255 – The Nobody Prayer (Original Soundtrack)

255 – The Nobody Prayer (Original Soundtrack)

What does it feel like to compose an award-winning score for a short film? What goes into a project like that?

That’s what we’re going to be looking at in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:25 – The story behind David’s award-winning compositions
  • 01:56 – The Long, Lonely Walk
  • 03:00 – Desolation (Broken)
  • 04:18 – Suspense
  • 05:18 – Meet Me Here
  • 07:07 – Closing thoughts

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Transcription:

Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe.

You may have heard me talk about my award-winning compositions in recent episodes of the podcast.

So, in this episode, I thought I would share a little bit about The Nobody Prayer (Original Soundtrack) as well as a few audio clips from the score.

These compositions won Best Original Score at:

  • Hollywood on the Tiber Film Awards
  • Vesuvius International Film Festival
  • New Jersey Film Awards

This came as a surprise even to me and wasn’t imaginable when I originally went to work on this score five or six months ago. So, let’s rewind…

Five to six months ago, I started an intensive two-year leadership program.

A long-time collaborator reached out to me and asked whether I’d be able to compose for his short.

I wasn’t sure how much time I’d have to dedicate to this project, but I said “yes.”

But of course, it wasn’t long before the chickens came to roost.

The producer gave me a relatively tight deadline for the music. And so, while I’d already started the process of writing, I now had to deliver on my promise in short order.

Based on the subject matter of the film, I knew I wanted to feature the acoustic guitar in the score. So, I made some sketches and sent them over to the producer.

At first, he was worried that the score might end up coming out sounding like Brokeback Mountain, but when he layered the music over the footage, he could see the merit in my approach.

And so, with his approval, I set to work on turning my demos into full-fledged compositions, with strings and piano playing a supporting role to the acoustic guitar.

The score opens with a song titled “The Long, Lonely Walk.”

#1 – “The Long, Lonely Walk”

In the opening scenes of The Nobody Prayer, the protagonist is seen walking along a path on a hill with the Calgary skyline in the background.

I probably don’t need to say much more about this tune because what I just said paints a nice word picture.

The song carries a dark, melancholy feel because that’s where the leading character is at mentally and emotionally for most of the film.

It’s the first composition in the film and on the original soundtrack, but it’s not the first song I started piecing together. This next one is:

#2 – “Desolation (Broken)”

“Desolation (Broken)” is the centerpiece of the score. It’s the first song I started working on for The Nobody Prayer.

In a short film requiring about five minutes of music, it usually happens that one song does most of the heavy lifting, and in this case, it was “Desolation.”

Compared to the other tunes, which tend to feature more repetition, or what one might call “mood music,” this one is longer and features more movement. It’s a song with structure, as it goes from dark and melancholy to urgent and emotive.

There’s a bluesy lick in the middle section, and that was pure inspiration. It just felt right.

I don’t think it would be too much of an exaggeration to say that “Desolation” is the main theme of The Nobody Prayer.

Then comes a track called “Suspense.”

#3 – “Suspense”

In The Nobody Prayer, the leading character starts out despondent.

But as the short unfolds, he experiences a significant shift in emotion.

The “voice of God” calls to him, letting him know that everything is okay.

So, I knew I needed a song that bridged the earlier songs in the score, which were decidedly gloomy.

“Suspense” is obviously somewhere between woeful and hopeful, and from that perspective, the title might be a little obvious or tongue in cheek. Oh well.

The film ends on a happy note, and that’s why the following track was written:

#4 – “Meet Me Here”

“Meet Me Here” is the happiest song in the score, and that’s because the score follows the character arc of the lead, from feeling completely desolate and alone to finding hope in his identity, from upset to resolution.

This song features percussive “slaps” on the acoustic guitar. I knew from trying this in an earlier demo that I’d need to use automation rather heavily to tame those beasts, and I was successful in that.

What’s fascinating about this guitar part is that it was quite easy to perform. Sections that should have been obvious and easy on the guitar ended up tripping me up, and sections that should have been harder to capture came together relatively quickly.

Scrapes, string noise, body shifting, muted notes, and other minor noises were all left in to create a more authentic feel.

When The Nobody Prayer opens, the lead is unstable, and I wanted this to be reflected in the music too. I didn’t want everything to sound perfect. It needed to have an unsettled feeling.

Something else a trained musician will probably notice is the fact that all songs in the score are in the same key.

