Revisiting a Friend – Composing Music for TV/Radio Commercials

A few years ago, a client asked if I would compose a piece of music for a company celebrating 125 years.  I was asked for something that few composers of “commercial” music get to hear. They were looking for something orchestral, big, building, and even epic. When you work in advertising as a music composer, you often are asked to create catchy music in a variety of styles. Being asked to create something BIG is a composer’s dream!  With the client’s long and rich history, I knew I would find inspiration and that this project was going to be something special.

I of course accepted and got to work immediately. What followed was the theme for Henderson Brothers, a longtime client of Pittsburgh agency BD&E. It was a truly wonderful, collaborative experience. The images, the narration and the theme all worked together. Music in a commercial needs a hook and a climax in a very short timeframe. What works so well in this piece is the sweeping arcs, odd meters and building orchestration used to keep the audience interested. Check it out here:

The theme went on to win a few awards and was the start of a beautiful partnership with BD&E that continues to this day.

Just a few weeks ago, I was approached about revisiting the Henderson Brothers theme. The assignment this time was not to lose the essence of the original, but to bring down the “big” factor. Easier said than done of course. I kept the same theme and the tempo remained pretty consistent also, making sure not to lose the magic the client heard in the first version. After a few demos and client calls we reached the right tone. Check it out here:

Both experiences were truly rewarding as a musician and composer. To be able to write music and have a company trust you with their name and image is really an honor. Thank you to BD&E and Henderson Brothers.