Seeking a more relaxed pace of life, Dina Coughlan and her husband Rory McPartland moved from the US to the north-west of Ireland in 2014. At this stage of their careers, they had over two decades of experience working in the music industry. Leitrim provided the new base for their established music supervision and licensing business Planet of Sound.
Dina and Rory also identified room in the Irish music market for a locally rooted, smaller scale publishing business. They also established Tremolo Songs in 2015 which adds an online music publishing platform to their existing music services. Tremolo aims to link its catalogue of artists into the global music market. It works on behalf of their roster of artists/songwriters to find innovative opportunities and promote their songs to music supervisors worldwide. One focus is on placement in a range of traditional and digital content such as film, TV, games and ads, as well as negotiate agreements and license fees. Beyond synchronisation opportunities, it also explores possibilities around bespoke projects and collaborations. An example of placements include the trailer for the film ‘A Date for Mad Mary’ which featured Aoife Underwater’s songs ‘Distraction’ and ‘On the Cusp of Nothing’ (Aoife Underwater’s music is also published through Tremolo Songs).
Planet of Sound’s work focuses on placement of music by well-known and up and coming artists in film and TV productions. An example of its work as music supervisors can be seen in Fáilte Ireland’s ‘Bedtime Stories’ 2016 campaign promoting Ireland’s Ancient East. The ad features the song ‘That Day’ by the Irish band Villagers. Other Planet of Sound work includes music supervision on the upcoming ‘The Young Offenders’ TV series (as well as film of the same name), ‘Damo & Ivor the Movie’ and ‘The Queen of Ireland’.
Both Planet of Sound and Tremolo play an important role in increasing revenue streams for musicians and leveraging greater value from their creative content. Dina explains: “It is a way for musicians to make money and not have to tour.”
Dina’s fruitful career in the music industry is based on a love of music, but also strong personal connections and proactively pursuing opportunities. This was how she obtained an internship working for an indie music label and a position in the music talent department of a women’s music network in New York. In relation to music supervision, according to Dina: “Everyone in their own way is a music supervisor”, but core skills are also vital, such as creative vision, knowledge and negotiation skills. She explains: “If you are into music and have a passion for it, you think God that would be a great song in this. It is having the ability to do that but also knowing the rights involved in licensing…knowing how to negotiate”. Strong contacts and reliability have also enabled her successful professional career in the music industry. Dina also points out the importance of: “years of building up relationships with managers and labels and publishers. Being able to reach out to them when you have a project and need something turned around quickly”.
Dina sees much untapped potential and talent in Irish music: “There is so much great music here in Ireland. And outside of this territory there is a lot of opportunity for synchronizations, such as in the US and wider Europe”.