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Topic: "Bowron Lakes" video scoring project

  1. #1

    "Bowron Lakes" video scoring project

    Bowron Lakes - British Columbia
    (click title for Flash Video)

    This is a really fun project I started yesterday morning, and wrapped up today.

    It's a soundtrack demo for a local man who has tons of video footage taken on his camping trips far and wide. He is going to start putting together scenic DVDs for people living in retirement homes, and needs original music.

    From a disc he gave me with 25 minutes of footage, I put together this 3 minute clip then had a great time composing an underscoring for it in Sonar.

    Whether or not I get the gig of scoring his projects, I have this demo and thought it'd be a fun change-of-pace post here in our Listening Room.

    Beautiful location - considered one of the best canoeing locations in Canada.

    Randy B.

  2. #2
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: "Bowron Lakes" video scoring project

    I think you did great job on this.

    In fact I think the music was a notch better than the cinematography.

    I hope you get the gig Randy.


  3. #3

    Re: "Bowron Lakes" video scoring project

    Thanks, Phil! It would be a fun gig. It went smoothly, coming up with the underscoring for these 3 minutes - it would be a much bigger challenge to underscore an entire 1/2 hour video, or whatever length he's aiming for. More plateaus of repeating figures would be called for, I would think.

    I have to say that it's Bill's Video Challenge idea that made me investigate the possibilities of working with video more than I had before. It's so great working with video in Sonar - Doing those video tests earlier gave me the confidence to tell this guy "YEah, I can do that!" He approached me because of "Dorian," and I was glad I was able to say that I kind of know what I'm doing with the video scoring thing.

    Thanks for taking a look/listen, Phil.


  4. #4
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Central Illinois

    Re: "Bowron Lakes" video scoring project

    Hi Randy, Looks like a fun and interesting project you're involved in. I like what you have composed and rendered thus far, but I would recommend the old adage "less is more". There is a lot of classic film music that comes to mind, where there is actually very little going on with the music a lot of the time. Sometimes just a single instrument or perhaps two playing around with some pretty simple material adds just the right touch, where it doesn't pull too much of your attention away from the video, yet enhances it. And don't forget that "rests" and silence are musical elements too that you can make work for you. Also, the old trick of a theme re-stated in a minor key (a lot of great classical music makes use of this) helps to stretch an arrangement.
    I hope you get the gig, sounds like it would be a bit of a challenge but still could be fun too. Please keep us informed how this progresses and thanks for sharing the beautiful scenes with us. John

  5. #5

    Re: "Bowron Lakes" video scoring project

    Hi, John - Thanks for visiting my thread.

    Excellent, helpful response - Thanks for the tips.

    In this short demo, I wanted to pack a lot in, and then once I'm working with a full length project, I do indeed to keep in mind the use of solo instruments, sustained "disappearing" chords, and silence.

    What this man has been doing up until now is using cuts from New Age-ish CDs, and so knowing what his tastes are, I let that be my guiding light for a starting point.

    His current DVDs have non-stop music, rather disjointed from the visuals since cuts will arbitrarily stop in the middle of a scene on screen. It's very "drop a needle" at random - and he was only doing those videos for his own enjoyment. Now that he's wanting to market what he does, he realizes he can't use copyrighted material without permission. Hence, his offer to hire me. We'll see how it works out!

    Thanks again "Big Ears."

    Randy B.

  6. #6

    Re: "Bowron Lakes" video scoring project


    It took you 30 years to do Dorian. So why are you pushing out music in 2 days?

    The piano melody in this is just beautiful.

    You just have your own way with GPO. I think you must sit there at your computer like a 4 Star General and just order your programs to make the sounds you want to hear.

    It always amazes me the skills you have with these programs.

    Of course the sounds are much better than the video itself.

    Well done

    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein


  7. #7

    Re: "Bowron Lakes" video scoring project

    Hiya, Ron - Thanks much for visiting and your very kind comments. hehe--I like the 4 Star General image. But actually, no, I need to hunker down in the trenches like a lowly foot soldier in order to get the fire power I want from my "weapons."

    Now that you've put it that way, you're right that it's quite a contrast - the decades of "Dorian" in its various versions, and then sitting down to put together something in 2 days. Skills increase, computer capabilities increase along with the growing sophistication of software instruments and recording programs. And my attitude also shifts.

    The actual composition period for "Dorian," even with re-writes, really was a fraction of the time I spent in my studio with the show's music - so often I was going through various learning curves in order to produce recordings good enough to use in a stage production.

    I think I over-did it during my quest for better "Dorian" recordings - I had the whole thing recorded with my old set up of hardware synths, and that had taken me at least a year of non-stop work. Then I discovered GPO and became determined to re-do the whole shebang - I emerged from my studio several years later with the new version.

    That may have been excessive, even though the recordings Were a big improvement - I hadn't really changed the compositions themselves. I have to chuckle at myself for staying that determined for so long to spruce up my MIDI tracks.

    But I would never spend that kind of time again on pieces that are actually "done." I still put in the hours tweaking and getting the best recordings I can, but I'm faster at it, and have learned to sense when I've gotten side-tracked into a tweaking area not really worth it - in the past I tended to spend too much time on techno things which yielded extremely subtle and results not really worth pursuing.

    And so forth.

    Thanks, Ron - Glad you liked the little themes I came up with on this. I will probably be using at least some of this as the basis for one of the full video versions if I end up working with this guy.

    Final note - He intends these to be relaxing, meditative things which can also give his elderly audience some nostalgia for when they went on trips into the wilderness. With no plot to help support and with one predominant mood to help convey - it would be a challenge to bring enough variety to the soundtrack without straying too far from the single purpose for the videos--Fun challenge up ahead if I end up doing more on this.


  8. #8

    Re: "Bowron Lakes" video scoring project

    Beautifully done Randy - really captures the mood of the scenes!

    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  9. #9

    Re: "Bowron Lakes" video scoring project

    Thank you so much, Bill!

    You need to know, as indicated in an earlier response from me, that your Movie Challenge here at the Forum is directly responsible for me getting off my duff and to start working with the video scoring capabilities of Sonar. I'd poked around at it a couple of times before, but hadn't actually written anything from scratch to accompany visuals until doing something with the "Phantom" clip. Now that I've started doing it, I'm loving the process.

    So thank YOU, Bill, for the inspiration!

    Randy B.

  10. #10

    Re: "Bowron Lakes" video scoring project

    I think your presentation to the video clips was excellent. You seem to have captured the mood of each scene nicely. Your work is top-notched, the videography is excellent. I just can't see retirement people enjoying 25 minutes or more of this type of footage.

    My mother-in-law is 82 and drives everywhere and would not want to be put to sleep with this kind of presentation. Don't get me wrong. I love what you did with the music. I am not a fan of sedating the elderly with presentations. However, if this were presented as a Tae Chi aural and visual for a class or a yoga meditation group I would think that would be a direction this would work.

    I know opinions are mine and they should stay that way. Still, all in all, your music shines through with wonderful spirit.

    Thanks for taking me to that quiet place inside this Sunday morning!
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


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