One of the most fun events of the year is the annual conference of the Production Music Association, which represents composers active in the production-music community. This year’s was at the Loew’s Hollywood Hotel and I was delighted to moderate the Q&A with guest composer Pinar Toprak, whose Captain Marvel score earlier this year wowed millions and instantly made her one of the top women in her field. She shared her extraordinary journey, from her childhood in Turkey to her sojourn in America, from Chicago to Berklee to Los Angeles. (L-R: PMA executive director Morgan McKnight, Pinar Toprak, JB)
Composer Tyler Bates is not only one of the nicest people in the music business, he’s among the most thoughtful and philosophical, and just plain fun to be around. So when the Production Music Association asked me to return to their annual conference to do the keynote Q&A with him, I jumped at the opportunity. Bates, who has scored not only the two hugely successful Guardians of the Galaxy films but also this year’s fun Deadpool 2, talked about his composing process and his other musical pursuits ranging from TV’s The Punisher to concert tours with his friend and musical collaborator Marilyn Manson.
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.