Recent News

Tell Them We Are Rising, a Tom Phillips scored film debuts on PBS on Feb. 19, 2018 - February 13, 2018

On Feb. 19 a film that Tom Phillips of OBT Music scored for producer Stanley Nelson will premiere on Independent Lens (PBS) at 9pm. Entitled "Tell Them We Are Rising", it's a film that examines the legacy and history of Black colleges and universities in the US. Definitely a worthwhile watch especially given the atmosphere of today.

OBT Music contributes music for Lorraine Hansberry documentary - January 8, 2018

Tracy Strain and Randall MacLowry's Sighted Eyes / Feeling Heart made its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival in September. OBT Music is proud to have helped them fill in a number of last minute holes. Every filmmaker knows the feeling of racing to the finish line only to discover that there are some problem areas that only seem to show themselves once the film is "completed". We feel honored to have been a part of Tracy and Randall's labor of love, which will make it's broadcast premiere on January 19th 2018 on PBS's American Masters.

The Secret of Tuxedo Park Premieres on PBS' American Experience on Jan. 16th - January 8, 2018

The Secret of Tuxedo Park premieres on PBS's American Experience on Tuesday January 16th. It's the story of Alfred Loomis and the team of world famous scientists that he assembled at his Tuxedo Park, NY estate and their development of radar, which enabled the Allies to win WWII. The music score is an original score by OBT's Tom Phillips as well as cues from the OBT Music library which worked so well as rough cut music that it made sense to keep them as is or mold them to fit. Rob Rapley of Apograph Productions produced the film.

Jackson Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Opens Saturday December 9th - December 8, 2017

Tom Phillips and OBT Music provided an original score as well library cuts for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson Mississippi. The museum opens on December 9 2017, and is a landmark event considering all that has gone on in Mississippi over the years. Tom Phillips scored several films for the museum exhibit as well as creating soundscapes with sound designer Berred Ouellette. Donald Trump was scheduled to make an appearance at the opening.

OBT Music and Tom Phillips Score Tuxedo Park for American Experience - October 16, 2017

In today's world of shrinking budgets, it's a good thing when a film composer and a high quality film music library can combine to produce a score that shines and helps a film producer realize their creative vision. Such was the case with Tuxedo Park, an American Experience produced by Rob Rapley of Apograph Productions. Tom Phillips scored the film and filled in the holes with music from OBT Music, in some cases adapting the library cues to appear as if they were original cues. Tuxedo Park is a story about Alfred Loomis and the development of radar in the early stages of WWII. The film score ran through a multitude of diverse styles as the story line ranged from emotional timeless film score music to contemporary scientific, with of course the drama needed to echo the tension of the times. Tuxedo Park will be broadcast on PBS in 2018.

Tom Phillips of OBT Music has completed the score for PBS' The Great War 6 hour series - January 12, 2017

Tom Phillips of OBT Music has finished composing, recording, and mixing the score for the PBS and American Experience 6 hour film series on WW1, entitled "The Great War". Phillips split the composing task with Peter Rundquist, a long time PBS composer who has scored multiple American Experiences and other films for PBS, the massive undertaking was produced by Insignia Productions in New York City, with producers Steven Ives, Amanda Pollak, and Rob Rapley. The three 2 hour films will premiere on PBS in April 2017. The films cover the American side of the war, something that had not been addressed previously to the extent that The Great War series does. Most docs concerning WW! focus on the European combatants and with the US only after America entered the war. This film series informs as to what was going on in the United States, why we entered the war, and what the long term consequences were (and are).

"Tell Them We Are Rising" is headed to Sundance - January 12, 2017

Tom Phillips of OBT Music finished composing and producing the score for award winning producer Stanley Nelson's "Tell Them We Are Rising". The 90 minute film will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and will be broadcast on PBS's Independent Lens. The film covers the establishment of African American colleges and universities in the US, the prejudices and issues that had to be overcome as well as the violence directed towards those institutions and students.

