Why We Create Music

“The only way that we are able to make a living is by convincing people, sometimes one at a time, that this thing that we have won’t exist without us, and that it is necessary.”

The short film Why We Create Music examines the absolute importance of music to the individuals who create it. Fifteen musicians, ranging from Bill Withers to Aloe Blacc to Lady Antebellum, share their thoughts on songwriting and composing.

An interesting note about the soundrack: each artist was asked to contribute a musical or lyrical element to a base song that director/composer Michael Marantzntz created, generating a collaborative soundtrack that plays over video footage of the musicians in the process of writing it.

The film was commissioned for ASCAP’s 100th anniversary.

5 thoughts on “Why We Create Music

  1. I find it bittersweet that this was commissioned by ASCAP, when 98% of the stories I’ve heard from member musicians were rife with poor treatment, financial stress and little help when called upon in a dispute. I love the sentiment of the video, but if anyone has a GOOD tale to tell about their fates at the hands of ASCAP or BMI, I’d like to be corrected. Its too much like The Law in being largely beneficial to those who are using it to muscle you for a buck. Little wonder that so many flock online and go indie to avoid large organizations. A large chunk of pirating is in response to their greedy behavior, which goes far beyond the right to a decent profit. I am glad I can create music AWAY from the leeches, or I’d give it up entirely.

    1. Oh, that was actually an ASCAP promo? I thought it was just a sneaky Moog ad since that is the only brand name prominently displayed in it…

  2. BMI reps have helped guide me quite a bit. There are some amazing opps to take advantage of if you want to. From BMI songwriter events to producers I’ve met and that have helped make me a better musician, producer, engineer, songwriter, and artist. I would be a lot worse off without them. And they don’t charge a dime out of my pocket. They have only ever put money in my pocket. And the connections from those offices in Atlanta, Nashville, LA and New York have been real pros. Not fake people. Real business minded people. Really one of the few organizations that is real through and through.

  3. While the labels (I left Arista several years ago) are out to turn a profit, BMI has only ever wanted to make me a better songwriter.

  4. Thanks for the positive input. If I’m in error, I want to make course corrections, not hobble along with a stone in my boot. When people such as you speak up, it redirects the energy to more beneficial areas. Laboring under an illusion is too much added work. I’ll take a broader view of BMI in particular now. Good info, Richard.

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