2016: The Year in Charts

Sundance 2015: New Pharrell Songs, KT Tunstall Ready to Score, Rashida Jones Sings & More

Randall Michelson
Joel Roman, guitarists Orianthi and Richie Sambora, BMI's vp, Film/TV Relations Doreen Ringer-Ross and singer-songwriter KT Tunstall.

The 2015 edition of the Sundance Film Festival was lean on music-related documentaries -- films on Nina Simone and Kurt Cobain were pretty much it -- limiting the festival's music scene to showcases, potential soundtracks and composers' scores.

From a music perspective, Dope is the festival's most intriguing acquisition. Open Road, which has the film in the U.S., and Sony partnered on a $7 million purchase and tacked on a $15 million budget for advertising for the June release.

Sundance Film Festival 2015: All Our Coverage

Pharrell Williams has four new songs in the film, which is peppered with tracks from Gil Scott-Heron, Digable Planets and Digital Underground. While Sony would appear to be the logical place for the soundtrack to land -- Williams is signed to the Sony-owned Columbia Records -- there is no deal yet for a soundtrack.

Elsewhere in Park City....

-Add KT Tunstall to the list of performers working their way into scoring. The Scottish singer-songwriter participated in the last Sundance Composers' Lab and has set up shop in Los Angeles

-Actor Ken Jeong made a cameo at WWE's annual Sundance dinner at 350 Main, where he announced that he'll make his songwriting debut in the WWE-produced Killing Hasselhoff. Jeong wrote the song "Crushing It" with his partner Mike O'Connell. The film is being targeted for a festival run starting as early as the fall.

-Primary Wave Music made a splash with two of its management/publishing clients. The one and only PPL MVR, recently signed to Elektra, made a scene at KCRW and ASCAP showcases. The other, jazz bassist Kate Davis, who deftly led the band at the Nina Simone tribute concert, is four songs deep into a pop project being shopped.

Watch PPL MVR, the World's Craziest Band, Invade Sundance 2015

-C. C. Adcock, who headlined the Louisiana Midnight Masquerade, is working on music for Amazon's pilot Cocked. He also produced the next James McMurtry album, which comes out Feb. 24.

-Pianist-composer Joe McGinty performed at the ASCAP Music Cafe with his nouveau cabaret act the Duchess and Fox, featuring singer Andrea Diaz. Their debut five-song EP is expected in early spring. McGinty, who also scores films and TV shows, has co-written two Rat Pack style songs for the Christopher Walken film When I Live My Life Over Again.

-Actress-writer Rashida Jones, daughter of music producer Quincy Jones, sang the end-credits song for the documentary she helped produce, Hot Girls Wanted, about the professional side of amateur pornography. The film's composer Daniel Ahearn wrote the gentle, folky song.

-Ben Folds makes his feature documentary scoring debut with three pieces composed for Kevin Pollak's Misery Loves Company.

-BMI's roundtable featuring a dozen director-composer teams yielded a handful of interesting observations. For Jim Strouse's People, Places, Things, starring Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords, composer Mark Orton listened regularly to the obscure Neil Young song "Everyone's Alone." Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum encouraged composers to do musical "archaeology": Take a composer you admire and trace their inspirations, then take those composers and go back another generation. T. Griffin gave an indication of how quickly scores need to come together: He started working on Welcome to Leith on Dec. 10 and was mixing on Jan. 4. He summarized scoring as "poking at the director to find the thing that gets a response from them. You want empathy with a director, empathy with the characters and empathy with the audience."