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Insights from a Creative Director: Navigating Composer Creative Choices and Relationship

Updated: Dec 28, 2023






Hey everyone,


As a long time creative director, composer, copywriter, voice director, I've learned a few key things about working with creative talent and making tough decisions, and how to get the best result possible.


Let me share some insights with you, especially when working with composers.


Music is an emotional gig. You bleed. You fall in love with your music. It hurts when it gets rejected. So what can you do to make the whole relationship healthier, for both you and your composer?


1. Express Your Musical Tastes to Your Composer


It's important to communicate your preferences. For me, I love music that gets me dancing. It sets the mood and helps me visualize concepts better. Share those grooves with your composer. Or any reference you have.


Musicians love reference tracks. We use them all the time to understand instrumentation, beats, structure, form, mix.


It really helps the process.


2. Give Time and Space to Your Composer


Creativity can't be rushed. When working with artists, give them as much time as possible. This allows for a more organic and refined end product.


It's incredible how many time I'll work on a project that has been in animation and editing for months, and then they give me three days to do the job.


Personally, I've worked hard to make my process fast. But time is time. The first idea is rarely it. The more time I have the sharper the perspective.


3. Be Honest and Kind


Not every collaboration works out, and that's okay. If a project isn't going in the direction you envisioned, it's crucial to be straightforward. Let them know you're shifting gears, but don't close the door on future possibilities. A coffee meet-up can keep the relationship positive.


Look, musicians wear their hearts on their sleeves. Be gentle!


4. Patiently Assess the Music Work


Finally, when you receive the music or any creative output, sit with it for a while. Listen to it multiple times over a few days. Often, your perspective might change, and you'll find value in places you didn't initially see.


How many times have you heard a song and dislike it, but slowly it grows on you? Give it repeated listens! Give it a chance! The composer worked to find something they love. I can pretty much guarantee you no composer worth their salt sends in a track they hate.


Listen and listen again.


Remember, creativity is a journey, and effective communication and patience are key to navigating it successfully.


Stay creative,

Chris

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