The difference between winners and losers is that winners get back up again. The sad fact of reality is that while I am a competent musician, I’m not good. If I composed the music from ALGORITHM, it would be the weakest aspect of the movie. That’s hard to swallow. But, making something great means accepting my own limitations and finding people who are more skilled than I am, people who make up for what I lack.
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Enter: Stu Kennedy. I hadn’t heard of him before he contacted me, asking me if I needed a composer. I told him I already had one because, at the time, I did. Zoe Keating hasn’t worked out. Her schedule is just too busy to deal with an unproven project. Maybe she’s not hungry like I am, like everyone who has helped to make ALGORITHM as amazing as it is. I don’t know. Whatever it is, she’s not interested, I’m not good enough.
But, Stu is. He’s very good. Better than that, he’s also very smart. He’s got his own ideas and thoughts. He doesn’t need micromanaging at all.
I uploaded a temporary version of ALGORITHM to Vimeo. It has no music queues at all. I originally planned to upload a version with music queues, but Stu said something that piqued my interest. He said, that a lot of directors like to fill a movie “wall to wall” with music, often not giving enough space to silence. That’s what I’m talking about when I say Stu is smart. He’s got thoughts about technique, what constitutes good and bad. And, just as importantly, he was willing to have music play a smaller role in the movie than I originally planned.
Before Stu fully signed on, he asked me how much time worth of music ALGORITHM needs. I told him just over one hour. But, I also gave him a test, and a test to myself. He’d proven his worth with this sample music tracks and with his insights. I wanted to see if we agreed on how much music is needed.
Hence the aforementioned score-less upload. I shared it with Stu. He came back with exactly my opinion. Not only that, but the music he suggested was exactly what I had in mind. And, he had some other tricks, things only a musician would think of, that had never occurred to me. So, Stu is officially part of the project.
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[The following was written on 15-03-20, over a year after this entry, but it's important.]
I read in a article that during the time I was asking Zoe to use her work, she was composing for another live dance performance project in San Francisco. But, the much bigger reason she was busy was because her husband had cancer and was undergoing treatment.
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So, to Zoe Keating,
I wish you and your husband the best. Please stay awesome, live long and keep doing what you love. I hope that love is composing great music, but if not, you've already made the world more beautiful than it would have been without you.