Marmoset presents music miniature concerts — a new series where we invite talented, touring and local artists into our space to capture a stripped down performance of their music.
Our first video features Mree, her transcending vocals chillingly beautiful against a single acoustic guitar. Watch her performance of “Atmosphere” in the video above.
Stepping into Marmoset, Mree exudes tranquility even in the way she greets us — it melds and mirrors within her four minute performance. Masterful in drawing listeners through haunting and misty vocals, she has captured the attention of Grammy Award Winning Artist Bon Iver (Justin Vernon) and draws from her influences like Sigur Ros and Sufjan Stevens.
We asked her some questions to learn more about her journey as a musician and what new music she’s got in the works.
Marmoset: There are so many different ways someone can get into creating music, we’d love to know how you got started. What did those first chapters look like for you?
Mree: My parents have always been really supportive of me and my sibling’s creative endeavors, I’m so grateful for that. They saw my interest in piano at a pretty young age, around five years old, when I would create my own little tunes. It turns out I didn’t have much patience for theory but my parents found me a wonderful teacher, Todd Lanka, who taught me how to play by ear! He really encouraged me to keep composing.
When I was about 11, I saw the movie Glitter starring Mariah Carey and I was transfixed by her voice. I bought all of her CDs and practiced her runs over and over again, which is when I think I kind of discovered this interesting part of my voice I never knew I could “train” or tap into. With this new ability I feel a strong pull to share it with people, which was very weird for me as an extremely shy and anxious person at the time.
I signed up for my middle school talent show and ended up winning with my rendition of “Everytime We Touch” by Cascada. It was really validating that I could share this part of myself, and that people might just see me as something other than the quiet girl. I just kept chasing that feeling and started posting covers on Youtube. Eventually I picked up the guitar and started writing my own lyrics. I started getting into production pretty soon afterwards. It was just all really fun to experiment with effects, vocal layers, and stuff like that.
I guess I’ve just been doing that ever since! It feels really wonderful to self-produce and find success independently, especially since there’s currently an imbalance of women in the music production field. I feel like I can send a supportive message to other females who are interested in the industry but may be intimidated by taking part in a male-dominated scene. Imogen Heap was that person for me, and I am so grateful for her music and presence.
Marmoset: What are some projects that you look back on and feel a sense of pride for accomplishing?
Mree: When I look back, I remember making my second album Winterwell with a lot of warmth and freeness.
It came out in 2013 and I was 19 at the time; I was really interested in exploring production and creating really grand moments with cool textures and instruments. This was all before college and before I exposed myself to too much popular music, “proper” writing techniques, “creativity guidelines,” and I guess before I got a bit disheartened by the industry.
The feeling was so pure and when I make music now, I want to get back to that genuine feeling. I want to do it because I love creating it and not because I think it’s what other people want me to create.
Marmoset: With this new miniature concert series, we’re excited to showcase artists like yourself in this sort of casual atmosphere. You being on the other side, how do performances like this resonate with you especially when compared to the bigger shows you do?
Mree: I love performances like these. This is how I always used to perform — just me and my guitar or piano. I find it really freeing for a lot of reasons. When I’m by myself I can control everything about the performance. I can slow down if I feel that the moment needs it or play louder or quieter in sections when it feels just right.
In turn, I think I can let myself feel more present, reacting to things in the moment. But don’t get me wrong, playing with other people and getting a bigger sound is wonderful! I love that too. Especially since some of my songs call for a larger sound. I really enjoy both ways so it’s nice that I can mix it up in my live set.
A week focused on celebrating music and our community (check out the Portland Design Week event we hosted on Wednesday) can only properly be wrapped up with a good cause.
This Saturday April 13th, gather at Marmoset and join fellow education supporters for a memorable fundraiser; emphasis on fun. With proceeds going toward local education institute St. Andrew Nativity School, attendees will get a front row seat music experience — the night featuring a live performance of pop sensation, Frankie Simone.
