Kevin Hartnell-“CC BY-SA 4.0” (creative commons music) on FMA!

OHR_CC_300pxKevin Hartnell – “CC BY-SA 4.0”

(a collection of music released under a creative commons license on FMA)

Over the years I have amassed a large number of tracks that didn’t seem to go anywhere once they were completed, or almost completed. Rather than leave them parked on a hard drive, I decided to turn them loose and submit them for possible inclusion on the Free Music Archive website. I assembled a collection of twenty-one tracks and sent in the submission. They were accepted five days ago and are available now for streaming or download.

For those unfamiliar with creative commons licensing, it’s a license you can append to your work that, depending upon which license you choose, can allow others to use your work without payment and even without credit if you choose. Why give it away for free? Well, in this case, the music was just sitting around without any particular application outside of providing me with a creative outlet. Some of it had been written years ago and didn’t go anywhere. With that in mind, why not turn it loose and see if it helps out others? So far there have been almost five-thousand downloads, so maybe they are already being put to use.

You can find the tracks here:

If you are looking for music to use in audio dramas, podcasts, films, youtube videos, games, commercials, or anything else you can think of, the Free Music Archive may be an excellent resource for you, especially if you don’t have the budget to pay for music.

Support creativity, support the arts, support each other!

Audio Drama Production Podcast Ep. #49-Composing Music For Audio Drama

cropped-audiodrama-546705c8_site_iconAudio Drama Production Podcast Interview: Ep. #49-Composing Music For Audio Drama

It was in the 70s when I first heard audio drama. I remember sitting in the car with my dad, parked in the driveway, sitting on the edge of the seat, while listening to the remaining moments of an episode of CBS Radio Mystery Theater. For those already familiar with the show, you will already know it is hard to forget the sound of the creaking door, the creepy music, and the unforgettable voice of E.G. Marshall.  Fortunately for me, my father didn’t mind me enjoying scary stories at such a young age. One of my fondest memories with him is going to see “The Shining” together. While the film may have scarred me for life, it became my favorite film of all-time and instilled in me a love for horror films, and more significantly, fostered my love for film music (particularly anything scary and/or retro electronic). These two things merged together over time into composing music for audio drama. Speaking of…

I was recently interviewed by the Audio Drama Production Podcast, an informative and entertaining podcast created by Matthew McLean and Robert Cudmore, that discusses subjects related to all things related with the production of audio drama. Both gentlemen have a great sense of humor and it was a pleasure to be on the show. We discuss composing for audio drama, how I got started, gear, influences, tips for new composers, and more. The episode also includes an interview with the ubiquitous, highly prolific, and talented Kevin MacLeod from You can hear both interviews at the link below.

For those interested in hearing my latest work in audio drama composition, check out the entertaining and horrific Campfire Radio Theater series.

Kevin Hartnell, composing music for audio drama
Photo courtesy of MJ Hartnell


A Musician Possessed

The Nine Muses

I like to say that being a musician is like being possessed. Once it is in your blood, it is there to stay, and the only way to “exorcise” it is by playing music. It can, and will, haunt you for the rest of your life if you try to cast it aside and the harder you try to repress it, the stronger the force it will exert upon you.

Once you pick up your instrument and begin to play, it turns from a malevolent “spirit” into a benevolent muse.

“There is no place for grief in a house which serves the Muse.” – Sappho

My Top 20 List of Film and Television Soundtracks From 1970-1980

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 My Top 20 Film & Television Soundtracks From 1970-1980

(with a focus on horror, science fiction, and fantasy)

On rare occasions, when I am not making music, I have time to listen. When I listen, it is generally to radio plays. I also enjoy listening to soundtracks. There were a lot of great films made in the 70’s and 80’s and, as you would expect, some great music was created to go along with them. Of course, there is no guarantee that a great film will have a great score. Sometimes you can find great music in a bad film.  Whatever the case, there are many excellent films out there to enjoy and just as many fascinating soundtracks and scores to listen to.

I have enjoyed horror films and the music contained therein since I was a kid. Speaking of my childhood…the first film I remember seeing (not at home) was “Escape To Witch Mountain” at a drive-in theater in 1975.  They also played Pink Panther cartoons that night. While none of the music from “Escape To Witch Mountain” stuck with me, the theme from the Pink Panther cartoons certainly did.  It wasn’t the beginning of my life-long love affair with film and television music though.  That happened when I heard the theme from “The Twilight Zone.” There was a lot of great music in “The Twilight Zone” created by incredibly talented artists like Nathan Van Cleave, Jerry Goldsmith, Fred Steiner, and Bernard Hermann, just to name a few.

Jerry GoldsmithJerry Goldsmith
Fred SteinerFred Steiner
Nathan Van CleaveNathan Van Cleave
Bernard HermannBernard Hermann











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