When I started my research to figure out what kind of project I wanted to work on all semester long, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I went into my class originally wanting to work on an Electro House song, but that idea disappeared pretty quickly.
The research process went on for a couple weeks. I originally started researching Electronic and House music, mainly Porter Robinson. I liked how filters and effects were used to keep melodies interesting and how the drums could effect the songs mood. I then started researching orchestral music and electronic music for video games, like Final Fantasy XIII and Portal 2, to see if I could combine elements of orchestral and electronic together. I really admire how orchestral music has a way of portraying emotions and the different textures of electronic music; to me, blending the genres together is so amazing!
After most of the research to figure out what kind of project I wanted to attempt was complete I started coming up with an idea for a potential song. I started off with using a sampled violin, viola, cello, bass, glockenspiel and drums to make a pattern. After a week I added a synthesizer to the pattern. I then set out to work the next few weeks on finding certain parameters to manipulate, throughout the piece, within the instruments and effects. It took a lot of experimenting and figuring out what every parameter of the instruments and effects do, but I eventually found a few main parameters that I wanted to manipulate to texture the piece.
During the second half of the semester I began to brainstorm a possible story to go along with the piece. While doing that I started improvising melodies on my piano that I could possibly use to go along with the piece. I then spoke to a good friend about possible directions for a story and we came up with a basic idea. Afterwards I began to develop the story on my own. My story takes place in a video game type world. The setting is a futuristic time period in a barren environment with a dark reddish sky. The viewer would be shown around the environment, seeing debris and destroyed robotic mechs of a recent war. They would eventually reach a pile of rubble where a hero emerges and rises from the ashes. A montage then occurs of the hero roaming the lands to find the one behind the destruction of his people. After long he finds a person from his civilization, a friend who he had presumed to be dead. They have a discussion that heats up as he learns that this man is a traitor, he is the one who orchestrated the war against his people. The two begin to fight and the camera fades to black to represent the end of the scene. This is the story that I used to compose my piece.
I then spent the rest of the semester working on the composition of the piece. I finally came up with a second melody that became one of the main themes of the piece. Another week passed as I worked on an intro for the piece. Using the story I had made for the piece gave me a clear direction and form for the piece. That being said, it was still tough to create melodies that would set the correct tone as the story progressed. Having all the textures that I made in the first half of the semester gave me a lot to work with when creating themes and transitions. As the semester was getting close to an end I continued working to make the themes of the last two scenes and I then had a complete piece. All that was left was to tighten up the textures and the tones of each separate instrument.
In the end, I was more than satisfied with the final product of the piece. I had no idea that it would turn out the way it did. Going into the class thinking that I’m going to work on a House song and ending it with a video game theme/soundtrack song made me much more happy. I experimented a ton while working the whole semester on this piece; I had never done anything like this before. All in all I learned more than I could have ever imagined! I’m definitely looking forward to putting my newfound skills and knowledge to use in future projects.
The only thing left that I want to do with this project is a mixdown for the piece, in order to make it sound professional and complete. For now I will be posting an unmixed version of the piece.