December 20, 2014, 01:04:43 PM

Author Topic: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!  (Read 2935 times)

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Offline Jobby

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2014, 08:59:02 PM »
AND... one personal question cause I'm really interested to know... Do you have a favourite team or what sort of teams do you normally root for! :funny:
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Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2014, 09:55:49 AM »
Hi Lee,

I wanted to ask about the music you used for the second leg of all stars (2014). What was the music played during the run to the pitstop. The intense music i mean. Thank you

Just looked back at this. If I'm looking at the right spot (Brenchel et al. running through the park to the mat), the cue must be something one of the other composers has contributed over the years—it's not one of mine. I like it, though.  :)

Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2014, 09:57:06 AM »
Wow amazing reply Lee! Thank you and I learnt so much more about the behind the scenes production of TAR.

Ok here's one last one (cause I'm greeeeeeeedy)

Any new TAR theme song soon? I loved the change during Season 14 and was hoping we'll hear another mixed up version of the theme song soon for future seasons!

I don't know on that one, Jobby—It's John Keane's main title theme, and I'm out of the loop on when they ask him to update it.

As for favorite teams? I try not to pick and choose, because I might later need to play a victorious emotion for a team I'm not crazy about, for example. It's tough to be impartial, though, isn't it?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 10:01:35 AM by Lee Sanders »

Online georgiapeach

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2014, 10:12:15 AM »
How does it work working with other composers? Do you collaborate at all, get to decide who does what, or is it just do your own assigned part?

And when you finally get to watch the completed show....does the music go to the background a little or is that all you can "see" on first viewing?? ??? #soNOTaMusician
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Offline Jobby

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2014, 12:38:23 PM »
Lee, just another question.. Was the "Survivor-style" music by Brenchel on last season Leg 3 done by you as well? :funny:
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Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2014, 03:31:33 PM »
How does it work working with other composers? Do you collaborate at all, get to decide who does what, or is it just do your own assigned part?

And when you finally get to watch the completed show....does the music go to the background a little or is that all you can "see" on first viewing?? ??? #soNOTaMusician
There is no collaboration between composers on the show. We're competitors for air time, in a sense.

Over the years the show has had many producers come and go, and several of those people have brought in their favorite composers to add to the show's catalog of music cues. My philosophy about all of this is that editors should be able choose the cue(s) they think work best with the scene, and sound best as music… regardless of who wrote it. Meritocracy—may the best cue win.

All of the above, of course, applies only to scenes for which custom music isn't being written… custom music is assigned to one composer only. In other words, there's never a situation where composers are scoring the same scene, working to picture, and people at the production choose which one they like best.

Hope that makes sense. And certainly I'm locked in on the music when I watch. Just like on any show. It's tough for me to get carried away by TV, film, etc. I am a victim of over-analyzing the music! "Oh, that transition was really good." "Ouch! That mix totally steps on the dialog!" "I wonder how they made that sound." "Hm. I really like how they made that character seem untrustworthy with that last little dissonant chord before commercial."

These are the things you'll hear me muttering in the living room.  :)

Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2014, 03:55:27 PM »
Lee, just another question.. Was the "Survivor-style" music by Brenchel on last season Leg 3 done by you as well? :funny:

Not sure exactly where in the episode you mean, Jobby… I wrote a lot of that stuff, though. If you have a specific moment in mind I may be able to say for sure.

Offline Bookworm

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2014, 04:47:51 PM »
Lee, just another question.. Was the "Survivor-style" music by Brenchel on last season Leg 3 done by you as well? :funny:

Not sure exactly where in the episode you mean, Jobby… I wrote a lot of that stuff, though. If you have a specific moment in mind I may be able to say for sure.
I think he means in  TAR24 Leg 3 when Brendon & Rachel are completing the blowpipe Detour. There was a great montage and great music!
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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #33 on: October 10, 2014, 05:16:08 PM »

These are the things you'll hear me muttering in the living room.  :)

 
 :funny: I think I might be glad I don't watch with you, LOL!!! I can appreciate that attention to detail though!
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline ichihara_yuuko

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2014, 06:57:16 AM »
Hi Lee!

I think someone asked previously about character themes. I just wanted to know aside from the Cowboys, which teams have had a cue specifically written for them? It's kinda hard to figure it out since I noticed even the Cowboys theme gets reused in different scenes.

Thanks!


Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2014, 09:24:34 AM »
Any new TAR theme song soon? I loved the change during Season 14 and was hoping we'll hear another mixed up version of the theme song soon for future seasons!

I don't know on that one—I'm not in on their discussions with John Keane. I do know they like to refresh it every so often.

Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2014, 09:34:03 AM »
…aside from the Cowboys, which teams have had a cue specifically written for them? It's kinda hard to figure it out since I noticed even the Cowboys theme gets reused in different scenes.