Tom Martin of OBT Music is working with Emmy award winning producer Laurens Grant - May 7, 2016

Tom Martin of OBT Music is composing a Hybrid Score" for BET's "Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement" program, which is being produced by Emmy award winning Laurens Grant. Laurens is very familiar with OBT Music having worked numerous times with OBT's Tom Phillips on such programs as the Emmy Award winning Jesse Owens and most recently Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. Tom Martin is composing new cues for the program as well as using cues from the OBT library as is, and using cues from the library altered to fit the film to give a composed to film feel. The film is slated to air on BET on May 26th at 9pm.

OBT Music helps filmmaker Daniel Lambert acquire two New England Emmy Nominations - April 18, 2016

OBT Music helped filmmaker Daniel Lambert acquire two New England Emmy Nominations for his film "Max: Surviving the Holocaust". Dan used the library to score the film and netted nominations for Best Historical / Cultural Program and Best Editing. We at OBT Music are so pleased that our music was able to help you achieve these accomplishments, and we wish you the best of luck to win.

"Murder of a President" and "Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution" are set to premiere on PBS - February 1, 2016

Two new scores from OBT Music's Tom Phillips are scheduled to premiere on PBS in February. Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution will be broadcast on PBS's Independent Lens on February 16, and Murder of a President, a film on the assassination of President James Garfield will premiere on PBS's American Experience on February 2nd. Award winning film producer Stanley Nelson of Firelight Media produced Black Panthers, and Rob Rapley of Apograph Productions did an exquisite job producing Murder of a President. Black Panthers actually premiered at Sundance in January 2015 and has been on national theater screens for the past 4 months.

Two New Films Airing Using "Hybrid" Scores by OBT Music - February 1, 2016

Vital Pictures of Boston, MA has 2 new films airing on February 2nd and 3rd on the PBS World Channel. American Denial and The Raising of America are 2 films that OBT Music provided music for Vital Pictures. Both Tom Martin and Tom Phillips composed "hybrid" scores for the films, meaning part library, part original. It's a cost effective method of producing a sound track that feels originally composed as the music has an organic sensibility to the film.

Tom Phillips of OBT Music composed a new package for Antiques Roadshow - January 2, 2016

Tom Phillips of OBT Music, the composer of the theme for PBS' Antiques Roadshow finished composing a multiple of pieces for the 2016 season for Roadshow. The new music pieces incorporate the theme to reinforce the Roadshow brand over new segments, and are in a multitude of styles ranging from a ZZ Top style to New Orleans Longhair, to 40's, 50's, and even a Jetson kind of piece. Each of the 12 new pieces has its own unique identity incorporating the Roadshow theme concept.

Recent projects at OBT Music include "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution".. - November 2, 2015

Some recent projects at OBT Music include an original score for "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution" which is doing a national theatrical run in select cities throughout the United States. Tom Phillips of OBT Music scored the 90 minute film for producer Stanley Nelson of Firelight Media. The film will have it's broadcast premiere on PBS's Independent Lens in early 2016. The first theatrical screening was at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival playing to packed venues. Other projects include Murder of a President, an American Experience that will premiere on PBS in 2016. Produced by Rob Rapley of Apograph Productions the film covers the assassination of President James Garfield. Also, Tom Phillips is composing a multiple of pieces for the Antiques Roadshow for the 2016 to back up a series of new segments that will be on the Roadshow.

Tom Martin of OBT Music is composing a "hybrid score" for The Needham Channel - November 2, 2015

Tom Martin of OBT Music is composing a "hybrid score" for The Needham Channel for a fim on the Baker Estate. A hybrid score combines music from the OBT Music library with an original score. Some cues are completely original compositions while others are altered library pieces. Still other cues are directly from the library without alteration. This is a cost effective way to create a complete score having the music sound unique to the film.

Tom Phillips just completed the score for "Murder of a President" for PBS's American Experience - May 22, 2015

Tom Phillips just completed the score for the American Experience production of Murder of a President, a film about James Garfield who was tragically assassinated in 1881. The film covers Garfield's ascendency to being a leader in America who would carry forward Lincoln's vision, only to be a victim of a mentally unstable assassin and a doctor who despite his best intentions delivered the worst possible care for the ailing president. Composer Tom Phillips used mostly live instruments to convey all of the different emotional needs of the film, which will air on PBS's American Experience in 2016. Rob Rapley of Apograph Productions produced the film.

