Score for the Underscore of “Howard Rights His Wrongs”

The evocative music that runs through the comedic webseries is the effective result of SU student collaborations.

As bottles of Guinness and Bud Light are cleared away and a bright yellow piece of paper expands across the wooden table, fans of the web show, Howard Rights His Wrongs, can hear the theme song kick in as the episode begins.  What fans may not have known, is that the theme song along with the musical underscore, was created by Syracuse University students.

“From the very beginning, something I really wanted to have was original music,” says Joe Blum, creator of the web show and an adjunct professor in Newhouse. “I wanted it to be unique and for a copyrights standpoint, I’d get more use out of it if it was all original music.”

In the beginning stages of his project, Blum approached Newhouse senior, Christopher Baugh, to write the quirky keyboard transgression of the theme song along with the first three episode’s musical underscore. After he completed the theme song and the first half of the series’ music, Baugh was unable to finish scoring the series. This prompted Blum to recruit Dan Powell, a Syracuse Engagement Fellowship student, to score the last three episode’s music.

“I wanted to sincerely put you in touch with the character,” Powell said. “Howard is kind, goofy and awkward, in a good way. He wants the best for everyone around him which is an extremely endearing quality about Howard.”

Powell and Baugh didn’t work together at all during the episodes they scored, however, Powell strove to create a musical cohesiveness to the underscore Baugh originally created.

The most challenging became episode 5 of the series. It’s a pivotal point for Howard’s character, and Blum wanted the music to mirror that. Blum suggested creating a score similar to the movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, to achieve that feeling.

“We wanted a specific sonic timbre with a sense of melancholy for that episode,” said Powell. “There’s more dialogue and it took longer to score, but, Joe’s and I instincts worked really well.”

Blum agrees, “I think it came out great.”

“Howard Rights His Wrongs” is an Internet series based on an awkward guy trying to find his way through life. He discovers that he can time travel, and uses this new ability to, well, right some of his wrongs. The series had a screening event at Craft Chemistry on Saturday, Sept. 29 where Blum debuted the final sixth episode of the show.

Howard Rights His Wrongs
can be viewed at its official website.

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