Isaac Brown - American Theatrical Composer
In this Creator Magazine, we interviewed composers of the Audio Cartel team where they share their perspectives on composing music for films and TV, and talk in-depth about their careers and the production music industry.
We hope that these interviews will give you insight and advice about the library music industry, especially the business side and how to get involved with this fascinating industry.
Sit back and enjoy the ride!
Please introduce yourself.
"Hello, my name is Isaac Brown. Currently, I create music for a living. I live on the East side of Indianapolis, Indiana. My musical specialty is theater composition. I work with my sister who writes for Broadway shows and I compose for them as well. A friend of mine who does sync licensing suggested that I should try it out and so joined a discord group. This is what introduced me to Audio Cartel."
How did you find yourself in the library music industry? "I attended a Bible college last summer and they had a big music program. I became friends with the lead engineer there and he introduced me to sync licensing and other similar things."
What do you enjoy so far about the library and production music industries? "I enjoy working specifically with Audio Cartel. They give composers the freedom to do whatever they want. I was asked to make an album of electronic organic pulse music, which is not something I've done before, and it was fun working on it. It is a cool way to work. Within theater music, I have a specific set of instruments that I must compose for. Within reason, I can throw some fun things in there, but there is a specific way I must work. When it comes to this, everything's in the air and I can kind of do whatever I think sounds right for the type of music that they want me to do, so that has been enjoyable for me."
What advice would you give to a composer in the early stages of their career?
"Don't worry too much about all the technical things. Learn chords, learn melody, and just have fun with instruments. It took me six or seven years before I was able to make music professionally, so it's not something that comes overnight. Have fun with it."
Who are some of your favorite composers and what inspired you to get into music? "When I was 14, I was into electronic dance music and I was a dancer as well. I was trying to get into Skrillex, Noisestorm, and a lot of big-time electronic producers. I was also into movies and soundtracks from composers such as John Powell and Hans Zimmer. When I was 14, I got myself some super cheap software and a microphone. I began experimenting with music. I loved the electronic stuff as well as the orchestral stuff, but I really wanted to combine these two together and so that was what drew me into it. I was raised in a musical family. My dad is an amazing drummer and guitar player, and he sings too. My sister is a writer. All my sisters sing really well and so we all have been a big musical family, so I guess it was just kind of natural."
You mentioned music, film, and Broadway. Was there a specific show or movie that influenced you to pursue a career in this industry? "My favorite movies growing up were the Kung Fu Panda series and I went to sleep listening to the score for that just about every single night. Hans Zimmer in general, and just the way he did things differently and the different styles of composing he utilizes really struck an interest in me. There’s Kung Fu Panda, and then you have the Pirates of the Caribbean as well as Interstellar and there's different elements that go into each work. I always thought that was super cool."
When you're creating a new composition, is there any kind of routine or mindset that you try to put yourself in? "Yes, absolutely. As a Christian, I spend time reading the Bible every morning. I spend lots of time in prayer and meditation. When I am creating music, I come in with the mindset that 'I'm not doing this for myself, I'm doing this for a greater purpose.' I really want to share the love of Jesus through my music and with the people that I'm working with."
What are some of your own personal goals within the music industry or beyond library music? "Other than just sharing the love of Jesus, I just love music. I couldn't imagine doing anything else. If I didn’t do music, I really don’t know what else I would do. Music gives me the ability to provide for my family, get married, and ultimately it puts food on the table. I don't know what I would do without music."
What is your favorite part about working with Audio Cartel so far? "Audio Cartel is the first music house that I’ve worked with so far, and I really appreciate their flexibility. I think the way they lay out the songs is really cool. I did video production before I got into music, so I know the struggle of having a song be nearly a perfect fit, but ultimately not suitable, so it is great to have options to choose from. It's never great to physically slow down a song because it can create artifacting and other issues. Having all these options for the clients as well as the different versions of the song is neat, and usually, as far as I know, in library music, the only addition are stems or cut downs."
What are your goals here on Earth?
"My goal is to share the love of Jesus. My sister wrote a musical called His Story that tells the story of Jesus and it's going on Broadway in a couple of years. It's kind of like Hamilton, in the ways we utilized the hip hop and pop genres. My goal is just to share the love of Jesus with people."
Thank you for reading!
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