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Patrick Burns

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Everything posted by Patrick Burns

  1. Sometimes it's easy for my attention to drift off into the land of being critical of what it seems like the remixer was trying to accomplish, and whether they pulled it off. This mix just transported me, and had me listening, feeling something. Thanks
  2. Nice song choice. This little track always held a special place for me. Listening to your remix, it's clear that you already know how to make pleasant-sounding instruments and so forth. So I would say arrangement is what you need to focus on. That happens to be my weak spot too. So depending on your perspective that makes me the best (or worst) person to give advice here... in any case... I'll give some pretty broad advice, and maybe the most common kind of advice people need on these boards: the challenge is that most video game songs are tough because they're short tracks that repeat a lot, so sculpting something longer--and giving it a beginning, middle, and end--takes some decision making on your part. Break the song down into various elements... and you can decide what those elements are. Maybe you treat the drum pattern as an element, the bell motif as another element, the string melody as another, the mysterious chord progressions, the increase in textural and rhythmic density across the source tune could be another element, the desolate lack of bass at first, and the increasing intensity of the bass as things go on, that distinctive Golden Sun pan flute with delay on it, or maybe you think of the mysterious water vibe character as one element... there are hundreds of ways of cutting it all apart Make your own list of elements for this song, and then rearrange those elements... eventually into something with a beginning, middle, and end. That's it. That's the game of arranging. But easier said than done. Maybe you could have an instrument by itself at first playing the rhythm that the drums normally play, maybe in a slower tempo, really letting the mystery sink in, maybe they could be going through some of those mysterious chord changes, doing those rapidly wandering V - i cadences into weird new areas, maybe that evolves into a delicate presentation of the bell pattern by themselves, could use actual bells but don't have to, maybe with a slower free form tempo, maybe you make the bell pattern twice as long with some a slight modification of the rhythm and then return to the original rhythm, then maybe you just go back to the introductory instrument playing the drum rhythm, lower this time, ominous, then the drums come in alongside doing their thing, so it's that same rhythm from the intro but less safe now, maybe they start out all drenched in reverb, like they're far away, and the dry signal slowly comes in, maybe the fingered bass makes a quiet/high appearance foreshadowing some later increase in bass texture, then the bells return alongside the drums, fully locked in the normal tempo now... now we're cooking... and you haven't even gotten started on the main string melody yet or the flute part... each element can be strung out, expanded, repeated.... all in different ways Again that's all easier said than done. But it's the main thing your version is lacking. Expanding short tunes into longer, more complete arrangements is tough for me too. For one thing, you're so used to the original that it's hard to hear your way out of it into something different. Rearranging is also infinitely open-ended, and most of the time it feels like you're just trying things that sound bad. But that's how you get better. Good luck.
  3. Nice. Times change, listener standards change. I can understand how the track would feel simple... after a decade or two of amazing EDM tracks getting normalized in mainstream music, that is. But if this was posted 18 years ago on OCR it would be considered a face melter. I have reflected on the uniqueness of the source tune many times. I can't come up with something poetic to say about it right now. But 'coming home' works for me. The source does have a strange weave of rising hopefulness that keeps... rising, then weaving back through minor tonality, then rising again. It keeps revolving seemlessly, and you forget where it starts and end, because it always feels like it's moving forward. Never quite gets home, but seems to be telling you that home exists nonetheless, and we'll all get there eventually. Thanks for sharing.
  4. Nice idea. Really makes me imagine an alternate reality SnesTropics... the overworld exploration bits would probably have been pretty cool... but I'm imagining that the Sub-C parts would have been turned into an annoying f-zero style 3D navigation with obstacles and sea creatures to avoid
  5. Out of curiosity, can you say whether hacking your DS led to certain skills that led to other skills that led to something good? I agree about the in-person practice. Without that practice with all the different kinds of friends and professors... I know my first stint in school would not have been worth the opportunity costs. Just giving me a societally acceptable way of moving a state or two away from home was exactly what my sheltered teenage self needed at the time. There's lots of people that covid sucks for, but... it would suck to be a sheltered kid getting even more sheltering.
