film music

Pre-12AM Set

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Ambient set, 60 minutes.

Come along for the ride, and experience new sounds

Start your March, stranger than before.

--

28th Feb, Ham & Eggs, 11 pm - Experimental / Ambient

Event Link

Ambient Reworks + New Platforms

Plenty of good news to start with, this month. To sum up, I've been tampering with the idea of creating more music in the ambient realm, and a number of forthcoming releases will have those kinds of influences.

Also, I shall be trying out a number of new platforms to release some of my pre-existing music, some of it, reworked and remastered.

Transmitted Helena

I recently worked on an arrangement of the theme 'Dearest Helena' from the soundtrack to the video game Starcraft. Got inspired by weird, quirky vintage sounds from transistors and TV static. Think of it as what happens when a faulty radio from the 50's ends up in space.
Listen to it on Bandcamp / Spotify

 
 

Mountain Village

Doomy, dark and unsettling is how I would describe this track of mine that will be releasing on May 24th! Collaborated with Joshua Taipale on guitar on this arrangement, it's track 42 on the compilation. The entire compilation is full of cool new takes on music from game Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

Pre-order here

 
 

Faceshop - Original Score

Earlier this month, I had the awesome privilege of working with New York / China based illustrator and animator Zhongwen Hu to create an original score for her short animated film 'Faceshop'.

Created painstakingly out of singular drawings and illustrations, and clocking at about five and a half minutes, the film is about a shop located in a mysterious street that can help people to achieve their dream faces by cutting and modelling.

 
 

ending one-liners:

  • Pulled out my 2014 single 'Daze Blue' from all stores, it's still available on Bandcamp & Soundcloud though. Also, it got played on a podcast.
  • I've put up a couple of tracks on Resonate & Choon, check out those two services, let me know what you think about them!

 

P.S. - Follow me on Spotify (if you still don't)
P.P.S - Discover my music before it all disappears off the internet (lol jk)

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Combine\\Rewind

I have eventually come to the realization that as technology advances and almost everything becomes as easy as the click of a button, what is really going to matter is our personal experience. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, I believe technology will bring people closer as opposed to keeping them away. Think about it, in a world full of Facebook feeds and endless Tumblr reposts, Would you put apart six hours from your daily schedule to meet a random stranger? Or would you use it to have a meaningful encounter with someone you know really well and would rather spend your quality time on? I think these questions are essential to understanding what our future environment will be.

Here are a few examples, people exchanging mixtapes internationally via real mail is actually witnessing an increase, more and more people have been buying music on vinyl for the past decade now, Bandcamp is popular than ever. I think it's important to see the trend here, and extrapolate it to what this trend will eventually lead to.

Recently, I found out about a platform known as FanHub that helps artists tailor and create their own Facebook Messenger bots for their artist page. I found this fascinating primarily because it goes really well with the idea that more and more music consumers are now open to ditching traditional ways of interacting with artists and accessing exclusive material than ever before, and this speaks volumes about how there is a shift in thinking of the current generation. Being a video game enthusiast, I couldn't help wondering about what would happen if somebody created an ARG (alternate-reality game) using only a Facebook messenger bot. I am pretty sure at this point that choosing to let people and possible fans engage with you personally via Messenger could perhaps be lot better in terms of reach. Sadly, the service that FanHub offered seemed to be a lot more time and effort than I could afford. Hence, over the next month or two, I shall try and figure out the Facebook Messenger API, and try developing my own bot. If it works, cool. If not, I'll bury it.

Moving on, plenty of news this month on the music and audio front. For one, I just recently finished working on the music for the Life in a Kilt podcast, which consisted of a mixture of genres as wide as rock and folk to glitch-hop and synthpop. Fun stuff. Earlier this October, a movie, 'Figure A' that I mixed sound for premiered at Cinesonika 5, a reputed film festival and conference that focuses exclusively on sound design and music for films and visual media. It happened for the first time in the United States and I was super stoked to know that happened. You can check out the trailer here.

 
 

In the meanwhile, I am continuing to work on music for several games and a couple of short films, and it seems to be quite the testing task with work, slightly increasing in the music space, but not to be underwhelmed by that, I have taken some time off that to better update my website, portfolio and resume which also now contains plenty of examples of my software development work. I hope that you will go through the various new things added to my website and like what I've done with the limited resources available.

