After having John Lunn's theme for the film adaptation of Terry Prattchet's "Going Postal" stuck in my head for several days, the thought formed in the back of my mind for working out a theme for Sam Vimes and the Ankh-Morpork city watch of Discworld fame. I was toying with the GPO short string patches some time later and came up with a simple staccato rhythm / chord progression that matched my impression of "proceeding" which Vimes describes as the efficient and tireless gait of not only watchman but of all police throughout the history of the multiverse. I added some horns on top, and then built a theme for Same Vimes on trumpet which is introduced independently at the beginning of the piece. I tacked on the percussion last to give it more drive and a martial feel.
I was aiming for a sort of blustery baroque sort of sound (as is due for the Commander of the Watch, Duke of Ankh, and high black board monitor.) though it's probably overdone in points. For some variation, I added quick bit of interaction in the middle to represent conflict between the dwarves (on horns) and trolls (trombone + tuba) which is a recurring theme in Prattchet's city watch novels. For those no familiar with the novels, a quick google image search for "Sam Vimes City Watch" will give you quick idea of what I was targeting.
It's a very short theme, but as an exercises I had quite a bit of fun with it.
Hi, Daniel - I remember your great debut here in The Listening Room last month when you posted the Old Testament inspired music, and I've been hoping you'd be back with more. And now here you are with more, so thanks!
I'm not familiar with "Discworld" and Sam Vimes - my goodness, Wiki has an unusually long and detailed entry:
Sam Vines background
From your text and what I see at Wiki, I understand the context of your music better now, but of course music stands on its own, even when it's theme music or in any way specifically descriptive. And as such, I got a good kick out of what you've done here. I love hearing a sense of drama in music, and the energy, pace and pronounced martial feel of your piece has a nice dramatic feel of the "ready for action" sort. Nicely done! Those short strings in GPO served you well for the staccato rhythm heard throughout, and the driving percussion doesn't sound at all "tacked on" - the piece wouldn't work without their invaluable contribution.
Really fun stuff - Hope more Forum members click and take a listen. - Thanks, Daniel!
Thanks Max and Randy for the feedback! I appreciate the comment on the percussion as this is not a strong point of mine. I was certain the piece would benefit from some robust percussion but I had to listen to the track repeatedly over the course of a week before I could hear how to work in.
Since I forgot to mention the patches used they are all GPO4 as follows:
SAM (of course!) Trumpet
SAM Horn and Trombone sections
SAM Tuba + Tuba 1 + Tuba AG Overlay
Sectional String Patches alternating between tremolo, Short AG, and Lush
Full Strings used as an overlay (or maybe underlay is a better term.)
Cymbal, Snare, Tympani, and Bass Drum
Despite trying for a rustic sort of sound, the Modern Hall convolution reverb as it seemed to carry the dynamics of the arrangement best. Otherwise, just slight EQ adjustment and a touch of compression on the percussion.