The Production Music Association invites me every year to interview a major composer at its annual Production Music Conference. This year’s was at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, and my guest was Emmy-winning composer Laura Karpman, who had recently finished Ms. Marvel and was beginning work on her next feature film, The Marvels. It was a wide-ranging discussion that included not only her music but also her role as an advocate for marginalized composers (as co-founder of the Alliance for Women Film Composers and as a governor of the Motion Picture Academy). Earlier that month I reported on the amazing rise in the use of production music in broadcast and cable programming.
I interviewed Mychael Danna, the Oscar-winning composer of Life of Pi, on Friday at the Production Music Association conference in Hollywood. It was a delightful hour, as Danna regaled the crowd of approximately 500 composers with stories of his 30-year career in media music. Perhaps the foremost proponent of the use of world music and musical multiculturalism in films, he discussed his drive to record authentic, often exotic instruments with top musicians in their home countries. He also gave the room an early preview of his music for an upcoming animated film, The Breadwinner, and talked about remotely recording Afghan singers and musicians for the score.