  6. I feel bad for university students during covid. Do you feel like remote learning is worth the $ for you personally right now? And how do writing ideas come to you, if I may ask
  7. Yeah, all the new platforms have their utility, but... I also sorta miss the old internet landscape when it felt like an archipelago of forums. It was harder to access any given individual, but communities felt more concrete. (Of course, the same arguments can be made about life before the internet, so...) I wonder how the landscape will evolve from here on out...
  8. Jesus. I don't know you personally but obviously I've seen your name around for maybe 15 years now. (And have one of your songs in my library, which my sister and I bonded over in the car one day.) Obviously, I hope you can turn things around. But with all the shit you're describing, that's a pretty shallow suggestion. It's sorta like telling people that they should learn to sing. It's good advice, but it might take 10 years. But still, I hope you can turn things around. I just finished dental school, and the patient-base is very interesting. It's a cheap place to get dental care, and we tend to seek out people with a lot of problems that need fixing. So a very common kind of patient you encounter is someone who has been through some shit in their life, and is now trying to turn things around and pull shit together. They've divorced someone, they've gotten off drugs, they're recovering from some major disease... and now they're trying to work on their health, lose weight, get a new job, and get on a good streak (and getting some teeth pulled and some cavities fixed is on their checklist). I'm not much of a humanitarian, but it feels good to get to know those people. It's usually a pretty bumpy road they're on, with lots of regression. And for everyone one of them you meet, there's probably 2 other people moving in the opposite direction in life. But still... it's nice to see those people. Hope you can level things off, and regain some altitude some day. (Might take 10 years, but... you know.)
  9. I was about to post those words verbatim. I think John makes a lot of important points. They're the same points I've made in conversations over the years. If I could grossly paraphrase some of what John said: the further away music theory gets from talking about specific songs and musical phrases, the less useful it becomes. But I do have one small point of disagreement. I think that music theory, even when taught as described above, can hinder creativity for some people if the person is learning music theory before they learn to play by ear. (Which is how most of us mere mortals have to learn music theory, unfortunately, so it's kind of a moot point.) How does it hinder creativity? Well, this is going to be a very academic point, but I'll make it anyway: music theory comes with a lot of assumptions that don't line up exactly with our cognition of music. So when we try to learn by ear, after having absorbed the lens of music theory, we're searching for certain "things" in the music that our ear would not otherwise have sought out on its own to form its own intuitive understanding. This doesn't prevent us from learning by ear, but it really slows things down, in my experience of seeing different musicians and finding out their history of learning. Not because there's anything wrong or totalitarian about music theory, but only because of human psychology. Let me draw a comparison to language learning. Language learning has a lot of parallels. We all know they share some areas of the brain. But more importantly language and music also share a dual life. We have certain intuitive abilities surrounding both language and music, and we also have the more analytical, grammatical understanding surrounding them. Let's take a sentence. One that a child may learn very early on in life. "Do you want some food?" If you look at that sentence from a grammatical perspective (the music theory perspective), you've got an interrogative verb order with the helping verb coming early, you've got a second person singular pronoun, the verb, an indefinite pronoun, the direct (?) object. Etc. Etc. All of those things are true and are merely a neutral understanding, just like music theory's analysis can be true and neutral. But the child learning its first language is not building their intuitive sense of language that way. They hear "dooyoowansum food." And their brain absorbs that, comparing it with similar sounds like "dooyoowanna" or "arrweegonna" or "izzhegonna" until a library of sounds is built by use, comparison, and contrasts. It's not an incrementally accumulated index of words and ideas, it's a network of compare and contrast through use. Now, when we get older, we might learn a second language. Maybe in high school or college. And maybe then we actually do begin with the grammatical approach, the music theory understanding. In other words, we begin by learning the individual vocab words, the parts of speech, the conjugations. But it's important to remember that this is only the loading program for our intuitive language abilities. We are hyperconscious of the grammar at first (the music theory) until the intuitive abilities of our mother language expand their capacity to this new language. Then the grammar becomes secondary. Still true and useful, but a secondary understanding. The problem with music is that some people never develop that initial intuitive relationship to music, and they get music theory instead. It's like a child trying to think through learning their first language while simultaneously thinking about the parts of speech they're hearing and using. Not wrong, per se, but not right either. The trap is that there is an initial burst of satisfaction when music theory starts to make sense. But in the long run, if you haven't learned to play by ear first, you're slowing down your eventual ability to play and write by ear, in my opinion. It just makes you start searching for the wrong 'things' in music. Unfortunately, the reality is that most kids will never have the obsession or support system to learn music by ear in early childhood. So we all grow up with what I consider a cognitive disabilities in music, just like a child underexposed to language activities would have speech/language pathologies. So we have to adapt education to that reality. And music theory is one of the main compensatory avenues we have. Humans are chatterboxes and sometimes we just need things to be legible so we can get by. (Speaking as someone who started with classical piano/guitar, and went to college on a full music scholarship to study film composition, guitar, and ethnomusicology. But now I'm a dentist, so...)
