Some of the best music ever written... and it was never made available to the public. Composed and recorded for use in film, television broadcasts and advertising, and covering every genre, instrument and atmosphere, library music was an an off-the-shelf option cheaper than commissioning a composer to score a soundtrack.
In its golden era from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, thousands of albums were created by the world's greatest composers using full orchestras in the best recording studios, with the best engineers and recording equipment. Only available on vinyl and only given to industry professionals, library music albums had tiny production runs; sometimes only 200 copies were pressed, and most were destroyed in the 1990s. Despite its rarity, this music now has a loyal and growing following of DJs, tastemakers, record producers, beatmakers, journalists and vinyl enthusiasts, and library music tracks have been sampled to form the backbone of some of the biggest chart-topping singles by contemporary artists.
In a documentary fronted by record producer, composer and enthusiast Shawn Lee, The Library Music Film takes viewers from London across Europe and to California in search of some of library music's pioneers, including Alan Hawkshaw, Keith Mansfield, John Cameron, Barbara Moore, Janko Nilovic, Brian Bennett and Stefano Torossi. And in interviews with DJs and producers including Mark Rae and Fatboy Slim, US hip hop stars such as Cut Chemist (Jurassic 5) and Young Einstein (Ugly Duckling), and Marvels soundtrack composer Adrian Younge, we hear why library music continues to play an important role in today's music industry.
In its pursuit of a fascinating parallel universe to the record industry we think we know, The Library Music Film serves up musical innovators past and present, hidden sonic treasures and a lot of laughter along the way.