A number of teams have had their own cue written, for a number of reasons. It's sort of a gray area: Some of the music I've written specifically for teams has been to 'set the scene' for their background, rather than to depict their personalities or to 'brand' them. Mark and Bopper's first intro is an example of that—the music isn't to give them a Mark and Bopper Theme; it's to dramatize the circumstances as they talk about where they're from, and about their reasons for running the Race.

I'm afraid I'd forget someone, so I won't try to reconstruct a list… but there have been a bunch. And obviously the Globetrotters came with their own theme music.  :)

Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2014, 09:37:30 AM »
I think he means in  TAR24 Leg 3 when Brendon & Rachel are completing the blowpipe Detour. There was a great montage and great music!

That was a cue I wrote specifically for the scene, called, surprisingly, "Blowgun." And yeah, there's a little clarinet motive in there that's intended to be my homage to the Indy-fleeing-blowgun-darts scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2014, 03:12:13 PM »
Episode 3 of the music podcast is up now! http://t.co/axucqTJUi9

Next week's will be longer, I promise… I'm a teensy bit under the weather. I mean, it's LA, the weather is warm and sunny, but… never mind. Check it out. :groan:

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2014, 12:01:58 AM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/6aj25U78FIY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/6aj25U78FIY</a>
 
I loved the music, (even without bagpipes!!) and think the "grandness" and "epic" feeling came across well. Interesting! I never thought about us not actually knowing anything about Viking music.

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Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2014, 10:44:09 AM »
The screen capture for Episode 3 looks like I ate something unpleasant. Why, YouTube, must you torment me like this?

Seriously, though, the Viking-music thing was a revelation to me, too, when I began researching it a few months ago. I figured there would be a crazy amount of information out there, artifacts all over the place, references in historical records… not so much.

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #41 on: October 24, 2014, 01:02:39 PM »
Lee has run into a "RoadBlock" this week but will be back with more on Monday!
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2014, 04:33:09 PM »
…aaaaand I'm back. Here's the new podcast. Check out the discussion of themes, in particular—I'm planning to talk about several other themes in episodes to come, but this one (the Adventure Theme) is the biggest and most frequently recurring (with the exception of the "Previously On…" music, which is different because it's almost always the same exact piece of music).

You'll see what I'm talking about by watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwYm-Ulwo90

Hope you enjoy it!
LHS
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 06:09:12 PM by Lee Sanders »

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #43 on: October 27, 2014, 06:11:06 PM »
Wait till you see how we have seen this theme before!! Such a blast from the past!
 
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/jwYm-Ulwo90" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/jwYm-Ulwo90</a>
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Offline Neobie

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #44 on: October 28, 2014, 06:12:34 AM »
Lee, I've been drafting a really, really long reply about the "Adventure" theme, but you beat me to it in your podcast!

It's definitely my favourite musical element in the show, because of how it's adapted to different cultures while still remaining coherent and recognisable, like the early Survivor themes! I caught it in the introduction to Shetland two weeks back, and I've been paying attention to it since it was used in the finale of TAR 1 with Rob/Brennan running to the finish line before seguing into Now We Are Free... Missed its use in Sant'Agata though.

And you came up with a second Hawaiian Adventure for TAR 3 - I remember a ukelele steel guitar (?) playing the theme over Flo complaining about being hungry!

Separate question: I remember you saying all the music on TAR is original (except Now We Are Free?), but how often does the music you produce get adapted for use in other shows? I distinctly remember an African tune (women vocals going ay-ay-ay...) being used "wrongly" in some Pacific location on Survivor!
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 06:59:51 AM by Neobie »
Found out that Neobie in Chinese means "f*king awesome"! No, really. Look it up!

Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #45 on: October 29, 2014, 09:12:15 AM »
…Missed its use in Sant'Agata though.

The first statement of that theme, in the "Previously On…" segment on show 107, was written on my first 'official' day as a Race composer (!). So it's pretty much as old as my Race music gets. Kids who are the same age as that theme are now beginning to dream of getting their driver's licenses. Oboy.  :)

And you came up with a second Hawaiian Adventure for TAR 3 - I remember a ukelele steel guitar (?) playing the theme over Flo complaining about being hungry!

That's right—there were quite a few Hawaiian cues for those episodes. And there are a bunch more cues that use the Adventure Theme (prepping through that podcast, I skimmed my Race scores, and grabbed 30 cues "off the top of my head" that used the theme in some way).

Separate question: I remember you saying all the music on TAR is original (except Now We Are Free?), but how often does the music you produce get adapted for use in other shows? I distinctly remember an African tune (women vocals going ay-ay-ay...) being used "wrongly" in some Pacific location on Survivor!

That's a great question, and if the answer is what I think it is, it's actually kinda interesting but a little "inside baseball." If you want to know how the sausage is made, read on.