Coming back to something that is an extension of the idea of using bots to create narrative experiences, this month I decided to combine two rather disconnected fields to create something that is new and rather interesting. I curated a Spotify playlist and wrote a generative poem at the same time! Now, the Spotify API is known to have the ability to fragment sentences into words that can form tracks of a playlist. I decided to reverse engineer it's process in thought. Have a look below. What I eventually hope to do is create a tool that lets you generate a poem on any particular topic and then turn it into a Spotify playlist as well.

 
 

What's fascinating though, is there are always a number of words that can be songs from completely different genres, and simply the task of crafting this playlist led me to discover some interesting new music. There is also the fact multiple songs could have the same word as the song name, and in that case there could be a certain amount of chance thrown into the algorithm for it to be able to decide which of the tracks are suitable for the playlist. I am going to leave this here in itself, and hope that next time I shall be able to pick up on this.

Who says you can't write a poem and curate a playlist at the same time?

Breaking the Wall

The past few weeks have been unexpectedly more busy than I planned. I took some time to sit and mull over what I wanted to do as an artist and where I wanted to go with my work as a music composer / producer and I found myself tugged in several different directions, albeit very unrelated ones. This gave me the chance to explore the idea of breaking a wall. 

What do I mean by breaking a wall? I thought about the idea creatively and analytically. And the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to make sense. I feel that we're living in an increasingly isolated society where more and more people would prefer to do things on their phone and produce their music by their own in their own little home studios and setups. I realise to a large extent that the majority of my work consists of music I create and put out on the web single-handedly hoping for it to reach the right people and an audience that would appreciate it. As we move towards a more heavily 'curated' society, it becomes more and more difficult for me to maintain a coherent identity as an artist. For me, art is super-personal and every time I create some music, it stems out of a personal experience that had an impact on me. To expect somebody to have similar experiences in their life, seems slightly outrageous. I would rather write a 70s synth horror score one day, and a hip-hop banger with metal guitars the next. I don't care about stereotypes or what an 'artist image' is supposed to be. On one level, that for me is breaking a wall.

On another level, I really feel the need now more than ever to collaborate with new artists with unheard-of ideas and un-talked-about stories, because at the end of the day we're all storytellers. We love telling stories and we love hearing them. It gives us something real to relate with and comfort. Comfort, that in the wide universe spanning over a billion galaxies and a gazillion miles, we're not alone. Have you ever tried speaking with someone that never understood your language or somebody that you would never ever meet, if it were not for the internet? It's mind-boggling - the possibilities we have in this time and age and what we make of it.

It is this strange, but revelatory idea that struck my head about a few weeks ago when I discovered an interesting music producer perhaps, much like myself that liked a couple of my tracks on Soundcloud. Doing the customary honours (and being curious) I went over to their Soundcloud to check out the music. This eventually led me to the Bandcamp page of a producer that goes by the name Nea. This album in particular is something that I really digged for its sound as well as visual aesthetic.

 
 

We eventually collaborated on a track which turned out to be an interesting combination of psychedelic and trip-hop music. It fascinates me that sometimes, being where you are and having the surroundings around you that you have growing up, greatly influences how you think about music, rhythm and melody. And then suddenly, you throw it at somebody on the other side of the globe and you're never sure what turns up. The uncertainty and the thrill of it and how unpredictable results can be, still makes me think about every single notion we have about everything. Questioning everything is a gift. And as a musician, I only hope that I can do that every single day. It's literally what makes me excited to open my eyes to a new morning.

 
 

Moving on, I worked on several projects these days. One of them was actually a score for a short horror / experimental film that was inspired by the visual / audio aesthetic of the 70s and 80s. Seeing that Stranger Things is such a big deal everywhere just a few days after I started working on this film, I wouldn't go as far as saying that the style of music in Stranger Things is something I took inspiration from. But it fascinates me how sometimes one film / good tv show comes out following a certain music style and suddenly everyone wants to hop on to the bandwagon. It's sad seeing trends being given more leverage than actual hardcore creativity sometimes.

