Urban Drama


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I love the search for the right sound and feeling for a particular environment. This is the opening music for an ABC 1-hour special on the LAPD. The challenge for the top of the program was to convey musically the sense of danger, fatigue and hope that pervades this part of Los Angeles.

Ticking Clock – Orchestral


Composer Ben Decter conducts a session of ABC's OFF THE MAP

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More race against the clock havoc as our fearsome heroes attempt to save the lives of a dozen bus-crash victims. A lot of harrowing events went down in ABC’s OFF THE MAP. I was glad to provide the musical backdrop for the dramatic situations as they unfolded each week.

Lush Romance – Orchestral


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Possibly the most moving recording session I’ve ever experienced was for this episode of ABC’s OFF THE MAP. 45-piece orchestra, excellent crew, and pecan pie. In this scene, lovely Sydney has finally decided to accept the life-saving donation of blood from her just-deceased fiance. (I did mention that this was a drama, right?!)

Upbeat – Americana

Montclair New Jersey's Presby Iris Garden


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While this NBC pilot was a no-go, it sure provided a chance to write some fun music. Picture a big family winding through a rural country road in their station wagon, en route to visit their grandparents. (Of curse, this is for the happy, promising moments, prior to the familial dysfunction that will ensue.)

Light Action


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This piece is from ABC’s INSIDE THE BOX– a great pilot that unfortunately never made it to air. In this scene, the news reporters are racing around, gathering details as they face an imminent deadline. The intrepid reporters are following their source to his house as the pressure’s mounting… and finally, the news breaks.

Dramatic Suspense – Orchestral


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The continuation of a devastating scene, in which a little girl fights through the pain of surgery without anesthesia. We are in a Peruvian jungle and it’s a very long way to the nearest hospital. This is from ABC’s medical drama, OFF THE MAP.

Drama – Opening


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While the ABC pilot for which this was composed never made it to air, I’ve always liked the mix of elements in this piece– processed cello, organic hangdrum, a little piano, some percussion and a dash of electronics. I tired to capture our heroine’s underlying darkness and energy as she navigates the big city.

Mysterious – Orchestral


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Having the opportunity to record with an orchestra was incredible. “Arrive at Mine” is another piece from OFF THE MAP. In this scene, our hero is arriving at an old mine to rescue a man trapped deep below. Suffice it to say, all does not go well.

Tragic Drama – 3 cellos


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There are times when neither words nor music can suffice for what is seen on screen. In this scene from Operation Homecoming, a yearbook style montage of dead soldiers scrolls past our eyes. Cellist Matt Cooker performed the haunting cello parts. For this score, I received an Emmy.



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Perhaps the most requested music type is “tension.” Squabbling housewives? Get the tension. Killer closing in? Tension. Time running out? Better get out the tension. So, without further ado, here is some tension for your listening pleasure. This particular piece was originally for an ABC drama pilot.

Dramatic Action – Orchestral


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In ABC’s 2011 drama OFF THE MAP, the above track (“Pray for Maria”) plays as our heroes come across a flock of young girls wearing communion dresses– and because it’s a drama and we are in the middle of the jungle– one of them is pinned under their van and fighting for her life. The rescue operation begins, sans anesthesia.  Ow.


*For a peak at us recording this piece, click on the “BONUS VIDEOS” link under MUSIC.

© 2012 Ben Decter - All rights reserved