About

My name is CHRIS LEDESMA and this is my blog about my experiences as the music editor on one of the most-beloved, iconic,  and longest-running shows in television history:
THE SIMPSONS.

I have had the miraculous good fortune to work on the show since the beginning (of the series, not the shorts on THE TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW – there was no music in the shorts).

Our 28th season on the air will premier on Sunday, September 25, 2016 on FOX. 

The show reached a major milestone in television history (and in the lives of those of us who have worked on the show since episode #1) on February 19, 2012 when our 500th episode aired.

Our whodathunkitcouldEVERhappen 600th episode will be Tree House of Horror XXVII set to air on Sunday, October 16, 2016 on FOX. 

I’ll write about producing the music for this show, let you in on some of the day-to-day events that go into the post-production work on the show (some mundane, some interesting), and you can take a look back at the 500th & 600th episode celebrations as well as any others along the way.

I’ll also fill you in (using only the best powers of recall I can muster) on some of the highs and lows of my career and involvement with the show since the fall of 1989. I’ll do my best to keep it up and make it interesting. You can also follow me on twitter @mxedtr for the occasional mini-blog or quick update.

The blog currently has posts in 5 categories: MY MUSIC EDITING JOURNEY, MUSIC EDITING 101, THE ROAD TO 500, BEYOND 500, and RANDOM MUSICAL THOUGHTS.

MY MUSIC EDITING JOURNEY tells the story of how I broke into music editing and how I got the gig on THE SIMPSONS as well as some of my other work in “the biz”.

Under MUSIC EDITING 101, I describe the craft of music editing as it applies to
THE SIMPSONS or any other film or TV show I work on.

THE ROAD TO 500 is where I will post updates, news and whatever tidbits I can reveal (without getting into trouble) as I work on the current season. Although were now 100 episodes past 500, I’ll keep filing updates in this category. 

BEYOND 500 will get into the nuts & bolts of the day-to-day work that goes into the show’s music.

RANDOM MUSICAL THOUGHTS are just those. I took up the piano by ear at about the age of three, so music has played an important role in my life for a very long time. Sometimes I just want to vent or shoot the breeze about something musical that tickles or annoys me.

I recommend that you start with the first entry and read forward from there. I promise, this is not a trick to get you to read my entire blog (although that would be nice of you). Each new post builds on information given in the previous post – bits of my personal & professional history, the language of film making and music editing, etc. Newer posts will have better context if you read the earlier posts.

Feel free to leave questions in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them.

I hope you’ll enjoy the blog, share it with your Simpsons-loving friends, and come back often.

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16 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Chris – I am a big fan of the music on the Simpsons. Truly remarkable. I have spent a good deal of time on the web trying to identify a particular music cue from an episode and have come up empty. Hoping you can point me in the right direction.
    The piece is heard in “Bart’s New Friend” season 26 episode 11 – it is a jazzy piece with a lead flute played during a Homer/Bart montage. It also shows up in Simspons Season 27 Episode 18 during a Bart/Maggie amusement park montage. I would swear it was from 1970’s era Sesame Street – could it be a Joe Raposo composition?

    • This is one of our favorite cues in the show’s history.

      We first used it in Treehouse of Horror II in the second story which was a parody of The Twilight Zone episode “It’s A Good Life”. The music underscores the montage of Bart and Homer-in-the-Box spending quality father/son time together. The music is itself a parody of a 1970s TV anti-smoking public service ad that shows a father and his young son spending the day together having a wonderful time. The twist at the end of the ad is when dad starts smoking, the young son picks up the pack of cigarettes (just like dad). You can see the original ad here https://youtu.be/cmzDLzqQ-A0

      The cue is, of course, by Alf Clausen and, as you’ve noticed, we’ve reused it throughout the years for more “family bonding” montages. The original title is “Pep and Kid”

      Thanks for the question and for being such a big fan of the show and its music.

      • Thanks for the fast reply! Love the old commercial. I think the piece has the Joe Raposo feel due to the flute/piccolo line over glockenspiel – so much like his compositions for Sesame Street with the Danny Epstein band. Sesame Street is in some ways a precursor to the Simpsons in its use of amazing original music.

  2. Hello Chris! Seems like I am not the only one to reach out to you about the classic music of ‘The Simpsons’!
    I’ve always wondered about this tune, which has appeared on a few episodes:
    – From ‘Marge on the Lam’ when Kent Brockman gets cut for ‘Technical Difficulties’

    – From ‘Treehouse of Horror V: Time of Punishment’ in the Re-Neducation Center

    What is its name? And can I find it somewhere to listen to?

    Thank you in advance!
    Denholm

  3. Hi Chris. You’re definitely the man to answer this question for me. What is the music that’s played in the solar eclipse sequence in Gone Maggie Gone? I must have it and play it on repeat!

  4. Hi Cris, I write from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I wanted to ask.
    Have some means may be obtained by Sylvain Chomet theme Couch Gag?. In particular to my taste me. I hope not to bother.
    In Argentina this series is very sacred and a favorite in the world.
    A big hug, Fernando.

    • Hi Fernando,

      No, I’m sorry … none of the music from THE SIMPSONS is available for purchase or download at this time other than the 3 CDs that have been released (which, sadly, do not include Sylvain Chomet’s couch gag music). I am so happy that you read my blog and love THE SIMPSONS so much! Thank you.

  5. Hi Chris,
    Quick question…. in the treehouse of horror VI, when homer is in Tron land, what is the music that you used in front of the goldfish pond? It almost sounds like something from Blade Runner….

    Best,

    Eric

    • The entire 3-D sequence from Tree House VI has original compositions by Alf Clausen. The two main musical inspirations for the score were “Koyaanisqatsi” by Philip Glass, and the music for a very popular video game of the day “Myst“. The cue you asked about is titled “MARILLA GORILLA IN A MYST”.

      Thanks for the question.

  6. So excited for this blog, Chris! Thank you for taking the time so super fans like me can get some inside skinny (at least, without having to email you with weird questions. At least, not so often).

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