Although it is easier to compose everything in the same key, that’s not why I did this.

In a short film like this, to demonstrate a change in mood and feelings, I found it much easier to create this transition with multiple tunes in the same key.

The Nobody Prayer (Original Soundtrack)

You can listen to The Nobody Prayer (Original Soundtrack) wherever you listen to music online – Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, TIDAL, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, Napster, and elsewhere.

You can also go to davidandrewwiebe.com/Nobody and choose where you’d like to listen to it.

Closing Thoughts

Are you interested in finding out what it took to compose an award-winning score? Would you like to learn more about my process? Then you’ll want to check out our latest product, Members Only Audios, because that’s where I bear it all. For a small monthly fee, you get access to the entire archive of Members Only Audios published to this point, as well as new, value-adding music career tips and insights delivered on a weekly basis. Go to MusicEntreprneurHQ.com/Members to learn more.

This has been episode 255 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.

How to Legitimize Your Music Career

How to Legitimize Your Music Career

In 2011, I got into the exciting world of network marketing. The training and coaching offered through the organization was superb, and it gave me the foundation in entrepreneurship I truly needed.

(Eventually, I shared everything I learned in my Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass, the companion course to The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship.)

What I learned from one of the network marketing organization’s training CDs was the importance of legitimizing your business.

The idea is this. If all you’ve got is a website and some business cards, you don’t have a business. Even if you’ve registered your business name with the proper authorities, you still don’t have a business. So, when do you have a business? When you’ve legitimized it.

And that means getting to your first dollar. I know we talked about that already, but I can’t understate how critical this is.

Once you’ve made your first dollar, you have proof that the concept works. And while starting a new venture is exciting, I promise you it’s nowhere near as exciting as making money from something you personally created.

Music Entrepreneur HQ was just a fun side project for me when it got started. It wasn’t even Music Entrepreneur HQ at the time – it was David Andrew Wiebe Podcast, and then David Andrew Wiebe Interviews and Music Business Podcast. Just another way for me to get my music out into the world.

I finally dipped my toes in the water with How to Set Up Your Music Career Like a Business, my first audio program.

I still had no clue what I was doing at the time. Because I was planning to sell the program, though, I wanted to ensure it was high value and in-depth. And when I was finished recording it, I was rather horrified to find it was only 30 minutes long!

Buy I put it out there anyway, originally for $0.99. Before long, though, my peers saw what I was up to, wanted to become an affiliate of the program to promote it, and encouraged me to raise the price.

And that was when I got to my first dollar for Music Entrepreneur HQ. I had achieved this feat with other ventures, so I wasn’t exactly a business legitimizing virgin, but the sense of elation and excitement I felt selling a few copies of my audio program is simply indescribable.

It’s fun to create. It’s a blast, really. But if you want to build a profitable and sustainable music career, you’ve got to get to your first dollar. And you’ve got to prove to yourself that you can do it. And trust me, it’s worth it – it’s a feeling like no other!

Unleash the Power of Copywriting in Your Music Career

Unleash the Power of Copywriting in Your Music Career

The words you use do make a difference.

And in this case, we’re going to be talking about the words you use to describe your product or the words you use to sell to your audience. But bear in mind that you are what you create yourself as. Meaning – the words you use in all areas of your career and life are key.

Anyway, the technical term for what we’re talking about here is copy. Copy is any text that’s been crafted to sell.

It’s a deep topic, and I don’t expect to be able to cover everything there is to know in a few paragraphs. There are entire books, courses, and online memberships dedicated to the topic, and even the best copywriters tend to remain students of the craft.

But to give you an example, I’d like to call your attention to my book, The Music Entrepreneur Code for a second. I don’t bring it up for self-promotional reasons, I bring it up so we can see copy at work.

The Music Entrepreneur Code

Prior to the book’s release, I didn’t have a subtitle for the book, and its description was a little lackluster. I got some help from my mastermind group and wouldn’t you know it, I ended up with another best-seller.

The Music Entrepreneur Code is a great title, and it does get your attention, but it doesn’t tell you what the book is about. Great for generating curiosity, but not great for specificity.

The subtitle we settled on, although a little long, captures the essence of the book impeccably – How to Get Paid for Your Passion and Impact More Fans Without Wasting Years of Your Life and Thousands of Dollars.

And where the book description originally spoke of shills and charlatans and was more focused on the story going on in my head, it was reformulated to call out the target audience (the first two words in the description are “Most musicians…”), described their pain points (overwhelmed, fed up), identified with their emotions (bitter, angry, and defeated), and pointed to a solution (“…follow a proven roadmap…”).