I would perhaps place the music I made for this particular short film as more inspired by the work of Wendy Carlos than, say music that is so to speak textbook 80s. Being a dissonant composer and somehow always having that Bernard Herrmann DNA running through the music I make for horror, I feel like it made for an interesting combination of sounds. John Carpenter is also another composer I deeply admire and look up to, when horror film music is talked about.

Apart from all that, another topic that found my curiosity was the use of non-diegetic sounds as part of a music score for a film. The idea first hit me when I was on Twitter and found somebody asking about examples where the wall between music and sound effects was removed. There were some pretty interesting answers to the question on Twitter (I added the tweet thread below). While the usage of a combination of sound design and music in recent video games might have been the first and most obvious answer, I actually found myself trying to find out about films in particular that did this. There definitely seem to be a lot more video games than films that do this, though.

 
 
 
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The first film that I could find about that tried blurring the gap between sound design and music was a film in 1956 called Forbidden Planet (poster above) and if you go and watch the film, the sounds you hear in the film are fascinating to say the least. What's piqued my interest in Forbidden Planet is that it's electronic music score's innovation stemmed out of the need to avoid film industry music guild fees, which eventually led composer Louis Barron to construct his own electronic circuits and a ring modulator so that he could create the characteristic blips, blops and beeps that you hear all through the film. What's sad is that they never got considered for an Academy Award for their score simply because they did not belong to the Musicians Union. People didn't get whether to put their work in the "Sound Effects" category or "Music" category. If that's not hardcore sound fuckery for you, I don't know what is, honestly.

There are also an interesting paper I found that talks in depth about Diegetic / Non-diegetic music scores and how they relate with film and narrative. There are some very interesting examples there. I also think that there's a lot of things in the concept of usage of non-diegetic sounds or music as score in film that films can borrow from video games and I am surprised that more people don't try to connect these seemingly unconnected dots. This article in particular talks a lot about the subtext of non-diegetic narrative in video games - things like people finding out more about the story of the game from items they collect inside the game. In a sense it's like people are breaking the fourth wall with video-games by finding out more of the story from items. What if people could do something similar with music in films? I feel that to a large extent, a lot of inspiration could be taken from the Bioshock franchise where some of the licensed music seems to be so well thought-out that it's almost like it tells a story just with the licensed songs themselves. Almost all of them strangely enough, seem to have their context twisted and made to fit what the narrative of the game is. Last year, I wrote my master's thesis on the topic of narrative in Bioshock Infinite, and I had a section where I talked about the idea of licensed songs being used as narrative in games. If you are interested to read more in depth about that game in particular, and how it put this to use, you can check my thesis which I've uploaded here.

 
 

It is with this context that, when I started working on music for a short film, and I saw the first few scenes, I inherently realised that it seemed to somehow go well with music that a friend and a close collaborator Nikita Sailesh had recently been working on. Having reached out to her and secured her permission to use some of her work in a derivative sense, I eventually tried to shift the tone of music in a rather different direction that seemed more nightmarish, yet elusive. At first, I re-recorded the entire track through a cheaper decades-old analog tape recorder and heavily EQ'd it to give it a characteristic radio-like texture. The idea at first was to have it sound like it was coming from a nearby radio, which incidentally was not in the film. But one can always use imagination to conjure things up, and somehow in the context of the scene it seemed to make sense from the non-diegetic perspective.

Eventually, the music composer in me started taking control, and I decided to add many many new things to the slightly destructive radio-filtered track that was the new version of the music. What happened later, was that the original track by Nikita got severely pushed into the background and something you don't actually hear much of, at all in the final version. But it definitely adds something to the core feeling of the track. I added a lot of synths, percussion and some sudden extended crescendos of violins and voila, what came out seemed reminiscent of somebody who was sitting at a beach feeling great, but there was this slight undertone of things not being normal or 'right' - something that suddenly came into prominence with the percussion hits and the orchestral crescendos. A french dream about the Riviera, gone very very rogue. Nightmares abound!

 
 

Moving on, there have been plenty of failures and plenty of successes doing things. I worked on audio for an art studio promo, but it perhaps didn't go as I expected. It would perhaps end up on the Disquiet Junto, an interesting collective of audio artists and experimental music composers that come up with new compositions and works every other week on a new theme or topic. It makes for a very interesting creative process to work on tracks that have themes they think up. It's full of innovative, creative and interesting musicians. If you're a musician, I would definitely recommend looking them up and trying out some of their 'juntos' to try and see where it takes you creatively.

