrack for an indie road trip movie costarring Shia LaBeouf. For American Honey, Andrea Arnold’s coming-of-age trek through the American heartland, producer Julia Oh, music supervisors Earworm Music, Arnold herself, and the film’s cast of newcomers and non-actors worked in unison to compile the sprawling soundtrack, which features everything from E-40 to Kevin Gates to Bruce Springsteen to Rihanna.

‘The Birth Of A Nation‘ Soundtrack Features Powerful Songs Inspired By Film

Historical dramas generally aren’t known for having hip, current soundtracks. Then again, The Birth of a Nation is not your typical historical drama. The film, which reappropriates the title of one of the most infamous and racist films of all-time, tells the story of American slave and preacher Nat Turner. So what kind of songs accompany his revolt on the Birth of a Nation soundtrack?

Boys Noize on giving Oliver Stone’s Snowden film its electronic pulse (LA Weekly)

The German producer’s latest collaboration came with film composer Craig Armstrong, who together with music supervisor Budd Carr and co-composer Adam Peters reached out to him and asked him to remix a simple piano melody Armstrong had written for Oliver Stone’s new film, Snowden.

Are TV and film music supervisors killing real songwriting as suggested in this article? Three music supervisors respond:


Female composers in games industry see gender-based pay penalty, new study finds (Billboard)

The profession finds itself in the Dark Ages when it comes to income equality, a recent industry surveyshows. The penalty of being a woman in games audio is roughly equal to two years’ of experience, according to an independent analysis of the survey. 


How one of 2016’s most talked-about video games brought generative music to the masses (Thump)

Paul Weir, the sound designer and composer behind one of this year’s most talked about games No Man’s Sky, relies on a technique called generative music – a form popularized by Brian Eno that involves using a series of computer programming rules to create a piece of music that draws random phrases from a library of sounds to essentially compose itself. 

Ice Cube goes ‘real old-school’ for ‘Mafia III’ original song ‘Nobody Wants to Die’ (Billboard)

When Ice Cube was approached by 2K Games to work with DJ Shadow on a new song to promote Mafia III, it didn’t take much convincing. “He played me this track that reminded me of The Sopranos in a way. Real old-school, Deep Mill, singing on the hook, sayin’ ‘Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.’” The result, “Nobody Wants to Die,” is the centerpiece of the launch campaign for the latest installment of the Mafia video game series.

The haunting soundtrack for Inside was recorded with an actual human skull
 (International Business Times)

The composer for Playdead’s creepy side-scrolling game Inside has revealed that the title’s haunting soundtrack was actually recorded using an actual human skull. In a post on Gamasutra, composer and sound designer Martin Stig Andersen wrote that he wanted to create different, yet familiar sounds for the game “as if they were happening inside your head”.


This Week’s Best Advert Music – 30.09.2016 (Tracks and Fields)

Each week Tracks and Fields seek out the best in advertising music. Here are their latest selections including tracks from Apple, Target and Volkswagen adverts (and including an appearance from Willie Nelson).

The Most Shazamed Ads of the Week: September 27 – October 3 (CLIO)

Every week,, in partnership with Shazam, rounds up the most Shazamed ads of the previous week. These are the top spots from last week.

Advertising – Why the music should fit the brand (Soundlounge)

According to Leicester Universities’ Dr. Adrian North and Dr. Hargreaves, “brands with music that fit their brand identity are 96% more likely to be recalled than those with non-fit music or no music at all.” Soundlounge’s Ruth Simmons looks at choosing music based on brand fit, what works best for specific brands, and what the metrics look like. 


Interview: Will Theakston, Warp (PRS for Music’s M Magazine)

M Magazine chats to Will Theakston, Warp’s head of licensing, to learn more about the blossoming relationship between the music and gaming worlds, and discover where the opportunities are for switched on publishers and composers…

Music Week Sync Awards 2016 finalists revealed (Music Week)

The Music Week Sync Awards return on Thursday October 20 – and this year’s finalists have be revealed. The 19 categories showcase the best and most successful sync placements across an entire range of media, including film, TV, video games and online. Special shoutout to Synchtank clients Bucks Music Group, Music Sales, 20th Century Fox, Imagem, BT Sport, and Because Music on their nominations! 

Tips and Tricks

Music Game Plan: Tactics for the Video Game Composer (Part One) (Gamasutra)

Games music composer Winifred Phillips has produced four videos to introduce aspiring video game composers to some of the most popular tactics and procedures commonly used by game audio experts in the structuring of musical interactivity for games. Over the next four articles, Phillips will be sharing these videos and including some supplemental information and accompanying musical examples.


Upcoming Events

Film Fest Gent (11th – 21st October, Gent)

Film Fest Gent has a strong international reputation for it’s annual focus on film music. In this year’s program the festival presents a series of masterclasses and seminars with internationally renowned film score composers. Since 2001, Film Fest Gent has been organising the World Soundtrack Awards, which are the most prestigious soundtrack awards in the world. 

MaMA Convention (12th – 14th October, Paris)

MaMA is a music festival and convention based in Paris, offering a gateway to the French music market. MaMA welcomes French and international music professionals to be part of the future of the music industry throughout 3 days of conferences, networking and acts. The detailed programme includes several panels and networking opportunities featuring sync professionals and music supervisors.

Norwich Sound & Vision
 (13th – 15th October, Norwich)

Norwich Sound & Vision returns for its seventh year from Thursday 13th – Saturday 15th October 2016. The event aims to provide exciting music, lively debate, discussion, information, advice and inspiration for anyone who is involved (or would like to be) in the music / radio / TV / film / multimedia industries.

Production Music Conference (17th – 18th October, Santa Monica)

The PMA‘s Production Music Conference is back for a third round! 2016’s two-day event will see industry leaders in the production music industry join forces for panels, learning, and networking. Keynote speakers include esteemed composer Harry Gregson-Williams and artist D.A. Wallach. 

To view our full list of music industry and sync events in 2016 / 2017, head here.

Synchblog is an online resource created by Synchtank, covering the latest in sync licensing, music publishing, music supervision, and the industry in general. Subscribe to Synchblog via email here.