Duncan became interested in television themes while taking piano lessons at a young age. He would try to figure out the themes during his practice time. He enjoyed learning music by ear. His ear training lead to figuring our what the chords were for the theme songs of his favorite shows.
His teacher would ask, “Duncan did you practice your lessons?” He would respond, “no, but you can teach me to improvise.” Many of his piano lessons included improvising.
Improvising provides insight to working in the studio when composing music for television shows for Duncan. “The picture is the road map,” he says. The process is watching a scene or two from the show. He said, “I work through the score by sorting through what is good and throwing away the rest. I never know what it is going to sound like when starting the music composition. There is a lot of editing.”
Music, he goes on, to explain is the psychological connection for visual media. He looks for that common denominator when creating music for mass audiences. Music can make people feel certain emotions. Musical acupuncture notes and tones assist with scoring music for specific scenes, themes, and moments.
He has composed for many series: Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Vanished, and Castle. He is honored for the nomination in this category. It goes back to his childhood and the days of piano practicing and lessons.
Duncan just welcomed a baby 14 days ago. This is his sixth child. He success each day is sleep and a little bit of panic to get going for the day. He loves being locked in his studio with Facebook off.
Duncan looks dapper in a Tom Ford tuxedo.
The Whispers nomination is 1 Emmy® for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music.
See all the photos from the two-day event here: