The Music of Harvey Beaks
Last night, on the eve of the premiere of my cartoon series Harvey Beaks, I found myself walking down Vermont Blvd. in Silverlake looking for nice stationary. I walked in to this hip home decor store and happened to cross paths with one of my favorite living composers, Jon Brion! We greeted each other, sat down across from one another on two of the modern display couches, and spoke for almost two hours about the challenges we face as composers, the orchestral recording process, and Harvey Beaks! (We probably would have been there longer, but we were eventually asked to leave the store!)
I shared with him my experience on Harvey and how lucky I felt to have been able to record my music with a 40 piece orchestra. (Harvey Beaks is the first Nickelodeon show ever recorded with an orchestra!) I told Jon how much I appreciated the network for taking such a bold risk on me.
While I had only seen this as a personal victory, Jon said, “What you’ve done with Nickelodeon is a victory for our community.” He explained that this type of thing elevates the medium of animation on television, and can potentially influence other programs to take a similar route. An “investment in quality” as opposed to finding the cheapest way to get things done.
I left our chance meeting feeling inspired, enthusiastic & hopeful about the future of cartoon music. Although I love knowing that I’m responsible for one of the only orchestral animated shows on television (besides the billion dollar empires of Seth MacFarlane and Matt Groening), it’s nice to think we could be at the beginning of a new age of cartoon music– following in the traditions of Carl Stalling from Warner Bros.’ golden age. I’m so proud of this show and I think C.H. Greenblatt is an amazing talent to whom I owe my gratitude for believing in my musical vision for his show.
I’m going to try and share either a music track or video every week starting with this little promo from our first orchestral recording session which features the music heard on this week’s episode: PEE-CHOO!