What you need to take away from this is that when you’re selling anything, the words you use matter.

We all say we don’t like to be sold to, but how many times have you been sucked into reading long sales letters from top to bottom?

Well, prior to this, you may not have known that these were even called sales letters, but now that you do, I would suggest studying the ones you come across. Explore:

  • What stands out to you?
  • What words capture your attention?
  • What emotions does the copy evoke?
  • What makes you want to buy?

We’re not here to reinvent the wheel, so my suggestion would be to model what you see working. Don’t copy – that’s called plagiarism, and it gets even the most notorious YouTubers in trouble. But you should be modeling what works in all areas of your career, not just copy.

Understand – products that don’t sell sometimes start selling when you brush up on the copy.

As author Dan Kennedy says, the greatest sin in marketing is being boring. And copy represents a huge opportunity to spice up your marketing.

Weekly Digest: November 27, 2021

Weekly Digest: November 27, 2021

David Andrew Wiebe, October 2021Hey creator!

And there’s always more where this came from

Must-Have Resource

The short film, The Nobody Prayer, has been awarded Best Original Score by:

  • Hollywood on the Tiber Film Awards
  • Vesuvius International Film Festival
  • New Jersey Film Awards

I had a lot of fun putting together the score for this short, and from the feedback I’ve been getting, you’ve been having a lot of fun listening to it too!

The original soundtrack was released at the end of October on all major music streaming sites and online stores. I want to invite you once again to listen to it anywhere you listen to music.

The Nobody Prayer (Original Soundtrack)

Final Thoughts

Thank you for your creativity and generosity. I’m rooting for you.

Figuring Out What Your Fans Want

Figuring Out What Your Fans Want

I have some good news and some bad news.

First the bad news. Figuring out what your fans want isn’t always easy.

The good news? Once you know what they want, you can keep hitting those same notes repeatedly.

And that’s not to say you shouldn’t keep making new things. But those new things are going to do so much better if they are rooted in a clear understanding of what worked in the first place.

The first step is to experiment. Ask friends and fans what they liked about your album or show. Be rigorous in getting honest opinions. It does you no good to surround yourself with yes men. Or women.

Take the feedback and iterate on what you’ve created. Test reactions. Track minute things like whether there were more people at the beginning of your show versus the end of your show.

There are few people who can better articulate the process of iteration than Jack Conte, who I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing for Music Entrepreneur HQ. In an interview with Hypebot, Conte once said:

Iterate a thousand times until you have a hit, and then you’ve got something. So, I love that idea – if it’s not a hit, switch.

If it’s not a hit, switch.

This is where a lot of artists get stuck. Because they don’t switch. They just keep flogging the same dead horse, hoping it will get up and gallop for them again.

And for better or for worse, I’ve also been stuck in that cycle at times. It’s easy to say, “if it doesn’t work, try something else,” but it feels like another thing entirely when your 10-year hustle doesn’t seem to be shaping up into the six-figure cash cow how you once expected it to.

To get anywhere with that, you’ve got to take a step back, clear your head, and drop the past. Reflect on your failures and successes and separate the wheat from the chaff.

I remember going through that process with my friend Maveen Kaura of Discover Your Life Today after a spectacular failure in network marketing.

With dozens of eBooks, books, audio programs, courses, membership programs, and other products under my belt, there are only few that have proven reliable sellers over the long haul:

And there’s probably something to be said for the Pareto Principle here.

But do I regret making the dozens of other stinkers? No. Was it a waste of time? No. It was a valuable education in what doesn’t work. The market decided and I get to be a student of that.

And I can see now, more than ever, that I can keep hitting the same notes that worked in different ways.

The New Music Industry book led to the creation of The New Music Industry Podcast. And now I know that new editions of the book, a workbook, a companion guide, a 30-day challenge, a course, and other related resources would also play well. That goes for the other winners mentioned.

Now, it’s up to you whether you heed my words or ignore them. But if you want to save yourself years of wasted effort and thousands of dollars lost, start paying attention to what works. Look for ways to resurface and iterate on it.

We all poke fun at AC/DC for releasing the same album a dozen times, but they were smart for leaning into a formula that worked.

We all poke fun at AC/DC for releasing the same album a dozen times, but they were smart for leaning into a formula that worked. Click To Tweet