Photo: Mason Poole
GRAMMY Museum Announces Inaugural Campaign For Music Education: How Funds Raised Would Impact Music Students Nationwide
Co-chaired by Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Bruno Mars, and more, the funds raised from this campaign will provide free admission for all students to the GRAMMY Museum, as well as expanded music education programs.
The GRAMMY Museum has always been committed to furthering and enhancing music education in quality, accessibility and reach — and now, some leading lights are bolstering a new campaign to do just that.
On Oct. 12, the GRAMMY Museum announced their first-ever Campaign For Music Education, with the goal of raising money for their educational endowment and programs.
The funds raised will provide free admission to the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles for all students, as well as expanded access to their music education programs across the country.
The campaign is co-chaired by some of the most sterling names in music — including Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Bruno Mars, Shawn Mendes and Rosalía. And as GRAMMY Museum President and CEO Michael Sticka said in a statement, the impact on students aims to be monumental.
"Our goal with this campaign is very simple," Sticka asserted. "To do our best to democratize music education by expanding our reach into underserved communities where access to our museum and educational programs could make a huge impact and ultimately foster the next generation of music's creators and leaders.
"Many in the music industry have come together to help us achieve our goal of making music education a vital part of kids' lives, and we couldn't be more thankful for their support," he continued, thanking co-chairs Eilish, Lipa, Mars, Mendes, and Rosalía.
Ultimately, the GRAMMY Museum's objective is to eliminate the financial burden to access music education and foster the next generation of music's creators and leaders.
The campaign serves a call to action for the music industry, with labels, publishers, artists, promoters, and others coming together to ensure that music education is accessible and sustainable for any and all who desire it.
The funds raised through the Campaign For Music Education would more than double the number of students who have access to the Museums' galleries each year, and would greatly expand their education and community programs — which have served more than 435,000 students through programs such as GRAMMY Camp, GRAMMY In The Schools and the Quinn Coleman Scholarship Fund.
Keep watching this space for more news regarding how the GRAMMY Museum will continue the fight to serve every student who wants a musical education — both in this exceptionally beneficial campaign and beyond.
Additional Nominations TV Special Performer Announced
Nick Jonas & The Administration added to GRAMMY nominations TV special lineup
An exclusive performance by Nick Jonas & The Administration has been added to the lineup for "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night," a one-hour special which will take place live on Dec. 2 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. Nick Jonas, one-third of the GRAMMY-nominated Jonas Brothers, and his new side project will be introduced by his brothers Kevin and Joe.
Previously announced performers include three-time GRAMMY winners the Black Eyed Peas, six-time GRAMMY nominee Maxwell, and GRAMMY winner Sugarland, with two-time GRAMMY winner LL Cool J set to host. The show will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 Surround Sound on the CBS Television Network from 9–10 p.m. ET/PT. Additional performers and presenters will be announced shortly.
The special also marks the second time nominations for the annual GRAMMY Awards will be announced live on primetime television. Last year's airing of "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" reached more than 8 million viewers and led to double-digit percentage increases in all key demographics for the 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast earlier this year.
The road to Music's Biggest Night begins with "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" — featuring the announcement of nominations in several categories and performances by past GRAMMY winners and/or nominees — and culminates with the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2010, and broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT. For updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.
"The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night" is produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures, LLC and John Cossette Productions. John Cossette and Ken Ehrlich are the executive producers. LL Cool J and Renato Basile are producers.
Special Merit Recipients Announced
Awards honor music people's contributions to the recording industry
Recipients of the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY Award were announced today by The Recording Academy. David Bowie, Cream, Merle Haggard, Robert Johnson, Jessye Norman, Richard Pryor, and the Weavers will receive The Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. Chris Blackwell, Owen Bradley and Al Schmitt will be honored with The Academy's Trustees Award. Bell Labs/Western Electric and Tom Dowd have been named recipients of the Technical GRAMMY Award.
