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Meet Sean Goldman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sean Goldman.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been compelled to tell stories through my music since childhood. I was in a rock band for years growing up and loved to write songs with narratives. When I was 14 or 15, my song ideas were getting too complicated to be played by a four-piece rock band, so what first lead me into orchestral writing was a drive to realize musical concepts that I couldn’t express with two guitars, drums and a bass. When I was thinking about university applications, I actually considered going to go into psychology and it was my parents that sat me down and gave me the final push to keep pursuing music! I knew I would always be a musician, but the instability of an artist’s career scared me. In retrospect, I can’t believe I even considered another path. I studied classical music for a while before I went to Spain, where I did my master’s degree and focused my energy on film music. I moved to LA right after that and immersed myself in the indie filmmaking scene. Since then I’ve been scoring to picture and have had the privilege to meet lots of likeminded creatives. My music still tells stories now, but it’s fed by the narratives of other storytellers.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One of the largest obstacles I’m dealing with now is the process of moving back to LA as a foreigner. I am Canadian by nationality and going back to LA means overcoming a series of legal hurdles that need to be dealt with before I can return to the states. But I would say the toughest part about this career has been the doubt and crises that have come and go since my university years. That voice that’s like, “Why did you choose music when people are becoming plumbers and making $75k a year and don’t get asked to fix a toilet for exposure?” But I think about it for a little and know I could never be happy doing anything that wasn’t in music. I’m a musician, I’ve always been one. It’s not really a choice.

Please tell us more about your work.
I am a composer for visual media and specialize in writing music for films, television, and video games. Media composers are also expected to wear a series of different hats that also include the descriptions of orchestrator, arranger, contractor, mixer and other jobs that don’t necessarily mean writing music but are an important part of delivering a professional final product.

I would definitely say I specialize in orchestral writing and my collaborators who know me come to me for organic, acoustic sounds. I think one thing that sets me apart is my intimate knowledge of how each instrument works, as well as my ability to employ a lot of different styles using these instruments.

My undergraduate education in classical composition has given me an edge because I was able to study instrumentation and harmony employed by the great composers of history; I love studying the scores of John Williams, but I also love studying the scores that John Williams studied.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think my empathy contributes most to my success as a composer. For me to write truly honest music, it has to organically come from the way I am feeling.

Being able to put myself into the mind of a character or feel the way the director wants the viewer to feel allows me to express those feelings as if they were my own.

The most important part of my process is writing music as if it were me in that situation and having the music express my feelings accordingly.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Berklee College of Music

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