Paroles & Musique: Take us through Intermède Music’s creation and evolution until now.
Françoise Morin: Christopher J. Reed created Les Éditions Intermède in 1973 to fill a need in the Quebec music publishing industry. With a mission to comply with and enforce its represented artists’ financial and moral rights, the company rapidly acquired a solid reputation and was joined over the following years by many prominent artists including Gilles Vigneault, Robert Charlebois, Jean-Pierre Ferland, Diane Tell, Sylvain Lelièvre and Jim Corcoran.
In 1980, Christopher J. Reed created Intermède Média, a production music company assisting communication professionals working in film, advertising, video, television, radio and multimedia, while also providing interested producers with a music consultancy service. As a music consultant, Intermède PikMusik provides clients with search and music selection services while supplying them with the music they are looking for. The company also guarantees the granting of the duly authorized synchronization licences producers need in order to be able to sell their programs.
In 1986, Intermède Communications was created to bring together all Intermède publishing companies and for the administration of the catalogues acquired over the years. Intermède Communications puts together and produces internationally distributed instrumental music recordings that are not retailed, but specifically meant for audiovisual producers.
Now that Christopher Reed is no longer with us, do you think that your company might be looking to more original music publishing projects or increased sub-publishing or other activity?
We are now carrying out Christopher’s decisions while continuing to convey his values. We emphasize the production of original works created by Canadian composers while incorporating new musical genres and styles. We also continue to develop our international profile. As our catalogue is now being distributed worldwide, we’ve realized this is an excellent way to promote Canadian musicians’ talent and production.
“I believe there will always be a need for music publishers.”
We remain active as a sub-publisher in Canada and have signed agreements with more libraries to provide users with access to a very broad choice of quality music being produced on every continent.
What are your short and medium term plans for your publishing company and its authors? Are you now signing new authors, for instance?
To support Canadian composers at home and around the world, we continue to emphasize the search and discovery of new talents for our new productions. We are also negotiating with sub-publishers working in territories we are not yet covering, once again with the goal of promoting our artists.
We are also facing the new challenge of going all out to help music regain its true value. It is very important that composers be aware that it is not in their interest, nor in the industry’s interest as a whole, to give their music away for free. What now looks like a short-time benefit will become a long term loss. There is a lot of work to be done in that area.
Can you tell us about the repertoire you represent, and how this is being developed and tapped here and around the world?
Of course, we embrace technological developments and benefit from the digital world, particularly the Internet, which makes it possible for users to access our repertoire at all times. Our catalogue has been accessible online for a few years now on our search and download engine www.intermedeone.com for our domestic clients. We can control access and follow up easily thanks to a particularly efficient back office system patterned on our specific needs. May I add that it is a Canadian system that we are proudly promoting to our domestic and international colleagues.
We are also working very closely with our sub-publishers in a number of countries while continuing to expand our reach. Some of the relationships that were established at the time Intermède was created remain operational, and these publishers show a deep respect for composers and empathize with their current situation.
Where do you think music publishing is headed in light of today’s technological changes?
I believe there will always be a need for music publishers, and also that we must never forget about our primary objective of promoting authors and composers while advocating and enforcing their rights. A lot of work has already been done, notably to make sure that the creators whose works are being distributed online can collect royalties either through collective societies or through music producer and publisher associations, but also thanks to the great work of APEM (Professional Music Publishers’ Association), of which we are a member. We are slowly beginning to see results, but a lot remains to be done considering that, as a medium, the web stands to replace television.
In my opinion, our composers too have a major role to play. We must work together to make sure the next generation of music creators are fully aware of their rights. We’re here to protect and support composers. I am convinced that, with patience and hard work, things are going to settle down, and quality music will be restored to its formal glory.