When you first think about composing music, it can be daunting. A little scary, even. How on earth do you go about putting together sounds to make a coherent piece of music, that expresses what you want it to say? Here’s a simple overview of the way I think about my process when I compose music.
I was thrilled to speak about production music (also known as ‘library music’) on a panel called Production Values last year at Sensoria Festival. I joined Steve Rosie, who's Senior Music Consultant at De Wolfe and Matt Wanstall from the Musician’s Union.
I talked with a group of lovely and fascinating women on the Art of Fury podcast. We discussed all things music for games and interactivity - listen here on Apple Podcasts, or here on Soundcloud. Yshani, Emma, Leila and I had a brilliant chat about our experiences in creating music for these special kinds of media.
When I compose for choir, I know that there are going to be *lyrics*. This is the one key difference that means my compositional process is different from usual. Lyrics are the words of the choral composition that need to be set to melody, rhythm, and harmonies. These musical structures support the emotional expression of the words. Those lyrics are the priority when considering the overall meaning of the music. They are, usually, either *as important* or *more so* than the associated musical sounds. How I use the lyrics within other musical structures is always something I’m thinking about during the process.
I'm on to the next stage of my DYCP project. Up until a few weeks ago I was learning new tools and techniques, and now I'm supposed to be composing. Which, in theory, sounds like a lovely thing, doesn't it? To have 3 months to just write whatever I want? Living the dream. But omg do I like to make things more difficult than they need to be and suddenly I'm feeling all this pressure to produce something awesome. We creatives do like to beat ourselves up unnecessarily, don't we.
Why do we tell stories? So that the people we're telling it to feel something. An emotional response is the end game. Keep that in mind when talking about music and you can't go far wrong.
‘Spotting cues’ is the process of deciding in advance of any composition where music will happen within a piece of media. Here are 4 simple steps to guide you through the process.
BEWARE life experience presented as advice, opinion presented as fact, sweeping generalizations, and unconscious bias.
HUGE NEWS! I got funded. I'm now supported as an artist by Arts Council England. How bleeping exciting! I'm going to take a decent chunk of the next 7 months to both learn some new computer music toys and tools, go deeper into the capabilities of some of the tools I already have but haven't …
Also known as the 'temp score', temporary music track or 'scratch track', the temp track is used by editors in TV and film. By using pre-existing music in roughly the right tempo and tone, it's much easier to cut the picture and show it to the director and anyone else who has input on the project. But here's the problem...