Living Green
2015 Production Music cd for Firstcom Music

Released by Firstcom Music in 2015, this project was conventional in many respects - a combination of bowed strings and acoustic guitar. But something was fundamentally different. Here is the concept as it was originally pitched... ...continue reading "Living Green"

Roadside Couch records (subsidiary of Firstcom Music) released Big Whisper during the first quarter of 2013.

Daniel Portis-Cathers & Rand Bishop at Big Whisper Release Party
Daniel & Rand at BW Release Party
This 16-song collection of music for film and television boasts a sensational collection of singers from Portland, OR and Nashville. Writers/producers Daniel Portis-Cathers and Rand Bishop tackle relationship complexities with "songs that cut to the heart of modern romance and sum up the struggle for meaning and recognition in an increasingly chaotic world".

A release party was hosted by ...continue reading "Big Whisper Release"

This is the fourth in a series of tutorials on Building a Soundtrack in GarageBand.


...continue reading "Building a Soundtrack in GarageBand 4
– Editing an Audio File"

This is the third in a series of tutorials on Building a Soundtrack in GarageBand ...continue reading "Building a Soundtrack in GarageBand 3
– Adding Music"

This is the second in a series of tutorials on Building a Soundtrack in GarageBand ...continue reading "Building a Soundtrack in GarageBand 2
– Adding Sound FX"

This is the first in a series of tutorials on Building a Soundtrack in GarageBand ...continue reading "Building a Soundtrack in GarageBand 1
– Setting Up the Interface"

Ancient Question Resolved Here

Who at some point hasn't wanted to ask a good songwriter what they write first, the music or the lyrics? And who has actually not asked that question in an interview to some road weary songwriter who would much rather talk about their latest trilogy in D minor, the saddest of all keys?

So let's settle the question here and now, once and for all. The answer is ...continue reading "Music or Lyrics – Which Comes First?"

Co-writing is like dating in so many ways. You're looking for someone who inspires you. You're looking for someone who can make difficult work fun, someone who can help make the future look bright even though the road ahead seems so unclear. And you're looking for someone who can tell the truth - as well as recognize it to begin with.
Of course those dates will cost you something ...continue reading "Match.co-writing"

Songwriting for most people must be a very solitary process. It certainly has been for me over the years. Until I moved to Nashville where co-writing happens to be the norm. If you've never lived in Nashville, or at least visited, it's likely you've never co-written a song. It's a foreign experience for the average songwriter and can be a bit intimidating.

Speaking of dating, it's very much like that. Basically, you need to try it with different people to find out who you mesh with. It's fine to date around, but there are still some ground rules - discussed here.

I spent several months this year working on a songwriting project for a music-licensing-for-film-and-tv company. (Here's No Tears Allowed from the album Big Whisper):

  •       1.      No Tears Allowed - Bishop/Portis-Cathers

...continue reading "Skype’s the Limit for Co-writers"

  •       1.     Jacarta - by Daniel Portis-Cathers - Dan Portis-Cathers

Creative thought is generated in an infinite number of ways. (Artist Amy Mfuni created the charcoal drawing shown here while listening to this piece). I was in a certain mood from listening to the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack over a period of several days.  Additionally, I had begun to dig more thoroughly into Spectrasonics’ wonderful Omnisphere instrument plugin. Hearing other powerful music and playing with great tools often inspires me to create ...continue reading "Jacarta – Music Production Tutorial"