Kerry Smith on Keeping Things Fresh
July 31, 2013

Composer Kerry Smith stumbled on a whole new realm of musical possibilities when he tackled his latest TV show theme project, Cinemax’s ‘The Girls’ Guide to Depravity’.

“I discovered I really can do things that are outside of my comfort zone. if I set my mind and heart and intense interest into it.”

“And secondly, I discovered I’m not a one-hit wonder!” jokes Kerry, who landed his second TV theme gig thanks to his prior theme for Fox’s ‘Raising Hope’.

Kerry said when he watched footage from the new show, he quickly saw a playful Latin beat topped with some soulful female vocals was the way to go. Only problem: he wasn’t quite sure how to pull it off. At first.

“I tend to do a lot of productions by myself. But it always helps to sell certain things when you have sounds that are really authentic, like the saxophones and the flutes in this piece. I just can’t fake that sort of thing with the parts I was writing.”

So Kerry tapped professional musicians in New York he’d worked with before, as well as singer Kristin Diable in New Orleans, to help him find that perfect sound. And he was able to orchestrate their performances from the comfort of his studio in Portland, Oregon.

Kerry’s a big fan of the remote recording process because it allows him to use trusted talent from New York while getting to know the talent pool available in his new home base of Portland.

“If their instruments are tuned, and they’re in sync and know what they’re doing, my job is really pretty easy. Ultimately the tricky part is finding great players and setting up a good rapport with them.”

With a career mainly in tunes for advertising, Kerry says landing additional TV and film projects like ‘Girls Guide’ (and ‘Raising Hope’) helps keep his musical process fresh, alive and exploratory.

“How do you keep a career going in this sort of thing for decades? You have to allow yourself to play. Then that enthusiasm — that sense of discovery — the energy really translates.”

Watch ‘Girls Guide’ Opening Theme @…
Watch ‘Raising Hope’ Opening Theme @…
Contact Kerry Smith @…

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