Grant Borland

Music for Storytellers

Composer for Film, Television, Advertisements 

January : Work Recap // What I Did This Month

January : Work Recap


Over the past couple months I’ve had this idea that I wanted to start using the blog portion of my website more frequently. Up until this point I’ve only published one other blog post, and while I enjoyed the article topic, I felt like I really wasn’t letting anybody into my life as a composer, and let’s face it; having a personal website without little to no content about yourself is kind of a bummer. I figured it was time to change that, and with 2018 being a slower year for me in terms of output I decided that this year would be the year that I would start to create more aside from just writing music. In a way I suppose you could call this my “New Years Resolution” however, these changes i’ve been wanting to make began taking place around November, I just wanted to start writing about these changes now.

To start off this year off right I decided that I would share a monthly blog talking about what work I had done within that month. With 2018 being a slower year for me in terms of music and additional content output, I thought that sharing something each month would be a great way to keep myself accountable towards staying on top of the things I want to accomplish.

So let’s talk about what I did this month.

On the music side of things, January focus has been on finishing up tracks that I had started in 2018, but never got around to completing. I think in total I’ve wrapped up about 5 or 6 tracks this month that will be solely for industry releases. A few of those tracks have been collaborations tracks with two phenomenal composers (something I’m extremely excited for, but more on that in the months to come). Some of these tracks have been written for publishers that I’ve never written music for before, which is a good thing because you never know where those tracks could end up placing, plus I think it’s good networking and could open more doors down the road.


Outside of Library/Trailer music I’ve also managed to post a public release track called “Taking the Nest”. Its a tension/suspense based cue that has a bit of trailer influence behind it, but doesn’t quite push it to that extreme. The inspiration for this track came about when I picked up a sample library called “Dan Brown Jr. Crime Scoring Toolkit” by SampleHero. This Library is full of cool sound design and loops aimed at crime based music. I layered some loops and hits from this library as well as some arpeggiated sounds/Fx from Hybrid Two’s Project Bravo to really get a modern, electronic music bed. Once I had that foundation in place the rest of the track came together within a couple of hours.

Listen to Taking the Nest below

The film scoring side of things - As some of you know, I’ve been hired as lead composer for a film coming out in 2020 called “Winter’s Reach”. There isn’t much I can say about the film per say, but I will share some information about the process that has already been shared publicly by the film’s director. So this month I was sent a rough cut of a trailer for this film to write music for. Up until I was sent this footage, I hadn’t seen anything other than a script and a couple music ideas… So it was very exciting watch this all come together. Writing music for a trailer like this has been a pretty fun challenge because this trailer requires me to write to picture as opposed to writing music based off a formula that an editor would piece together later on in the process. Writing music for a full length feature film will really force me to think differently about how I write music and will push me outside of my comfort zone. I’m really excited about this film, and will share more information on it as soon as I’m able to.


Additional Work

So there are a few things I’ve been working on this month that have little to do with my music, but I still find important to share with you guys. Back in November I started a podcast called “The Thought Collective Podcast” and have been posting an episode every month. The whole point of my podcast is for me to talk about my thoughts about being a composer and working your way up in the industry. As of now, these episodes are all recorded out of my car (I get my best thoughts while driving), but will probably change a little bit when I decide to have guests on the show… for obvious logistic reasons. At first I didn’t really want to lock myself into a podcast schedule, but it’s kind of turned into this one a month release sort of thing. January’s podcast was the 3rd episode I've released and it talks about keeping ideas fresh, and ways I try to stay out of writers block. I’ll post a link to it below, but the thought collective podcast can be found on iTunes/apple’s podcast app, as well as my youtube channel (enter “subscribe to my channel” plug here).

Involvement with other artists

One last thing I’d like to talk about in this blog post is my involvement with a hip hop artist named “Don”. Don recently released an album this month called “The Eviction Notice” and I’ve really been involved with creating promotional content for him. From creating basic promotional visuals all the way to filming “Vlog-like Styled” behind the scenes videos for the music video “Little Nicky”, I’ve been helping Don grab the attention his album deserves. It’s been a lot of fun working with artists and trying to help them create a brand for themselves.

A still from Don’s music video “Little Nicky” (I’m in the background with my camera filming a behind the scenes for this whole process) Filmed in Grand Rapids, MI

A still from Don’s music video “Little Nicky” (I’m in the background with my camera filming a behind the scenes for this whole process) Filmed in Grand Rapids, MI

Closing Thoughts

I’m excited to consistently post on my website more often, and I think these blogs are a great way to do that. If you’ve read down this far I just want to thank you for taking the time to do so. It’s becoming a belief of mine that it’s important to document your process of working toward your dreams, and I think someday this type of thing could really be helpful to somebody who wants a step by step game plan of a composer’s workload on a typical month.

Thank you for reading this, and I’ll be back again around the end of February.