It is VERY short but I really enjoyed it. I think you did a really
great job on the music and the conceptual stuff behind the music,
such as the titles, and the choice of instrumentation. Congrats,
[*]Trenches developed by Thunder Game Works (http://thundergameworks.com) for the iPhone
[*]Track 1 composed and produced by Troy Keyn, additional
orchestration by Kenneth Keyn (a.k.a. Abadoss)
[*]Tracks 2-9 composed and produced by Kenneth Keyn, additional
instrumentation and performance by Troy Keyn
Trenches brings together music reminiscent of the European
nationalist composers - prevalent in the years leading up to
World War I - with electric guitars and modern percussion. My
brother, Troy Keyn, was initially approached about composing the
soundtrack on Trenches on his own. Troy decided to bring me into
the project because of my experience with orchestration and
because it would be an incredible opportunity for me in my career
pursuits. Michael Taylor, CEO of Thunder Game Works, charged us
with the task of creating a soundtrack that would enhance the
game, without sacrificing substantial and meaningful composition.
I am responsible for the primary composition and orchestration on
all tracks, except "Awaiting Orders" - which Troy composed - and
"Promotion" - which is just a drumroll. Troy recorded the
percussion and guitars and is responsible for the final sound
production. I used Finale 2009 to compose each track and Garritan
Personal Orchestra and Finale's built-in MIDI SoftSynth for the
orchestral samples. Troy used Sonar for recording and final
"Awaiting Orders" -- Troy wanted to compose at least one piece on
the soundtrack and chose to do the menu/title music. There are a
couple versions of this track that Troy tried out - one sounding
very much like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean. In the
end, this version won out. I made a few orchestration changes to
give it fuller sound, but this is ultimately Troy's track.
"Have at Thee!" -- This little intro plays every time you start a
new game. The difficulty in writing this fanfare was avoiding
anything cheesy or cliché. In addition, it's a fanfare of war, so
I had to consider what might be heard on a battlefield and
embellish it a bit. I decided to get in as much dissonance as I
could to represent the cacophony of war. On the technical side, I
had to process the track with Finale's MIDI SoftSynth, as
Garritan was unable to adequately perform the quick articulations
I had written.
"The Engine of War" -- This track took the longest time to
develop out of all the tracks. I started out by first figuring
out the main theme - roughly at 0:43. After that, I simply
composed a ton of different sections that could be dropped or
picked up and developed into the final track. The main trick was
finding a balance between the repetitive nature of looping a
track and wanting to have a recognizable theme.
"Dead of Night" -- Michael wanted the losing music to clearly let
the player know they were in trouble. Troy and I decided that
something dark and more frantic would be the best choice. I
borrowed a section from the second movement of my first symphony
as the basis for this piece. While I was reluctant to use it, the
section worked too well to ignore it.
"Der Scharfschütze" -- I wanted this track to be as dark and
heavy as I could get it to reflect utter defeat. I felt an organ
would be best suited for the task. Just for fun, I wrote the
organ part in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach to represent the
"Battle at Dawn" and "Victory at Dawn" -- Both pieces are based
on the first and last sections - respectively - from a piece I
wrote in October 2005, also called "Victory at Dawn", for the
Thematic Original Music Competition. I played this piece for
Michael, as a possibility for the winning and victorious music,
uncertain if it would be a good idea since I wrote it with
cavalry in mind at the time. He thought it was a perfect fit, so
it's in the game.
"Iron Crosses" -- The credits proved challenging for me, as I
only had 0:50 to work with - which I found out after I'd worked
on a full version. Michael liked what I'd written, but it needed
to be cut down significantly. After a number of edits, I was
still barely too long. Troy had to find a spot where it wasn't
jarring to cross-fade between two sections and make the cut
before it came down below 0:50.
"Achievement" -- This track was surprisingly difficult for
something so short. Michael wanted this fanfare to be simple and
to avoid cluttering up the soundscape. I tried various number of
horns, different chords, all sorts of different articulations,
and rhythms before landing on the current version through a lot
of trial and error. As with "Have at Thee!", this track was
processed in Finale's MIDI SoftSynth. In this case, the trumpet
samples just sounded better for some reason.
"Promotion" -- Yup. It's a drumroll.
My thanks to:
My brother, Troy Keyn, for giving me this opportunity and working
with me on this project.
Michael Taylor, for putting together a fantastic game and
believing in us.
Jennifer Cameron and Jim Day, for helping me find the tools and
confidence that made this possible.
Larry "Liontamer" Oji, for encouraging me to release this as an
EP and for putting up with my delays.
David "djpretzel" Lloyd, for creating and maintaining a community
that I am proud to belong to.
zircon, bLiNd, DarkeSword, Mazedude, OA, Level 99, audio
fidelity, and Josh Whelchel for even considering the crazy
request that I made of you, let alone actually attempting to pull
it off. You guys are awesome, fantastic people.
And everyone at OverClocked ReMix, for being damn cool...
P.S. - I do accept commissions. :P
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