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Topic: WIP - Adventure theme

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  1. #1

    WIP - Adventure theme

    No title yet, this is a work in progress.

    I wanted to compose a bright energetic adventure theme - nice and big, cinematic, John Williams style I guess.

    It started sounding a bit like ET Adventures on Earth before I knew it at the start, but I like it enough to keep that style.

    Wanted to post this too because a few questions flying around asking how do people work on a piece.

    While none of this is in a finished state, what you hear so far is very close to a finalised mix, as I compose part by part and polish each phrase or section before moving on. Obviously lots of music to add to this.

    For me I find that in the polishing phase other interesting orchestration idea's pop up and that in some way directs me towards other ideas. For example, when I had finished the first melody phrase and fully orchestrated it, it was big enough that I knew the next step for me was to let the strings take over and ease it off slightly.

    Still less than a minute long at the moment.

    I started this piece with the trombones playing the theme. I picked it on the keyboard. I was thinking along the lines of the Jerry Goldsmith Star Trek themes, and it also sounding a little like the ET Adventures on Earth beginning. Chord progression mostly responsible. Using the strings to drive the rhythm while the brass plays the melody at first, then I switched to the violins 1/2 and violas in unison playing the 2nd theme while the horns are taking the rhythm instead. Great thing about the horns (using 4) is that they fill the chords on their own, leaving the cellos to be a little bit fancy and play some quick lines under the sustained notes.

    The woods are a combination of rhythm, themes in the clarinets and lots of runs during sustains (very JW).

    Updated now - longer. More information in a later post below. Link below is latest.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...enture_wip.mp3

    I'm using:
    Cinebrass
    Cinewinds
    Cinematic strings 2
    True Strike
    Website:
    www.grahamplowman.com
    YouTube Music:
    My Channel
    Twitter:
    @GPComposer
    Facebook:
    Facebook

  2. #2

    Re: WIP - Adventure theme

    This is bright, energetic and adventurous. You have this style nailed. Thank you as well for sharing some of your work process. I understand what you mean when you talk about ideas presenting themselves as you finish up a phrase. Based on your response to an earlier post of mine, while I do not completely finish each phrase before I move on, I am spending more time on each phrase. Sort of a hybrid approach I suppose. And as I suspected and as you affirm ideas start presenting themselves.

  3. #3

    Re: WIP - Adventure theme

    Thanks Richard. Certainly not trying to break any mold with this piece. My aim here is obvious. a bright adventurous theme which I hope reflects that kind of video game/adventure cartoon ...in space vibe

    I think my title when decided will be space-related.
    Website:
    www.grahamplowman.com
    YouTube Music:
    My Channel
    Twitter:
    @GPComposer
    Facebook:
    Facebook

  4. #4

    Re: WIP - Adventure theme

    It's a great post, Graham, giving us a look into your process of producing another wonderful sounding Epic soundtrack. It'll be a super addition to your new website - And surely more than a few potential clients who want a John Williamsesque piece for their projects will be interested.

    Great!

    Randy

  5. #5

    Re: WIP - Adventure theme

    Thanks, Randy.

    Yes, I'm just looking to add that rather obvious style to my reel. I have a previous adventure piece that turned out well but I think this one can benefit from more refined knowledge since the last one. I've now updated the thread with the latest progress. Same link, but also here (at bottom) for convivence. Still undecided on the slow strings theme near the end of the current render. And also undecided on the transition into that section. Anyone any thoughts? I think it's a little forced in at the moment, too soon perhaps.

    The main change to the overall piece is the rhythm of the piece, which is now slightly more a march rather than just a driving beat every quarter note, it's now every beat with triplets on the 4th beat - very obvious at 1:25 which is the transition into the slow strings.

    Some elements still to be added to the slow theme section as well, minor percussion, perhaps a viberphone. Was thinking a glock, but that's a little harsher than what I need here I think.

    Mulling over melody changes for the slow part, I'll be sitting at the piano for a while on this I think.

    I also stripped back the dynamics on the first theme, but not by too much. Just to give room and weight to the reprise of that theme, a little kick to it. Too early for a key change I felt, so I didn't do that yet.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...enture_wip.mp3
    Website:
    www.grahamplowman.com
    YouTube Music:
    My Channel
    Twitter:
    @GPComposer
    Facebook:
    Facebook

  6. #6

    Re: WIP - Adventure theme

    YES YES YES.... Did I say yes? Well, just in case I didn't YES, this is sooo epic and great. Again, in my style of listening. Large epic and fantasy is what I hear. I picture myself traveling by horse through the open plain and ending up at some kind of a huge city. I love this! As Tony the tiger would say, "GREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAT!!!!!" Looking forward to more of this style!!!

    Regards,

    Richard

  7. #7

    Re: WIP - Adventure theme

    Graham! This sounds great. It does have that star trek kind of feel to it. I again hear your flourishes in this. They really add a lot to the overall sound. This is a very john williams like piece but still original. And thanks for adding some of your development techniques here. I found it very informative. Thanks for the great post. Jay

  8. #8

    Re: WIP - Adventure theme

    Hey Jay, thanks for the comments. I'm certainly looking for that sound, seeking out the chord progressions that bring that sound out. Having studied some JW scores, I make no bones about trying to get that sound and style through the orchestration methods used on his pieces.

    NEW VERSION UP
    Over 3 minutes now, and still going - time to think about the big finish. All of the slow middle section is in there, and near the end of the current piece is the token key-change, but still thinking about that transition to it. WIP.

    Middle section took the longest to do so far. Some time spent at the piano away from the DAW and full orchestra to just play out that part and come up with something worthwhile orchestrating. I loved orchestrating that entire section, swapping instruments about, thinking about how to give the woods their own piece to play, take the lead for a bit. Which they do again towards the end of the current render. Quite inspired by ET theme more than others for the orchestration here.

    Make lots of little tweaks and changes across the whole piece as well. Link same as before:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...enture_wip.mp3
    Website:
    www.grahamplowman.com
    YouTube Music:
    My Channel
    Twitter:
    @GPComposer
    Facebook:
    Facebook

  9. #9

    Re: WIP - Adventure theme

    Plowking, thanks for sharing! As I mentioned before, this is what I love listening to. Great work. Your music is wonderful.

  10. #10

    Re: WIP - Adventure theme

    Hi Richard, I missed your comments somehow! Glad you so enjoyed it and it's right up your street. Having fun with this piece and happy it's coming together nicely.

    And hey, if you ever want a 'guest composer' on your game soundtracks I'd be more than happy to contribute. You're doing something I'd love to do, but don't have the resources or programming knowledge - creating an epic roleplaying game!
    Website:
    www.grahamplowman.com
    YouTube Music:
    My Channel
    Twitter:
    @GPComposer
    Facebook:
    Facebook

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