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  • jameseric66

Eureka! Sometimes the simplest of treasures...

...are the most precious. Having been asked to be a part of a documentary about a former mining town in Eureka, Utah as an editor, composer and producer. I set my nose to the grindstone.

A high grindstone. Brenna Rhea, the director of the project was counting on me to come through with soundtrack cues that would do this beautiful documentary justice. I composed a couple tracks for the edit and submitted them to her. They were well received but just "not right for the scenes". Below is what I first came up with...

My first experience as a musician / composer being told that the submitted material was good but not suitable. It stung at first a bit. Then I recalled several tales of composers of greater note than I being told the same thing regarding submissions they had toiled over once submitted to the production. But this was me!

"So what do you hear then?" I asked. "What suits this documentary?"

"Something simpler, maybe more earthy, maybe more natural...?"

I have often attempted to interpret such directions musically. It's kind of like asking "What color should I paint your car?" and being told, "How about something 'fuzzy'."

"OK, I'll carpet it."

The story goes that the first time Steven Spielberg sat beside John Williams at the piano to hear his idea for the "Jaws" theme Spielberg thought John was nuts. Turned out to be one of the most memorable horror film themes ever written.

In the face of such hardship and achievement it behooved me to step up to the plate and take one for my fellow composers. I'll write some simple music for a story about simple treasures. Below is what I came up with...

The director loved it! Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams and Krzysztof Penderecki will never know what I went through on their behalf. Truth be told in the end and after the final edit I saw the wisdom of what the director had decided and felt as though these simple tones were just what was needed for this documentary.

I'm very proud of my contribution to "EUREKA!", happy to have it on my resume and looking forward to my next collaboration with this production team.

I hereby resign myself to be turned down and promise resilience in the face of future challenges to my talents and my ego. The joy of hearing my music behind the images created by others far outweighs the risks to my frail heart...

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