"This year's honorees are a prestigious group of diverse and influential creators who have contributed some of the most distinguished and influential recordings," said Recording Academy President Neil Portnow. "Their work exemplifies the highest artistic and technical standards, creating a timeless legacy that has positively affected multiple generations, and will continue to influence generations to come."
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors lifelong artistic contributions to the recording medium while the Trustees Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the industry in a non-performing capacity. Both awards are decided by vote of The Recording Academy's National Trustees. Technical GRAMMY Award recipients are determined by vote of the members of The Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing and The Academy's Trustees. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.
Formal acknowledgment of these special merit awards will be made at an elite ceremony during GRAMMY Week on Tuesday, Feb. 7, as well as during the 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards, which will be held at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Feb. 8, and broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.
For more information about the special merit recipients, please click here.
Photo: Frazer Harrison/WireImage.com
Cliff Martinez: 'Drive' Composer On Making Music For Films, TV
Known for dreamy and atmospheric soundscapes, the composer provides an in-depth look at scoring projects like 'Drive,' 'Only God Forgives' and more
Cliff Martinez got his start drumming with the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the ’80s. After several years performing with the band, he resigned from the touring lifestyle and began a career writing music for television. Martinez landed his first gig composing for “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” and eventually shifted his focus towards film scoring. Today, he is one of the most sought-after composers and is known for his dreamy and atmospheric soundscapes. His many credits include popular films such as Traffic, Contagion, Drive and The Lincoln Lawyer.
GRAMMY.com caught up with Martinez who walked us through his process of scoring his latest big-screen endeavor, Only God Forgives, on which he re-teamed with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn. He also shared his advice for up-and-coming composers and touched on his gear and co-writing process.
Can you walk us through the process of scoring Only God Forgives?
Well monogamy has its advantages. This is Nicolas and my second picture so there’s a certain degree of creative telepathy that goes on. Now I know what he likes and doesn’t like and have a very general notion of his approach of putting music to picture.
Nicolas is pretty unique in that he really depends on music. He likes music a lot. I had never written any nine-minute music sequences in a film until I did Drive. It’s a challenge I welcome.
This film is even more of a silent film than Drive and there were some really big challenges. There is a scene where a one-arm man is talking about who this cop is that took his arm and Nicolas sent that to me and I said, “Alright. Now you’ve gone too far. Now I see the guy’s lips moving and there is still no dialogue. What’s up with that?” He said, “Well, I just didn’t like the way it sounded. He kept calling him the angel of wengeance.” He said the foreign actor kept pronouncing it “the angel of wengeance” and it had a comic overtone that was inappropriate.
So I had to musically tell the story of the angel of vengeance without any words. You have to appreciate those things — seeing the film without the music. I like to think that music is very important in his films, more so than in other films.
When Nicolas says he’s going to direct a movie and wants you to score it, do you start generating ideas for the score before you see the picture?
In Drive, I was brought in at the five-week mark, which is when writing a film score is pretty down to the wire. So that was a different process. For this one, he knew he wanted to work with me so he brought me in at the script stage. It was very different in that we actually were able to spitball some ideas before he even shot anything.
I think Steven [Soderbergh] is the only other guy that brings me in that early — at the script stage before things have shot. Usually, everybody waits till the last second and says, “Who are we going to get to do the music? It’s going to be released in five weeks...” Until you actually see the picture and start to throw some stuff up against it, you really can’t write anything.
So we had some ideas. I had this idea that I really wanted to bring the setting of Thailand to the world with music. I went to Thailand and locked myself in a hotel room for five weeks and had my laptop set up and wrote it there. It was so intense that I had room service three times a day and never left the room. I did buy a couple of Thai folk instruments — a pin, which is like an electrified three-string lute. I didn’t really play it in the idiom of the Thai folk tradition but it didn’t stop me from trying so I did weave a little of the Thai influence in there.
How much did your ideas change once you saw the film come together?
I always have this plan and then once you get in the middle of it, all these specific ideas that you had get tossed out and you go with something else.