Tom Phillips just completed the score for "The Black Panther Party: Vanguard of the Revolution" - January 8, 2015

Tom Phillips finished the score for "The Black Panther Party: Vanguard of the Revolution" for Firelight Media and producer Stanley Nelson. The film will premiere this January at Sundance while the broadcast is slated for 2016 on PBS' Independent Lens award winning series. The collaboration of Tom Phillips and Stanley Nelson has net Emmys, Sundance Film Festival premieres, and countless other awards and nominations including Tom Phillips' score for Jesse Owens (American Experience) which was nominated for an Outstanding Music and Sound Emmy in 2013.

OBT Music is now offering annual license subscriptions - January 8, 2015

Due to inquiries from filmmakers and production companies, OBT Music now offers annual license subscriptions. Many filmmakers use music from multiple libraries for their productions and it makes perfect sense from a budgetary stand point to be able to afford the best possible music without compromising. We know that the wrong music can reflect poorly on a filmmaker. So to give the best possible outcome for a film and to help producers achieve their creative vision, we now offer annual licenses. Please inquire for details by email or phone....508-366-9585 or

Tom Martin of OBT Music lectures at Berklee College of Music - May 22, 2014

OBT's Tom Martin was recently a guest lecturer at Berklee College of Music for Joe Carrier's advanced contemporary writing class. Berklee is the foremost internationally recognized college of music and as such attracts students from all parts of the world. Martin visits with this class each semester to discuss composing for documentary film as well as the creation of content and the workings of the OBT Film Music Library. In the Contemporary Writing and Production program, students learn to compose in a myriad of musical genres and arrange for different types of ensembles. After completing their education, some of the graduates find positions contributing to film music libraries and scoring for film. Martin's interactive lectures expose in more detail two potential career paths which have proven invaluable to inspiring up and coming composers.

Freedom Summer Will Premiere on PBS' American Experience on June 24 - May 20, 2014

Tom Phillips of OBT Music scored the American Experience production of Freedom Summer which was featured at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Working again with award winning film producer Stanley Nelson and award winning Aljernon Tunsil, the original score helps the film define a pivotal movement in America's past that attempted to bring equality to all Americans in having a voice in their government. The film chronicles the event called Freedom Summer, the summer of 1964 in Mississippi when students and civil rights advocates attempted to register Black voters to vote and to gain a voice at the Democratic National Convention in Washington. The broadcast premiere of the film will be on PBS's American Experience on June 24, 2014..

Tom Martin of OBT Music is composing an original score for the Federal Reserve Bank - January 13, 2014

Tom Martin is working with Monadnock Media and scoring a video presentation for the Federal Reserve Bank that explains how the world economy functions. The music will be a cutting edge high energy electronica score that will sync perfectly with the animation and graphics so that the message is delivered in a compelling fashion.

Tom Phillips' Original Score Nominated for an Emmy in Best Music and Sound Category - October 4, 2013

Tom Phillips' score for Jesse Owens did not win the Outstanding Music and Sound award at the 2013 News and Documentary Emmy Awards held October 1st in New York. But just the same we would like to congratulate fellow nominee Benny Mouthon for his sound work, the "Sound" in the Music and Sound category. It is an honor to be nominated along with other members of the film community who excel at their craft. Laurens Grant, the producer of Jesse Owens, did win an Emmy for Best Research. The film was also nominated for Best Historical Documentary.

Tom Martin of OBT Scoring Discovery of the Double Helix for HHMI - May 31, 2013

Tom Martin of OBT will be scoring a film of the discovery of the double helix for Howard Hughes Medical Institute and working with filmmaker Rob Whittlesey of RCSR Productions. Tom has worked with Rob a number of times, composing original scores as well as adapting library cues to fit Rob's films, resulting in a more customized result.

