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Here's What It's Really Like To Be A TV Composer

Here's What It's Really Like To Be A TV Composer

by Beka Ashley and Benjamin Roche

Being a composer for TV shows can be a challenging and rewarding experience. Composers are responsible for creating and producing original music that enhances the overall viewing experience. They work closely with the show's producers, directors, and editors to create music that complements the visuals and dialogue. Composers may also be responsible for recording and mixing the music and coordinating with musicians and orchestras to perform the score. The work can be intense and fast-paced, with tight deadlines and last-minute changes. However, it can also be very satisfying to see one's music being used to enhance the emotions and storytelling in a TV show.

The life and career of a composer are complex and consist of several moving parts. A composer might experience challenges and complexities when developing their career. They must know where and how to seek work, which conventions and organizations to join, how to operate equipment, and how to network. If a composer understands how to take advantage of the opportunities around them, they will have the highest chance of success in their career.

tap. Allows Disney and Marvel Composers To Grow In Their Success

Composers Natalie Holt and George Streicher have leveraged their experience toward great success this past year. Holt is the composer for Marvel show Loki and various Star Wars projects. Streicher has been known for children’s scores and films, but recently developed the score for Corrective Measures starring Bruce Willis. 

According to an interview with Dais Johnston of Inverse, Loki composer Natalie Holt developed a following after creating a unique, theremin-based score for the Marvel show featured on DisneyPlus+. Holt will be returning to the second season of Loki, she announced. She has also been assigned to score for the Disney Plus show ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’, receiving guidance from film composer John Williams on crafting themes for the characters. In fact, this project makes her the first female to compose a Star Wars project.

In talking with Johnston, Holt explains that the most difficult part of a project is starting it. Before beginning Loki, she said it was like staring at a blank canvas. Holt dives into her character’s backgrounds and internal struggles to create and establish a theme for her scores. This attention to detail from composers explains how viewers associate certain sounds and background melodies with certain characters.

Jon Burlingame of Variety wrote about Holt's inspiration for Loki's character: “Loki is sort of a likable baddie,” says Holt, “a grand, Machiavellian, Shakespearean character, so I wanted some kind of gravitas, classical weight, to his theme.”

Natalie Holt states that one of her favorite parts of the job of a film composer is making connections and building relationships with other cast and crew members. She says that the beauty of a relationship between a film composer and a director is that the score stems from the connectivity of the roles.

An app like tap. is a fantastic resource for composers like Holt. Making connections and building relationships with industry professionals are vital to a composer’s success. The Access Feed is a networking hub – directors, filmmakers, and musicians can post job opportunities, make casting calls, and even offer their services. Composers can use tap. to build those essential connections.

tap. Connects Composers With Musicians For The Right Sounds

Jeff Ames of ComingSoon sat down with Streicher to discuss his career, what attracts him to certain projects, and his creative process. Streicher states that his career began when he scored for his friends' films – mostly children’s television and film – until producer Sean Patrick O’Reilly reached out to him to score his next feature, Corrective Measures. It was unlike anything he’d done before, and he was thrilled to be a part of the project. 

One of the challenges for Streicher in his craft is finding the right sound for each character. To create a sound for one of the characters in Corrective Measures, Streicher created sounds from a Steinway piano and the body of a cello and adapted it into a tailored drum kit specific to that character.

tap. can connect everyone in entertainment, no matter where they are. If Streicher needed a specific instrument or player for one of his scores on short notice, the app’s Art Geo feature could connect him with the right person with the tap of a button. 

tap. Connects Composers with Everyone in Entertainment

tap. helps Composers showcase their work directly to Producers, Directors, and production houses – the people that matter in entertainment. The software enables them to manage their networks and connections while building on preexisting and new relationships to advance their career trajectory. tap. is on a mission to help professionals in film, TV, music, radio, and publishing connect, network, bookwork, and manage their entire entertainment career; this includes Composers. Headquartered in Playa Vista, CA,  tap. is for everyone who works in the global media and entertainment industry. For more information, visit www.tap.ec. and follow the company on Instagram @tap.ec. 

Available for download now on the App Store and Google Play


About Beka Ashley: 

Beka is tap.’s Senior Communications Editorial Assistant. She manages the growing publication strategy for tap., including writing for the website’s blog and editing other interns’ current industry research. In addition to this role, she works as a freelance writer and critical care nurse. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or see more of what she’s written here.

About Benjamin Roche:

Benjamin is tap.’s research assistant focusing on TV and film composers. Benjamin's career in film, scoring originated from his multi-award-winning film Pajáro in 2019. Benjamin's projects have received many awards, such as Best Film at Boulder International Film Festival and First Place at University Interscholastic League Film Festival. Currently, Benjamin attends Berklee College of Music, studying Film Scoring while working as a freelance composer, producer, and songwriter. He is passionate about using his work to connect a film to its audience through storytelling and culture. You can connect with him on Linkedin.