SoundWorks Collection Interview Series - Composer Bryan Lee Brown
This week we spoke with composer Bryan Lee Brown about his recent collaboration on HBO’s show SONIC HIGHWAYS.
SONIC HIGHWAYS which is directed by Dave Grohl is a 8-episode, 8-city look at the recording of the Foo Fighter’s 8th album. The series taps into the music heritage and cultural fabric of eight cities: Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington D.C and New York. Writing music for this documentary was personal for Brown who is a long time friend of director Dave Grohl and included interviews and real life events from many of his close friends.
ABOUT BRYAN LEE BROWN:
Leap of faith. Creative spark. Hearing that little voice that goes inside of your head and having the guts to follow it wherever it takes you. Much has been written about the power of intuition. Creators like composer/artist Bryan Lee Brown have to follow their creative spark, to tune into their intuition to open to the little voice within themselves. From the time he was six and started banging on drums, Brown’s mother saw his potential, both as a musician and as a creative being and enrolled Brown in both drum lessons and meditation/ESP classes to hone a craft and learn to listen to the voices within.
Brown followed the path that was laid out for him in his native Phoenix, AZ. Taking music lessons, being mentored by the likes of drummers Louie Bellson and Jeff Hamilton. He honed his musical chops, and would even earn a music scholarship to Northern Arizona University. But it was his intuition that would lead Brown to leave college after his freshman year, and on a whim to move to Los Angeles.
Finding himself quickly ensconced in the Los Angeles music scene of the early 1990s, Brown would become friends with many of its players, developing relationships that would help build a foundation for his career. Brown himself would play in a number of bands, including a stint as the drummer for guitar legend Dick Dale.
Brown co-founded the avant-alt-rock band, Bluebird and was a key architect of the band’s innovative release, “Black Presence”, which would become an industry favorite for licensing and would give Brown the push towards composing for film, television and music libraries. He later founded the drony, atomospheric, Dark Brown. The predominantly instrumental work fuses abstract minimalism with melodic psychedelia to create an expansive range of ambient soundscapes.
Brown has composed and recorded tracks for the films THE COLLECTION, BLACK MARIGOLDS, DIRTY, BONES BRIGADE, NO ROOM FOR ROCKSTARS, THE LIFE OF REILLY, STYLEMASTERS, AFTER PORN ENDS, TYSON UNLEASHED and DEATH BOWL TO DOWNTOWN. In addition, Brown’s compositions have been featured in the work of celebrated new media artist, Jennifer Steinkamp (their video installation collaboration, S.W.E.L.L., is in the permanent collection of Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art) and his TV scores can be heard on CSI MIAMI, MTV’s TEEN MOM, 16 & PREGNANT and FOX SPORTS. Advertising works include Budweiser, Friskies, Sears, Dish Network, CVS, Red Bull, and Vans.
Brown’s latest project is HBO’s SONIC HIGHWAYS, an 8-episode, 8-city look at the recording of the Foo Fighter’s 8th album. The series taps into the music heritage and cultural fabric of eight cities: Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington D.C and New York. Writing music for this documentary was personal for Brown. Brown, a long time friend of director Dave Grohl, would write music for all 8 episodes, which included interviews and real life events from many of his close friends. Said Brown, “There’s times when you make music when you put down the instrument and say ‘that was really heavy’. In listening in particular to the Cobain Montage, the one for my friend Fred in LA, and on a happier note, the ones featuring President Obama, I felt very tapped in and am especially proud of my work.”