Edmonds Art Beat: A conversation with Ed Hartman, an award-winning, musical renaissance man.

Ed Hartman

I am a musician and often am researching new and creative ways to produce originals. One of the well-known resources in our community is Ed Hartman, long time musician, composer, award-winning tv & movie score creator and drum instructor. Recently I learned that this multi-talented musician is an Edmonds resident. I reached out to learn more about his work and to see if he would share with My Edmonds News; luckily, he was willing to take my call.

Ed Hartman moved from Chicago to Seattle in 1979. He has been many things in the music industry, from musician to composer, teacher to business advisor and so much more. Until 2017, Hartman was running the Wallingford Drum Exchange while working on music scores and teaching others to do the same. Over the last year he has shifted his focus to teaching virtual drum lessons, continuing to support musicians wanting to learn how to get their music on tv and movies, creating a podcast, and continuing to compose scores and jingles of his own.

Hartman has been teaching music licensing through North Seattle Community College for the last decade. The classes are focused on getting original music into tv and film while building an understanding of writing and publishing, how to create a business around composing and learning about the gatekeepers of the industry. Through the years he has created his own scores for features, documentaries and short films. He shared that he has even been getting music into YouTube and TikTok and learning how to create revenue from those channels as a musician. Ed commented on how creating music is so different now as everyone practically has a studio in their pocket.

Hartman’s interest in film scoring, and a serendipitous YouTube video being seen by the right person, led to him being hired to score a reproduction of a 1938 silent film. The film, As the Earth Turns, was recovered from the home of director and Seattle native Richard Lyford. Lyford was only 20 years old when this movie was originally in production. He later became known for his work with Disney. This particular project was well-received and led to many awards for the reproduction and for Hartman’s score. The project led to a further interest for Ed personally, one that has led him to research Lyford and open possibilities for future films, writing and podcasts.

Through our conversation, it became apparent that Hartman’s optimism and creativity have been a great contributor to his success. With closures from the pandemic, he found ways to quickly shift his attention to virtual platforms and even started a podcast. The podcast has taken off with interviews of filmmakers, and programs about scoring and playing melodies. He works hard to produce content that will be interesting not only for those in the industry but for anyone who wants to learn more about films, scoring, music or just listen to a local legend.

There is more to Ed Hartman than will fit into one article, so I encourage you to continue learning about this Edmonds resident by checking out his website, his drum lessons, the podcast, and the recent film project, As the Earth Turns. In addition, if there are any community groups that would like to talk with Hartman about private screenings and educational content, you can contact him here, his current projects would be great for arts organizations, retirement homes or filmmaker organizations.

— By Rachel Gardner

Rachel Gardner has a heartfelt appreciation for art in all forms and believes everyone is an artist, some just don’t know it yet. A dedicated and involved Edmonds resident, she can often be spotted onstage cracking jokes between sets or in the audience enjoying local live performances. She enjoys being playful with her art and finding unique ways of expression, like forming a boho-grunge-folk ukulele trio with local Edmonds moms.


  1. I took drum lessons from one of Ed’s teachers at the Drum Exchange when Ed and his wife had it. Looked forward to going there every week. Ed also helped me purchase my original cymbals there along with other gear.

    I will always remember my time, unique experience, and what I learned there. Great story and glad to hear Ed is doing well!

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