film scoring

Remixes, Aliases & The Future

The past couple of months have been a combination of exciting, busy punctuated with bursts of idleness and happy news. What's great is I've somehow kept myself busy through all of this. So here's a few tidbits of news and general going-ons:

 

Tinker Quarry

I have been working on the soundtrack for the game Tinker Quarry over the past few months, and I'm glad to say that I'm at a place where the soundtrack for the game is somewhat at the end of completion, hopefully more news will follow about it in the coming months, about the game and the music.

In the meanwhile, you can find the game on Steam , it's currently in early access

 

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As the aftermath of working on some pretty cool things on the Tinker Quarry Soundtrack, I've found myself dabbling with more genres like Industrial, Chiptune and Synthwave . Going to be working on a few remixes of music by other artists, as well as some of my own original stuff under a new alias I've invented for myself called Meta HTML

To start off, I remixed the absolute banger of a tune by Karan Kanchan called 'Kendo' and you can find it below

 

 
 
 

What's Next?

In the works: Hopefully, another video game soundtrack release in 2019, scores for a couple of films, an animated short and maybe even more. Drama, comedy and mysterious magicians punctuated with the odd dissonant, screaming violin. 

Stay tuned, folks!

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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.

It's Almost Halftime

It's been a gruelling few days as I keep working on the movie score for the horror film day and night. I've almost finished half the score, which seems like a pretty huge achievement to me.

The thought took me back to the concept of an 'Interval', a concept that seems central to plots of most Bollywood movies. It's usually at the half-time that most Hindi movies introduce their plot twist or the beginning of a climax. Intervals are pretty important to us Indians. Gotta get the popcorn, go pee, Update our Facebook status, talk to our friends or just sit and wait for the next half to begin.

 
 
 

It is this idea that brought me to the concept of a track idea for the movie score that I called 'Are You Scared Yet?'. There was definitely a giant twist in the climax as far as I could envision through the script, and I figured what else could be a good time to introduce a little scare here, and a little movement there than the half-time.

Now, horror movies are supposed to be scary, period. So I descended upon the piano roll of my Fruity Loops and set out to create a really abstract synth line which moved at twice the tempo and it was at 7/8. What was interesting was the fact that the synth line seemed to work in such a way, that instead of being 7/8, it started sounding like a normal 4-beat measure, something that I used to my advantage.

Other than that, it's mostly scares, thrills, spills and chills in a horror movie. A demonic sounding choir here and a little crafty synth coupled with a really heavy industrial-sounding beat is all you need, sometimes.

Drumming Up.

Its been a couple of days since I started working on the movie score and there seems to be quite a lot of progress, in terms of ideas and the fleshing out of concepts. I had a talk with the producer, and one of the few pivotal points that he thought seemed to be crucial about the movie are a couple of opening sequences, one of which seems to be closer to an action sequence with a sense of chaos and urgency to it, rather than traditional horror.
 

 
 

The Perfect Drug', OST of the movie 'Lost highway' is one of my favourite NIN songs.

I have been digging through my influences to find something I could adapt in a more movie-friendly way. I checked out a few movies while I was at it and one of the movies that really hit home was 'Lost Highway', a movie that used a few Nine Inch Nails songs. I'm a huge NIN fan and I particularly seemed to like that NIN era where Trent Reznor experimented a lot with drum-step and electronic drum-breaks. So, yeah sped-up drum loops certainly felt like the steal of the day.

I also, ended up incorporating a little-bit of good ol' synth just to add that jagged edge of modernity to the mix. And there's just this point where the whole track just explodes into a chaotic rumble. I would say it sounds a little bit Fight Club-influenced as well even though I still haven't seen that movie.

Note to self : Watch. Fight Club.

 

Tyler (Brad Pitt) convinces The Narrator (Edward Norton) to hit him as hard as he can.