Daniel Stein has composed scores for movies, television shows, and commercials. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Daniel worked with the WGBH Boston production team to create the right music for MARKET WARRIORS. In this interview, he explains his process of composing for the series.
What was you inspiration for the music behind MARKET WARRIORS?
Producers John Kalish and Marsha Bemko had a not-so-uncommon request that we create a memorable theme. The task was made a little more challenging, as the theme forhas become almost as iconic as the show itself. Since MARKET WARRIORS is a 'cousin' to ROADSHOW, I had a lot to live up to! I wanted to stay organic, modern, yet timeless. I also wanted to keep in mind that the show is a competition between the pickers, so energy and excitement also needed to be a part of the musical identity of the show. For the pickers, I relied on their personalities, styles, and attitudes to create music that would become recognizable themes for each individual.
Can you talk us through your process as it relates to the series?
My composing process always begins with a collaborative meeting with the producers and/or director. It is very important for me to hear the producer's vision for the production and how the music will function within the show. I like to have a consistent music palate and instrumentation to help give a show an identity. In the case of MARKET WARRIORS, the theme music came first, then the individual themes for the pickers. Again, it was very important to have good communication with the series producer to hone the direction that we wanted each theme to portray. Once a musical direction is decided, I get to work composing and producing libraries of theme music for each character. Sometimes I will compose to a visual or to an actual scene, and other times I will create music cues prior to seeing a visual for the editors to place into the scenes they are cutting.
You have been tasked with scoring a new series about antiques. Have you ever worked with antique or vintage instruments? Are you a collector?
My piano is a 1912 Mason and Hamlin Series A. Built in Boston, Mason and Hamlin was Steinway's primary competitor in the early 20th century and the model A is considered to be the best grand piano under 6 feet in the world. I found this piano in 1993 at an estate sale. Cosmetically, it was in bad shape, but my piano tuner is an expert in restorations and he came along to make sure the soundboard was still in good shape. Everything else in a piano is replaceable except for the soundboard. One year later I had a fully restored grand piano.
On an unrelated note, I have also restored a 1971 Datsun 240z (the first car I ever owned) and [I own] a large collection of baseball cards.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about your work as it relates to the series?
Once we determined the musical palate and direction for the sound of the show, I was given a lot of freedom to explore and experiment with different moods and textures. Besides the main title theme and the individual picker character themes, I developed a library of music tailored for the show. Using various mood categories suggested by the editors, I was able to produce a unique catalogue of music cues to help give MARKET WARRIORS a distinct sound. Working on MARKET WARRIORS has been a blast!
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