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Most Recent: Miracle Workers: End Times
Composer Matt Novack, who wrote the music for TBS’ Miracle Workers: End Times, which premiered this summer, says this most recent project was a challenge in experimenting with synths to match the show’s ‘80s, VHS-movie aesthetic with the use of junkyard sorts of instruments working in conjunction with the synths.
Novack’s credits also include the cult comedy series Children’s Hospital and Neftlix’s A Murderville Holiday Special, as well as work for podcasts and video games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. With such a variety of genres and types of projects he’s worked on, including co-composing credits, Novack says he’s not sure if he has a distinct composing voice. “That’s something I think about a lot. I don’t know if I have a voice and could quantify it. There are things I know instinctively that I want to do musically with particular scenes, but I’m always trying to grow as a composer.”
Novack said the comedy series Miracle Workers pushed him as a composer. “I’d used synths before, but never had the opportunity to dive deep with particular synth sounds and writing,” he says. “It was so much fun to get out of my comfort zone and learn new things. It reminded me of working on Children’s Hospital, which involved writing for so many parodies in different styles. That experience was a boot camp for a young composer.”
With a degree in film scoring from USC, and an early-career gig as a composer’s assistant to Steven Stern, Novack took his own advice to aspiring composers: get a formal education and apprentice under a composer for real-world experience.
“From a technical standpoint, aspiring composers should get to know different digital audio workstations (DAWs) like it’s your instrument, and learn how to write music in these programs and produce it,” Novack says. “And when you’re cold-emailing composers, producers, directors, etc., do your research on whomever you’re contacting. No one wants to read a generic email, and it’s obvious if you send one. If they’re a composer, check out their scores. If they’re a director, research their films.”