|Composer Patrick Smith Visits Studio 14|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Wednesday, 27 November 2013 00:00|
Patrick Smith got his “feet wet in music” through the Tipp City schools’ band program.
A 1967 Tippecanoe High School graduate, he is a composer, producer, keyboardist and author. Based in Fairfax, Va., with a business named Electronic Philharmonic, he composes music for media and produces music for network television, films and advertising.
Smith also is one of those featured in the Tipp City Homecoming: An Exhibition of Tipp City Alumni and Area Artists at the Studio 14 Benkin Gallery of Fine Art through Jan. 5. His arrangements provided the background music at the opening reception.
Smith’s parents brought the family to Tipp City from Indiana when Smith was in sixth grade. He starting playing the piano at age 4 or 5 and took up clarinet in the school band.
He recalled that his strengths were a “good feel for how to coax a pleasing note out of an instrument, as well as a good memory for music.”
His weaknesses, he said, included a “very poor knack” when it came to reading music.
“I never really got good at it, because once I heard a piece of music, I could more or less tell where it was going, and could remember my part without having to refer to the page,” Smith said.
“This was later to cause me, and the band director, considerable heartburn. At this point, I need to give a big shout-out to that very guy - Mr. Stuart King - for putting up with me as he did. Nobody deserves that. So thanks, Mr. King.”
A career in music was his destiny.
He began writing original music of all kinds of genres as a teen. At age 15, he joined a local band with other Tipp City students. They played at high school dances around the area and promoted their own events at the Monroe Township Building.
At age 16, his band, The Others, recorded its first song on an album sponsored by Dayton radio station WONE.
Although the band business is “a very iffy way to make a living,” Smith plunged in playing with a number of bands over the years. He graduated from Wright State University in 1971.
He worked as a recording musician in Nashville and Washington, D.C., before composing music for film and television.
He currently is completing a CD project for American Music Company. It is a New York-based production music library that acquires and distributes music for films, television and advertisements, among others.
“The working title is ‘Epic Disaster’ and it’s very dramatic music backgrounds for films about terror and upheaval,” he said.
The work features “lots of heart-pounding rhythms and big Hollywood-y orchestration to accompany the blowing up of a lot of stuff,” he added.
Smith said whatever project he is working on at any given time is his absolute favorite thing he has ever done.
“I just seem to get wrapped up enough in what I'm currently doing that things I've done in the past just fade from view. I suppose I have a few individual pieces that I consider to be "favorites," but that changes constantly,” he said. “When I play live, I often g asked: ‘what's your favorite song to play’ and the only answer I can come up with is: ‘whatever's next.’”
Smith said he returns to the area a couple of times a year to see family, including his brother, Tim, in Dayton and touch base with some “old buds” from high school.
Evelyn Staub’s invitation for the exhibition at Studio 14 led to the most recent visit.
“Evelyn’s exhibit gave me a great excuse to come and hang around the old town for a few days,” Smith said.