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I thought it would be great to showcase the talented composers that use Composer Catalog in their daily workflow.

Robbie Hancock
www.robbiehancock.comLRobbie

How did you get into songwriting?

I was always writing even before I put words into lyrics. It wasn’t though until I met a mentor around a campfire in Alberta, Canada working at a resort that I learned how to put words together with melody and an instrument to create songs. After that I started studying the craft more serious through workshops and visits to Nashville and Los Angeles.

What got you interested?

My mom and dad put me in organ lessons when I was 7. It all started there until I bought a drum kit at 14 and guitar when I was 17. I just fell in love with it growing up. It’s a beautiful thing.

Do you have any formal training?

No, not at a collage or university level. I did take lessons through through the technics organ program to a grade 6 level and some percussion classes in highschool. More recently I took a few online courses through Berkeley including songwriting and music production. Most of my experiences are hands on through touring with bands, countless gigs and live sound.

What is your instrument of choice?

Guitar, I love the sound of the acoustic guitar. This is followed closely by the piano and the drums.

What do you feel are your strengths as a songwriter?

Writing emotional lyrics for film and television. I have always been able to write songs this way but only recently honing that craft with the help of amazing mentors and A&R leaders like Taxi.

What is your one desert island plugin or sample library?

I love superior drummer 2 and use it all the time. Producer plugins are available as well that are amazing for specific genres.

What keeps you inspired, musically?

Love, the human spirit and hope that music is ever changing and will never die.

What are some of your greatest achievements as a songwriter?

I have had my music placed on television networks like NBC, HBO, MTV and had my songs in indie films and documentaries. I have also had my music licensed to online radio streaming companies all around the world.

What is your guilty pleasure (musical or non-musical!)

Cheesecake mmmmmm. Musically? Led Zeppelin. I love that band more than words can describe. Just brilliant.

How Composer Catalog has helped your workflow (just a quick sentence or two)?

It has helped me organize my music in a way that is easily accessible for me when I need it. Writing to tight deadlines and being correct and efficient for my publishers and libraries is essential for placements in today’s music industry. I highly recommend and endorse Composer Catalog to anyone who is seeking organization while striving towards a professional music career.

Lydia Ashton
www.lydiaashton.comLydia Ashton


How did composing start for you?

I started making up songs when I was a little kid. I kept writing songs through my childhood and teenage years. I wrote my first instrumental piece when I was 18, but it took another few years before I knew I wanted to be a composer.

What got you interested?

I always loved music, and I have always had music bouncing around in my head. It just made sense to start writing the music down on paper.

Do you have any formal training?

Yes. I studied violin and piano growing up. I attended a fine arts high school in Sweden where I continued the studies on those instruments in addition to viola, and studied subjects such as music theory, sight singing, ear training, and music history. I also have a Bachelors in Music Composition Technology.

What is your instrument of choice?

Piano, as that is the instrument I use daily to compose.

What do you feel are your strengths as a composer?

I treasure my background in classical music, as well as the years I spent playing Swedish folk music. I often draw from what I learned during those years when composing. I also find writing for strings something that comes natural as I’ve played violin and viola most of my life. I would say my greatest strengths as a composer are writing orchestral music as well as music for piano and strings. I have started branching out to other genres as well, and enjoy continuously learning and growing as a composer.

What is your one desert island plugin or sample library?

Oh, that is a hard one… Currently it would probably be Emotional Piano. Love the gentle sound it is able to produce. Another one worth mentioning is Omnisphere. I don’t think you can ever get done exploring all the possible sounds in Omnisphere.

What keeps you inspired, musically?

I try to continuously grow and learn more. I read books about music, listen to different genres (even though I tend to gravitate toward film scores and classical), and make sure I surround myself with people who themselves love music as much as I do. All of these things help inspire me. I also draw from my emotions a lot when I write. I usually start my pieces by improvising at the keyboard. If I don’t have a specific piece I need to work on I sit down and play whatever I am feeling at the moment, anger, happiness, sorrow etc, and go from there. And, of course, life itself inspires me.

What are some of your greatest achievements as a composer?

There are a couple of achievements that I am pretty excited about. One is that the year before I moved to the US a school in Sweden performed a one hour musical I had written. That was a great experience, and that was what helped me realize I wanted to pursue composing. Another awesome experience was when the Signature Symphony in Tulsa, OK, performed a piece I had written. It was performed with full orchestra and choir + soprano soloist. While it is amazing what one can do with technology nowadays, nothing beats hearing ones music performed live by an orchestra. Another achievement I want to mention is that back in 2010 I landed the main title theme for the Nate Berkus show together with David John, a co-writer. That was the first time I heard my music in TV, and that was pretty cool!

What is your guilty pleasure (musical or non-musical!)

Binge-watching TV. Nathan (my husband) and I will find a TV show we like and finish a season in a week or so. Oh, and ice cream. If I could live on ice cream alone I would. Never mind… I don’t feel guilty about the ice cream.

How Composer Catalog has helped your workflow (just a quick sentence or two)?

Composer Catalog has helped me become more organized. It is great to have all that info about my music in one place.

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