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Don Law, ASCAP

Head of Original Music & Lead Composer

Academic Credentials

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Berklee College of Music

Boston, MA

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University of Notre Dame
Bachelor of Arts

South Bend, IN

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Harvard Business School
MBA

Cambridge, MA

Career Defining Experience

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New York City / London

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New York City

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New York City

"The musical palette plays a vitally important role in drawing out the various nuances and contours within a story and should elevate the human experience as a story unfolds.  The success of any scoring project ultimately rests on how well one understands, internalizes and executes the director's vision for the story that is being told.  Without this philosophical understanding, all compositional work is truly an exercise in vanity.” 

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The Calling

To truly understand Don’s approach to music composition, it is essential to appreciate the journey he took to arrive at where he is today.  Don’s musical journey began when he was just six years old, initially studying classical violin before moving into other string instruments, orchestration, and various forms of synthesis, including modular synthesis.  However, it was during his time in the seminary when Don was introduced to the person who would ultimately have the greatest influence on Don’s musical development.  This person was none other than Maestro, Rev. Stanley Rudcki, Chicago Conservatory of Music alumnus and founder of the Niles Symphony Orchestra whose members hailed from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera of Chicago's orchestra.  For perspective, this orchestra was established in 1964 by the American Federation of Musician’s Trust Fund and Rudcki to provide access to world-class symphonic music for members of underserved communities in Chicago.

Just about everything that Don has learned about composition, orchestration, and the vitally important nuances behind blending the various orchestral voices, he learned under the tutelage of  his dear friend and mentor.  Don fondly recalls sitting down with Rev. Rudcki to review and work through orchestration revisions of scores for upcoming concerts that were to be performed by these world-class musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

 

“As a young man, I did not fully appreciate the magnitude of what Rev. Stan was teaching me at the time and how, at a much later date, this would ultimately influence the direction of my career and  my own approach toward composition.” 

Equally important, Rev. Rudcki helped Don reconcile his vocational journey with the spiritual, mystical experience that often happens during the process of creating a piece of music.  Every piece of music that Don creates is a by-product of the philosophical orientation imbued by Rev. Rudcki:

 

"Great music is about reaching back to a profound understanding of humanity and life itself while building a bridge to another world.”  

 

This foundational experience and philosophical orientation toward the creative process that was imparted by Rev. Rudcki has been invaluable over the course of Don's career.  Don began his career on Madison Avenue with GREY Advertising in New York City and was immediately thrown into the fire to work on television campaigns for some of the world's most revered brands.  Notably, the custom music that was used for one of the country's most iconic cereal brands that had been in decline was credited with reviving the brand and also inspired similar scores for other brands within the Kraft General Foods portfolio that were targeting the same demographic audience.


Eventually, Don caught the eye of the creative powerhouse that was across the street, McCann-Erickson.  In case you are wondering, this is the same McCann-Erickson that was featured in AMC’s Mad Men.   Don is particularly fond of his time at McCann-Erickson, the world-class creative talent in which he was surround and the frenetic production environment and creative awards that this agency is so well known for:

 

"It seemed like we were trying to catch lightning in a bottle on a daily basis. It is no surprise that McCann is still considered among the crème de la crème of global creative agencies.”

 

At both GREY Advertising and McCann-Erickson, original music played a vitally important and central role in the creation of some of the country’s most memorable and effective television advertising for a number of the world’s top brands.  

 

A Modern Composer Adept at Next-Gen Workstreams

Don brings a disciplined, classical sensibility to modern composition, often incorporating various forms of synthesis and electro-acoustic techniques to traditional orchestrations.  Moreover, he is just as comfortable in the studio behind a recording console as he is in front of his writing desk and the various instruments that he plays. Don currently works out of a professional Dolby Atmos equipped music production studio with a Solid State Logic console on an AVID HDX and MTRX platform that is supported by a 7.1.4 JBL 7 Series Master Reference monitoring environment for immersive audio - the same production and monitoring environment found in the sound departments at the leading Hollywood studios.  Furthermore, in an effort to address the needs of remote production teams and other artists, Don has recently added a Dante solution for remote collaboration. Don’s comfort with remote production technologies for content creators is also a byproduct of the ground breaking work Don had led in distributed post production technologies and next-generation workstreams for the media industry as a graduate student at the Harvard Business School.   

 

A Trusted Partner & Collaborator At Every Level

From working with producers, directors, and editorial teams to collaborating and working with the executive ranks, Don has a proven track record of being able to effectively establish and manage these vital relationships.  Don's understanding of a production's chain of command combined with his exceptional communication and diplomacy skills have made him highly successful in driving consensus among the creative and executive ranks.  At the same time, Don is adept in understanding and respecting the boundaries that need to be preserved for any project to reach its full potential.  

 

Don has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world and their executive leadership teams, including AT&T, IBM, Kraft General Foods, Motorola, among many others.  Of curious note, Don was the person who introduced AT&T's executive leadership team to the executive who launched and built AT&T's entertainment operations from scratch into a multi-billion dollar entertainment platform, ultimately leading to AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner which brought together global media and entertainment leaders Warner Bros., HBO, and Turner.

 

A Commitment To Giving Back

On a personal note, until recently, Don served on the Executive Committee and Chaired the Committee on Trustees for The Cove School which is the oldest school in North America to work with children with complex learning, auditory processing and developmental disabilities.  Don was recently presented with Cove's prestigious Prism Award for his "Inspirational Leadership, Outstanding Commitment and Transformational Impact" during his fifteen year tenure as a Trustee and remains an honorary lifetime Trustee. 

Don is also a longstanding member of ASCAP, the Audio Engineering Society and the International Documentary Association. 

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