I like a challenge, don’t you?
You can do a lot of fun things in the desert just North of the Mexican/US border. It’s gorgeous here, and just dangerous enough to keep you in the moment.
Borders are for crossing. Tacos at Falcon’s in Boquillas, shopping in Ojinaga, nature hikes in San Carlos, enchiladas at Los Comales in OJ. Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park are nearby, although they both kinda look like my back yard so I don’t visit as often as I should.
Full moon parties at Terlingua Ranch, dinner with friends at the Starlight Theatre in Terlingua, pissing in the pool at Lajitas…
No shortage of possibilities here.
But, create music for movies, videos, TV shows, games? Don’t you have to be in L.A. or New York for that? More importantly, don’t you have to KNOW somebody in the business to make a living writing music for the business?
Let’s find out.
Here’s my first batch of production music. It’s a pitch for a TV show that will be shooting in the neighborhood.
In the last two and a half weeks, I wrote, recorded, mixed and mastered 30 pieces of music. These are the 11 that I’m guessing would work in the show, but that’s based on reading the book the show is based on.
Unless I have a firm mandate, I never know what I’m going to write. I spent several years getting paid really well for writing new age music, and I knew it was going to have a certain theme and be certain length and have a predetermined number of beats per minute.
Without that mandate, you just never know. My music tends to fall into three categories; electronic, blues, and country.
I was introduced to electronic composition in 1974 as a music student at what was known as North Texas State University in Denton, Texas. There was a music lab with what I was told was the third ever produced Moog modular synthesizer, a couple of tape recorders, and a poster on the wall that said, “the availability of a given patch-cord is inversely proportional to your need for it.”
I also got a degree in blues working with W.C. Clark in the early 1980’s in Austin, Texas.
We’d play Antone’s (On Guadalupe) on Thursdays. The weekend performers often arrived a day early and, after a brief meeting in Clifford’s office, might be inspired to jam. I sat behind my keyboards and went to school as Hubert Sumlin, for example, played with us to a small crowd. There was a new lesson several times a week: Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, Jimmie Vaughan, and the whole Chicago gang.
After a couple of years of that, I picked up W.C.’s guitar and hit a lick- after hours at Antone’s – and he informed me it was about time I got my own band. So I did. I also got a German record label, a few European agents, and had a lovely decade or so playing blues guitar and singing in castles, plazas, dungeons, clubs, and concert halls from Germany to Sweden and from Bogner Regis to the Isle of Arran.
And country- if you were a musician in Texas with decent chops and a need for easy cash, you could always get a gig in a country dance hand. I started out in the joints on Spencer Highway in Houston when I was 16 years old, backed up Hank Thompson on a flat-bed trailer at a rodeo in Snook, Texas, in my early 20’s, rode the Urban Cowboy wave and played nearly every VFW Hall, Dance Hall and beer joint from Lubbock to Beaumont.
Fast forward a few decades, and here I am in an off-the-grid cabin a few miles off the paved road just North of Terlingua. I’ve got instruments, microphones, a computer and a lifetime of experience loving and making music.
I do not have an agent, a music library connection, a gig, or- most likely- a clue.
This should be fun.