I am a composer, why should I need portfolio? As a composer, we definitely need portfolio. I wrote This study inspired by one of my friend, when he ask for help in a group to do some violin section in his composition. One of the commentators ask how about a beginner violist? When my friend ask for that commentator’s portfolio, that commentator don’t know what portfolio is. I think some of us didn’t know what is portfolio and the importance of it.

What is Portfolio?

Before we discuss about why we need portfolio, in this study I want to give you a clear meaning of portfolio and special meaning in musics and composition field.

So, what is portfolio? According to Clarke University, A portfolio is a compilation of materials that exemplifies your beliefs, skills, qualifications, education, training and experiences. It provides insight into your personality and work ethic. My fellow composer, Ecky Pramuhandita said that portfolio is “Record or former project ever in work”. So, in musical composition, you can include your latest works of compositions, any collaboration music that you participated in the making of it, even your ongoing project.

However, if you have many creations, choose the best of your works to be published as your official portfolio, so you can build up your exposure better. Or if you think all of our creations are great, make some category of it. Unless you can’t solely decide which one is the best, ask the expert composers, or going into the composers community to get some opinions is a good idea to do.

Why it is Important?

When someone ask us, “Do you have a portfolio?” The only answer you will ever need is one of two options: yes or no. However, putting it into context changes the entire game. Ask this to a student, and more often than not, their answer is accompanied by a nervous grin, deep sighs, or both. Not only that, usually the answer also comes with a certain explanation: “yes, but…”, “no, because…”

Because portfolio is a collection of documents and/or samples of work that you assemble together to show your future employer or clients that you have the appropriate experience, skills, competencies and talent needed to do the job. It is a showcase of your best work, and while commonly seen in the design and creative industry, everyone should have one (source: sfu.ca).

Things to Consider when Make A Portfolio

In creating a portfolio, there were things we  should consider. They are:

  1. Save everything you made, whether it will be included in your portfolio or not, it can be decided later. Don’t let any simple melody or any part of chord progression lost from your hard drive or cloud.
  2. Make sure it is Original, make sure what you compose is not another one’s composition. When you sure that you composed it, you can make a sentence stating that this is your original work. It can also indicate if any parts of the portfolio should not be copied. Example: Statement of Originality and Confidentiality This portfolio is the work of Jasson Prestiliano. Please do not copy without permission. Some of the exhibits, work samples, and/or service samples are the proprietary property of the organization whose name appears on the document. Each has granted permission for this product to be used as a demonstration of my work.
  3. If it is confidential or there’s a non disclosure agreement with your clients, make sure you get their permission before you publish it in any of your social media places.
  4. Put on your work philosophy, A brief description of your beliefs about yourself and the industry and also what do you think about the project that you upload as your portfolio. You can also tell the concept, the story or what make you compose that music.
  5. Tags, Identify three to five of the tags to let people search your composition easily. Such as the music genre, or where the music will be applied (game, movie, animation, comic, etc). You can also add some related keywords that are easy to find.

Where Can we Showcase our Composition Portfolio?

There are tons of places to keep our portfolio. Some of them are:

  1. Youtube, you can showcase your live performance, live composition video or a good image with your full composition here. This place has most of the viewers in the world. The free account it only can upload maximum fifteen minutes for each video. You can check JP Soundworks Youtube Channel to see some of our video.
  2. Soundcloud, this is the most familiar place where we often put our work in progress or completed compositions. The free account only allow 120 minutes total of our musics. We can comment at the part of the music. Some of my fellow composers put their portfolio here, such as Clea Leshlick, Ittou Soundworks, Vesuvia Ecky and X-Oyuget. Our composers have their own soundcloud account, they are Jasson Prestiliano and Febrian Prayoga. JP Soundworks has also its own soundcloud account to put our free royalty music to be listened and commented.
  3. Bandcamp, this place is nice when we want to showcase and also sell our compositions. We can set the minimum price, it can be zero or free. The audience can decide that they want to give more or not. You can visit JP Soundworks bandcamp, one of our free albums, A Symphony to Remember is put in there.
  4. Reverbnation, an American online platform that provides tools and opportunities for musicians to manage their careers. They have introduced a number of applications and services such as the TuneWidget, Band Profile Facebook app, and Promote It.
  5. Spotify, one of the biggest mobile and desktop apps in the world, Spotify takes the listening experience to a whole new level. Spotify has almost every recorded artist in their libraries, so you would absolutely want to be there too.

Last but not Least

A good official website is a good choice to showcase and arrange your composition portfolio as you wish, like in this JP Soundworks official website. Unfortunately, our website is not enough to let people know about our works, especially if the traffic is still low. We need helps of some social media like facebook (use its fan page) , twitter (to drive traffic to your website) or instagram (although this one will be focused in the picture, you only can upload your single minute of musics here).

Well, maybe this is not much from me to let you know about portfolio, but I hope it can clearly explain why a composer like us need portfolio. Keep in touch with JP Soundworks and its next study. Cheers.


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