For Danny Pelfrey, time away from the studio is a premium. Entering his second season composing for two hit television series, That's Life, starring Heather Paige Kent, Ellen Burstyn and Paul Sorvino on CBS, and Spin City, starring Heather Locklear and Charlie Sheen on ABC, keeps Pelfrey working continuously.
When asked where he finds his inspiration, Pelfrey laughs, "Sammy Cahn once said 'I get my inspiration from deadlines.' I certainly can relate to that quote - and that of course, is one motivation."
As the weekly composer for That's Life, Pelfrey's versatile background gives him a much-needed edge when dealing with diverse subject matter. "The episodes for That's Life are completely different and each one brings on a new challenge," he explains. "Some are very humorous and wry; some are more dramatic or romantic. The show is primarily electric guitar, piano, percussion and bass, and I set the mood within that tapestry."
For Spin City, the feeling is more urban, so Pelfrey created a garage-rock band feel. "On the weekly episodes, I utilize that rock-edge feel of the theme as an outline to create the quirky scores the show calls for. In addition there is specialty music the show calls for, from banjo music for a comedic love scene, to a wedding scene where I created dance music. There was a baseball episode where we used dramatic scoring. And there are very emotional moments when the show calls for a score that will convey that emotion."
Besides the two shows, Pelfrey has signed a three-project deal with Activision for the "Star Trek" series of games. He has previously scored six of those games for which he has received several gaming awards. Last year brought Pelfrey his first primetime Emmy Award nomination for an episode of Felicity. He also won the Best Song award for "Better Than I" at the first Video Premiere Awards for Joseph, King of Dreams, the animated sequel to Dreamwork's Academy Award-winning Prince of Egypt.
"I've made great discoveries about life while composing, how to communicate the subtleties of the human experience. It really is my great love," admits Pelfrey.