Andrew Lilley of Loose Gravel Films wins Garden State Film Festival using OBT Music - April 30, 2013

Andrew Lilley of Loose Gravel Films won the Garden State Film Festival Best Home Grown Documentary Feature Award using OBT Music as the lion's share of the score for the film. The film, entitled "I'll Knock a Homer for You: The Timeless Story of Johnny Sylvester and Babe Ruth" tells the real story behind a moment in time that has become legendary. We here at OBT Music are proud of Andrew's achievement and are pleased that we were able to assist him in his creativity and vision. For more information on the film please visit

Tom Phillips Just Completed Scoring a 3 hour American Experience on the Abolitionists - November 21, 2012

Tom Phillips of OBT Music just wrapped composing, recording, and mixing the score for The Abolitionists, working with film producer Rob Rapley and Apograph Productions of Brooklyn, NY. The 3 hour American Experience will premiere on PBS on January 8, 15, and 22 in one hour installments. The score is all original score orchestrated with as much live instrumentation as possible. The films were rough scored with music from the OBT Film Music Library, and some of those cues ended up as the basis of music for the films, rerecorded to tightly fit the needs of the film. The films feature 5 leading abolitionists from the period in America of 1825 to 1865 who were responsible for the dissolution of slavery resulting from the Civil War, which in part was caused by the actions of those leading the abolitionist movement. The quality of the production is top shelf.

Tom Martin of OBT Music recently completed scoring 3 films for Binghamton University - November 21, 2012

Tom Martin recently completed the score for MJ Herson of the Herson Group for Binghamton University (NY). The 3 short films provide a look at the university's excellence in graduating students with academic skills and goals to become successful and leaders in their chosen fields. The music needed to impart the correct emotion without going over the top. The final score is now available in the OBT Film Music Library.

"Jesse Owens" premiered on PBS's American Experience on May 1 - May 2, 2012

Tom Phillips of OBT Music scored "Jesse Owens" which premiered on PBS's American Experience on May 1. The film covers Owens' life as a college track star, an Olympic hero, and the his financial problems after the Olympics due to the racial inequities of the times. America virtually discarded and tossed aside the Olympic hero who had stood up to and shattered Hitler's Aryan supremacy assertion.

Tom Phillips scores "Creatures of Light" for the American Museum of Natural History.. - March 29, 2012

Tom Phillips completed an ambitious soundscape for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The museum's communications department describes it as follows: A symphonic soundscape - specially commissioned for Creatures of Light - evokes the magical experience of bioluminescence. The music, and the mood shifts as visitors enter An Enchanted Evening, Light on Land, A Sparkling Sea, Altered Light and finally, The Deep Ocean. Under the direction of the Exhibition Department, Tom Phillips composed Creatures of Light, The Soundtrack. The soundtrack features originally composed music in the styles of Vivaldi, Saint Saens, Debussy, and Stravinsky. Live instruments were recorded to add to the intensity of the moods which help bring the exhibit to life. The exhibit runs from March 31, 2012 to January 2013.

Tom Martin has completed adapting OBT Music library cues for Emmy winner Mark Davis' latest film - March 29, 2012

Tom Martin has completed adapting OBT Music library cues for Emmy winner Mark Davis' latest National Geographic Channel production "Martian Mega Rover". The film details the story behind the design, construction, and launch of the newest rover sent to explore Mars. The broadcast date will be announced.

Freedom Riders Wins Three 2011 Primetime Emmys, Scored by Tom Phillips and OBT Music - September 12, 2011

Freedom Riders, a 2 hour American Experience program produced by Stanley Nelson and Firelight Media has won three Creative Arts Primetime Emmys. The awards were for Best Nonfiction Filmmaking, Best Editing, and Best Writing. Tom Phillips and OBT Music scored the film which also premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010.

Tom Phillips of OBT Music is currently scoring "Jesse Owens" for American Experience... - August 27, 2011

Tom Phillips of OBT Music has begun to compose the score for "Jesse Owens", an American Experience (PBS) documentary film being currently produced by Laurens Grant and Stanley Nelson of Firelight Media. The film covers the life of Jesse Owens, once dubbed the "world's fastest man", whose 4 Olympic gold medals in the 1936 Berlin games were an outstanding achievement especially given the political and racial environment of the times. Unfortunately, he was unable to capitalize on his fame due to the racial climate of the day in the US and struggled for years. Stanley Nelson and Tom Phillips have teamed up for some impressive award winning films for American Experience, including Emmy and Sundance Film Festival winner "The Murder of Emmett Till", "Jonestown: The Life and Death of People's Temple", and "Freedom Riders".

