Saturday, September 18, 2010

Get to the Choppa!!

A bit of background: Above is my first project from the Music Technology and Production class at Davidson College. Each student's task was to score this trailer, which was given to us with the original audio removed. It was then up to our imaginations, creativity, and the vast selection of studio equipment at our disposal to create our own score for the clip. This is my attempt...

Although I’m obviously not as musically talented as Clint Mansell, his scoring work—namely in π and Requiem for a Dream—was a big influence on the approach I took to this project. The dark atmosphere of the T3 trailer and the metallic substance that demands the viewer’s attention throughout really gives me the sense that a crunchy, industrial sound is the best fit musically. I considered this visual subject matter along with the short running time of the clip and the obvious suggestions of mickey mousing (sawing of the numeral “3” from the metallic block, the droplets, etc.) and thereby concluded that this should not be a hum-worthy, melodic piece—that is, no theme music here. Thus, I set out to create a largely dissonant score that is respectful of the long-standing film music convention of synchronizing visual events with musical events, an idea that dates back perhaps most famously to Max Steiner's score for 1933 King Kong.

I think that one of the main questions an artist—or someone attempting to be artistic—asks himself after reaching a stopping point on a piece (art, as it is said, is never “finished,” per se) is whether or not the image on the canvas or the sound coming out of the speakers is what he had envisioned in his head. To this query, I must say: No. Not only am I limited in terms of my past music-making experience, but there were also several instances in which I had a certain timbre in my head and couldn’t figure out how to make the technology produce that sound. For instance: ideally, I would’ve liked a sort of aural chase between booming metallic footsteps and pitter-pattering sneaker footfalls that created a rhythmic percussion over which I could lay the industrial synths. However, both my music-making chops and technological aptitude will improve with time and practice, and honestly, I must say that I’m fairly satisfied with my first stab at electronic music production, all things considered. Enjoy.


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