In a recent piece, Noisey explores the rise of independent artists working on scores for television programs, such as Julia Holter‘s work on the UK Channel 4 show Pure. Music supervisor Jen Moss explains how the scoring landscape is now a bit more adventurous:
“Things like cable channels and streaming platforms are allowing for slightly more leftfield storytelling and non-traditional narratives and voices,” she explains. “The creatives behind them want to to extend that experimentation into the music as well. So what we’re getting now is a move away from all the orchestral traditional scores you used to tend to get, into soundscapes that are as artful and unique as the visuals they’re accompanying.”
I imagine another factor is that so much content is created now, with even more on the way as new streaming networks from the likes of Disney and Apple appear on the horizon. With all these shows, studios are going to unexpected (and lower budgeted) places to fill composer shoes.
But the odd tone of the article stood out to me:
The trend of indie artists scoring films is finally trickling down to TV. But while on the surface it might appear like a winning arrangement for both artists, TV creators and small screen bingers alike, underneath it reveals a darker truth about how indie musicians are increasingly being forced to diversify in a time of crushingly low streaming platform royalties railroading acts into exhausting cycles of touring.
Weird. Even before streaming, indie musicians would jump at the chance to score for TV. And I don’t think I’ve ever discussed goals with a songwriter or producer without ‘scoring a film or TV show’ coming up. Yes, diversification is essential for musicians in 2019 and non-stop touring sucks. But artists given opportunities to work on television is often considered a golden opportunity, despite streaming’s impact.