If this piece were a sitcom, GPO would be the very special guest star that steals the show That said, this is very much a collaboration of all the sample libraries I own at this point.
I wrote this piece as an atmospheric/combat track that might be found in a game situation. A strong emerging trend in a lot of modern game scores is the concept of adaptive music that basically adjusts itself to what is happening on the screen, rather than a tune that endlessly loops and changes statically. So I conceived of this piece as a bit of a mockup in that sense, writing the same piece twice in two layers: One that represents the atmospheric wandering, and a second that would be brought in once a battle became underway. So essentially the true way to present this piece would be to have both layers streaming simultaneously and allowing the listener to switch at whim. Unfortunately this isn't something I can put together on my own. [but if someone can, let me know and I'll love you forever!]
About the piece musically, I based it primarily on the bassline that is played in several instruments in both layers through most of the piece: I, V, I, sharp IV. Keeping with the theme of a generally eerie atmoshpere, I let anything be possible on the "oddball" measure of the sharp IV. All tonality was temporarily called off, only to be brought back for the next repetition of the progression. The piece's form also followed the progression. The first section has an exposition of the textures. The second devlops them with more rhythmic activity. The third takes it to a different place with a stronger melodic force. And then the fourth lets it all go, only to bring it back for the next repetition of the piece.
Excellent "soundscape" creation, Leif... very well done; and significant portions of it would stand quite handsomely as an independent piece, as well.
The engineering aspect of this -- building an adaptive musical space -- is most interesting... a fascinating compositional challenge, in many ways: constructing a composition in layers that must work in various combinatorial permutations.
Excellent work, Leif. As I listened I was thinking how the late 20th century has spawned new genres of music. Who would have thought composers would dedicate them selves to video games. And it is a genre unto itself with unique needs and requirements. You've done a very nice job with this.
Thanks for the comments everyone I'm sort of a new adept into the use of synths and whatnot when it comes to integrating them with samples. Of course, back when I wrote for MIDI, synths were nearly everything I used... I remember, back in those General MIDI days, loving the chances I got to use the cheesy "atmosphere" patches like Seashore, and Applause... I think the very first piece I ever wrote was for "Taiko Drums" and "Helecopter."
But the trick is then finding ways to make them work well with "real" instruments. In the last two pieces I've written, I used them exclusively for atmospheric reasons, no given pitch at all... just an evolving texture. In this piece, it totally made sense to have some sort of ethereal wailing at times, if that's how you want to put it
The previous piece was pretty similar (and also very very not-GPO), though it involved primarily a hammond organ solo with some industrial drums and a low rumbling atmosphere drone... and a few power chords during the "chorus"
About writing for games as a primary focus, yeah, that's definately something that's risen into commonality very recently. Of course, when I was growing up playing games, a lot of it never occured to me. There were these cool tunes that came from the game. You mean someone wrote them? Once I was old enough to figure out hey, there's talented folks in Japan writing all this cool music, I was of course blind to the fact that people in the US were also doing this. For a long time in middleschool and going into highschool, my goal was to somehow move to Japan and do music for their games. I guess just because those were the games I played then. Later in highschool, my focus switched to include films after numerous people remarked that my music reminded them of Danny Elfman's work. But then, graduating and going into college, when I knew that I wanted to write music as a living, and after experiencing some of the amazing efforts being made to further the use of music in games, I knew that I had to become involved.