By Kevin Zimmerman
(TV’s Parenthood and House M.D.)
Before entering the world of composing for TV – often working in tandem with SESAC’s Jon Ehrlich – Derlatka could be found toiling in recording studios, writing and producing songs for the likes of R&B songstress Brandy and country crooner John Berry. The chance to write to picture, he says, was an opportunity too good to pass up.
“I write primarily using the piano,” he says, “although there have been a few projects recently where guitar was my primary instrument.”
Though first gaining attention via such sci-fi favorites as Tru Calling and Invasion, Derlatka soon graduated to more realistic series like NBC’s Life and the two hits he’s currently working on. “I’ve loved working on House, and feel that the score really helped define that show,” he says. “Parenthood has also been satisfying, in that the approach to writing the score is very loose and improvisational -- sitting in a room with a bunch of instruments and ‘finger-painting.’ That gives the score a very organic ‘in the moment’ feeling that I think has worked very well for the show.”
He stresses that composing for the tube is very much a collaborative process. “Striking a good balance between confidence in your craft and being open to others’ ideas is important,” he says. “More important than writing music is communicating emotion and elements of the story.”