Looking for a Composer
March 19, 2021 2:37 PM   Subscribe

In Portland, all of the ads I see for music publishing companies seem to be from one company. But there are at least 30 according to Yelp. I am trying to find one or maybe a musician who can work with me to help me create songs for my musical. Any ideas of where to look I would really appreciate.
posted by CollectiveMind to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
Music publishing companies are probably not the best place to find the kind of composers you're looking for.

Essentially, because of how copyright in the US is structured, a "music publisher" is the business entity that manages copyright & royalty collection and distribution for songwriters and composers. But so in practice this means a music publisher listed on Yelp or advertising on the web or wherever could be anything from a legit publishing company that handles the work of established artists, to a "company" created by some guy in a heavy metal band who had big dreams of being the next Metallica, to a guy trying to drum up business for his hip-hop beat-making & production & recording business.

I feel like reaching out to your local community theaters should be a way to put you in touch with musicians who might be interested in this - albeit maybe indirectly; they might not have an actual staff musician, but they'll have done some musicals & have a list of folks they've worked with. Or the music schools of local colleges - in the pre-pandemic times AFAIK (I do some work at colleges in Ohio) there was still the thing of cork boards posted in public places where people could put up flyers for things like "gotta get rid of a couch" and "offering ride share to Florida over Xmas break" with phone numbers, and a "looking for collaborator to create musical" flyer would fit in there.

Another idea that might work post-pandemic is going to local open-mic nights at coffee shops & bars & wherever, see if anyone performing has a style you like and approach them after their set. Or attending community theater musicals and chatting with the performers afterwards.

Unfortunately, in general, I feel like there's a big "networking" element to this that might be kind of hard to do until things open up and we can have live performances again.
posted by soundguy99 at 3:19 PM on March 19, 2021 [4 favorites]

Are you looking for a collaborator or a paid contractor? Paid is easier to source...but we get back to your issue of funding. For a collaborator I’d suggest reaching out to community colleges and college theatre programs and think of how you want to pitch it to students.
posted by arnicae at 4:54 PM on March 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Call your local Musicians Union and ask for recommendations.
posted by Jane the Brown at 7:51 AM on March 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I really like Jane the Brown's idea of contacting the union - especially because those musicians are likely the ones who've played lots of musicals, including local appearances of touring Broadway productions. (Most theatrical tours use mostly local musicians for their run in a city.) So they'll be really familiar with the standards and quirks and considerations of the musical theater genre. If you're gonna find anyone who's thought, "Man, I could write (or has written) better show tunes than this", it'll be these folks.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:14 AM on March 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

« Older What kind of foam are yoga blocks made of?   |   Best way to create a handwritten signature file to... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.