551: Writing Music for the Picture Business, with David Metzger

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Relay donate some money. We WanNa beat last year we don't care that there's a pandemic oil we still want do better the last year. So just put some money in there oddly making my contribution here shortly and I can't wait to see how well we can do this month. All right. So this guests erm, my wife and I are fans of Disney. As you may know, and of course, we have the Disney plus channel, and so we were watching the making of the frozen into movie which you know sounds boring. But it was fascinating to see these people with these extraordinary expectations against them. You know that first movie just kind of blew the roof off. So they wanted to make a sequel to wash a hundred and thirty seven times with my kids. Yeah exactly. But as a parent, I'll tell you watching the making of it is. It's fascinating because it's a study in pressure. These people are trying to live up to the first one and how do you do that? You know how do you not make the second one at complete failure but as part of the process at one point, they'd get into the music and There's there's a guy in his studio up in Oregon and he's got all this gear and he's the guy who scores the whole filming takes all the music. He puts it together the eventually ended up in the recording studio with orchestra, and he had a apple keyboard under his key right under his piano keyboard, and also I start seeing like little pieces of apple gear all over the place. And I can tell this guy's a nerd and I'm like I WANNA talk to this guy and it turns out he's one of us and he agreed to come on the show. So welcome to the show. David. Metzker. Thank you very much David thanks for inviting me and and having me on the show. So, David has a a rich history of A. Composing arranging movies he's done this work on include frozen Mwana Simpson's August rush night at the museum captain America Lion King Wreck it Ralph he's also done stuff for Broadway. He's a Tony nominated for scoring the the lion king on Broadway he's done frozen currently working on a version of August rushed for Broadway. F I I David. I can't believe that you made time for his I. Know How busy you are. Well you know I mean I'm not really invited to do things like this very often, and so when I am it's it's actually a huge honor to me because I I usually kind of the hidden guy and in the whole process and so so yet when when you first reach out to me, it was like Oh my gosh somebody actually interested in what I do. I mean that that is an interesting point I David I agree with you I love making of like I will always watch those and I mean it's amazing. How many people with amazing talent and specific knowledge go into making these massive products i. we just think about the people we see on the screen, but there's a an army of amazing people making it. All possible. It's really cool to kind of peek behind the curtain a little bit. Yeah and the music part of it, and we're going to go deep into Davis workflow but. It's all an apple technology, but you know you take a little ditty a little melody but then you gotta turn that into a piece for you know a big multi piece orchestra and horn section. You've got over ancient score it and This is all apple stuff behind the scenes doing this and it's it's just great. Yeah. It's it's You Know Apple's made my life massively easier and better and more creative, and so I'm a huge fan and we're GONNA get into it during the episode. But one of the things about this is people that do the Work David do are some of the biggest power users of. Apple hardware because to score this, they have all these files with all these individual wave files for each note on each instrument and the compute power for what he's doing is quite extraordinary. So we're going to be talking about that too. But before we move on the one more thing about your background, this is the part where Stephen as got a standing off stage with that you know that Hook you know getting ready to the. But the one thing in your house looking at your wikipedia and this turn into a whole threat of emails between us and in our decisions. But when I was in high school you know I was big into jazz as listeners know and I did with the state jazz band did all this stuff. But there was this guy, this trumpet player Nee Maynard Ferguson which if you`ve Never heard of him, he means nothing to you, but he was jazz player who is famous for hitting remarkably high notes on the trumpet. He started with Stan Kenton in the at his own band and when I was nice school we all worshiped Maynard I. I mean Maynard had a gap between his teeth and I remember trumpet players saying That's why he hit those high notes. Like putting a gap in their teeth, just to hit the notes and then of course, mayor got some money and he got his teeth fixed and there like well, that wasn't it. You know. The but anyway, David was his arranger. So on top of you know these, you know Oscar movies worked on he also worked with Maynard Ferguson I just happened in the knowledge that. Yeah, well, that was actually as as we went back and forth and our emails it was one of the kind of cool things on my earlier career has maynard had been a huge idol of mine as well, and when I was in high school and so having the opportunity to actually work with him and right right. Some charts firm was was one of the cool things in my twenties. I gotTA. Put One maynard song in the show notes for for the listeners. What's the one actually? Is there one recorded that you arrange that you particularly like yeah actually I, think the one that probably was the the longest running that he played all the way up until he passed away was a my range of but beautiful, which is a a classic jazz chart and So that that one is actually the one that I'm probably the most proud of in my work with metered. All right we'll put that in but we're also GONNA put lobbyists in because you gotTA. Have One. So. I'll put those ratio notes if you guys have any interest in Maynard Ferguson. I have now my system I think we're safe. Nasty. When It's cool. Let's talk about computers. Computers. David You are an apple guy and it goes back a while. Don't you tell us a little bit about your history with the apple computers yeah. Well I kind of I. Think my first exposure that I really remember was to an apple two and that probably would have been around nineteen eighty or eighty one and I didn't own it but I remember I had a friend who had one and it just seemed like kind of the future and I I am old enough to where I kind of learned the first parts of music might my first exposure music was before computers at least? Might you know they before they? Were common and so I did everything by hand up to a certain point Umberto them when I saw computers kind of come around I personal computers I realized. Well, this is kind of the future and it wouldn't be a bad idea to kind of learn how they work in see because even though at that point, they really couldn't do a whole lot in as far as music goes I could see that there was a potential there to you know to really be fascinating. And to be honest, the first computer I owned was was not an apple. And I hope that's okay. I hope not going to be banished but. S. Was it an Atari St How did you know because that was the one with the built in Midi ports all. Of that yeah, that's exactly right. I hit a ten forty S T in. Got I think I was like the first week that they were out I got one because I just I you know it just seemed like Yeah. Because it had the built in baby and it had a whole as I. Recall I had a whole megabyte of Ram in the machine and just all those kind of Great specs back in the day you know and had the built in floppy drive. That was the other thing that was Kinda cool. But. I want to say was that like eighty five or eighty six maybe mid-eighties. Yeah. Yeah. So so I had the other thing about about the Atari as it. It had a program and I think it was called simply track, and so they also then I believe Steinberg made that program. I. I might be wrong but but it came with empty box and so sympthaty was what allowed back back in those days to be able to sync synchronize.

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