As for me, I shall continue to create more music, and try breaking more walls with music, art and games - just as much as I try to find news ideas, collaborators and possibilities. Also, I just finished a new experimental hip-hop joint. So more on that later. wink wink.

 
 

After the Take

3pm, 20th June 2015
Gatwick Airport

As I sit in the middle of a crowded airport waiting for the next flight out of London, a combination of relief and a state of panic slightly sweep me over at the same time. I wish that the time spent at London could have been longer, a bit more rather than less. However, much like the food at Pret A Manger, it seems everything does come with an expiration date after all.

I can’t really shut myself down from all the feelings of wonder, joy and absolute euphoria that I experienced when I first walked into Abbey Road Studios. It is indeed strange that I could feel my heart beating faster and faster as I was motioned to go in and have a first look at Studio 1, the recording room and the huge stage in front of us. It was to say the least terrifying and mind-boggling to think here I was. Not even a year passed since I first came to Valencia ready to conduct an ensemble of the world’s best musicians ready to play my music.

 
 

7pm, 20th June 2015
In the Sky

To me, music has and will always be bigger than everything else. I revel in its spirituality and the power it gives a person engaged with doing something creative. If life truly was a painting, what would you draw?

That’s a question I found myself asking my own self in the middle of an art gallery, The National Gallery to be more exact. Having a sufficient amount of time to destroy in London after the Abbey Road sessions were finished, I decided to go art-hunting for inspiration. Isn’t that what drives every artist after all? Stone cold inspiration? And the answer to that question took me through a zig- zag line of thinking much like the network of Tube stations peppered all over the city. It took me to the Thames and then further away from the center to the quiet area of Tooting Bec and then back. 

To explain further, I saw an exhibit that was commissioned in the 19th century by a nobleman to be drawn by a tailor to give him an idea of how a certain dress was to look on his wife. What struck me as interesting about this exhibit was the fact that art stemmed not from thinking about the world in an abstract, twisted way or from some kind of fantasy but rather, something much more grounded. A lot of it grew from necessity, especially a few hundred years ago. Perhaps it still does, in different fields, places and applications.

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This brings me to the idea that perhaps everything happens in cycles. Humanity just repeats itself. In every cycle there are periods of progress, a general trend of unexpected disruption, and a complete breakdown in the order of things, before a revolutionary idea is seeded into the particular framework in reference. I have the viewpoint that these ideas arise most of the times out of necessity or the fact that sometimes existing methods or approaches become redundant to the point where someone somewhere has to really step out of conventions and break a few rules to make new things possible. Change is not always invited or facilitated, sometimes it’s a trip and a fall rather than a walk on a carpet.

12.28pm, 20th June 2015
Oxford Circus Station

As the tube train chugged on through the heart of the city, my pulse got faster. The coach to Gatwick airport was supposed to leave in twenty-two minutes and I was still four stations away. With just a few pounds in my pocket, I thought about the worst. What if I missed? I would subsequently miss my bus which would then be followed by missing the flight back home to Valencia. What would happen if I did end up getting stranded in the middle of London with barely any money and no internet? Of course it wouldn’t happen. But having nearly not travelled enough abroad alone, it still seems a bit terrifying to realize that sometimes it is up to you to decide your fate and everything you do has real consequences. Perhaps, time is greater than money.


8.17pm, 18th June 2015
Campden Hill Square

I quickly ringed the second floor bell haphazardly shifting my weight between my two feet while nervously cracking my fingers. I had managed to get myself confused between two very similar sounding places on Google Maps which in turn, led me to the wrong place for the party. But it did not matter anymore as I had reached where I wanted to be. The day had been quite a blur with many different Berklee-organised talks about the business of film scoring. Having been free for less than a day since I recorded my music, I was looking to unwind and have a good time. The rest was a blur with many film-scoring students (me included) going off across to the other side of town cracking jokes, making merry and finding places to hang out. Time was inconsequential.

