Season for Goodbye
(c) 2003 Chris Falson
During the fall of 2003 I was writing one piece of music after another (songs, themes, stings etc) for a music publisher who had a deal with the networks. I was churning them out, often writing one or two a day…. I am not saying they were all ‘good’….. but occasionally one would stand out and it would be a ‘keeper’….. however, believe it or not, most of the pieces I wrote would end up in either a Network or Cable show. Often the most difficult part of the ‘pulp’ writing was coming up with the title. [MEDIA not found]
I had a wonderful studio space at the the time in LA, Burbank adjacent. It had been built originally by Pink Floyd in the 80’s as a rehearsal/demo room. Behind my studio room was a 4,500 square foot space that we (me and a bunch of friends)…. turned into a club (and that’s for another blog). It was a fun few years rubbing shoulders and sharing coffee and ideas with authors, painters, poets, actors, directors etc who either lived or worked in the building.
I wrote and or produced about 20 songs for one show called “Meet my Folks”…. and then the various spin offs “Meet my Mom”…. “Meet my Kids” or whatever. Though the premise for each show was dating….. in the the hope of finding a new Dad or Mom etc, there was always that inevitable goodbye scene…. you know, when the ‘loser’ would be shown the door…. maybe the most keenly anticipated moment in every realty show. Go Sunjaya!
In song placement the music supervisor has to find a song or piece of music that ‘underscores’ the moment or scene. Sometimes it is describing the drama, other times it helps to create the mood. The music supervisor for this show could not find enough “good bye songs” and so the request was made and we got to work. When I say we, I actually had a team of writers working underneath me….. all working towards the common goal of the perfect sayonara song.
For the writer though this is called spec work…. and it’s a bit like a standing in crowd of illegal day workers waiting on that specified corner hoping someone you will single you out for a few hours work. Song placement is often luck of the draw…. having the right sound, or phrase at the right moment…. or it can be based upon the mood or whim of a producer. But writing everyday just improves your writing skills, so if a song doesn’t get ‘picked’ today…. maybe it will tomorrow.
Though I wrote Season for Goodbye for Meet my Folks it was passed over for another ‘day worker’….. however it was later featured in an episode of Las Vegas…. which was a much better placement (though I would have taken both).
This version of the song was hastily recorded and mixed. It was rushed off for the Meet My Folks deadline and when it was ‘dumped’ I moved onto other songs. I was machine back then…. often a one man assembly line. I have since learnt to be more circumspect in regards sending out unfinished material….. that is…. when I can afford this privilege.
Writing for TV is very demanding. Everything has to be completed yesterday. It’s not unusual to get a call at say 10 am with a request (demand) to write and produce a piece of music (from scratch) that has to be sent over to the network by 2pm. So inevitably short cuts are made. I cringe sometimes when I watch an episode with one of my ‘rushed’ tracks playing in the background…. but hey I’m working ain’t I?.
Despite the urgency to complete the song, I really enjoyed writing Season for Goodbye…. the lyrics are closer to poetry than I would normally write and, once I had the concept of seasons and change I just followed the bread crumbs through the woods. And the track…. well it is unashamedly Floyd…. I guess I was enveloped by the ever lingering studio presence of Gilmour and Waters.
Here’s the demo…. it has a kind of beauty to it and one day I will get around to finishing the ‘mix’.