No, seriously. This might spoil it a little too much. Don't read any further if you want to retain some of the mystery. If I were a magician, this would be me explaining the tricks.


OK. You asked for it.

The African women's chorus snippet is almost certainly not a cue at all!

It's a sampled loop, available royalty-free for usage by anyone who purchases the sample library of which it's a part (there are lots of these sample libraries out there). It's infeasible for me, or David Vanacore, or anyone else writing music for reality shows, to record these choirs in situ, of course, and recording local vocalists is sub-optimal, as well (LA session vocalists are amazing, but you lose authenticity).

So the trade-off is to use those voices, accepting the compositional limitations that come with them (and the fact that someone else might use them on another show, as is the case here—!), and taking those negatives along with the positives of legit regional style (the sample library was recorded in Africa, in this case) and affordability.

For me, the trick with that is to use the sampled loops as a seasoning, rather than the main ingredient. Here's one more example: the horn that opens the Survivor Main Title is also a sample! I own it, too—it's from an older library (of course) called Heart of Africa, and had been around for a little while even when Survivor premiered.

So nothing is prohibiting me from using that sound in some piece of music… nothing, of course, except that it's so indelibly linked to Survivor that I'd be run out of town. So if I were to use it, I'd have to bury it sonically into a thick palette of other stuff, rather than solo it (as it's heard in that Main Title).

Oh, OK. One more, since I can't resist this subject: The opening credit sequence of Lost features a sound called "Armenian Sun" (from the Omnisphere software synth) incredibly prominently. As in, it's nearly the entire main title.

None of this is a criticism, by the way! Those main titles are incredibly effective, and sometimes you find the perfect thing "right out of the box," so to speak.

Hope that answers the question, Neobie! I'm dropping by here as often as I can, so keep 'em coming. This is fun (as long as I don't spill the beans too much, and a Music Enforcer shows up at my door with brass knuckles to punish me for breaking the Code of Silence).

Offline tarflyonthewall

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #46 on: November 05, 2014, 11:06:44 PM »
I remember hearing someone confirm Survivor's "tribal chanting" is actually a chorus of elderly Ukrainian women about a year or so ago, so there's a long way to go before the Music Enforcers kick down your door.

I've been rewatching a bunch of the old seasons recently for something else I'm working on, and now that you've mentioned it I keep hearing that theme everywhere. My personal favourite variation is this panpipey one that randomly plays in Seattle for a few seconds right when Flo's doing her "you're supposed to say I haven't been a massive pain in the ass this entire trip" rant. So unexpected and haunting, and then it segues right into the "Flo is the Winner!" piece of music (still, after all these years, my favourite piece of music the show has ever used). Amazing.

Here's a question: When you riff on an established piece of music (such as Turning Japanese for the rollercoaster Road Block in TAR9, for example), is it hard to compose the music so it's easy to tell what the reference is without actually using the piece of music itself?

Offline Lee Sanders

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #47 on: November 06, 2014, 07:21:43 AM »
When you riff on an established piece of music (such as Turning Japanese for the rollercoaster Road Block in TAR9, for example), is it hard to compose the music so it's easy to tell what the reference is without actually using the piece of music itself?

"Soundalikes" can be extremely tough. All you can do is fail to the least extent possible ("succeeding" would mean you've opened yourself to a lawsuit—i.e., you've come too close). If I'm working with filmmakers who want a certain piece of music, I encourage them to license it rather than asking me for a soundalike. Because nine times out of ten what makes it cool/funny/dramatically effective is that it's that piece of music. That's the punchline, so to speak, and anything else is inferior by definition. It's an external limitation on the success of the final product. It's nearly always done to save money, and that's just not how anyone would prefer to work.

In the case of Race it's different, because we're generally adapting long-standing themes to be played in the style of, say, Hawaii Five-O. That makes it a little more of a knowing wink. The theme is ours, but the palette, style, tempo, orchestration, etc. all refer back to something else. The homage deepens the connection of the existing theme, and the resulting cue is stronger, funnier, and/or more emotionally effective as a result.

BTW, I'm still working on this week's podcast. Haven't forgotten. Hoping to post today (Thursday, Nov. 6).

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #48 on: November 06, 2014, 07:01:20 PM »
Love these themes!!

Episode 5!!

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/-1wFmx4kkfo" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/-1wFmx4kkfo</a>

Published on Nov 6, 2014           In this episode, Lee talks more about music for Morocco, and about the various mixouts he delivers for every piece of music on the show. Two more long-running themes for the show are also featured in detail—one of which is named completely WRONG.
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline Jobby

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Re: TAR 25: Lee Sanders' Music Podcast!!
« Reply #49 on: November 07, 2014, 03:41:06 AM »
I. absolutely. love the mystery theme!! :hrt:

Brings back so MUCH memories. Thank you Lee!
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