2.29pm, 19th June 2015
The National Gallery

Pacing through the hall after hall of artworks from the eons far and between, it was strange to realize that so many visionary creative minds came and made a splash only to be disappeared and forgotten. And then there were the greats – The Van Gogh paintings and another artwork which interestingly had been broken up into two different works and then rejoined. In my mind, I somehow connected that to how music composition works inside a video game.

I could see mentions of words in exhibit descriptions and phrases that have somehow managed to seep into popular internet culture – words like ‘doge’ and ‘memes’. The widespread mention of these terms all over the internet are an interesting after-effect of artworks created over hundreds of years. Things are a lot more connected than it may seem on close observation. But it may seem that in this age of fast living and quick satisfaction no one quite sits and thinks about the small things. These small things that somehow shape the bigger ones.

10.43am, 19th June 2015
Goldcrest Postproduction Ltd.

‘Perhaps you might have heard that no one really is able to differentiate between more than 2.5 things at a time sonically, you can’t really make the music so busy, there’s sound effects, voice-overs, dialogues, ADR….’ The voice of the talking seemed to trail away as I stood and wondered about the aesthetics of common pop music these days. Was it really simple and great to have a great production with a ‘minimal approach’?  The answer I gave myself was perhaps a conflicting one.

12.39pm, 17th June 2015
Studio 1, Abbey Road Studios

Isn’t conflict the center of everything? I told myself as I took a deep sigh and prepared myself to get on to Studio 1 in fifteen minutes and conduct a 51-piece orchestra, something I had never done before in life. Through the past months, I had constantly asked myself if it was something I was capable of doing. To command and direct a group of fifty-one musicians, some of the best in the world and truly capture a riveting performance of music that was not inherently supposed to be conventional but more ‘dissonant’. But perhaps that’s the beauty of mankind. Sometimes to find a unique sound, one has to break a few rules. Sadly, rule-breakers aren’t always given the encouragement they feel they need. But then, I suppose no one wants to mess with a rebel. I had never wanted to be one. There is always the need for acceptance among peers, though. Something I’m thankful I received.

Sometimes experiences shape a person rather than a person shaping his own. I have managed to make peace with the fact that perhaps I am inclined to always move in a dissonant direction with my music than a melodic one. I feel a lot less burdened when no one expects me to create music with swirling melodies and perfect-sounding crescendos. I always had wanted music to depict the state of chaos and the environment of indecisiveness the world around us is in these days. I suppose it just comes across in different ways to different people.

 

Time to rock and roll.

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Learning To Fly

While I was hard at work with my other projects, I got a mail from a bunch of NIFT students that wanted me to work on one track for their part-art part-fantasy movie about a girl trying to discover herself. While, normally I would have said no, there was something a little interesting about their concept which seemed a little like 'Alice in Wonderland' to me. Who doesn't love a good fantasy story?

They sent me a rough script and I decided to start imagining what the soundtrack would sound like. It seemed more like the kind of movie that would probably fit better with an acoustic guitar-playing dreamy singer-songwriter strumming and cooing his way to eternity. But I looked at my previous work, and there was a point when I told myself it was going to be difficult to work out, since I'm not great at making that kind of music.

I decided to try anyway. Not the dream-pop stuff, no way I could get myself to do that. Now I know these students did have a look at my work before handing me the project and I'm pretty sure they knew what they were signing up for, since I'm a very experimental guy, I like to drive sounds to the wall and see what ticks.

 
 

They sent me a video today (not the above one, just an excerpt of it)  and the video just as I guessed does have that dreamy surreal feel to it, something I love to thrive on. I like my movies sharp and very surreal. Think Requiem for A Dream, or better still Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind. I love those kind of movies. They kind of, screw with your brain lulling you into a false sense of security before pulling the floor away from you.

I analysed the video and figured this was in fact, exactly the kind of short film I'd like to work on. Even though it was a short 3 minute video, it pretty much summed up the gist of the story. I started with the typical faux pas strumming acoustic guitar, dreamy ambience and a little percussion. Yes, I was doing dream-pop and this was real. Facepalm.

Mid-way through the track, I think the track lost the vibe somewhere and entered unknown territory. I imagined the girl falling inside my head, and I told myself. Things need to go off-course now. What followed was me modulating a few swell pads and trying to create an ambience that was a little surreal. I ended up pretty much making a calculated switch between the loud swells and silence in small doses. I love contrast as a musician. It gives character to the events of a movie, I feel.

