Meet Beth Burnett, an audio alchemist with over 30 years of experience transforming raw sound into pure magic. From her early days tinkering with her aunt’s piano to working on large-scale films and exhibits, Beth’s journey through the realms of Indie Pop/Rock, Minimal Tension, Electronica, and Lo-Fi Cinematic is nothing short of inspiring.

Here, Beth shares with us her path to the music business, the evolution of her unique sound, and how she uses tools like THE SCORE to bring her musical visions to life. For Beth, THE SCORE is an empowering toolkit that allows her to quickly sketch and shape ideas, feeling like a magician wielding a conductor’s baton.



How did you get into the music business? Were your parents musical?

Beth: I spent hours exploring my aunt’s piano when I was 4 or 5, and my parents were kind enough to set up lessons for me. My mother studied violin, earning her college scholarship playing in an orchestra, so music was a huge part of my childhood. My mother loved classical music and there was always something on the turntable, be it Bach, Brahms, Wagner, Debussy. One of my earliest memories is dancing without abandon to Ravel’s Bolero. I loved how this one long, slow, rising crescendo could feel so primal and powerful.

When I was 14, I started playing keys in a band called The Philtres. Since we didn’t have a bass player, I played bass lines on my Hohner Pianet T. When we started gigging, I upgraded to an ARP Solus, which had a punchy growly tone I loved. I played bass lines with my left hand and embellishments with my right using a small Casio. We were quite popular locally and had big aspirations, but after 10 years we were ready to move on.

I sold the family cow for magic beans and headed west to seek my fortune. I landed a job at Sea Studios, a natural history film and video production company on Cannery Row in Monterey, CA. It was a small company and because I knew audio, I became the audio producer. I got to work on large-scale films and exhibits for National Parks and lots of film and TV projects. I had the honor of working with some hugely talented people. Composers like Kurt Bester and Andy Newell and sound designers and engineers like Jim McKee and Russell Bond. I even vocal coached Kaye Ballard on a hip hop song I wrote for a kids show.


So was that as an engineer or was it as a composer or both?

I wrote some of the music, and did a lot of field recording, but primarily, I was an audio producer. I worked with composers, artists, and studios to produce soundtracks for films, videos, and exhibits.


Was there a part of you that was itching to get back on the gear?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, it was during that period that I had my first experiences with what is now Protools. It was called Sound Tools then, and we used it in post-production. Eventually, Pro Tools came out with MIDI features and I just had to get it. I left Sea Studios with my husband, Robin, and we began producing documentary-style videos for schools and non-profits. That’s when I began writing to picture.

Inspired by field recordings and a mentorship with Ezekiel Honig, I decided to focus all of my attention on creating music and founded Murmuring Records. I released a couple of EPs with long-time collaborator Liam Sullivan, and planned to sign other artists who were using field recordings, but unfortunately, my parents got very ill, which resulted in four years of caregiving.

How did you gravitate to the kind of music you’re making now, which has an ethereal quality to it?

It’s been a long, slow, natural progression. I’ve always felt that instrumental music is more powerful in some ways than vocal music because it’s a universal language that goes beyond words. My music comes from within, and it emerges through my fingers on my music gear, not through words. It is thrilling to me, this letting music emerge without written notes, without spoken intent.

For many years, I’ve kept a music diary. I write something, anything, every day – what comes out, comes out, and it’s only later that I listen and realize, “Oh, that’s connected to what I was going through there.” A lot of time I hear micro-emotions – emotions between the emotions that are more familiar.

It feels like the music that comes through me is not just happiness or sadness, but is more emotionally ambiguous, like bittersweet hopefulness, or subtle yearning with a dash of ennui. There are micro-emotions I feel, that aren’t often conveyed, that find their way into this diary.


So rather than writing down words about how you’re feeling that day, you would write music?

Yes, and it is even more effortless than that. I sit down and play almost anything. I listen to these sounds and respond to them. It’s all about intuition and flow. It begins to feel like a dialogue that takes place while I merely listen.


Moving on to sync music – which is very regimented in some ways and has a distinct purpose – does that other part of your musical identity inform your sync music or do you park it and sync music is a gig and you’ve got to write for this gig?

Right now, I am parking it, in the service of refining the art and craft of writing licensable music. But I would love to merge my artist side with my gig side. I have a bunch of sketches for a Nordic Crime album that comes close to merging those two parts.
I spent maybe three or four years studying it before I started pitching things and feeling I was ready to present myself as a sync artist.


So do you work to spec or do you create the music and then license it for sync?

I’ve done both. I prefer working to a brief. I love the pressure because as a perfectionist, there is never good enough. I love the challenge of a fresh brief; it pushes me through the decision-making faster so that I don’t overthink. I’m also a recovering people pleaser, so I love this idea of “Oh, I can give you something that’s useful!”

Let’s talk about THE SCORE, which was designed for this very thing where there’s a gun to your head, and you need to quickly try and get an idea of what your creation could sound like.

THE SCORE is so inspiring. I can go from 0 to 60 in five seconds and by simply moving the mod wheel or activating a keyswitch, I can alter and modify the energy level instantly. It’s also teaching me how this energy manipulation is done. Despite being raised on classical music, I’ve done very little orchestral composition. I’d love to expand my ability to use orchestral instruments for their tone and expressiveness – it’s another whole palette, right?

Before I heard the sounds, I thought THE SCORE was a compositional toolkit. I was expecting the sampled sounds to be adequate, but on par with stock plugins. My instant response was, “Oh, this sounds great, these are good quality samples.” Then I realized they’re all individually available to me as well and I can rearrange if I’d like. Then I discovered this Mod Wheel where I feel like a conductor, essentially. I’m having the dynamics increase, creating more energy, lowering the energy, and it’s so deeply programmed that it’s just incredibly satisfying. You just feel very much like a magician using that tool.


Many people are concerned that THE SCORE is going to replace talent. That was never what it was made to do. It was made to empower composers and writers to find a quick way to sketch an idea out. How do you respond to that concern?

When an idea strikes for a brief or track, all I want is to get into the ballpark as quickly as possible. With all of the Stories that come packed in THE SCORE, I can quickly call up an idea and start shaping it.


How would you respond to the criticism that it’s just there to replace composers and writers?

THE SCORE is a tool. It will generate ideas that you can run with any way you choose. You can quickly make any Story your own by swapping instruments, changing accents or re-writing arp patterns, etc. The best part is that it is there to get your ideas flowing and from there you can modify as you wish.


A lot of people reading interviews are often at the beginning of their journey. What one piece of advice would you give to the young Beth at the start of the journey?

Don’t be intimidated; be yourself and trust your passion. Persistently push yourself out of your comfort zone. Embrace curiosity.


As you can see, whether used for sketching or developing more polished works, THE SCORE is the fastest way to turn your ideas into musical reality. Check out our product page for more.



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