At once slickly modern and touched by nostalgia, The Bridge Recording stands true to its name as a testament to bridging past and present. Sparing no effort or expense, owner/engineer Greg Curtis opened the doors of his dream vision in 2010. The 6,500 square foot scoring and mixing facility houses an 1,800 square foot stage with 23 foot ceilings, two large ISO rooms and a spacious control room. Among the equipment and decor are various nods to the past, none more prominent than the behemoth Neve 96-channel console with provenance from Paramount’s historic Stage M.
Besides being the home of the USC scoring sessions and the likes of Adele and Idina Menzel, the studio records a host of today’s top TV shows including “Da Vinci’s Demons,” ”Once Upon A Time,” “Constantine,” “The Simpsons” and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” to name just a few. At a recent “Person of Interest” scoring session, Curtis welcomed interviewer Linda A. Rapka and photographer Erik Rynearson to share how The Bridge in just a few short years finds itself as one of the hottest recording spots in town.
Tell me how you became involved in the recording industry. I’ve been a lifelong musician, a trumpet player, since 5th grade in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. That would set the trajectory for my life in music. I still play a little bit, but I spend so much time here and am mainly at home with my family and three kids, ages 3, 5 and 7. That’s prime time for me. I want to give them as much time as I can while I can. That’s a luxury to have.
Clausen reflects on 25 years making music for TV’s favorite dysfunctional cartoon family
When “The Simpsons” first aired in 1989, no one expected it to become the longest-running situation comedy ever on TV — especially not composer Alf Clausen, who almost didn’t take the job. Clausen, who this year celebrates 25 years with the show, was initially more interested in composing for dramas and repeatedly turned down requests from Fox producers and show creator Matt Groening to compose for the show. After much cajoling, he signed on with “The Simpsons,” starting off with “Treehouse of Horror,” the third episode of season two, in 1990. He’s been with the yellow-skinned dysfunctional family ever since, and to date has scored 534 of the 550 episodes, receiving two Emmy awards and 21 additional nominations for his work on the show along the way. Clausen speaks here with Linda A. Rapka about spending the past quarter century with “The Simpsons.”
Your “Simpsons” music was just performed the TV Academy’s Score! concert. What was it like to hear it live?
“I thought it was great, it was so inspirational. I know the crowd really enjoyed it too. The orchestra played it beautifully.”
I love that you chose “Stonecutters Song” from “Homer the Great” – a personal favorite of mine. Whose idea was it to change the lyric from “Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star” to “Kim Kardashian”?
“And ‘Oscar’ to ‘Emmy.’ That was producer Mark Watters’ doing. It was really funny.” Continue reading →
AFM Local 47 names Los Angeles Mayor an honorary member
by Linda A. Rapka
AFM Local 47 proudly welcomed Mayor Eric Garcetti to the April 28 General Membership Meeting to name him an honorary member of the musicians union in recognition of his dedication to our city’s musicians and for his efforts to keep film and TV work in Hollywood by fighting runaway production.
Local 47 Secretary/Treasurer Gary Lasley, “American Idol” music director Rickey Minor, Mayor Garcetti, President Vince Trombetta and Vice President John Acosta. Photos by Kori Chappell.
Motion Picture Academy debuts first time Oscar Concert
by Linda A. Rapka
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented the first live concert of the year’s Oscar-nominated music at UCLA’s Royce Hall Feb. 27, three days before the 86th Annual Academy Awards.
Alternating between performances of the year’s nominees for best original score and best original song, the historic concert featured the 80-piece Academy Symphony Orchestra comprising some of Los Angeles’s finest studio musicians.
In the booth at EastWest Studios in Hollywood March 22 for one of the final episodes of “Mad Men” – engineer Jim Hall, composer David Carbonara, contractor John Rosenberg, and orchestrator Geoff Stradling. Photo: Linda A. Rapka
Composer David Carbonara fell in love with “Mad Men” years before anybody knew about the show.
He met screenwriter Matt Weiner in 1998, and the two became fast friends over music. In 2001, Weiner handed Carbonara a speculative script for his pilot about a show following the exploits (professional and otherwise) of overly confident womanizer Don Draper, head of the creative department at a growing Madison Avenue ad agency in the 1960s. Weiner told Carbonara if the show were ever picked up, he would do the music.
Robot-headed electronic duo Daft Punk nabbed top honors at the 56th Annual Grammys, taking home Record of the Year for the hit “Get Lucky” and Album of the Year for “Random Access Memories.” By the end of the visually and musically dazzling ceremony, RecordingAcademy voters awarded the French pair a total of four gramophone-shaped trophies.
Over a two-year period in 2011 and 2012, the award-winning music was recorded at three historic Hollywood studios: Capitol, Conway and Hensen. The all-union orchestra, led by Doug Walter and assembled by music contractor Joe Soldo, featured an impressive ensemble of L.A.’s premiere musicians.
The Emmy-nominated score to the Netflix original series “House of Cards” features dramatic, atmospheric music from Los Angeles composer Jeff Beal
“Of all of the places to record my scores, my #1 choice is always here in Los Angeles,” Beal says. “The L.A. studio players are experienced, smart and professional. They are quick, and agile at breathing life and drama into my work. Their musicianship comprises an intimate mastery of the techniques and skills required in today’s studio playing.”
The orchestra contracted for each session by David Low (who also plays cello) includes more than a dozen of Los Angeles’s premiere string performers whose rich artistry adds that extra something special to Beal’s intriguing scores.