Tom Martin contributes to "Heaven+Earth+Joe Davis" screening at the Independent Film Festival Boston - June 1, 2011

Peter Sasowsky's independent documentary feature film "Heaven+Earth+Joe Davis" screened at the 2011 Independent Film Festival Boston. Peter enlisted Tom Martin of OBT Music to shape and customize a great deal of music from the library to fit the film. The best way to describe the film is to quote the film's website: it "documents the life of an artist who is driven to pursue questions that can only be answered in the space where science and art lose their individual distinction". Peter and Tom have worked together for years on many film projects encompassing a diverse collection of styles. "Heaven+Earth+Joe Davis" screened at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA to favorable reviews and good crowds.

"Death of a Mars Rover" airs June 2 on National Geographic Channel at 8pm... - June 1, 2011

The music score for Death of a Mars Rover was taken entirely from the OBT Music library. The National Geographic Channel film that premieres June 2 at 8pm is about NASA's decision to end the Mars rover program. The rovers were only expected to last 6 months but have lasted more than 6 years and gathered invaluable clues to the Mars' past and perhaps the future of the Earth. The film was scored with the library, making use of pieces that fit exactly, or pieces that needed editing to fit, or pieces that needed some gentle alterations to fit. Tom Phillips worked with producer Mark Davis to complete the score in the span of a week.....and it is a virtual wall to wall music score reflecting the character of National Geographic Channel's identity.

"Freedom Riders" premiered on American Experience on May 16, 2011.. - May 31, 2011

Tom Phillips scored the American Experience film "Freedom Riders" for producer Stanley Nelson. The 2 hour documentary incorporated a number of OBT Music cues which were then customized, and the rest of the score was originally composed. The film was accepted into the 2010 Sundance Film Festival where it premiered and played to packed houses while garnering top shelf reviews. It has since screened nationally in theaters and many film festivals. It aired on PBS' American Experience on May 16,2011, the 50th anniversary of the actual event of the Freedom Riders. The film is about the bus trips into the deep South in 1961 by a courageous core of Black and White men and women whose objective was to test the integration laws that supposedly did away with the Jim Crow era. The film chronicles the violence that unfortunately awaited them along the way. The score produced a number of pieces that are now included in the OBT Music library.

Boston Museum of Science's Planetarium gets signature theme from OBT.. - February 7, 2011

OBT Music composed a custom 6 minute long signature theme for the Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Boston Museum of Science. Tom Martin and Tom Phillips composed to a Quicktime animatic representation of what will be projected on the inside of the dome. The Planetarium is completely refurbished with a $9 million budget which was used to install a surround sound system, a new Zeiss projection system, and a truly anechoic environment for the theater. The signature or "Preshow" visuals take visitors to the Planetarium on a journey from the comfort of inside the dome to outside of our galaxy and beyond. The music composed for this journey captures the excitement and wonder of the journey. The premiere is scheduled for early February 9, 2011.

American Experience "Dinosaur Wars" premiered January 17, 2011 on PBS - February 6, 2011

Tom Phillips scored the American Experience episode entitled "Dinosaur Wars" which premiered on PBS on January 17, 2011 on PBS. Taking place in the late 1800's, the film chronicles the paleontologists Othniel Marsh and Edward Cope whose ground breaking discoveries ignited dinosaur mania throughout the world, but also whose tragic and senseless enmity for each other nearly derailed the science of evolution. The music plays out like a Victorian melodrama set in the wild West with intrigue and suspense as the two paleontologists made remarkable discoveries while wrestling with their adversary. The OBT Film music Library contains many pieces that were developed for this film in either the Classical category of Film Score > Period > 1800's (mid to late).

OBT Music Wins National Emmy - May 2, 2010

OBT Music and Tom Phillips scored the 2009 Outstanding Science and Nature Documentary Emmy winning film "5 Years on Mars", a National Geographic Channel film produced by veteran filmmaker Mark Davis. The film covers the two Mars Rovers, Opportunity and Spirit, that have lasted over 5 years, 4 and a half years longer than they were expected to last. The music score was about 25% straight from the library, 25% adapted from the library, and 50% originally composed. All of the originally composed pieces are now in the library, mostly in the Science Fiction and Film Score > Contemporary categories.