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Coffee Break with Jacob Montague
Coffee Break’s are super quick interviews. Five questions to help you get to know the creatives who help make Sprinkle Lab delicious.
Who are you? Where are you from? How long have you been a composer?
Hey there, I’m Jacob Montague, and I’m really from all over California at the moment. I’ve been studying music for the past 11 years, and seriously composing for about the last 5.
What is the process like developing a composition for a campaign?
With every video the process is different, it really depends on the content the filmmaker gives me up front. Sometimes I’m piecing a song together based on a finished video, sometimes I’m only working with a voice over track, and other times I’m simply given a few ideas and then left to come up with something of a set length. I enjoy the parameters set by composing for film because they give new dynamics to my creativity. The song needs to be a piece of art first and foremost, but at the same time it needs to fill a very specific purpose adding depth to the video.
How do you approach composing music?
For my personal compositions, the method follows a certain formula. Usually I will be playing guitar and an idea will start repeating itself, or I will be playing around with a certain banjo line or keyboard part. Once I have that first idea, I can fall back to music theory and come up with additional parts. Sometimes the original idea contains a melody within it, if not, I will next add melody to the song. Once the structure and melody are down, it’s time to dress the song, different pieces require different instrumentation. Luckily, I own far too many instruments so I can create quite the orchestration on my own. Often in the end the original guitar part will never even see the finished song. I have always found that the ability to creatively interpret accidents is one of my best compositional techniques. Fortunately, I make a lot of mistakes.
Who are some of your greatest musical inspirations?
Some of my greatest inspirations include Django Reinhardt, Yann Tiersen, Chris Thile, Mogwai, Sufjan Stevens, Sigor Ros, Andrew Bird and Charlie Christian. Do yourself a favor and listen to all of them.
Favorite piece of work?
I would say my favorite commercial work so far was for the Water Forward campaign. I liked how the composition built off of my pre-composed song “Lambent” and then traveled into some new directions. It is also a great cause from a cool organization. Writing music for something that is trying to better the world is always a plus.
Bonus Question, what is your favorite kind of donut?