Manion Music sells background music to distribution centers for restaurants and hotels, and the management prides themselves on the products’ musical integrity and consistent volume level. They have been attracting customers by waiving all periodic royalty payments, and requiring only a single up-front payment. Because the customer does not pay periodic royalty payments, no third party copyright holder owns any of the music. To be public domain in the United States, a tune must have been composed and performed before the year 1922. There has been a wealth of excellent music written before 1922; yet, what most people now hear is owned by publishing companies, which in turn have control of the media sources through which most people hear music.
David was first hired by Manion Music to arrange, record, and produce 10 albums of jazz music of public domain themes. When he began his work, he was assisted by renowned author and NPR music critic Ted Libbey, and later was permitted free reigns to choose his own musical selections and arrangements. One of the few MIDI studios hired by Manion Music, David has taken great care to make sure to employ enough real instrumentalists that the music does not sound synthesized, even though the drums, bass, and piano are usually sequenced through a MIDI synthesizer. David has also arranged, recorded, and produced the entire five-hour collection of Caribbean music for Manion Music.
(Recorded and arranged by David Duckworth. Alto saxophone: Jeff Simmons; soprano saxophone, flute: Randall Reese, Ph.D.; trumpet, flugel: Kirk Lee; guitars (acoustic and electric); recorder: David Duckworth; synthesized instrumentation (pianos, drums, bass, brass, accordian, steel drums): David Duckworth)
David's skills as a producer and arranger have been lent to many albums for other recording artists. Below is a sample list of his productions (click album or title to hear audio):