Here is my entry for Tropscore 2013. Unfortunately I wasn’t shortlisted, but to quote Frank Costanza, “THEY DON’T WANT ME, I DON’T WANT THEM!”
In 2012 the competition had 895 entries, so it seems reasonable to conclude 2013 would have had even more. Despite not making it to the final ten I’m still pleased with my effort and wanted to share it with you. If you’re interested, below are some notes about what I wanted to achieve with my score.
Some brief notes on The Exchange
When writing my entry there were a few things I wanted to avoid: creating a stereotypical horror/suspense score (i.e. reliance on low or dissonant drones) and using a celeste to represent the child character.
I chose an oboe for the ‘voice’ of the child and wrote melodic lines I hoped would create a sense of intrigue/mystery rather than outright suspense. To represent the clown I chose a mixture of accordion, snare, bongos and xylophone, and used an ascending motif to suggest that the clown was beckoning the child, enticing him to investigate further.
Despite my desire to avoid it, on a few occasions I found that the content of the film was such that use of well-worn suspense/horror music techniques became necessary, I just tried to keep their use to a minimum.
Finally, in the closing scene I wanted to create a feeling of sadness as the boy is trapped and left behind by his mother.
Of those who have seen it, I suspect most would agree that Game of Thrones is a terrific, utterly addictive show. That being said, I’ve always felt that Ramin Djawadi’s theme was somewhat underwhelming giving the scope of the story. With this in mind, below you will find my take on the show’s opening credits. Djawadi’s music isn’t bad by any stretch (it’s damn catchy, in fact), but it has always struck me as something of a missed opportunity. Of course, perhaps mine is nothing more than cliched, ‘epic’ music.
In any case, I hope you enjoy it.
The learning curve of Logic 9 is quite steep. Feeling I should become more familiar with the software, I composed this piece in order to have a project to learn on. For this reason ‘artistry’ wasn’t a primary concern; the piece is essentially tonal and not terribly complicated. Of course, my goal was simply to experiment with a variety of textures, dynamics, tempi and rhythms within Logic. To my ears the final track sounds like a mixture of Elmer Bernstein’s score for Far From Heaven, Abel Korzeniowski’s score for W.E, John Lunn’s theme for Downton Abbey, with hints of John Adams, Elliot Goldenthal and John Barry. While it may not necessarily suit the picture, it also brings Neil Jordan’s film, The End of the Affair, to mind.
As some of you may know, I recently composed music for Doug Nichol’s short film, Sunshine. The good news is that the picture is now available for viewing, but even better than this, it has been selected by Vimeo as their ‘staff pick’ for this week. If you can find a spare 15 minutes to watch it and maybe even post a comment (on Vimeo or here), I would be very appreciative.
You can also find a review of the film over at Short of the Week.
I was very flattered that a filmmaker of Doug’s skill and experience placed their faith in my ability to write a music score for his film. The picture will be available for viewing in March, however you can listen to the cue I wrote below.