Tag Archives: #listenLA

Woo-Hoo! Interview with ‘Simpsons’ composer Alf Clausen

alf headshot

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

#listenLA spotlight: ‘Funny Boned’

Dan Redfeld -- Composer

Dan Redfeld — Composer

 Writer/director J J Hickey goes all union on his web comedy series

Writer, director and producer J J Hickey first met composer Dan Redfeld 14 years ago when he was seeking a music director for a theatrical production of the John Dos Passos trilogy “U.S.A.”

His web comedy series “Funny Boned” marks their third project together, and Hickey says he can’t imagine not using union workers – including musicians – for all his future projects.

Read the full story at listen-la.com!

#listenLA spotlight: Good Juju


Rising composer Jeremy Tisser goes all out on his ‘Voodoo’ demo session

Not all demos are created equal. Rising composer Jeremy Tisser went huge for his “Voodoo” demo session, hiring a massive 84-piece orchestra of some of L.A.’s finest studio musicians.

“I believe that if you want something to happen, you must do it yourself,” Tisser said. “With all of the runaway productions, I decided to do something a little crazy and unique.”

Read the full story at listen-la.com!

Mayor Garcetti Named Honorary Member of Musicians Union

Photo by Kori Chappell Mayor Garcetti beams as he accepts his AFM Local 47 Honorary Membership card.

Mayor Garcetti beams as he accepts his AFM Local 47 Honorary Membership card. Photo by Kori Chappell.

AFM Local 47 hosts the mayor in a ceremony to thank him for his support of Los Angeles musicians

LOS ANGELES, California (May 5, 2014) — The musicians union of Hollywood hosted Mayor Eric Garcetti in a ceremony last week naming him an Honorary Member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47.

Mayor Garcetti personally attended the event at the Local 47 auditorium the evening of April 28. The members of AFM Local 47 thanked the mayor for supporting local musicians with his endorsement last September of our ListenLA campaign (listen-la.com), which highlights and promotes film and TV music scoring by union musicians. The membership also expressed their appreciation for Garcetti’s efforts to fight runaway production and keep film and TV work in Hollywood in supporting new legislation aimed at enhancing California’s production tax incentive program. Continue reading

Hollywood Musicians Honor Mayor Garcetti

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.

Continue reading

86th Annual Oscars Band Performs Live From Capitol Records

86th Oscars Band

photo by Larry Mah

Live from Capitol Records, the musicians of the 86th Academy Awards performed remotely on Oscars night for the second year in a row.

Located just a few blocks away from the ceremony held at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, the orchestra was again led by William Ross. Continue reading

Oscar Music Comes Alive


Photo by Aaron Poole/© A.M.P.A.S. Photo by Aaron Poole/© A.M.P.A.S.

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.

Continue reading

#listen-la spotlight: MAD MEN’s Final Score


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

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.

Read the full story at listen-la.com.

#listen-la spotlight: Daft Punk ‘Gets Lucky’ at the Grammys


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.

Continue reading

#listenLA spotlight: ‘House of Cards’

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.

Way to #listenLA!

Catch the new season debuting on Netflix Feb. 14.