Ben Wexler is a New York-based songwriter. His work has been performed by Billy Porter, Idina Menzel, Victoria Clark, Tituss Burgess, and many more. Ben has been commissioned to compose original music for choirs in ten states, from Alabama to California to Ohio, leading these groups to top honors at both local and national competitions.
1. Please describe your basic setup. (Your technical setup as well as the physical space that you work in.)
My home studio has an 88-key weighted MIDI keyboard, as well as a mini-recording booth, that both hook up to my computer. I notate in Sibelius and produce in Logic — all from my small home studio in the heart of New York City.
2. What is your process for brainstorming or inspiration-seeking as you start a new arrangement?
For original songs, I try and latch onto the story being told and make sure it hits emotionally. For arrangements, I try and feel the “essence” or “heart” of the song — get the groove in my body, really try and lose myself in the music. That way the chart comes out with the necessary energy.
3. What is your go-to snack and/or drink when arranging?
Snack: hummus and pretzel chips. Drink: iced coffee.
4. What is one thing you wish you would have known when you started arranging?
Trust your gut and don’t over-complicate things!
5. What is your favorite shortcut or time-saving trick in your notation software?
I rarely use the mouse… learning all the keyboard shortcuts is faster for me!
6. What is a favorite arrangement of yours?
7. How can people get ahold of you?