آهنگساز

کتاب: زندگی در چند بخش / فصل 48

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  • زمان مطالعه 2 دقیقه
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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Composer

I’d been on the show for a year when I got a call from our music clearance office. “Hey, how you doing? Are you a member of BMI or ASCAP?”

“That’s music, right?” I said.

“Yeah. It’s for composers. Anyone who writes music for film or TV.”

“No. Why?”

“Well, my job is to write down every second or half second of music. And every episode, I turn that list over to Fox to make sure we get clearance. “Happy Birthday to You”? Two ladies got very rich off that song.”

“Oh, that’s interesting,” I said, “but, uh, why are you calling me?”

“Well, see, your character hums and whistles a lot. That’s technically music, and I have to put it down as music. You might as well get paid for it as the author and performer, because someone else will get paid if you don’t claim it. The money will just go to the studio.”

“How much does it cost to join BMI or ASCAP?” I asked.

“Nothing,” he said.

I called BMI and filled out the application, became a member, and after a few months I received a check for $242. I looked at the stapled connectors. Over the course of two years, it listed all the times I whistled and hummed. In the episode “Reese Joins the Army Part One,” I whistled for a few seconds. I read across the page and there was the dollar amount. And then there were dollar amounts from all the countries the episode aired in. I made 49 cents in Bulgaria. For whistling.

Every quarter I would get a check for a couple hundred bucks.

One day, I’d whistled in an episode, and I told the crew, “Hey, you know what? I just made some money. Any time I whistle or hum they pay me.”

“Get out of here,” they said.

“I’m serious. They pay me.” I brought in a check stub and showed them. I said, “Every time I get a check, I’m going to throw a party. Open bar, poker, strippers.” All true. Except for the strippers. It was a family show.

The producers said to me: “You’re not humming anything we have to pay for? Are you whistling a specific song?”

“Please,” I said indignantly. “You think I’d plagiarize? I create my own songs. All original.”

A camera assistant friend looked over the scene one day and he approached me and said, “Before Lois comes in the front door, you’re under the sink fixing the garbage disposal, and . . . I was thinking. Maybe that’s a good time for you to be whistling?”

“Great idea, Jim.”

I think he just wanted a party.

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