Category Archives: Midi

Bourne Again

Last week I watched the new Jason Bourne movie. With no James Bond film on the foreseeable horizon – this seemed the next best thing (aside from The Night Manager).

In terms of Bourne, I’m in the minority who is not a fan of The Bourne Ultimatum (which most people consider the best). Whilst I can appreciate it on some levels (eg. the excellent Waterloo sequence) I’m a far bigger fan of the first two (The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy). Both of these films have the heart and humanity of Marie (Franka Potente) which is contrasted nicely against the duplicitous cunning of Abbott (Brian Cox). These characters are both sorely missed in the later installments. The new film (which isn’t a strictly necessary addition to the series) plays like a greatest hits album but with slightly different renditions. It’s fun, familiar but not as good as the originals – but that’s not to say it’s not still enjoyable.

I’m also a massive fan of the musical scores from the first two Bourne movies. John Powell’s score for Identity was rather unique at the time – mixing throbbing percussion, atonal electronics, stabbing staccato strings against occasional acoustic elements. Supremacy expanded on these themes in the best possible way and introduced some new material (‘To the roof’ being my personal favourite). Much like the films, by the third installment everything was feeling familiar (in fact they even dropped cues from the first film over the top of some parts). The most recent (Jason Bourne) score is credited to both John Powell and David Buckley. I was sad to learn that John Powell’s wife died earlier this year, I suspect this is why David Buckley has also been involved this time around. He does a good job of weaving together some of Powell’s familiar themes.

I decided for fun I’d also like to try to emulate John Powell’s style and create an imaginary Bourne score. Had tremendous fun writing this! That said it tested my playing ability (the end is some of the fastest track work I’ve done – probably a rebellious response to the torn ligament in my index finger I’m still nursing). Hopefully fans of these scores can have some fun trying to see how many of the original themes they can spot!

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World Domination

There are only a couple of weeks until the new Bond film is released and I’m now at that ridiculously hyper but impatient stage. One of the things which keeps me going is analysing some of the score before seeing the film, but so far we haven’t had a peep out of Thomas Newman (or from his other spy score for that matter – Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies).

I therefore decided to write my own take (something contemporary but classic – without real orchestra/brass – just to make life difficult).

russian satellite killer
Being as the title is Spectre – I was clearly thinking along the lines of Volcano lairs, deadly satellites and “laser beams” with this one. Enjoy! Click here to listen to it on Soundcloud.

Mood music

A while back I planned to take a break to do some composing. This didn’t entirely go to plan and various other distractions intervened. On the very last day I managed to set aside a bit of time and compose two new tunes. The two tracks could not be more different from each other.

Starting off from a gloomy position (compounded by the fact I had less composing time than I would have liked), I created a sad violin/flute piece with a mild Celtic vibe.

Soundcloud link to The Lament Of Life

Feeling invigorated I decided to write something a little more up-beat! The next track feels like the shorter sibling to my recent Super-powers track and was designed to be in the style of an action/chase trailer.

Soundcloud link to They’re Coming For Us

Hope you like one of them, interesting how mood can affect your creativity.

Honour and Virtue

Recently I’ve been trying out some of the solo instruments from new start-up Aria Sounds. I hope to have a video review of some of their series up on this blog soon – but meanwhile here is a piece I’ve created using the Solo French Horn whilst experiencing “a Bruckheimer moment”.

king-alfred-89120_12802
Listen on soundcloud.com

Diggin’ Dirt

The past few months have been something of a transitional period and I’m now entering an exciting new phase. To mark this occasion (in case you didn’t already find this on the Ferny Films site), is a track which is still very me but a little different.

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I guess it is best described as a glitchy-dance track with some B-Movie leanings (part inspired by 90’s hit Brainbug – nightmare). I hope you like it, and if you do – please let me know.

[Soundcloud Diggin’ dirt link]

Unfinished Synthphony

I haven’t been composing a great deal recently because of high workload and the fact I needed to retire my trusty but now rather uncomfortable Goldring DR-100 headphones (held together by gaffer-tape). After some research I decided to go with Audio Technica ATH-M40fs headphones from Absolute Music because of their flat response. I wanted the ATH-M50 headphones, but couldn’t really justify the price. The Absolute Music customer service was fantastic and the headphones arrived very quickly. Enthusiasm was short-lived when I noticed they had the larger 6.35mm plug and not the 3.5mm mini-jack I was expecting (note to self: read the technical info next time). Therefore I had to wait for the appropriate adapter to arrive also.

Plugs

This has now arrived – so it’s play-time! Early days, but I’m reasonably impressed with the headphones even if they still require additional burn in. I sat down and began to flutter away at my keyboard to form the makings of a new tune. I like where the new tune is heading, despite the fact it is unfinished. Afterwards I decided to revisited some stagnant “in progress” tunes and came across one with certain similarities.

Compose

The next day I tested both tunes on my harshest critics (the girls). The little one hated both tunes, the larger one loved them (at least they are consistent). What could be agreed upon was the newest composition was the better tune (my gut feeling also). Both are easy-listening ambient pieces. The new tune is slightly funkier, has a melody and sounds cleaner (perhaps because of the new headphones). The older track is less polished and mostly a series of chord progressions set to a beat (even if I do like it’s progressions around the 40 seconds mark). A lot of my compositional experimenting never gets to see the light of day. Therefore I might share more of these “undeveloped” tracks in the future, but for now I hope you enjoy this one (even if it is incompleted and likely to be retired like my old headphones):

Link: http://soundcloud.com/satorious/unfinished-synthphony-demo

Out with the old and in with the new!

Stardrift

I’ve been wanting to do an atmosphere ambient space-track for a while. I guess after butchering the Doctor Who theme (sorry about that everybody) – I was ready to make something original.

space-shuttle-600px

The track is part atmospheric and part ambient half. It’s called Stardrift

Some techie library stuff you might chose to ignore:

This uses a number of libraries. I was keen to work in my most recent acquisition courtesy of VSTBuzz somehow. VSTBuzz do weekly deals offering VST instruments usually at half the price. I should mention at this point that I have not been offered any benefits or payment to endorse their site, I simply like it! Obviously deals vary and some appeal more than others. The latest deal (at the time of this blog post and the instrument library I was referring to) is the Tongue drum and Fujara Textures by Crypto Cipher.

Essentially this is an ambient Kontakt library – a Tongue drum is a bit like a steel Whale drum and the Fujara is a Slovakian flute (which gives a wonderful ethnic vibe). I played around with a couple of the tongue pads and used a couple of the Fujara textures for this. Everything you need to know about this library can be found here:

Quick summary about this library – it is rather nice and professional looking. It is particularly good for more mellow ambient tracks. The drum itself is great and there are about 16 other interesting pads to play with. The Tongue drum part of the package is well polished. The Fujara textures are basic but sound great – they can add some real exotic flavour to  a track. Would I pay full-price for this? Being honest – probably not. However the 50% discount makes all the difference. Check it out before the deal ends early next week.