Sync Music for a Change:  
Activism + Music Licensing Listening Session
Write an email/make a donation, share a song

 
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May 16th, 5pm PDT Listening Session
with Sam Hilscher

Submissions open:
April 27th - May 4th, 2022

Samantha Hilscher, Manager of Music Creative Original Series at Netflix, began her career at the artist management company Dare Mighty Entertainment. After spending time on the management side, Samantha realized her creative passion lay in music for film/television and began working at Lionsgate on their TV Music team. 

 

During her time at Lionsgate, Samantha oversaw music on shows such as Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, P-Valley, Love Life, and Dear White People. She joined the Netflix Music Creative Production team in December 2020, and is currently working on several of their Drama series including Ginny & Georgia and Virgin River, along with new projects such as From Scratch and First Kill.

A note from Sam on submissions:

“Because I work across so many shows we have a need for all kinds of music. I will say a show that's pretty active at the moment is Ginny & Georgia Season 2, there's an official playlist on Spotify that features all of the music from Season 1 to check out for reference.”

How it works

  1. Write a letter/email to your House Representative or Senator, or make a donation related to this month's issue (takes 5 minutes - details below).Take a screenshot/photo of your letter/email or donation.

  2. Upload the screenshot and the song you want to share here

  3. Join our FB group for the zoom link (posted the day of the session) and to keep up-to-date on upcoming listening sessions & announcements. 

 

 

By submitting your song and/or joining the zoom call, you consent to allowing us to play your song during the listening session, and to have it included in the replay (and show whatever is on your video on zoom during the replay) which will be posted in the FB group.

 

In the past we did first come first heard but we're getting lots of great submissions and we want to encourage more people to write to their elected representatives and submit their songs so we are changing things up. We will play 15 - 20 songs during the listening session, time dependant, but rather than songs being played in order of submission, Justina & Elaine will review all of the songs submitted before the deadline and the 15 - 20 songs that are of the highest quality and/or the best fit for the supervisor's needs will be played. ALL of the songs will be forwarded to the supervisor in a playlist, regardless of whether or not they get played in the listening session.

 

DEADLINE for taking action and sending your song is May 4th, 2022 AT 5PM PDT.

* for more info on knowing about who owns the rights to your song and to learn about the terms 'one-stop' and 'easy-clear', click here.

** to know if your song quality is good enough go to Spotify and look up the soundtrack to a show you like. Ask yourself if your song's sound quality is at the same level as the rest of the songs. 

Protesting With Sign
 
Cloud with Silver Lining

Current Focus:
Climate Change

This month we’re focussed once more on Climate Change - the evergreen issue of our generation :)

We think you’re pretty smart and you’re already probably well-versed in what Climate Change is and why it’s a problem. Things are bad out there, but instead of losing hope, we gotta take action! Just in case you need a refresher, here’s Bill Nye the Science Guy with all the facts:

ACTION:

 

Make a donation to the Clean Air Task Force 

 

OR, write to your Senator to ask them to protect the climate!

Here's where you can find your Senator's email address.

Here's a sample letter that you can personalize to make your own:

Hi Senator [name],

 

I'm a constituent writing from [zip]. 

Thank you for the hard work you do on behalf of our state.

I’m writing to ask that the Senate put climate investments at the top of their agenda. The House has already passed a climate reconciliation bill that will accelerate the clean energy transition, reduce U.S. demand for fossil fuels, protect working families from price spikes, cut off petro-dictators like Vladimir Putin, and cut pollution to avert the worst consequences of climate change. I want the Senator to vocally support it and push for its passage.

Please support any bills that would reduce the impact of climate change. It’s so important that we act now to protect our children and grandchildren.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

If you don’t live in the United States, you have the option either of making a donation or of writing to your elected representative in your country on an issue that concerns you. We care deeply about the issues we are highlighting but our overriding motivation is to support everyone in their participation in the democratic process. So no matter where you’re from please look into the facts and learn about the issue for yourself. If an action doesn’t sit right with you, write to your representative about any issue that you care about.

 
 

FAQ

1. Can I write and mail a letter instead of sending an email?
- Absolutely. Just take a photo of the letter and upload it to the Disco link with your song
2. Can I make a donation instead of writing to someone?
- Yes. If you want to donate to any other organization that supports this issue you may do so and upload a confirmation of your donation
3. Can I phone my representative instead? 
- Yes. In this case you'll want to record a video from your computer/iPad etc. while you make the call. You will likely end up leaving them a voice message if they don't pick up, which is just as good.
4. Will my song get played in the session for sure?
- We will have the music supervisor listen to as many songs as possible but not every song will get played. However the music supervisor will be sent a playlist of all the submissions.
5. Can I send a demo or worktape?
- No. Please only send songs that a music supervisor would be able to use immediately. Songs should be mastered and radio-ready. Send your best song!

“Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth's treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal... To hope is to give yourself to the future - and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable.”

Rebecca Solnit

Image by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

Why Write Emails & Letters?

Do they even work?

Yes. From the ACLU website: 

"Letters and faxes are an extremely effective way of communicating with your elected officials. Many legislators believe that a letter represents not only the position of the writer but also many other constituents who did not take the time to write."

We chose writing emails because they are a straightforward and easy. You can also choose to do a hand-written letter for even greater impact. If you want an activism nudge that could also further your music career, this is a way to start.

You are totally welcome to call your elected official, or donate money to a cause or campaign you believe in. The important thing is to try to get involved in democracy and social justice in some form on a regular basis. 

 

Respecting the Music Supervisors

We're not cool, but we try to be

Music supervisors are regular people with jobs to do who get flooded with email submissions on a regular basis. Of course it's cool to follow them on social media but please be discerning about reaching out directly. It's a great idea to research the projects they work on before contacting them. IMDB.com, Tunefind.com and ispot.tv are great resources. They may not respond to messages or emails and that's nothing personal. Consider looking into getting a sync agent to represent your music. If you're looking for more information on sync licensing, sync agents etc. we highly recommend checking out our friends' club Ctrl Camp and their bi-weekly meetings on Clubhouse!

 
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Who We Are

We're a couple of musician activists (Justina Shandler & Elaine Ryan) who met in a course on songwriting for music licensing and became close friends and co-writers. We started noticing that some of the most progressive people we saw on social media were music supervisors. Why not harness that for good? We decided to see if music supervisors would share their time and expertise around music licensing in exchange for us musicians helping moving progressive causes forward.

Special thanks to Jessica Craven for ideas on actions to take and wording for outreach to our elected representatives.

 

Contact Sync Music for a Change

We'd love to connect! You can reach us at unicornsync@gmail.com

We don't accept submissions of any kind outside of the listening sessions or unless specifically solicited. There's always another listening session in the works so the best way to share your music is to join the FB group (details above) and submit to a free listening session!

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Sign up as a Music Supervisor

If you're a music supervisor, music coordinator or sync agent who'd like to support this initiative, let's connect!  Send up an email at unicornsync@gmail.com if you're interested in being the featured guest on a future listening session. Feel free to let us know about any issues that are of particular interest to you and we can try to match that with upcoming legislation. You can also leave that field blank if you're open to a lot of different issues.