Director of Public Art, Nashville Arts Commission
Director, Carolina Crown
THE HOLLY & THE IVY
Move Like You Stole It (zz ward)
I create original, boundary-pushing instrumental music for ensembles, and also sound design and recorded audio for collaborations with artists like Adrienne Outlaw. My instrumental work is incredibly democratic: not just melody, harmony, rhythm; those roles shift around the ensemble. Sometimes the bass clarinet has the melody while the violin supports. Who said the violins and trumpets always had to lead?
I’m a fan of both really rustic blues and really avant garde composers. To me I think there’s something genuine about the human expression that I see in both of those fields that maybe not everybody else does.
I typically work on projects that need one of two things: unique music for a story that is so innovative conventional music doesn’t fit; or projects where music itself is a character in the project.
I create arrangements and compositions for standard ensembles for live performance. I began music as a band kid, toured the country for three years with a drum and bugle corps, and won an award for a beginning band piece I created to be the fight song of a new middle school. When I write for groups like that, I always work to make sure there’s something in the piece for each person in the group to look forward to.
I have a tendency to push the boundaries of the roles instruments are used to playing within an ensemble.
This comes from being a low brass member, and low brass players are often only asked to play whole notes in developing band material while others get to play the melody and certain faster passages and certain technical things. Inevitably, as years go by, the low brass players are not as skilled as their peers at certain things because they’ve never been asked to do them.
In a band material, it’s very common for trumpets to always have the melody along with first flute, and everyone else works to support that. That’s not the only thing they’re capable of. I work my pieces so that everyone has something to do that they can be celebrated for, that gives them something to work on, and something that they will be proud to have done at the end of the piece – while crafting an experience for everyone that’s meaningful.
I literally think about each individual performer that’s going to play this material, and I want to make sure that there’s something in there for them, and that nobody just has whole notes straight through while everybody else gets to do the fun bits. I just think music as a language is broader than that, and there is room for everyone to contribute.
Your brand has ineffable qualities… a tone of voice, a speaking cadence and a soul. Working with your creative team, I take those ineffable qualities and represent them sonically. Gigs like this have proven to be my favorite – I love the process of teasing out the essence of your organization and then distilling it into musical or sonic gestures.
Previous clients have included Dance Network (three times), web series’ and tv pilots.
I do the hustle work to clear songs and produce re-recordings. I’ve also placed master recordings. If you have “no” money, I can coach you (and you can do the emailing and phone calling). if you want me to do the emailing and phone calling, we’ll have to come to an agreement. In general, you can place nearly any song for $500… if you are willing to pay royalties on the backend.
I partner with storytellers, filmmakers and artists to craft a signature sound for their project that creates physical responses in their audience and elevates their storytelling.
Professional composers for media work on the basis of “per minute of content” much like any other post-production professional. Be aware that feature films (up until the aughts) typically only required about 30minutes of underscore. A ten-minute short film may only have 3 minutes of music. Every project is different. I write for $400 a minute + recording costs, with either split publishing, or a reversion clause.
My focus as an artist is creating meaningful experiences. I see the world both as it should be and as it is simultaneously. I want to give the people who experience the work I touch a sense of transcendent humanness. Ideas like justice and hope and the fallacy of evil, the fallacy of outright selfishness, the fallacy of cheap melodrama … They are not rooted in the full lived experience of humanity.
The world I live in is imaginative, restorative, colorful, and celebrates the small gestures that keep us human.
British-born, American-trained composer Kyle J Baker writes music for film, chamber ensembles and school groups. Classical in heritage, but vernacular in vocabulary, his music has earned accolades for its rhythmic intensity and lyrical integrity. Influential teachers include Ken Read, John LaBarbara, Delfeayo Marsalis, and Paul Godwin.
Born in Scotland and raised in St. Louis, Baker holds an M.Mus from Belmont University and makes his home in Cane Ridge, Tennessee with his wife Joy, and daughter Charlotte. In addition to composing for visual media, he serves on the music staff of Music City Drum and Bugle Corps.
A recent work, Post-modern Psalms, was premiered by the Nashville Chamber Music Series in May.
As an impresario, he has launched a number of projects and events, including Nashville’s Soundcrawl Festival, Creator’s Workday, and The Listening Lab.