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Michael J Lawrence
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Michael J Lawrence's Blog

How to get a film scoring gig - make the film!

Posted on August 16, 2011 at 2:25am 3 Comments

Opportunity comes from strange and unexpected places.  

 

What is the essence of opportunity, really?  Is it that first gig with a contract for a movie that other people will see in theaters?  You bet.  

 

Maybe, though, it's that obscure off-in-the-corner opportunity where you get to see what it's really like.  Where you get to really let out the stops because you know you can fail and it'll be OK.  Maybe it's just rationalizing that the film you are scoring will…

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The great dissonance hoax

Posted on January 31, 2010 at 1:12pm 10 Comments

I'm not talking about prepared dissonance with resolution, I'm talking about the predelection for "modern" composition to embrace relentless dissonance as a foundation for a piece of music.



In the effort to evolve music beyond the common practice era, we have thrown harmony under the bus. Notably, yes there has been some harmonic evolution that has given us a broader pallette to work with, but these have more to do with how we modulate, more colorful chromaticism and breaking of… Continue

Michael J Lawrence's Discussions

EWQLSO setup options on different machines?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Chris Alpiar Jul 25, 2010. 2 Replies

I'm currently running EWQLSO along with two different sequencers on one machine.  It's a powerful machine, but I get constant hanging notes with either sequencer.  EastWest says my sequencers aren't…Continue

Tags: EWQLSO

Time signatures and measure bars - do we really need them?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Streaker Ofinsky Aug 11, 2010. 21 Replies

Because they're getting in my way.  The phrases in my current piece work best across 4.5 beats.  But you can't write 4.5/4. Confining it to 4/4 really changes its rhythmic nature so much that it…Continue

Pentium Dual Core or Core 2 Duo?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Ray Stirling Feb 8, 2010. 2 Replies

OK, so Intel has come up with this budget line of CPUs that are part of the Wolfdale run: Pentium dual core.  Right now, I'm looking at the Pentium Dual Core E6600.  (not to be confused with the…Continue

Windows Media Player SMPTE trigger?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Adam Weldon Feb 8, 2010. 3 Replies

This is way out there, but.... Does anyone know of a plug-in or software that will send SMPTE to Windows Media Player?  I know version 9 accomodated SMPTE time code in version 9, so it's possible. …Continue

Comment Wall (13 comments)

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At 11:36am on June 30, 2016, Larry Elliott said…

Greetings Michael,

I like Final Voyage. it is very well written and moves very well. Thanks so much for sharing.

Very best,

Larry Elliott

At 8:12pm on December 4, 2011, Fernando said…

Michael - I just read your message. And I want to thank you for your comments on my music. I am really thankful that there is someone there that can read deep into the structure of my art...and understand my music language for what it truly is....a work of passion....many have and continue to be fooled, either by academia....or their snobbish peers...and continue to attempt to revolutionize music through  logical, yet sterile sounds....music is revolutionary in nature....and as such, it must always evolve...it's just a question of where and how it evolves ...I don't see much of a future for atonality and/or serialism....not so much that it already is difficult for the common ear to understand, but more from the standpoint that it does not relay in any way, shape, or form any structured, poetic message from the composer to the listener....it cannot....because it is not founded on those principles.....Thank you again.....I really enjoyed your works as well....I will keep on listening....Best to you

Fernando

At 11:34pm on April 22, 2010, Ryan Brady said…
Thanks Michael - I think it's a good exercise to try and do certain "style" orchestrations. It's been helpful for me anyway. Good writing - Ryan
At 3:31pm on April 16, 2010, Ryan Brady said…
Michael - checked out your music here. Really enjoyed some of your transitional material in Final Voyage. Some nice dynamic work there. Cheers!
At 1:14pm on April 9, 2010, phil Kelly said…
Michael :

I checked and I DID add my feelings about Ms Portmans comments about film scoring training on Feb 5th.

Just checking -when one gets to my age, you usually acquire a bad case of CRS* syndrome....


* cant remember s**t !
At 11:15am on March 1, 2010, Michael J Lawrence said…
Thanks for the bump on your MS page! BTW, how do I set one one of those up? I have a personal page (and joined yours as a fan.) but would like one where I can post my tunes and such.

-MJL
At 11:01am on February 28, 2010, Fernando said…
Martin - I couldn't agree with you more in your blog. Thank you for shedding a true light on today's music. If you don't mind, I have posted your blog on my facebook fan-page.

Thanks
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fernando-Alvaro-Vazquez/446314630401?ref=ts
At 2:48am on February 12, 2010, Cyril C. said…
Thanks for your comment Mike.
"Morning" is effectively different from my other stuffs. I finally decided to learn to play the piano and it changed manythings. First I became more interested in the melody. I you listen to my others pieces, you will find that the're generaly written aroud a rythmic pattern with variations around.
This is not the case with "Morning".
Also, I am a little bit tired about Epic cues.... Big drums and big horns and big sound...
With the EWQLSO Gold, it's quite easy to obtain. But morning was much more difficult to me becouse, I had to find a melody which is more complicated than finding a rythm.
Hoooo I'm still writting Epic Cues, but I will now try other styles....
At 1:29pm on February 5, 2010, phil Kelly said…
Mike:

I think the main thrust of what Ms. Portman is saying is unfortunately true. Many of todays "composers" have not had any formal music compositional background and as a consequence have relied on the increasingly available project srudio tools as a substitute for real musical training.

The second point ( writing for film ) requires a whole separate set of skills : relating to the dramatic aspects of the score, writing under dialog, communicating with other non musical film professionals -directors, editors, producers, etc. In the old days, you got into the business by learning as you go , doing small films until you ( with any luck ) got into bigger projects, apprenticing with a working composer to learn the basics.

Today, there are several schools around the USA
( particularaly the Film Scoring program @ USC) that address some of these basics in an academic setting, but in the end, one still has to go out and actually "score"
actual films to put your book knowledge into perspective.
At 4:14pm on January 31, 2010, phil Kelly said…
sorry - somehow my comment vanished.

basic story -far less work, too many project shop composers, runaway work.

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Profile Information

What have you composed for? Or what medium do you work around?
Television, Web
What is your favorite genre or style of music?
romantic style symphonic.
Is music your main income source?
No - Not Yet
Where do you live?
Columbus OH
About Me (Must include at least one paragraph of biographical information about you as a composer) - blank or minimal answers on this line will cause your request to be rejected. Include a link to your website if you have one.
More to justify my taking up space here more than anything else:

I have been composing in one form or another for more years than I care to admin. I still consider myself a neophyte. Virtually all of my work is unpublished and has only been heard by members at the old Zeotrope site before it (sadly) became a ghost town.
I am a member of ASCAP and scored a 30 second spot for TV that aired at 3 a.m. in Chicago some years ago. My day job is information security anlysis and I am self-employed.
 
 
 

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