October 15th 2017

Herein lies my composition agenda first draft, to be reassessed at the end of November:


Pastiche of Jeff Beal’s Carnivale soundtrack:

  • Close analysis of Carnivale’s Main Theme

  • Pastiche sketch, identify potential similar melodies

  • Compose using desired similar form, melody & instrumentation



Film Style Motif: Horror film

  • Closely analyze reference material (Psycho, The Shining, The Babadook)

  • Compose original horror film motif(s)


Pastiche of Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings soundtrack:

  • Sauron/The One Ring Theme

  • The Shire Theme

  • Saruman/Isengard Theme

  • Rohan Theme


Video Game Motif: Classic 8-bit / 16-bit “chip tune” theme

  • Beepbox.com resource for chip tune composing

  • Maximum of three simultaneous tones at any point

  • Closely analyze reference material (Mario Bros, Zelda, Final Fantasy)

  • Compose original chip tune motif(s)


Emotional/dramatic cues for film and video games:

  • Hero enters (triumphant)

  • Lovers kiss (harmonious, melodious and sweet)

  • Villain destroys town (dissonant choir)

  • Chase scene music (heavy percussion)

  • Fantasy village (video game loop)

  • Tavern music (video game loop)

  • Puzzle solved (video game cue)

  • Battle music (video game loop)

  • etc.


Pastiche of John Williams’ Harry Potter theme:

  • Main Theme

  • Hogwarts Theme


Film Style Motif: Spy Film

  • Closely analyze reference material (James Bond, Archer themes)

  • Compose original horror film motif(s)

So for my first task I've decided to write a pastiche piece based on the Main Theme from Carnivalecomposed by Jeff Beal.  Here is the piece: 

As is written in the composition agenda, before jumping right into the pastiche itself I've done a close analysis of the piece. I think Beal does a fantastic job at evoking the period (1930s "dustbowl" era) and at instilling a sense of wonder and magic, which is perfect for the series. From what I can discern, the instrumentation includes at least various percussion such as hand drums, a string section, banjo, piano, a warbly male voice, and what sounds like a wind instrument. I'm not sure what to call the mode or scale the piece is in, other than Major Minor; there's a major third with a minor sixth (and eventually a tritone, possibly implying a Lydian feeling).

I made a sketch of "idioms," potential melodies extrapolated from the source:

I'm leaning towards using the inverted contour, with an adjusted rhythmic pattern. This pastiche marks the inaugural task in my composition agenda, it will be finished by October's end!

Stay tuned!