Composer, MassiveMusic Los Angeles | Age: 28
Patrick McArthur grew up in Palos Verdes, California, and was “always into music” from an early age. He started off playing piano, “and then recording stuff on a 4-track cassette recorder and generally experimenting.” After discovering jazz “and the joy and fun of improvisation,” he began writing tunes for his jazz trio. Throughout high school he performed at a number of LA venues, garnering attention by picking up an LA Music Center Spotlight award and an invitation to record with John Legend on the John Lennon Tour Bus. After applying to college, he was accepted at the famed Berklee College of Music, got into composing music for picture and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in film scoring in 2012.
A year before graduating, he landed an internship with renowned music house Elias Arts, and after graduation he returned as a freelancer before being hired full-time to work as a dub engineer and composer. After landing some original music placements at Elias for clients such as Chrysler, Honeywell and TCM, he joined the MassiveMusic LA team in 2014 as a staff composer. Since then he’s written music for an array of clients including Honda, Proctor & Gamble, and BMW, a feature documentary called License to Operate about reformed LA gang members, and a handful of short films, including The Peace Inside and The Letter.
“Right now I’m mainly doing advertising jobs,” he reports, “and it can be quite a challenge as every project is treated like a mini film, but there’s usually not much time to create it all and also turn out a polished product. Sometimes you may just have two hours to create a whole orchestral piece. On top of the deadlines, you’re also jumping between genres – everything from classical and jazz to rock, hip hop, electronic and ambient. But I really like that, and the fact that every day is different, and I kind of like all the pressure and the deadlines, because it forces you to rely on your gut instinct, which is usually right when it comes down to finding an approach and solutions for a job.” Lately, Patrick has also been building his own studio gear “and learning the art of soldering and electrical engineering - yes I am a nerd!” As to the future, he wants to keep composing for commercials, but adds that, “I’m also really passionate about movies and TV, so my plan is to expand more into those areas.”