  10. Your thoughts remind me of the lifecycle of businesses and how it compares/contrasts to musicians. Stick with me. The general guidance for startups is to not immediately go out and compete on the largest scales. Rather, start with a small group of specific customers and please them greatly. In other words: don't try to start by making an Apple Watch competitor. Maybe start with something like a smart watch dispatch radio for police officers, and nail that market space. Then slowly expand your target customers from there. Specific to general. Niche to mass appeal. Musicians often follow a similar route, to varying degrees. Coldplay evolving from a Radiohead sound towards the most cliche pop sounds of today. Taylor swift from country to pop. We can all probably think of examples from our favorite bands. It's not just evolution, because everyone evolves. It's evolution from narrow appeal to broad appeal. The difference is that in business, that kind of growth in customer base is (by and large) applauded. Whereas in art, it's often feels like a watering down of the message. Sure you have a larger community of fans, but the connection is less specific, and thus less strong. I guess that's just a slightly different way of expressing the same things you're thinking about. The tools for broad reach are so strong these days that it really tempts artists to try moving from specific appeal to mass appeal. Or to skip the specific phase entirely. And I don't mean just successful acts. Even the people making music in their bedroom may be producing and judging their own work through that broad lens, perhaps crowding out some more niche expression that would otherwise have found welcoming ears somewhere.
  11. I was thinking about this thread last night, and started playing guitar. This is the degree of production and arrangement I have the energy for these days:
  12. I wish I were doing more remixing right now. I'm feeling some nostalgia for it right now---weird because I think nostalgia was the reason most of us started it in the first place. So I'm in a weird meta-nostalgia place right now. But I'm not a fast remixer. I'm slow and obsessive and it doesn't fit into my busy schedule these days. I do hold arranging in high regard, as far as its creative merits go. I think it's a very strong relationship between the arranger and the listener. You're working with something that's usually already baked into the listener's memory, so you're starting with a strong common core of experience with the audience. You've already bonded with the listener over your love of the tune, but more importantly your creative decisions to alter the original material stand out strongly. The listener has greater vision into your creative process than if they were listening to your original material. Furthermore, the listener has an equally enhanced relationship to other listeners, given the shared histories listeners probably have with the tunes. Of course, original material has different strengths. But I do think arranging has objectively unique strengths too.
  13. Here are a few small ideas I've gathered over the years... It's natural to be anxious when revisiting an old piece. It's like 'massaging a corpse' to borrow someone's description. Or like trying to rekindle a fizzled relationship. The fire/ideas won't restart most of the time. Said in a different way, the old well-worn ruts and dead ends will be too strong to break free from. The silence and lack of ideas is also natural. Different people have different degrees of difficulty here and different ways to push through. You have to find your own way. But whatever way you chose, it will probably require some degree of vulnerability and anxiety, but also love and enjoyment. It will also require practice. Because of these natural barriers, certain personality qualities will serve you well. The ability to keep trying, to forgive yourself to the point of ego-mania, to not be a perfectionist, and maybe the need to prove yourself continually to others... lots of qualities like that, good and bad, will help a person not avoid the creative task, so you can keep coming back, learn, improve, etc. It all comes back to practice at the end of the day. Lastly, I've spent large stretches of my life trying to practice hearing music in my dreams. It's never comfortable, especially when trying to control it. At least for a brief moment, you have to be open to stupid/disturbing/anxious/embarrassing/sudden things, like certain kinds of imagined thoughts/feelings/movements, etc. It's like a starter system, and once you break through, a different engine takes over and it can create something beautiful.