The evening also includes a live auction for one of a kind experiences and amazing food & drinks. Show your support and RSVP by following the link below. See you there!
For Portland Design Week, Marmoset opened its doors to the music and film community, delving into the world of music placement in media. An expert panel of music supervisors including Morgan Rhodes, Megan Barbour and Brooke Wentz, the discussion revolved around the epicenter of music supervision — from their favorite upcoming artists to common misconceptions about what their day to day looks like (no it’s not all just pitching one song then kicking back over beers with the film crew).
While getting music rights is imperative for any music supervisor working in the TV & film industry, the panel echoed a core music supervision responsibility they all share: it’s not merely about finding music that brings the visuals to life but searching for songs that punctuate the director’s overall message without interference.
“My interest is always about serving the story,” says Morgan Rhodes, LA-based music supervisor. “I come from an indie film background, this is sort of how I got into the game; I don’t know what it took for that filmmaker to get to the point of having their film in festivals, so the last thing I want to do is throw my own agenda on it. Sometimes it’s a great song, but it might not be a great song for that moment. But if it is a great song while serving and carrying the moment, then that’s what I’m about.”
The topic of jumping through hoops of approval processes and music clearances inevitably come up, but there’s a larger pain point that each panel speaker has encountered too many times to count. Music supervisor, Brook Wentz echoes a passionate pea to the audience, specifically addressing the musical artists keen to explore the world of music licensing.
“If you want us to use your music, the number one thing you need to have is contact information that you actually respond to,” says Wentz. “If you’re not reachable, you’re not going to get the gig.”
Music supervisors unarguably are at the forefront of music discovery, their roles so closely entwined with how quickly an emerging artist’s can enter the spotlight of recognition. Apart from the hurdles of negotiating with copyright holders for bigger named artists, there’s a resounding commitment for finding and helping artists catch a break. It’s something that aligns with Marmoset’s mission when helping clients license music for video (or creating original music) — it’s the consciousness effort to do right by artists first and foremost, before all else.
“One thing of the things I really like about indie artists is they get placement,” Rhodes says. “They understand that it is sort of the new A&R — sync is a way to get noticed. You can get discovered in the blink of an episode.”
Missed this special community education event? Head over to our Facebook page to watch the recorded steam (learn about a music supervisors tool belt and how they search for new music) — don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletters for future community events like this one and we’ll catch you next time!
A community of artists, Marmoset works closely with music composers and filmmakers alike — and with our in-house team creating original music for film and video projects every day, our catalog for music is curated with such projects in mind.
This mindfulness invested into our roster signifies a couple perks — especially if you’re a filmmaker whose budget is already stretched thin and the idea of hiring a music composer for your ilm sends you into an emotional spiral. Instead of creating original music completely from scratch, finding music that’s fitting and suitable for a film can be found and licensed directly from the Marmoset music catalog. Don’t sweat the turnover time and searching for someone who grasps your vision, your dream score is just a few clicks away.
Looking for instrumental or orchestral music to heighten a scene in your movie? No problem, we have that on the ready! Take Luke Van Denend, a Los Angeles music composer whose wide range of work can be synced to picture at a moment’s notice. Denend’s more recent work can be heard on a PBS four part documentary film series Reconstruction: American After the Civil War (airing today on April 9th learn more here).
Denend is one example of a talented music composer making waves in film and TV score world, who brings industry perspective and insights to their work, that in turn can be licensed on your creative project. It’s a reminder of the hardworking real-life composers and artists creating music that’s soundtrack and film score-worthy music.
And if your film requires a score that’s less traditional with less classic orchestral elements, there’s plenty of modern instrumental pieces; check out our hand-picked electro ambient compilation in this Electro Cinematic mixtape — Electro Cinematic + Atmospheric Vibrations.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? We know our artist roster like the back of our hand, get in touch and we’ll help you find your dream score in minutes.