Original Music and Filmmaking Come Together for A/VEC 5

Filmmaking and original musical composition are two creative worlds that intermix every day at Marmoset.


With every notable film throughout history in the accompaniment of an outstanding soundtrack (or even sound design), we recognize this creative friendship, coming together as a community to celebrate Marmoset’s fifth installment of A/VEC. This year we brought together two talented artists, filmmaker Claudia Meza and Luz Mendoza of Y La Bamba.

Meza’s background in documentary filmmaking, her roots rest firmly in music. It was in this medium where Meza found another calling and natural obsession for video production. After working alongside She Shreds magazine, Meza began shooting content on the fly, naturally falling in tune with documentary style filmmaking.

Gathered at Marmoset headquarters, the short film shines a light on the unseen, backbreaking physical labor performed by migrant workers every day in the United States. It's a poetic testimonial transcending the general outlook of immigration, presenting an experimental yet informative documentary that never compromises identities.

“Trabajo pesado, what that means is hard work, it means heavy work,” says Meza. “And whenever your parents tell you to study, or tell you what they're doing for you so you don’t have to do — Trabajo pesado.”

The audio heartbeat of the film is within Y La Bamba's original music created just for this special event and scored live on the night of the A/VEC community screening; the purple light that cascades over Mendoza and her band is emotively symbolic of America’s aching, turbulent grasp of its immigrant issue. It’s an evening that pays homage to lineage, history, roots, culture and art — click PLAY on the video above to experience it yourself.

  Migrant workers depicted in Director Claudia Meza’s A/VEC short film — premiered at Marmoset Headquarters.

Migrant workers depicted in Director Claudia Meza’s A/VEC short film — premiered at Marmoset Headquarters.

Posted on December 12, 2018 and filed under Community, Marmoset, Music, Shared Work, Spotlight: Marmoset, Filmmaking.

Crossing that Finish Line, the Kairos Way

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The first week of December can feel like settling at the mark of the starting line, waiting to sprint into action toward endless holiday to-do tasks and of course, spirited festivities (ya know, the good stuff). It truly can be a consuming season, engulfed in consumerism and materialism.

But of course, there’s always a redeeming silver lining to it all. In this case, it’s the ongoing Give!Guide donation movement that focuses on giving back — any and every donation of every size is welcome and warmly accepted. It’s a movement geared toward the upcoming generation, givers under 35, providing perks here and there through the event’s Big Give Days. What exactly are Big Give Days?

When donating just $10 (the minimum) on the organization’s specified days (big days), the donator is entered to win a notable prize — and since Give!Guide is wrapping at the end of the month, the Big Give Days are running out. That means, time’s running out to get in there and make things happen.

If not already familiar with Kairos, the education non-profit changing making waves in the Portland community, we’ve partnered with them to match every donation up to $10,000. And standing at $8,780, they’re so close to reaching that middle tier goal — we want to help them get there and then beyond.

And since today happens to be one of their Big Give Days, we think you’d like to know giving means receiving too. So hit pause and if you happen to have $10 to spare, we know of a place that does big things even with the smallest of donations.

Posted on December 6, 2018 and filed under Community, Marmoset, Music.

New Music Mixtape: Holiday Edition

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As we plunge our existence into the sparkling decadence of the holiday season there is a clear shift in our musical surroundings too (step one foot into a shopping mall and you’re immersed into a winter wonderland for your ears).

And while we appreciate and dig the timelessness of many classic holiday hits, we’ve got some noteworthy modern editions lined up to help keep your season upbeat and moving along.

Posted on December 4, 2018 and filed under Mixtapes, Music, Marmoset.

Music That Makes or Breaks Your Video


There are specific qualities to a song that music producers are expertly skilled to recognize, to distinguish and interpret into layman’s terms — it’s why they’re an essential designated point person when coordinating deliverables between a client and composer.

It’s these very qualities that can easily make or break how successful a song fits into a creative project, whether it be a commercial, film or even a podcast. Seeing it as this is what Marmoset’s Creative Services Team does (whether it be for music licensing projects or original music scores), we’re going to walk you through some helpful tips to keep in mind when using keywords to find the soundtrack you’re envisioning.


Do emotions run high?

Have you ever worked on a video project and considered it “bright” in regards to the cinematography or even the content itself? Are you considering the emotive qualities of the visuals when concluding how the song accompanying the video should sound?

Maybe the video is designed to feel empowering, upbeat or imaginative even. But how would such a term be used to search and filter out the results you’re actually wanting?

