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Television Academy Celebrates Emmy Music Nominees

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From left: Jeff Beal, Sean Callery, Mychael Danna, Anton Sanko, Robert Duncan, Nathan Barr, Ian Fraser, Micheal Levine, Bear McCreary, David Schwartz, William Ross, Trevor Morris attending the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Music Nominee Reception. (Photo by Tonya Wise/Invision for Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/AP Images).
From left: Jeff Beal, Sean Callery, Mychael Danna, Anton Sanko, Robert Duncan, Nathan Barr, Ian Fraser, Micheal Levine, Bear McCreary, David Schwartz, William Ross, Trevor Morris attending the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Music Nominee Reception. (Photo by Tonya Wise/Invision for Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/AP Images).

To honor this year’s Emmy-nominated composers and lyricists, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences governor Ian Fraser, along with the Music Peer Group executive committee, hosted an invitation-only cocktail reception Sept. 8 at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in Northern Hollywood.

Attending talent included COO and president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Lucy Hood, peer group governors Fraser and Michael Levine and nominees Nathan Barr (The Americans & Hemlock Grove), Jeff Beal (House of Cards), Sean Callery (Elementary), Mychael Danna (World Without End), Robert Duncan (Last Resort), David Javerbaum (66th Annual Tony Awards), Bear McCreary (Da Vinci’s Demons), Trevor Morris (The Borgias), William Ross (The Oscars), Anton Sanko (Ring of Fire), David Schwartz (Arrested Development). The nominees each received certificates of their nominations.

“As a composer I feel we are in a Golden Age of storytelling – big, small or whatever size screen,” commented Beal, nominated for two Emmys this year. Beal is in a historic position, having composed the music for House of Cards, the hit Netflix series and the first on-demand show to receive an Emmy nomination in the six years since on-demand productions have been allowed for Emmy consideration. According to Beal, the first two episodes of a new series are the hardest because that is when the composer finds the style, tone and character of the music. When he started working out the music for the series, he did sketches for director David Fincher. On how musical moments underscore the inner workings of character thought, he commented, “You don’t see the most interesting stuff. It is subtext.”

For Sanko, Ring of Fire was one of the easiest composing jobs he has had because he was totally in synch with director, Allison Anders, which allowed for a quick turn-around of the music. He loves to write different musical genres, revealing, “Anything that I can find my way into – horror, comedy, drama.”

Up for two Emmys in the original main title theme music category for The Americans and Hemlock Grove, another Netflix offering, Barr finds composing for television to be a test of endurance. His biggest challenge is keeping things fresh on a series. Despite the difficulties he admited, “All is great.” It must be since he providing music not only for The Americans and Hemlock Gove, but True Blood as well.

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