In the heyday of low-budget television and scrappy genre filmmaking, producers who
needed a soundtrack for their commercial entertainments could reach for a selection of
library music: LPs of stock recordings whose contents fit any mood required. Though at the
time, the use of such records was mostly a cost-cutting manoeuvre for productions that
couldn’t afford to hire their own composer, the industry soon took on its own life: library
publishers became major financial successes, and much of the work they released was truly
extraordinary. In fact, many of these anonymous or pseudonymous scores-on-demand
were crafted by the some of the greatest musical minds of the late 20th century—expert
musicians and innovative composers who revelled in the freedoms offered, paradoxically, by
this most corporate of fields.
Unusual Sounds is a deep dive into a musical universe that has, until now, been accessible
only to producers and record collectors; a celebration of this strange industry and an
examination of its unique place at the nexus of art and commerce.
The perfect companion to the David Hollander curated book Unusual Sounds: The Hidden
History of Library Music (out now on Anthology Editions), these 20 tracks, encapsulate the
niche and fascinating subculture of library music. Genres were spliced, conventions
dispensed with, and oftentimes hybrid music of astonishing complexity was produced.
Elements of rock, jazz, soul, even twentieth-century avant-garde composition were all
utilized, and no stone was left unturned. As a result, some of the best library music defies all
categorization, reflecting the individualistic quirks and artistry of the various musicians who
This compilation includes compositions by Brainticket founder Joel Vandroogenbroeck, KPM
Allstars John Cameron and Keith Mansfield, Montenegrin-born composer Janko Nilović, and
the Italian film composer Stefano Torossi amongst others.
David Hollander is a producer, music supervisor, writer and collector living in Texas. A
lifelong record collector, his library music collection is considered by many to be one of the
finest of its kind in the world.