I’d like to congratulate music supervisors Robin Urdang, Nora Felder, John Houlihan, Michael Hill and Brian Ross for their Grammy nominations in the category of “Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media.” It is nice to finally see music supervisors getting some form of recognition by the Academy.
Their contributions to the music industry have been, in my opinion, ignored for too long, and it was such a thrill to see people who I know and respect finally get at least some of the recognition they deserve.
To review, here are the links to their projects that were nominated and the ultimate winners (who actually weren’t music supervisors)
Hugh Jackman (& Various Artists)
Alex Lacamoire, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul & Greg Wells, compilation producers
Luca Guadagnino, compilation producer; Robin Urdang, music supervisor
David Leitch & Ryan Reynolds, compilation producers; John Houlihan, music supervisor
Timothy J. Smith, compilation producer; Michael Hill & Brian Ross, music supervisors
Timothy J. Smith, compilation producer; Nora Felder, music supervisor
Again, congratulations to everyone.
So, the good news is that music supervisors are finally being recognized by the Academy in some way. And that really is great. Hopefully, next year the Academy will give the award to a soundtrack with a music supervisor attached to it. That will be a real cause for celebration.
Still, in my opinion, it seems like this recognition was more an add-on concession by the Academy rather than a standout recognition of the central role of the music supervisor to the entire music industry. And to me, this award just isn’t good enough.
That’s why in 2016, I proposed to the Academy that they create a “Best Music Supervision for Visual and Interactive Media” Award.
My Proposal was rejected. The reason the Academy (very nicely) stated to me for the rejection was that they were going to recognize music supervisors within the Compilation Soundtrack category and that the chances for further recognition through a separate category would be very slim.
And to a degree, I understand why they would say this.
The Grammy Awards have traditionally been based around albums, singles, artist creation, composition, and music production – and from that narrow focus, a compilation soundtrack may be the best “slot” to recognize music supervisors as part of the group that compiled a soundtrack album.
But the thing is, the way music is discovered, consumed and ultimately monetized has changed drastically since the advent of the album, and arguably, it is the creative work of the music supervisor that is central to the way people find and consume music today, and to some point, how music is created.
Think about it – in every show, every film, every video game, every ad, app or website, it is the music supervisor’s creative role in music curation that is central to the creation of the soundscape, what music is used in the projects they work on and ultimately what music people discover, like and buy.
So to me, not recognizing the importance of the central creative role of the music supervisor to the music industry’s efforts as a whole in the current music market with a dedicated award category strikes me as simply wrong.
Music Supervisors deserve to be recognized by the music industry for their creative contribution to the music industry in their own right, not as a mere cog in the soundtrack compilation process. It is my continued hope that the Academy will create a new category for “Best Music Supervision in Visual or Interactive Media” – I for one will certainly propose it again for next year.
What do you think? Email me and let me know.