orchestration

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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Climax & Relapse

Often in life, you find yourself tackling situations and coming head-to-head with problems you never thought you would have to deal with in the first place. It's at time like these, you sit and try to look at life from different perspectives. Some of them show you the rosy picture, some don't. It's when I am trying to tackle such problems, I find myself running out of inspiration. I have been trying a lot of things to help me out with the creative process of making music. I seem to be running low on sleep, and its usually more productive than not

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The biggest challenge I faced during these two weeks was trying to formulate a point of climax. I like to think of a song as a story. There's the introduction, then there are a number of characters that come into the plot that add color to the story. There's chaos and there's drama. And finally there is always a twist that turns the entire plot upside down. In a lot of songs you find a buildup and finally a point where it all comes together and crashes down. For me, usually this point comes in between.

I am not a person that is used to thinking of songs as having a straightforward structure. I have struggled a lot in the past trying to follow a strict formula, but it always gets boring when there is a set structure. I believe music is free and it should flow the way it comes out. I feel that crafting and modifying it to follow a certain structure is akin to betraying the original spirit of the song.

It is nothing but ironic though, that a certain mistake I made while I was tweaking the reverb settings of a certain drum part, ended up forming part of the climax. A 'breathy' effect, you could call it.

I'm really trying to not give away a lot here. But it is really hard as a musician to control your excitement when you work hard on something and it ends up sounding good to your ears.

I realize that some of the best things in life are caused by unexpected things. Something that could fit in with the state of my life right about now as well. I would say nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. But what matters is learning from your past experiences and growing into a better person rather than lingering on the bad parts.

Earlier this week, I lost a couple of opportunities due to minor differences. I also ended up parting ways with my band Ebonix permanently, something that I had hoped would not happen maybe a year ago. but it seems like your needs and what you want from life changes as time passes by. While somewhere along the line, I had hoped things wouldn't come to the stage where differences became irreconcilable, but I realize that it had to happen sooner and later. Hard decisions have to be made when they are required. We all need to let go and move on. Maybe better things lie ahead. I plan to continue working on music on my own.

The only conclusion I can draw is, you have to keep moving in life. You have to keep hunting for opportunities and look for the silver lining in every dark cloud. All I know is making music is what I love, and I will continue regardless of any setback I come across.

Dreamscaping

It's been about 13 hours and I've been working straight-up on the next track for the film score. It's a song that deals with the somehow-uneasy experience the protagonist has trying to get some sleep. Something I can quite relate to at the moment.

I needed something central and very traditional in-between all the spooky stuff and beats going on. Something orchestral, and a little dark at the same time. I concocted some string arrangements over a piano piece that I recorded at my home. The layers were, to be frank absolutely ridiculous. There were atleast a thousand different string and orchestral sounds I must have gone through before coming across a few right ones.

I proceeded to arrange them after recording the basses, the violas and cellos followed by other orchestral sounds to create an entire bed of ambience going on underneath the entire orchestral arrangement. Even though the order doesn't seem to matter as much since I just use a keyboard through MIDI to record most of the sounds. But still, I wanted to keep it as traditional as possible.

 
 
 

Since I am composing for a movie, there are times when you realise silence has its own space and it is required, at times to provide space to the film sounds and dialogue. There was once again the itching need to have something dissonant across the domain of the entire song. I decided to use an orchestral bass sound constantly bending upwards and back from the root note, a decision I realised later, would do miles in terms of the kind of sound the entire score would have.

There was of course still the giant question mark on the ending, which even though seemed to be fitting I didn't quite like. But sometimes that's what you have to do when you're working on music. Even though there are times you're not satisfied with things, you learn to live with it owing to time constraints among several other things. That's music. That's life.

 

The music score for the movie 'Inception' by Hans Zimmer is something I always look upto as a benchmark of how grandiose a score should ideally be.

 

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.