Charlie Barnett, composer, writer, musician and now Emcee

Charlie Barnett, composer, writer, musician and now Emcee

GSSCC’s 2012 Awards & Installation Dinner Was A Huge Success!

GSSCC sincerely thanks the sponsors and members who supported the 2012 Awards & Installation Dinner this past Wednesday, one of the Chambers most important fundraising events of the year. The money raised through these events is critical to the Chamber’s ability to adequately serve our members.

Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce Gala

Mid-Century Mambo

Mid-Century Mambo

A cool dance piece with an ironic edge. Its essential nature is one of rhythmic joy.
Full orchestra – duration for three movements: 15 minutes
pic, 2fl, 2ob, eh, 4cl, 2bs, 4hr, 3trp, 4trb, tba, 4perc, timp, strings, harp.
Download the score:
Movement #1 – Mid-Century Mambo – Full Score
Movement #2 – Ken and Barbie’s Slow Dance – Full Score
Movement #3 – Date Night Number Two – Full Score
Stream the music:
Movement #1 – Mid-Century Mambo

Movement #2 – Ken and Barbie’s Slow Dance

Movement #3 – Date Night Number Two

Download the MP3s:
Movement #1
Movement #2
Movement #3


I just finished up two days of mixing with engineer Ken Schubert.  We were two guys sitting at a console staring at a screen of ProTools information with two very good speakers on either side – and not talking much for 8 hours a day.  That is some guys’ idea of a great day.   I guess it is mine.   It reminds me of a story about the famous pilot, Chuck Yeager, flying in tandem with another pilot  across the entire country, speaking only a dozen words during the whole trip and feeling like they had a hell of time at the end of the day.    I’m not sure if this is a particularly male trait or not.  But I have only had these experiences with guys.  We sit and listen…. and listen again. then one guy says:” Do you think the guitar is a little wet? ” or  “Let’s lose the piano until the bridge.”  The other guy answers with ” Hmmm… we could try it?”  This would be followed by another half hour of sitting, listening and staring. In two days we mixed three songs and ended up thinking we were flying right along on this project.

       At the same time I had to listen to the masters of the new Chaise Lounge Christmas album,  “A Very Chaise Lounge Christmas”.  Mastering is a completely different level, a much deeper level of listening that I am not capable of.  Greg Lukens and Bill Wolf are the two “master”minds ( pun intended) involved here.  They also sit in a dark room surrounded by audio gear and mumble about “shelves” and say things like ” Is that getting a little tubby ?”   In the end they took an album of 10 songs that were mixed over the course of nine months, and had a variety of instrumentations,  and made them sound like they all truly belonged on the same record.   

This is not my favorite part of my job, but it is one that is odd and peculiar to this craft of recording music.  In some ways I owe my career to the various engineers who have looked at me and said in all sincerity ” for the love of God, can we pull some of the big room back… please?”


My relationship with Hollywood is somewhat fraught.  I lived there off and on for nine years.  I had little bits of success.  Enough to keep me coming back, but not enough to make me pull up stakes in my beloved Washington DC and fully commit to LA.  I had a great place there that I shared with a director. It was up in the Hollywood Hills and we had a view of the entire Los Angeles Basin that was nothing short of fabulous. But if I was there for more than two weeks at a time that view used to haunt me.  How could I look out at 7 million people and not have more than three people that I cared to talk to?   I am making it sound more depressing than it was.  Although I will share my favorite description of Hollywood with you.  Standing above the scene inside Loews Santa Monica Hotel -looking down at the sprawling LA film festival crowd, my old friend Ray remarked:  ” Behold, an ocean of C minus students” .  

     I finally gave it up about 10 years ago. What a wonderful, light freedom  it was to give up on Hollywood. I can still remember walking over the “lion bridge ” here in Washington and wondering why I felt so good.  And figuring out that I finally did not have to think about Los Angeles  any more.  

      Hollywood is now like a bad, old girlfriend to me.  You know, the one – when you see her at a party… you say to yourself ” Man, she looks good! – why did I ever leave her?”   And as soon as you talk to her it all comes back to you.   I’m heading to LA in an hour.  Ready to face my old, bad girlfriend of a city.  And I am sure that when I get there…. She will look so fine.