Today, allow me to introduce you to the beautifully talented songbird and pianist Beth Rudetsky. We have recently had some time to correspond. My only question to Beth, after reading her Bio was, “If you were at a cocktail party that was mainly attended by authors, how would you introduce yourself?”
I would walk around the room and see if there were any authors that I know or recognize at first and say, ‘Hi’.
If I didn’t know anyone, I would approach one of the authors that was standing by themselves and say, “Hi, nice to meet you. My name is Beth Rudetsky and I’m a singer-songwriter.”
I’d ask their name and find out if they’re enjoying themselves (I definitely am!). Then, I’d ask what genre that they write for and how its going with their writing. If the genre was suspense, crime-fiction or thrillers, I’d tell them about my passion for reading novels in these genres. I’d ask about any books of theirs that they would recommend to me.
I’d then tell them that I’ve been composing and singing original songs for authors’ book-trailers. I’d let them know that I created this new niche in songwriting for book-trailers and bring out that this is unique because the trailers that are out there feature only stock music and that I compose and sing original songs and orchestrate soundtracks specifically for these genres.
I’d let them know that I feel strongly that an author deserves so much more than what is out there and that I feel that authors deserve an original song that’s specifically written for their novel that highlights the story and reflects the emotions of the novel’s characters. I’d ask if they’ve ever had a book-trailer done for one of their novels and if not, if they’ve ever considered having a book-trailer made.
Beth shared more of her intriguing past experiences with me. It is clear to see that Beth has a passion for not only her music but she also has an altruistic nature that wants to assist other artists in achieving their goals. In her own words, Beth has related her story to me and it is both fascinating and inspiring.
Life as a musician has been an exciting and inspiring journey. I began studying piano at the age of 7 in Jamaica, Queens with a neighborhood piano teacher. My family and I moved to Long Island when I became a teenager and I had the desire to really hone my skills as a pianist and learn how to become technically proficient in the art of playing piano and to learn how to emotionally express the music of Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Bach, Beethoven and Prokofiev through my fingers.
I was fortunate to be accepted to the music studio of renowned concert pianist Morton Estrin and continued to study piano with him through a Bachelor of Science program in Piano Performance that he developed at Hofstra University. Magical things happened to me while at Hofstra. Sitting around with a bunch of fellow students one day, we all took turns playing a piece that we were working on. Someone whipped out a Carly Simon song and I sang it while at the piano. I discovered that I could sing and became the lead singer of the Hofstra Jazz Repertory Band. I learned a lot of jazz, songs from the 1930’s and 1940’s along with blues songs and kept developing as a singer and expanding my repertoire. I was beginning to compose the lyrics and music to songs and then decided to become a singer-pianist. That’s when I started getting work.
One afternoon, on an impulse I drove over to composer Burt Bacharach’s club on Long Island to see if I could get an audition. No one was expecting me, of course, and I was told they already had a performer that they were very happy with. I then asked if I could just perform a few songs and then see what they think. I was hired for the weeknights and was thrilled! From there I became the resident singer-pianist every weekend for the next 3 years and met a lot of wonderful musicians and recording artists.
Once, Neil Sedaka came in with his agent and sat down for coffee. As soon as I saw him walk in I decided to play a little known song of his that is a very beautiful and emotional song called “Superbird” that’s about a boy who wants to find his wings and fly. After I finished the playing the song, his agent called me over to their table and Sedaka burst into tears telling me how moved he was by my performance. That meant so much to me – a great composer could be moved by my performance of one of his songs. At Hofstra I studied music composition with composer Herbert Deutsch. I also was studying fiction writing with novelist Richard Price and learned alot about drawing in the reader immediately through the power of opening lines. I used what I learned from him in my lyric writing and continue to do so.
I’ve made recordings, sang background vocals on a number of pop/dance records and have written and sang my songs for film. I’ve performed on Broadway and in many clubs including Tramps in NYC, Don’t Tell Mama, 55 Grove Street and The Duplex. I also have a passion for radio and have co-hosted my brother Seth Rudetsky’s show for SiriusXM Radio.
Recently I created a new niche in songwriting where I compose and sing original songs for the book-trailers of crime-fiction and thriller authors’ novels. I met UK author Zoe Sharp on Facebook and we struck up a conversation about my love for her work and our mutual passion for stirring music. She asked me to send her some of my songs and gave me a great response saying that she loves my voice and songs. I then was inspired to write and sing a song for one of her novels. I asked her and she said yes! I wrote and sang the song “The Victim Won’t Be Me” for her novel “Fifth Victim.” I orchestrated the song for me on piano along with cello. The response and feedback has been incredible.
About a month later I struck up another conversation with thriller author J. Carson Black who had heard the song that I wrote for Zoe. We talked about our mutual love of cats and dogs and all things that move us including music. She hired me to write a song and produce the book-trailer of her novel, “Icon“. The song is called “Vengeance“.
As the Artistic Producer of the book-trailer it is my task – and an exciting task it is – to find a great scriptwriter, filmmaker and director. For “Vengeance”, I was fortunate to have Mark Ezovski who wears all three hats to make the trailer. I also enlisted the wonderful violinist Karl Kawahara and cellist Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf to record my orchestration in the studio. I enlisted actors from film and Broadway, Jessica Phillips and James Wesley to play the lead characters of the novels. I also do a tremendous amount of publicity for the authors and their book-trailers and enjoy every minute of it.
Beth wants to dedicate this blog to her brother musician/actor/radio host/author Seth Rudetsky and novelist and composer Robert Gregory Browne…Great artists and wonderful people who have been so supportive of me and my work! Thank you to Zoe Sharp and J. Carson Black for the privilege of working with you.
You can connect with Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com. Her professionalism and enthusiasm are matched only by her talent.