A Long Term Perspective

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Watcher7
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A Long Term Perspective

Post by Watcher7 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:31 pm

Hi Gang.

I've rejoined Taxi after a very long absence, and have been reading some of the posts. What I enjoy most is seeing the fire and passion present in people's hopes and dreams as they embark upon a journey to become more than what they have been in the music business.

I thought that I would put some thoughts in print, as most members who have been around as long as I have are either the uber successful members in the ads, or long gone. I am neither.

Having joined Taxi in the Fall of 2007, I was an active member until 2010. I was never able to attend a Road Rally, as I was the father of three young boys and the sole bread winner for the home. Perhaps I should have made more of an effort. That's my reflection especially this year as travelling outside of my Canadian home is currently not even an option.

My intial submissions were attempting to post songs that I had composed for various album projects to the listings as I thought they might fit. This met with mixed success, and looking back, after my initial ten or twelve submissions with one or two forwards, I got discouraged until the next year. It would be another four months before I had the courage to try again, and this time I started writing specifically for the listings.

During the three years that I was an active member, I made 57 submissions to listings, and had 21 forwards, for a lofty 36.8% success rate.

It was only towards the end of the first year that I got my first deal. I cannot even remember what it was for, but slowly over time I established a number of relationships with music libraries (three or four that I don't think that I am supposed to name here) and by the end of the three years it was hard for me to justify spending the submission fee when I had choices of places to send tracks when they were complete.

So I let my membership lapse. Taxi members are a very friendly bunch, and with the advent of Facebook I was able to connect with many of them. I would look wistfully at pictures from the Road Rally and wonder if....

Meanwhile, I discovered that that lbraries that one connects with through Taxi really do want to work with new composers. As in, sign the cues that get forwarded, but also many more. They want people who can deliver. Lots of high quality cues and for the foreseeable future.

It was a baptism by fire. If you think that Taxi screeners are rough, I can tell you that they prepare you for what is coming for those who want to be regular composers for other libraries. You might not agree with their assessments, but in the end you will develop a thick skin and get used to rejection. You will also become proficient at creating useable music.

The years ticked by and the number of published tracks began to accumulate. One library might like the guitar based cues, while another might come for more electronic stuff. Another might like the approach to kids music. All good experience. Always exciting when stuff got placed.

In 2015 my Mom died of cancer. She was the one who had taken me to my first guitar lesson at the age of 6. She was always available to bounce a new piece of music off of. And so began a period of years where it literally hurt to open up Logic and look at a blank session. It would literally make me feel sick to my stomach. What a shame I thought. All of this time developing into a full musical package from composing to engineering to producing to mixing. And it just didn't matter anymore. I didn't know if the Muse would ever return.

During this time I would listen to music. Not often, but once a week or so. I sort of reviewed my life by the different era's of music and how they made me feel. What was going on during those times from early childhood to my adult years. Just enjoying a select few tracks and artists for the songs without the agenda of copying production or trying to glean anything from the experience.

In the closing days of 2020, I set myself a challenge. Compose and send out a single piece of music. Just to see if the muscle still existed. In that one little challenge, and pushing through that little bit of reisistance, I suddenly found Joy. Joy in creating something fun and listenable and useable. Excitement to get back down to my computer after a day of work to pick up where I left off. The satisfaction of pressing send as a new piece of music is sent to a publisher.

I discovered that it was time to go back to school. Immerse in the boot camp of Taxi. Establish some new relationships. Sharpen my skills. Dive back in with fresh eyes, but the background of experience.

So I am back. 13 and half years after first joining Taxi. I am back.

Accomplishments, if you can call them that (I now think that the joy of the journey was worth far more). It's neat to hear a piece of music used and remember creating the tracks. What was going on in life at the time. Even the colours that were used on the session....anyways.....

Signed Cues....I am not sure. When libraries sign material they will often retitle it, and often several times. My PRO only goes to 1000, and even though a track might have been titled several times, the counter hit 1000 a few years ago. I would estimate 500-600.

