5 Questions: David Tobocman

David Tobocman is an acclaimed film and television composer. A veteran of the film, TV, and record industries, David has been the composer on numerous independent films (Psycho Beach Party, Kettle of Fish), TV series (Family Law, CBS), and has earned nearly a thousand placements in network and cable TV shows. Along with his film and TV work, David has produced and written for albums across the spectrum of styles, from rock to rap to classical to jazz, and has released 4 albums of his own children’s songs (I Count to Ten and other Very Helpful Songs, Lemonade School, Escalator, and Gonna Be Great) and was nominated for an Emmy in Outstanding Original Song (Children and Animation) for “The Forgiveness Song,” written for the Nickelodeon show, Robot and Monster. Originally from Detroit, David has been living and working in Los Angeles for over 25 years.

A multi-instrumentalist, David performs regularly at the piano. You can hear him playing a compelling mix of jazz, classic pop-rock, Broadway, ragtime, and current pop at Maggiano’s at The Grove in Los Angeles Thursdays-Saturdays, 6-10pm.

1. What’s been keeping you up at night?
Democratic Party infighting and disunity. The only way out of our current perilous political situation is via electoral politics and before we fix the Democratic Party, we need to unify around our candidates, whomever we happen to nominate, and defeat whichever Republican we are facing. The seeds of dissent sown during the 2016 election have only grown stronger and more divisive within the party. I’m very downcast about our prospects to overcome this electoral horrorshow. And I’m an optimist.

2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?
High-capacity graphene batteries which are built on a thin layer of superconducting material and can be charged in minutes, powering cellphones, appliances, and even electric cars. Truly revolutionary. First graphene powered cars are being premiered in auto shows this year. Made in China. Why can’t we be the ones at the forefront of this technology?

3. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?
Writing a musical based on a biblical story, which is ironic since I’m an atheist but the story is so compelling and the symbolism is so powerful and relevant. Sorry that I can’t be more specific.

4. If you could add anyone, alive or dead, to your team, who would it be?
I love collaborating but I rarely get a chance to, other than insinuating myself into other people’s projects. Working on my own recording projects, I’d love to hand over the engineering and production to Tom Dowd or his disciple, Phil Ramone. Both possessed a very musical approach, a minimalist ethic, and a commitment to excellence that I emulate. Offloading that responsibility and letting me concentrate on songwriting and performance, along with their collaborative input would be a dream.

5. When the movie of your life is made, what will it be called?
Rise to the Occasion.

Follow links to explore David’s composing career at www.DavidTobocman.com and his music for kids at www.VeryHelpfulSongs.com.