Jul 17, 2014, 11:33

Location: Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A

Member since: June 24, 2010

Tracks in portfolio on MusicRevolution.com: 462 (click here to hear all tracks) http://www.musicrevolution.com/search?artist=285


Richard Ames is a composer, arranger, and producer who has premiered compositions and arrangements with performing ensembles across the United States. His music also has appeared as underscore for feature films and commercials, TV shows, trailers, and animations on every major broadcast and cable network. His music is a careful balance of modern techniques and classically inspired structures, creating music that is both accessible and sophisticated.

–Projects or clients you have worked for?

I’ve had a pretty broad range of clients and projects – everything from film to TV to advertising to corporate.  I’ve even had the opportunity to do a few concert pieces.  Most recently, I’ve had really good placements in the film “One Chance” by director David Frankel (Devil Wears Prada) and advertisements for Target and Klondike.  I’m always amazed at the uses that people find for my music.

–Primary instrument?

Clarinet – I come from the classical music world and spent most of my musical career as a performer on concert stages, pit orchestras, studios, weddings, just about anything that paid a few bucks!  I’ve slowly transitioned to writing music over the last 6-7 years, mostly for film/TV but with a few concert works here and there.

–Favorite music-making piece of gear or software you currently use?

People think I’m joking but it’s true: my trash can (literally and figuratively).  I feel that writing music is partly a process of elimination, so every time I eliminate something, I’m further along in the process.

–Piece of gear or software you wish you owned?

I don’t think it exists – a 3″ high 88-key controller so I can comfortably use both my computer keyboard and MIDI keyboard without having to strain to use one or the other or bash my knees against something.

–Film score or song you admire? Why?

There are so many- I’m a huge fan of John Williams, Danny Elfman, John Powell, Hans Zimmer, and James Newton Howard.  Because I come from the classical music world, I love the orchestral sound, especially when it’s combined with synthesizers and other elements from modern pop music.

–Music education background?

My musical training is in clarinet performance, most notably with Loren Kitt (National Symphony Orchestra) and David Niethamer (Richmond Symphony).

–Memorable “Aha!” moment during your musical education?

There have been many but here’s an example: I was performing in a chamber music concert and we nailed a technical section that we never got right in rehearsal.  That was when I really understood how the combination of musicians and an audience can create something that doesn’t exist anywhere else.

–Most embarrassing music-related moment?

Forgetting to bring music to an audition – it’s awkward to borrow music from someone you’re competing against.  Plus, reading music you know but with someone else’s notes will rattle your brain a bit – that’s the last thing you want to do in an audition.  Needless to say, I didn’t get that gig!

–If you had a time machine and could record or perform once with any artist, who would it be?

My grandfather and his brothers – the Ames Brothers.  They were a hugely popular vocal quartet in the 50’s and 60’s and even got a Grammy nomination.  I would have loved to tour with them and their bands.

–Moment you first knew you would be a musician?

I think I eased in to it but probably sometime around my freshman year in High School I realized that I would always be a musician.  Music was always a part of my life before then, either as a performer or as a kid listening to records, but I never considered how it would affect my entire life until I was in my mid-teens.

–Advice you would give to a younger family member interested in a music career?

If you have to think about it, don’t do it.

–Five songs or albums you’d take with you to a desert island?

“By Request: Best of John Williams and the Boston Pops”

“The Goat Rodeo Sessions” feat. Yo-Yo Ma

“Mahler Symphony No 5” Benjamin Zander and the Philharmonia Orchestra

“How to Train Your Dragon” soundtrack by John Powell

“Batman” soundtrack by Danny Elfman

–If you could master another instrument, what would it be?

Definitely piano – particularly with modern music production tools, it really helps to have piano chops.

–Favorite time of day to work in your studio?

First thing in the morning – I’m less creative after lunch so I try to write first thing in the morning and leave more mundane tasks until the afternoon.

–Any studio collaboration you experienced that stands out in your mind?

Most of my studio collaboration has been as a performer – I have done recordings of several clarinet pieces in my studio for projects in a variety of other locations.

–Some of your favorite tracks that you would want us to feature in the blog.

“Waiting to Strike” http://www.musicrevolution.com/search/?trackid=44348

“Surely You Are Joking” http://www.musicrevolution.com/search/?trackid=44361

“Through the Looking Glass” http://www.musicrevolution.com/search/?trackid=42931

“Quirky Comedy 4 – Epic Comedy” http://www.musicrevolution.com/search/?trackid=22171

“Quirky Comedy 4 – Epic Comedy” – it’s a short, quirky track I wrote for a closing credits roll and it gets used all the time.  “Through the Looking Glass” is another one that gets a lot of use – it has a bit of that Philip Glass minimalism feel that has become popular in advertising.


We thank Richard Ames for sharing some of his musical background with us and for contributing his tracks to MusicRevolution.com, the Royalty-Free Music Marketplace. The next time you need modern, sophisticated, classically inspired music for feature films, commercials, TV shows, trailers, and animations, check out Richard Ames Music on MusicRevolution.com.


Chris Cardell is the co-founder of MusicRevolution.com http://www.musicrevolution.com, a royalty-free music marketplace with over 30,000 tracks online where media producers, video producers, filmmakers, game developers, advertisers, businesses and other music buyers can license high-quality, affordable royalty-free music from an online community of professional musicians. MusicRevolution.com also provides custom music production and custom music streams. The entire MusicRevolution.com production music library is available for third-party distribution and bulk licensing for background music for retail, restaurants and businesses, and for other commercial applications. Cardell has been involved with digital content and E-Commerce since the mid-1990’s.

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