Darius Holbert

#377: How Music Composers Use Story Structure to Captivate Listeners

#377: How Music Composers Use Story Structure to Captivate Listeners

In January 2012, three young filmmakers who were recent graduates of Chapman University’s film school, released their film called Oh, The Places You’ll Go at Burning Man.

The film was the brainchild of Teddy Saunders and co-directed, shot and produced by Will Walsh and our son Parker Howell.

The seven-minute film blew up on YouTube and was one of the first films to capture the Burning Man experience through the eyes and dialogue of burners.

While the colorful characters capture the individuality and artistry of the annual gathering in the Black Rock Desert of northwestern Nevada, the soundtrack brings the film to life.

Today, the film’s composer, Darius Holbert, shares how to create more depth and impact with your storytelling.

Darius is an award-winning composer of music for film, TV, and new media.

I learned that music was originally added to early films to “drown out the sounds of the projector”. In his storied music career, Darius has drowned out some of the best of them.

Darius has written scores for such film and TV luminaries as Robin Williams, James Franco and JJ Abrams. He has scored a number of award-winning films at Sundance, Tribeca, LA Film Fest, winning “Best Original Score” at NYC’s Moondance Festival and “Best Score” at the Los Angeles Film Awards.

His work has been featured in hundreds of hit TV shows like American Horror Story, Grey’s Anatomy, American Idol, and Better Call Saul, and in a multitude of video games and commercials.

Darius has appeared on TV shows like the Tonight Show, The Ellen Show, and Fox Good Day.

Darius studied at University College London and the University of North Texas. He has been commissioned to compose operas, modern dance pieces, large-scale concert and chamber works. He has worked for major record labels in production and artist development.

He’s played in front of 100,000s of people at festivals all over the globe, and a million little honky-tonks throughout the American South. He appears on numerous records from various projects, including five albums from his critically acclaimed solo project “DARIUSTX.”

Today you’ll learn how to compose your business stories from a music creator’s perspective and how story structure pervades all great compositions.

Discussed in this episode:

  • The importance of a singular narrative or theme in your storytelling.
  • How to use sound design in your work to bewitch an audience.
  • Why you should use music and soundscapes to become more memorable.
  • Why stand-alone scenes and moments are the most important of your storytelling.


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