Tom Schipper

Your next film composer

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The scoring session of things

Tom

In May last year, I went to Skopje, Macedonia to record the music for my graduation film “The Library of Things”. A truly unforgettable experience.

We had some video footage shot, which I edited some time ago, and is now up online for you to enjoy! It includes anything from music and film to discussions, Jordy’s phenomenal impression of a trumpet stuck in an oven, me in shorts and even cats (this is the internet of course).

I hope you enjoy!

Opening up

Tom

For the last couple of months, I’ve mainly been sharing stuff about my music when things were going well. The highlight has of course been my graduation festival, but almost a year has passed, and I haven’t shared a whole lot ever since. Not that nothing was happening, but it never felt share-worthy in my opinion.

During those months after graduation, in which I also got married, moved house and started a new side job, I found I had little energy left to work on composing or looking for projects to work on. For the projects I did have, I had little to no motivation at the moment, and I felt deprived of the joy I used to have to work on any kind of musical project. Basically, it had all been too much, and I kinda hit rock bottom. This built up to me deciding to just drop everything that related to composing in the month of December, so I could start 2019 anew and (hopefully) fresh with new energy. 2019 started with cleaning up my computer (six years and hundreds of Gb’s FINALLY cleared up and organized on external drives) and finishing up some older projects that were still lying around. In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about how to turn this thing I have called “composing for film” into a sustainable job. Something which isn’t easy, and it still causing me regular anxiety for the future. However, motivation and a lack of energy were (and are, sometimes) still some things I’ve been struggling with.

Only since three weeks ago, I’ve started to regain some of the joy I always knew to find in working on my passion. I think 2 things have caused this: 1. I’ve had an awesome networking event at Buma Music in Motion, in which I just thoroughly enjoyed talking to people about music and everything related. In previous editions, when I was networking (or at least trying to), I always felt the need I had to gain something from the conversation I had with someone, whether it was a project to work on or someone who might help me to a job of some kind. This year, however, I completely let this go, which led to me feeling completely differently during the entire day, and both the conversations I had and the people I met were absolutely lovely as a result.
The second thing that helped me regain my excitement was to get me a pair of good microphones and a lot of small percussion instruments. Instead of just sitting behind my computer and using the keyboard to record everything, I’ve made my composition process a physical thing again, which I absolutely love.

Bottom line is, I’m just figuring out how on earth to turn my passion into a career. And this process is something I want to share from now on. Not just the highlights, but the everyday creative sparks and struggles as well. The small steps in the creative process, the little non-work related things that spark joy in what I’m doing, the way how I want to educate myself and enhance my skills in whatever skill I need enhancement in (which are a LOT), the people I’m meeting for a project or just to catch up, the moments were I’m still tired, unmotivated or just feeling absolutely anxious and down about the future. I want to open up and be honest when I’m sharing this crazy ride I’m going on in the next years of my life. Social media are often used to present the polished highlight reel of our own lives, and I’ve mainly been using it as such as well. But I hope that by recording a small video of my daily working life every weekday, I can convey some of the joy and excitement I take from my work and my struggles in trying to figure out how to build my career in the music industry. On the end of each week, I’ll share an overview of that week’s videos on Instagram, and I’ll post a monthly overview on my website.

So feel welcome in my daily life as a composer, which is a lot of fun most of the times, but also something I’ve been struggling with for the last year. I just shared the overview of the first week on
Instagram; a first week that’s already had its ups and downs. I’m trying to give an honest insight into what I’m doing and what I’m trying to work towards. I hope you’ll join me for some of it.

P.s. Just to be complete, I just want to share what projects I’m working on at the moment. First of all, I’m writing an orchestral adventure album for a music library called Ninja Kitty Music. (Yes, my wife definitely approves of that name). And the other project is a graduation film of the HKU; the art school in Utrecht, for which I’m writing the original score. Oh, and I’m working a side job in the IAMsterdam Store at Amsterdam Central station.

Recording session video

Tom

In May of 2018, I had the privilege of recording a full orchestra for the score of “The Library of Things”. After the session was done, we still had some time left, which gave me the opportunity to pick up the baton (or in this case: pencil) myself to conduct the orchestra for a run-through of the opening cue of the film.

“The Library of Things” is a 3D-animated short film, and was part of my graduation from the master Composing for Film at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam and The Netherlands Film Academy. For the music of the film, I was awarded the very first “Keep an Eye film score award”.

Orchestral recording services – Fame’s Project – www.fames-project.com