I have recently been working some material up for the Melodics App, which is an app that aims to make learning how to play finger drum pads and piano fun and engaging.
The aim of my course was to get users to understand some of the techniques used in creating cinematic-styled music.
There are six compositions you can play along with; Space Between that helps you explore the idea of less is often more, and to listen to the space between notes. Character & Theme works on the idea that a simple musical theme can be synonymous with a character in a film. Drama & Rhythm builds tension through the use of dramatic deep strings and tense percussive elements. Tension & Dissonance works with closely clustered notes to create something melancholic and tense. Deep Melody puts everything together to create a deep cinematic world, and Chords Uplifting resolves the whole course as an epic uplifting grand finale!
To celebrate the release of my new EP Streamers, I’m giving away a set of Instrument Racks that are compatible with Ableton Live 10. These instruments use many of the new features and FX available in Live 10, including Echo, Drum Bus and Pedal.
Each instrument uses original audio files from each track on the EP, but they are more of a ‘re-imagining’ of the sonic landscape of each track, and are designed to be immensely playable using the pre-mapped 8 Macros, and hopefully creatively inspiring to you.
I used similar techniques for many of the instruments that I utilised in the commercial Analogue Sequences Pack that I created for School of Synthesis, which is available at Loopmasters. This technique involves using the Slice feature in Simpler in conjunction with carefully mapped Arpeggiator settings to create ‘playable’ sequences. It is particularly fun to play with using an Ableton Push controller in it’s 64 Pad drum rack mode, though can be played with any midi controller.
These are freely available to you to use as you wish, but if you find them racks inspiring consider donating a dollar. or downloading the Streamers EP via Bandcamp for a couple of dollars!
Download the instrument racks in .alp format here.
As a side to my work at Ableton User Group Melbourne, I was privileged to be part of the team programming and putting on Process- A Sonic Forum: a day-long event that brought together a whole stack of musicians working in the field of music technology talking not about Industry, but about arts practice and creativity.
We had wonderful presentations and workshops put on by Darrin Verhagen, Ben Byrne, Chiara Kickdrum, Chris Vik, the Monash Country Lines Archive, Rainbow Chain, Tom Cosm, Eve Klein and Dennis DeSantis.
MESS (Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio), Found Sound,Ableton and Innovated Music were also all involved in providing a range of Musical Equipment, Synths and Gadgets for participants to play on.
Have a look at the video round-up, and watch this space for future Process events!
In conjunction with the Game Connect Asia-Pacific 2015 conference (GCAP15) the Australian Game Developer Awards were held last Wednesday night.
Breath of Light was shortlisted for three awards, and ended up winning both the Excellence in Art and Excellence in Audio awards.
For someone who is fairly new to this composition for games industry, it was a pretty exciting night to be part of, and pretty amazing that my score and sound design won.
So, congratulations to all the crew at Many Monkeys for making such a great minimalistic, Zen-inspired game, and I feel honoured to be recognised by the Australian Game Developer’s Industry for my part in this project.
I also did an interview about the process of creating the Soundtrack for Ableton.com, which you can read here.
Download Breath of Light via the iTunes store or Google play, and you can get the “award-winning” 😉 soundtrack for free via Bandcamp.
Hi everyone, you can now buy Tiny tidal waves for $3 via bandcamp. It’s a 5 track EP, that I initially wrote a blog post about here. The photography for the album cover and press shots were done by the wonderful Penny Lane. And the cover shot was taken in front of the rather spectacular artwork of Ash Keating.
Over the last few months, I’ve been composing and creating sound for a really beautiful meditative puzzle game for iOS called Breath of Light.
Made by Melbourne game development company Many Monkeys, Breath of Light is the sort of puzzle game that takes time to master, there is no rushing the process, It’s a slow paced game that required immersive, meditative music.
The interface is a bit like a Zen Garden, where the player must arrange and move objects within the space to allow the flow of energy from one lotus flower to another. The game is set over 4 seasons, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, each progressively more challenging as the levels evolve.
Each season has it’s own musical underscore created from a bank of loops that are designed to both work in any combination, but also evolve and develop over time with the gameplay.
It was decided very early on that User Interface (U.I.) sounds should add to the musical score. The way we made this work was to have a series of randomised tones associated with every object and movement within the game. All these sounds were composed in a way that to match the tonality of each season’s underscore, which allows every gesture within the game-play to contribute to an interactive soundtrack.
During the development of the soundtrack, I used Ableton Live to create a performable set to play these sounds to both demo these musical ideas to the guys at Many Monkeys and to test how the U.I. sounds blended with each other. I did this by creating drum racks that housed the U.I sounds and used scenes to work out the different combinations of underscore loops for each level in the game.
Once the nuts and bolts of the game sound was finalised, I set about developing a performable live set to recorded each ‘season’ as a musical composition in it’s own right. This was done with a little extra help from the wonderful Max for Live Dub Machines audio FX ‘Magnetic‘ and ‘Diffuse‘ which added extra flow and movement.
Below are the recorded seasons of the Breath of Light soundtrack, available for free download via Bandcamp.
I was recently part of a remix/collaboration project with fellow Melbourne producer, and all-round nice guy Tim Shiel.
Tim recently made the soundtrack for a iOS game Duet, which has been kicking goals internationally.
He then invited a bunch of fellow Melbourne producers, Lower Spectrum, Friendships, Aoi, Jahnne, Aliigator Williams, Luke Howard, Surf Dad, Clue to Kalo and yours-truly, to take the musical elements of this iOS soundtrack, and re-interpret them.
Here is the track that I worked on with Tim called “Collapse”.
It’s ended up sort of like a dark expansive soundscape with a sense of internal perpetual movement that will hopefully take you on a musical journey.