Nicolas had a very different approach. It was a bit of a controversial practice with temp scoring so really the director gets a lot of credit for designing the overall approach because their first edit of the film contains some music from a CD of some other composer to get the ball rolling and it dictates where they want the music placed: where it starts, where it stops and a general kind of direction or approach.
In this case, Nicolas used my favorite film score of all time, [Bernard Herrmann’s 1951 score for The Day The Earth Stood Still], so I kind of dropped the Thai thing. I heard that and thought, “If I could put those two together, that would be interesting,” so I was always trying to do that. I really tried the sci-fi ’50s thing but that didn’t work. There was a lot of trial and error.
In Drive, we went for first impulse, which usually works and it did. This time we had a lot of time to experiment and there is probably over two hours of music in a 50-minute score so there’s a lot of leftovers — a lot of aborted experiments.
When scoring a film, do you ever co-write or do you work on it exclusively?
I have a couple of guys that live in Topanga Canyon [Calif.], although we hardly ever see each other and I hardly ever see Nicolas — he’s in Copenhagen [Denmark]. I guess that’s the nature of collaboration in the digital world.
I have a couple of guys that work with me that are credited on the score. To me, the scope of doing a film score is you have to have a team of people to work with because you don’t just write the score. Writing 50 minutes of music is enough of a task but it ends up being like you have to write that 50 minutes three or four times so for me it’s just overwhelming for one human to do it.
What is that collaborative process like? Do you put down your basic ideas and then send them portions to take and work with a little bit?
I try to come up with a general [instrumentals]. I try to send out things I call themes, although I have a hard time using the word theme and keeping a straight face because a lot of my stuff is more of a recognizable sound than something you could whistle or sing.
In this film, I had my love theme, my death by sword theme... I try to establish these things and then hand it out to the minions and say, “OK, let’s make it work in this scene or another.” I’m very much attached to the idea of theme and variation, which is a purist classical approach. I try to do it that way. It gets scrambled along the way but I try and keep that purity. That makes it easy to hand off to somebody and say, “Here’s the love scene. Let’s try applying it to the film. Let’s try to make it work here.”
What was the biggest challenge you encountered when scoring the film?
The film had very little dialogue. Originally Nicolas sent me the script and it was with normal talking. Then he shot it and it was like, “What happened to all the talking? There is no talking now.” He said, “Well we decided to thin it out.” Fine by me. It gives me more to do. The viewers look to the music more. They’ll pay closer attention — what is he saying or thinking? It naturally puts more emphasis on the music, which I like.
Music is often thought of as an afterthought — what ketchup is to a cheap steak is what music often is. You do these transitions just to smooth out the cuts but Nicolas gives you a nice juicy part for the music.
What equipment do you use? How much is samples and how much is live instrumentation?
I have a pretty simple set up: a couple of hard drives, Kontakt instruments, Symphobia, Omnisphere was used. Zebra was the fight scene. It’s got this great real time control and Nicolas wanted something that was along those lines. I was stealing from Philip Glass but all that stuff is out of the box.
The love theme, the melodic line, was recorded with a real orchestra in Bronislava. All the other weird stuff was Symphobia and L.A. scoring strings so they are all sample libraries. They are all fake. Nicolas liked the orchestral idea so everything else is kind of fake.
If you were starting over as a composer today, would you focus more on scoring films or licensing music for television?
If I had my choice, I would say go with the feature films because to me licensed music is music detached from the picture. You create the music then you try to sell it and to me —because of where I come from — that’s less artistically satisfying than writing music to picture.
The first time I did “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” that was the first thing I ever did. I saw the previous season and when I got my first show in the second season, I thought they gave me the worst episode of the show ever. Then I started to write the music and the whole thing came together. I thought I was dragging a rocket ship. I thought I had just fixed it, but I realized throughout the course of that project, how powerful and how satisfying putting music to picture is.
So if you’re licensing stuff, you’re not doing it to picture and you’re missing all the fun. Whichever is more lucrative, I couldn’t say, but I would say whatever opportunities present yourself, I would go with it.
