Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Oscuro - 2006

Oscuro was composed & arranged from May to July, - completed in August 2006.
It comprises of thirteen original instrumental pieces, soundscapes and dark ambient scenarios, tied together by a conceptual story of a little girl stranded in a weird dimensional netherworld of frightening magic, and bizarre situations.

This was the first album I had arranged and recorded by myself, because up until that point, I'd only ever worked in a band environment, or as a third party on other artists' work - although I had been writing similar material for a while.

The first completed piece on the album was Pays Des Miseres, - a 45 second piano intro which was actually written as the original demo tune, and I think sets the tone for the rest of the album, - as dark forces conspire and collude to manipulate our unwitting little protagonist into treacherous circumstances, and an uncertain future.

This album is really only half of the whole story, because there were stacks of things I had planned - but didn't get to do with some of the characters and settings, essentially because I ran out of time, and the pieces had to be finished by late August of 2006.

Oscuro is quite a mixed bag, - weird sounds, watery guitars, electric pianos, field recordings etc, - all put together on Logic (version 6 at that time)
There is a lot of sequencing in there too, - which was mainly done in (Emagic) Logic Pro 6, however some of the parts were originally put together on a little handheld Yamaha QY 70.
I think one piece might also have Propellerhead Reason (version 3) rewired through Logic for some of the sounds.

The first time I ever heard about sequencing was during some guitar sessions I did for a Sony PlayStation game, called Formula One.
In fact it probably put me off the subject for years, because at some point during the recording sessions, the engineer / producer Mike, suddenly declared 'we don't record anymore . . . we sequence!' - which I found very difficult to accept.
Years later - I began to understand the massive potential of sequencers, and bought the little QY 70, which was the perfect thing to learn about some of the basic applications.
These days, I can't get enough of it.

A full version of Oscuro with the missing pieces completed and restored is coming in 2010.


Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The Doha Tribeca Film Festival: Part 2

So the Doha Tribeca Festival 2009 is now finished.

By all accounts, it was an incredible weekend - and if the thousands upon thousands of beautiful photographs, and hundreds of pages of awesome reviews, news & information are anything to go by - something very special happened in Qatar this year.

In the last blog, I mentioned a collaboration with Jamie Riordan on the Zoetrope trailer for the festival.
This piece was broadcast across the globe, in just about every possible media, - and I must admit I would love to be able to find out how many different parts of the world it has played, and to whom - but unfortunately, that's something I'll really never know.

The audio design went through various incarnations before the final sounds were laid in, and originally the ideas for the music score were vastly different. However I think the finished trailer is absolutely appropriate in terms of getting across the energy and vibe of the festival.
I also think Jamie did a great job of directing, and the piece really speaks for itself.

Working on this really reminded me that the powerful chemistry and energy created by image and sound really can represent the language of the world.

So here's the longer version of the Zoetrope trailer for the Doha Tribeca Film Festival.

Until next time - over and out!