On June 25, 2018, WIFVNE and the Society of Composers & Lyricists co-hosted a “Music for Media” Mixer. The evening brought together media creators and composers, and marked the SCL’s first event in Boston. Topics of conversation included:
- finding and selecting a composer for a project
- differing roles of music in narrative and documentary forms
- female composers’ underrepresentation in the industry
- legal & business issues when licensing original or existing music
- how the Boston/New England area compares to other centers of media production
The SCL has a long history and plays a vital role within the media landscape in cities such as Los Angeles and New York — acting in partnership with the major entertainment industry guilds and working together with other high-profile organizations including Women In Film (LA) and New York Women in Film & Television.
Unlike LA and NYC, the Boston area has no industry entity specifically for media composers — and currently, no significant representation within vital national member organizations such as the SCL. This lack of a persistent and visible presence makes it difficult to even gauge the number of active professional composers for film, TV, games, web series, and other media in New England.
Against that background, the June event represented not just an opportunity for forging professional connections between those who attended — but also a chance for community-building among composers, and perhaps a step towards organizing a media composers group in Boston.
Could such a group gain traction here? In LA and NYC, the Society of Composers and Lyricists is a leader in industry education and advocacy, and hosts screenings, panels, seminars, and community-building events for active professionals in all areas of the media. Given sufficient interest in organizing (and a collective willingness to leave the solitary confines of the studio), a media composers group in New England could play a similar role.
One indicator that local composers may be willing to join together can be seen in the emergence of the Boston Ellington & Ravel Group. Loosely aligned with the Academy of Scoring Arts in LA plus score study chapters in other cities, the Ellington & Ravel Group is dedicated to the advancement of the jazz, classical, and film music traditions — and could potentially serve as both a partner in knowledge sharing and a point of connection for media creators seeking original music.
The development of a persistent and visible media composers group in Boston — whether under the auspices of some national group, or as a brand new entity — could lead to greater opportunities for collaboration with all media creators… as well as the prospect of composers seriously partnering with other groups in event programming, education, and other advocacy efforts.
If the attendees at Beat Brasserie in June are any reflection, the prospect is an appealing one with clear benefits to the entire local media industry.
Recap written by Clifford Anderson. Photo courtesy of Ronee Saroff.