 
 

P.S. Imagine my surprise when they ended up using my work for just about 45 seconds of the entire six-minute movie. Now I know that sounds harsh, but then again I guess I could've done better.

But that's how music goes, sometimes you have to prioritise and focus on things that get you more profit. But then again, you never know which way the wind will turn. As it turns out, one of these students helped me bag my next project.

Cheer and Hails all around.

Whipping Up a Fire

The good thing about movie climaxes is, you can't really ever take feeling out of the equation. It matters so much, It makes and breaks the heart of the movie. If things were okay all the time in a movie, it wouldn't really be a film worth talking about. It pays off to kill and destroy, than maintain sanctity and your goodie-two shoes. It's always a great idea to whip up a fire.

There's a scene in the movie where the climax is almost being set up, and you get a hint of the twist the first time, and to say the least its quite heartbreaking. I needed a track that gave off pure unadulterated emotion. Something that would portray that terrible feeling you get when you're almost choking from the inside and you don't really know what to do.

Now, I didn't have an awful lot of tools at the moment, so I tried modulating sounds to arrive at that place sonically. I made strings go through flangers and ring phasers, and the outcome was, to understate it 'amazing'. A large part of the movie had things going on in secret, and there's this subtle underlying percussion that runs throughout the score, which kind of mirrors that thread of the story.

 

The Social Network soundtrack has always been quite an influence on my sound. A lot of sound modulation I did on movie scores was a direct consequence of that.

 

I've come to realise, you can recreate sounds, you can recreate compositions. But one thing you can never do is recreate a feeling, not in the same way anyway. That's another thing that really makes me even more curious about film-scoring. There are a million ways to do the same thing, and yet you have to be very careful with your methods.

In the meanwhile, I finished up the pre-climax and moved into the domain of the actual climax. And you know how climaxes are. Everything needs to burn and die. You have to do the equivalent of killing your audience sonically and emotionally. Make it feel like nothing is ever going to be the same again. Chaos and anarchy is the name of the game.

I spent a lot of time thinking what the darker and angrier emotions of mankind would sound like. I ended up using a groovebox-like VST that gave me some interesting rhythm percussion. I fiddled around with it, changing and modulating elements, shifting their placement and making things a little more primal. It still sounded a little too refined. I basically destroyed it.

I made the entire groove go through so much distortion you probably couldn't tell it from a washing machine, and I parallel-processed with the clean signal, and faded the clean signal out as things got messier and darker. It was a good idea. And then there was this point of explosion where basically, you could feel everything burning inside, as well as outside. Even though it was the messiest part of the score, it was the probably the most brutal part of the movie, and you really want the audience to feel that.

..Aaand that's the story of how I almost destroyed the climax of a movie.

Themes and Schemes

I'm at an interesting new phase of my music-scoring career. As you know, six months can do a lot to a musician's influences, desires and tastes. Looking at the fact that this new movie's entire background seems to be urban and the city, I realised the sound needed to sort of, reflect that.

Hence I've decided to incorporate more of a Brooklyn jazz sound to most of the songs wherever it's possible not to mention the main theme which screamed 'Brooklyn Jazz in the City!' like nothing else. You had the electric guitar. The rhodes. The sax. The fretless bass-swag. Acoustic Guitars. Brass. The epic string quartet screaming right at the beginning. Not to mention the constant tap on one particular note on a keyboard. Pure unadulterated epic-ness.

 
 
 
 

Then of course Munchies has that jazz vibe too. Oh, and did I mention Munchies also had some crazy turntable-scratching which added so much to the track it's friggin' brilliant? I think I'll also have to go through the other tracks once again just to make sure the Brooklyn jazz vibe is much more present in the rest of the tracks as well.

Time to get some more work done, Adios.

The Lighter Parts

There is always, a defining moment for every music score, an apex. A point of climax where everything that you've come to know through it is questioned and you know you're at the zenith of all that the movie stands for. To reach that point one has to take into consideration every shaping element in a movie and experience it objectively through your own eyes. This movie in particular has an entire domain that constitutes what I call 'The Sum of Lighter Parts'.

