How to make a living as a musician?
Musician – A musician’s income often comes from a variety of different jobs. This has long been the nature of the industry as much gig related and creative work is not 9-5, 5 days a week. Richard and myself are no exception. Whilst teaching guitar is our most reliable and regular revenue stream (thanks to you fine people) Richard can be found most weekends on a stage with his function band ‘Freeze’ and for the last 8 years I have been freelancing as a composer for a company called Life Media UK.
I studied composition at the University of Hertfordshire and film music has always been a passion of mine. I got into this line of work by scoring a few student films as a teenager and after one of the directors I had met graduated he set up a promotional film business called Life Media Uk. They asked me to write some music for a couple of motorsport events they had been hired to film and I created a couple of tracks and have been working with them ever since.
Their main business is creating short promotional films and adverts for use as online media. Put simply, they make videos that companies use to get more business through their website.
They still film the car events and here are a couple of shows I’ve written the music for this summer.
Some Days I Don’t Use My Guitar
You may notice that there is no guitar in either of those tracks and often I get asked as a musician to create music in many different styles. Some companies want electronic music but that doesn’t suit everyone. I’m often asked to write classical music or generic pop band stuff and this is all done with a keyboard in my home studio.
I have a small studio in my home consisting of a couple of guitars, some keyboards, a laptop and some large monitoring speakers. I use some software called a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), which is essentially recording software that allows me to sequence music to picture. If a company has requested piano and strings then I would start by loading up several instruments into my DAW. If I load a violin and press a key on my keyboard then the resulting sound comes out like a violin. With some basic keyboard skills and knowledge of music theory you can write and record in any genre.
This piece was written for a garden designer that requested something influenced by French classical music.
I always enjoy the pieces that allow me to play guitar as it’s always better to write with real instruments.
About a year ago Life Media UK made a feature length documentary that I scored the music for. Its really hard work writing music for a 2-hour film as most of the jobs I work on are between 1-3 minutes. To properly write and record a couple of minute worth of music should take about a days work so you can imagine how hard a feature length film is!
Lastly, here’s a film they’ve recorded all about me… enjoy!
If you would like to learn more about Life Media Uk here is a link to their Website.
Also, here’s a link to my Soundcloud page if you’d like to hear more of my music.
Henry @ MGTB