Placements....that counter says just North of 900. Not sure how many different shows as my PRO doesn't divide that up so nice and neat as ASCAP and BMI do.

Money....I used to say that I composed for 'coffee money'. But eventually I couldn't drink that much coffee. My best year would have been in the mid five figures. Never the Senator pay that some of the Taxi stars make. Don't get me wrong, whatever the amount it's a rush to make money from music.

Looking back, there are a few things that I would have done differently.

1. Stayed with Taxi and submitted a cue to a listing per week or some regular interval just for the discipline of it. Having more places to write for would have been a massive bonus.

2. Not taken myself so seriously. Musicians are notorious for being self absorbed and I have been no different. A lighter approach to track creation would have made the rejection sting less, and any success all the more fun.

3. Guarded my energy more carefully. I have worked with collaborators who have sucked my energy and made music creation no fun. I have also placed goals about how many cues I wanted composed and signed that sucked my energy and made it no fun. Pushing hard can be fruitful, but burnout can be counterproductive.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to Taxi itself for being a very real option for people with no connections (like me) to receive training and make a real go of the music library business. What a ride.

If you made it this far, thanks for listening.

Glad to be back.

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CTWF
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Re: A Long Term Perspective

Post by CTWF » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:15 pm

Watcher7 wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:31 pm
Glad to be back.
Welcome back to the forum, Watcher7!

Wow, what a story!
It was good to read you have re-discovered the joy of making music!
Mid-5-figures - that is a nice income for a side-gig! :)

Tom
https://soundcloud.com/ctwf --> 0|°_°|0 <--

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Re: A Long Term Perspective

Post by cosmicdolphin » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:48 pm

Wow...Great read and thanks for sharing

Sorry to hear you lost your mojo...great to see you have it back again

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Re: A Long Term Perspective

Post by JRog » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:23 pm

Wow that's an incredible story! As a new member here I really appreciate your perspective and insight. Thank you so much for sharing!

Sorry to hear about losing your mom and the rough times you had around 2015. Glad you made it through.

Welcome back.

-Jon

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Re: A Long Term Perspective

Post by DBarnett » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:15 pm

Welcome back Watcher7
I was a member also 2010 & 2011 and have really been kicking myself for not sticking with it
I had success but didn't really appreciate what I had going
I'm more in the 3 figure range lol
I rejoined in 2019 and have signed with a couple of libraries
I can't wait to listen to your work :D

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Re: A Long Term Perspective

Post by Watcher7 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:24 pm

Thank you all for the warm welcome. I appreciate it!

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Re: A Long Term Perspective

Post by carel11 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:16 pm

Yes
Welcome back Watcher
a good story, and its great you 're seeing the the healing powers of music
I find my days are better whenever I play and write.....
and time flies. I sit down for what I think is 20 minutes and two hours later I'm sayin' wow
How lucky are we to have that.
Good luck
continue to be amazing
carL
a little rock, a little roll, and a rather unfocused gaze
carl wurzbach

https://www.taxi.com/my/artist
https://soundcloud.com/carelw
http://carlwurzbach.com

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Re: A Long Term Perspective

Post by Telefunkin » Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:30 am

Great story. It sounds like you've made peace with the past and can enjoy great things to come.

It'll be interesting to hear from you how much things have changed. Please let us know.
Graham (UK). Still composing a little faster than decomposing.

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Re: A Long Term Perspective

Post by JohnnyP » Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:14 pm

Thanks for the insightful post and sorry about you losing your mom in 2015. Lost my mom in 2016 and I channeled all that raw emotion into some very angsty songs..
It takes a while to come out of it and I’m glad you did.

Good for you to take the steps to rejoin the creative community! With your numbers it seems like you certainly know your way around a DAW :(
Much success in your second wind!
Best, John

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Re: A Long Term Perspective

Post by Kolstad » Thu Feb 25, 2021 1:07 am

Welcome to the forums, and thanks for the good story. Always nice with a giver!

Looking forward to follow your progress and reflection on the new post-pandemic reality. I read yesterday that Spotify right now uploads two new songs per second from artists, so there is certainly no shortcoming of competition.

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