How did you transition from drumming for the Red Hot Chili Peppers to being a full-time composer?
I was with them from ’83 to ’86, back in my childhood. I made the jump because I thought I was playing a very small role here as an accompanist to three other people. Not that it was bad while I did it, but when I switched over to writing music, it was a whole new world of creativity and creative options opened up. I think there’s nothing more satisfying than writing music and if you are successful at it, it will be far more lucrative than session stuff. I think the money is in creating [music] not performing it, although bands like the Chili Peppers make billions by touring, but they’ve burned a few calories to get to that point.
I was just not cut out for that lifestyle. I’m a fragile little traveler — body functions and a number of things just don’t work as well when I’m going city to city. That’s another thing; I just did the touring thing. I was always in bands but never one with a record deal till the Chili Peppers and I finally got a whiff of the rock and roll lifestyle and I realized, “I’m not going to do this for the next 20 to 30 years. Travel is kind of cool — playing live is kind of nice but this is rough. This is like being married to four people!”
What type of musical training have you had?
It’s pretty sparse. I grew up as a rock and roll drummer and I wasn’t able to parlay any of those skills into film composing except that I can make music by hitting things with a stick so I would play pitch percussion but my training is pretty limited.
After I got into the business, [during] my periods of unemployment, which I actually had lots of them in 2009 and 2010, I would take music lessons. I would take piano lessons and a few guys around town teach composition.
But really I have big gigantic holes in my musical training in the formal sense. My cop-out for years was, “Well, if you want to be a different fish, you have to get out of the school.” I wanted to sound original and I didn’t want to learn the way Bach did “Counterpoint,” but that’s just being lazy. I do try to read about things but I’m basically a self-taught music Neanderthal.
Well, you’re influencing a lot of composers. There are going to be a lot of guys ripping you off.
Well, I’m ripping off a lot of people [laughs]. My philosophy is you steal one thing from one person, you’re a plagiarist. You steal two things and put it together, you’re a pioneer. Most of my stuff is Philip Glass meets Bernard Herrmann meets Thai pop music. You put those together and you can steal pretty blatantly, but if you combine them or come up with something wildly original…
Any last bits of advice for people looking to pursue a career in composing?
I’d like to think the key to success is to be yourself. To find a way to express your musical personality, to discover what your musical identity is and then express it proudly and develop what is you, what it is about that distinguishes you from everybody else. I feel that ultimately I would like to think that’s what makes you competitive and sought after.
Academy To Host 2nd Annual Style Studio
Luxury fashion showcase benefits educational initiatives
The second annual GRAMMY Style Studio — a luxury fashion showcase that allows nominees, presenters, performers and celebrities to select designer clothing for the 47th Annual GRAMMY Awards and GRAMMY Week events — officially launches on Feb. 9 with the invitation-only Vanity Fair Kick-Off Party in Los Angeles. Private styling appointments will be available Feb. 9 through Feb. 12, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting The Recording Academy's educational initiatives.
"We couldn't have been more thrilled with the response to our first GRAMMY Style Studio from celebrities, designers and media," said Ron Roecker, vice president communications, The Recording Academy. "This year our Style Studio will be twice the size with more of the hottest fashions, as style and music icons continue to meld for all activities surrounding music's biggest night, the GRAMMY Awards."
Invited VIP guests will view the latest designs and one-of-a-kind pieces from designers including Fendi, Vivienne Westwood, Moschino, Hugo Boss, H by Hilfiger, Catherine Malandrino, Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons, Simmons Jewelry, Jenny Packham, Rock n Royal, Ted Baker London, Oakley, Jamin Puech, Henry Duarte, Belstaff, Hoodwink, Willow, Isabella's Soul, Stitches, Rodrigo Otazu, Georgina Goodman and Elini watches.
Last year's GRAMMY Style Studio hosted numerous artists, celebrities and media outlets. Fiona Apple, Black Eyed Peas, Hilary Duff, Perry Farrell, Linkin Park, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Maroon5, Matchbox Twenty, and No Doubt were some of the event attendees.