When considering the mood of a song cataloged on Marmoset’s browse page, site users can search by a keyword (i.e. “bright”) but without having some instrumental qualities in mind, the results may not be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s also why Marmoset’s music roster is so meticulously tagged and labeled — when our A&R Team is adding/categorizing new songs to our music collection, they consider the presence of instruments, tempo and pace and how all these elements add up to impact a song’s overarching mood.

Let’s look at “Brighter Than Expected” by Marmoset artist, Paper Rabbit as an example. The song’s composition is orchestrally enriched with piano and strings — notably there is treble presence. As an exercise, check out the song and think about what adjectives come to mind. Would you have entered “bright” as a descriptor when searching? If not, would “optimistic” or “whimsical” have been better search terms?


A bit like searching through a crossword puzzle, it’s all about finding the right words to transcribe an accurate description — it may not seem imperative but every word adds up to identify how a song should ultimately “feel.” And factoring in musical elements like frequency, treble, pace and tempo are key not exclusively for exploring an online catalog of music; for an artist, it can also prove useful when arranging a song. Think about if a client described their dream song as “gutty”, you might consider what instruments would deliver a “rule-breaking” kind of attitude, even being mindful of the song’s frequency (i.e. mid-range).

Digging into sonics and interchangeably using non-musical terms to describe a song also comes in handy when requesting Marmoset do a search on your behalf. When our creatives scour our roster to deliver a curated list of music, we’ll first ask some detailed questions to learn what you’re envisioning for the project’s soundtrack — being descriptive of how you envision the details we covered can produce quicker and more precise results.

Considering these musical terms we hope you’ll feel empowered the next time you search or describe a song to your composer, a music producer or even when creating your own music.

Posted on November 30, 2018 and filed under Education, Marmoset, Music.

We're Hiring! Executive Assistant

Marmoset Now Hiring

Marmoset is seeking an Executive Assistant who is detail-oriented, highly personable, and assertive. Core responsibilities includes managing communications and calendar, arranging travel, and admin support tasks for Marmoset’s CEO. The ideal candidate is someone who excels under pressure, is a natural multitasker and exudes calm, cool and collectedness.

For more information about this position and to apply, please click here.

The closing date for this position is Wednesday, December 19th, 2018. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis as they are received, so the sooner you apply the better. Applications that do not strictly follow the guidelines may not be considered.

Learn about opportunities here at Marmoset, following the link below.

Marmoset is a proud Equal Opportunity employer, celebrating a diverse, inclusive community of people, cultures and stories.

Posted on November 27, 2018 and filed under Marmoset.

Giving Tuesday: Jam Out While Giving Back

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A creative music agency with our roots in community, Marmoset is always on the go when it comes to partnering with impactful organizations — aligning our passion for music and the arts with everyone we meet.

If you’ve been following our latest journey with Give!Guide and our partnership with KairosPDX, you’ll know November has full of advocating for all good things (just as a reminder, we’re matching every donation up to 10k to help Kairos reach their 25k goal before January — learn how you can help them get there). The donating extravaganza is all part of Give!Guide’s mission in promoting the act of giving as both rewarding but more importantly, totally accessible; it doesn’t matter one’s age or financial status, the act of giving bypasses the quantifiable measurement of the actual donation. It all matters.

With these non-profits aligning with a new generation of givers, new opportunities to play an active role within the community arise ; there’s a cultivating of motivation, planting the seeds for future social care and attention. It’s truly a nurturing avenue reminding everyone of their responsibility to their “neighbor,” a reminder we’re all this together.

So on November 27th, Giving Tuesday, the global recognized day of giving, Marmoset is reinforcing the long-lasting value in what Kairos does every day: fostering an environment where marginalized groups can receive an outstanding education, to then go out and apply such principles to the outside world. Kairos is a non-profit normalizing the access to quality educational resources and diminishing inequity in the process; their impact doesn’t stop during school hours, it’s far reaching, offering up after school programs helping kids tap into their creative potential — “After Care” being one of the more recent programs that wrapped recently.

The program offered first graders to third graders an opportunity to create original beats and rhymes, producing and recording a collection of music. The result is a compilation of music overflowing with playful, uninhibited ingenuity. We think you should check it out for yourself.

On this Giving Tuesday, we know you’ll already by thinking of ways to give. We hope you’ll check out the Give!Guide page and donate to a cause that speaks to you and what you hold dear.

Posted on November 27, 2018 and filed under Community, Music, Marmoset, Spotlight: Marmoset.