Many folks are familiar with Washington, D.C., landmarks such as the U.S. Capitol and the White House, but they probably haven’t spent a lot of time in southeast Washington. Robert “Snughie” Stocks grew up there, when crime was at an all-time high. Yet he knew early on that music was in him, was a part of him, and that it could take him places. He’s on his way there now.
Snughie is now the Lead Producer of 3rd Side Productions, based in the Maryland suburbs of D.C. He applies his songwriting skills, musical talents, and instrument mastery to making aspiring musicians sound and perform as well as they possibly can. See our other 3rd Side interviews to learn more, one with the founder, Rob Sharp and the other with Snughie, Rob Sharp and another creative team member, Andrew “Twenty” Wesley.
When you watch this video, I hope you see and hear the person I met, a young man who is determined to make a difference in the world with his music.
Composer Brian Wilbur Grundstrom is classically trained in piano and music theory from Gettysburg College. He currently lives and works in Washington DC, composing for film, orchestra, piano, and recently musical theatre. Earlier this month I had the pleasure of sitting down with Brian to chat about his music, his career, and his feelings on the many technological advances that have changed the music industry.
As you will hear, being able to compose digitally has completely transformed the process for Brian and many artists. Instead of putting a pencil to paper, creating something you hope will work, and then waiting to find out once a full orchestra is in front of you; Brian has the opportunity to make edits as he goes along. The computer allows him to hear what his compositions will sound like when a full orchestra is playing them long before he shares his work with anyone.
Brian also mentions, however, the pitfalls of a digital age. He points out the hypocrisy of a culture where “everybody is walking around with their iPods incessantly, a little bit too much actually … obviously this music is terribly valued”, and yet they refuse to pay for the work. He explains that by illegally downloading creator’s works for free, you are essentially denying an artist their income, and therefore their ability to create further.
See what else Brian has to say and enjoy a preview of some of his compositions in our latest Creators Across America video!