What is that, you ask? Of course like any other movie, there is drama, action and suspense. But what really defines it and really set it apart are the light moments, that in their unique way shine light towards human nature and what its really like to be human and alive between trials and tribulations. To see the happier side.

There are about two-three tracks that I plan to keep on the lighter side. And their placements are just crazy. While one is sandwiched right between the main theme and a really sombre piece of music, the other one was right before a romantic sequence.

I think the more fun I had was probably on the first one. I called it 'Downtown Shuffle (Munchies)'. Munchies, yes. As ridiculous as it sounds, it was probably just the guy running around a supermarket trying to figure his shit out. I made a hunch and figured he must have his headphones on, and made the music in such a way that it faded in from the crowd ambience like a low-pass filter with a subtle radio effect.

I think I've established already that the sound needs to be more jazz-centric in most places. Of course the action sequences ae exceptions to everything. I really had quite a ball composing Munchies. It was like a fun 2-minute jazz-rock track which sounded like a band just having a lil' bit of fun.

 
 

Then there was the other track, where I think I took the jazz-influence a little too far. It mostly had me playing some very complex chords on the piano. I tried making the piano go through a lot of processing but I guess it came out unique in the end. It was quite a unique electric-meets-boxy effect. 

I think this track came in at a perfect time where all the action and the drama has the viewer quite saturated, and things just go easy on you for a while. There's a synth-line going in the background and then the xylophone adds a nice playful touch before the jazz-piano chords kick in. It was a like nice evening in Hawaii.

I think the jazz influence is something I won't be able to shake off for a while.

Time for food.

 
 

Wrapping it Up

I've almost reached the end of my music score for the entire movie, and it has been quite an interesting journey. Even though, I had set my mind on having a total of 14 tracks in the final arrangement, I decided to add a couple more in the end as I felt like the movie could use some extra filler music.

There was also the question of the ending credits and what music that would consist of. Even though I was sort of lazy and unwilling to work on some more music for now as it has been a long month, I still somehow mustered up the energy to create a reprise of the opening song as an ending. I wouldn't really call it much of a reprise as it drifted pretty far off from what the first track was supposed to be.

The song had turned into quite a mess before I completely scrapped it off and started working on it again from scratch. I decided to combine a few trip-hop beats with a sense of doom and an eerie feeling provided some absolutely crazy FX. Somehow, I feel like it always helps to keep an open ending to movies as they leave so much for things to be interpreted in so many different ways.

Finally, I was done with entire score about two hours ago. Went through all the tracks twice, and now it's time to chill.

Until next time, folks.

 
 

Something Uneasy

So, I finally got the script and it seems quite the part-dream part-reality psychological mind-fuck that I expected. But the twists are something that were completely unexpected.

Time to work on the the part of the movie before the credits sequence. There's something very uneasy about that part. Even though at the surface, everything seems to be normal. The darkness that seems to be looming throughout the movie over the protagonist has only started bubbling out.

 
 


Since this scene was based inside a room behind closed doors, I figured why not turn up the claustrophobia? I didn't want the background score to look too distracting and take over the setting and premise. But since I wanted it to look dark in a subtle sort of way to, I decided to create something minimal starting with a 3/4 Rhodes Piano loop over layers of drones.

What started off as a minimal beginning slowly builded up over the course of a few hours into a track that was only a couple of minutes long descending into an almost-Victorian waltz, but had a sense of black comedy to it. Since there didn't seem to be anything strictly horror-based, I decided to keep the creeps for later.

Horror! Hell Yeah!

Being a huge horror movie buff all my life, it was only natural I'd end up working on music for a horror movie sooner or later. Movies and music are probably the only two things I really actually care about, so I thought it would be a good idea to get myself some work.

I got in touch with an old school friend who is into filming and producing movies. Turns out he had a project he was working on. Can't really reveal too much here, but the movie had an interesting perspective, or a new and unique approach to the psychological thriller/horror genre.

We exchanged a few details that included the outline of the story, the mood and general ambience of the film and I decided I would get down to laying out a few outlines for some of the scenes in the movie.

Having never worked on music for a film before, it seems to be quite a challenge. I might get a rough script in a few days so really looking forward to that. In the meanwhile, I've started sketching out some rough ideas for some sounds on my notebook. Seems legit.