  14. Nice. Just the right amount of re-harmonizing to me. 1:44 Reelin' in the Years?
  15. Proves there was no collusion
  16. (Working in a call center was actually one of my last jobs before going back to lots of school for a big career change. And scheduling control will actually be one of the benefits of the change.) It's a hard question to answer because, if you're starting a new path, there are so many job paths to attempt. There are certainly other jobs besides firefighting that may have better schedules than the one you have, so you have to ask yourself "why firefighting?" For example, I have an acquaintance who was finishing medical school and chose to do emergency medicine because of the schedule. They can work ridiculous shifts but then have loads of time off, depending on how you and the hospital want to set it up. (We're talking every other week off.) He was right about the schedule, but he underestimated how much the job would drain his soul. Now he apparently regrets choosing it, wishing he had just done family medicine. My point is, if scheduling is what you're going for, and if you're willing to do some extra training such as firefighter school, I have to think that there are many options besides firefighting open to you. Firefighting might be the right choice. But I don't think scheduling is the single reason that should guide you towards it, especially if you're hesitant about the other aspects of the job. Reading between the lines, though, maybe there are other reasons firefighting interests you right now? You have some proximity to it right now as a dispatcher, it probably wouldn't require too many years of your life to switch into it, you probably wouldn't have to move cities, it's a very respectable vocation, it doesn't have a lot of employment uncertainty (as far as I know)... many of those things may feel emotionally desirable to you right now as a father/boyfriend. So, it might be the right choice for some of those reasons, but make sure it's for the right long term reasons. My general feeling is that, if you are willing to put in the resources to switch careers and you're young enough to make the investment worth it, make it a damn good switch.
  17. Thanks. Sometimes, especially for beginners, its easy to get fascinated with your power as an arranger to drastically alter a song. With that song and others I tried to expand more than transform. The sky is still the limit, but you really do want that seed of recognizability, which is why the community exists to begin with. But it takes good sensibilities to pull off that expansion subtly, without the end product sounding like a stitched together frankenstein. (Looking back, I think that Happy Towns mix qualifies as frankenstein with good makeup.) That's actually one of the great things about your arrangement. The newer material feels like it belongs.
  18. I think people have raised some good points about what kind of addiction video games can be. While games be just as addicting as many substances (they are both enabled by similar physiological concepts), they're also different. For many substances, the underlying process can be a single overwhelming mechanism, whereas for games there's a much broader array of smaller gratifications that add together to create their powerful effect. Again, I think that just makes games different, not lower or higher on the totem pole. For example, for something like opioid addiction, if the person is unlucky and has the perfect physiology to get addicted, a small regimen of opioids can immediately create huge cravings and lead to addiction. Some addicts will tell you that it was like a light switch being turned on, and they knew immediately. Personally, I have had opioids for surgery and didn't feel that way, but I have felt that way about other drugs. And it was like a light switch. And in that moment I understood addiction. In my experience, video games require a larger constellation of smaller cues. BUT, when all those cues do hit, I think video games can be an especially insidious addiction, precisely because it pulls together all those different parts of you. For something like opioids, you can be hopelessly addicted but still be able to think of the addiction as only a part of who you are, like it's still something outside you. For a video game addiction it's almost like "this is part of who I am." They can provide broad fulfillment and meaning that you don't feel in other parts of life. I can remember thinking at one point when I was a teenager that life would never feel as meaningful as some of the games I played. (To further flesh out that picture, something like alcoholism is somewhere in between, because it's not just a substance but also a lifestyle that weaves through many aspects of social life. It's both the chemical dependency and part of your identity and history.) The fact that game addiction relies more on a constellation of cues is important, I think. And it's relevant to the story of the guy in the video, and many other people, who find that young adulthood is an especially vulnerable time for game addiction (and most addictions, for that matter). Young adults are at a time in their lives where they're faced with slowly building that constellation of meaning in their life: a sense of accomplishment, work, education, place, intimacy, friends. If you don't have a critical mass of those things, certain kinds of games can step in and provide little substitutes. And for some people that can grow into something uncontrollable. I think I've been fortunate enough to build a passable constellation of those things in my 'real' life. So whereas my teenage self couldn't imagine a future where I wasn't playing a lot of games, my almost-30-year-old-self now feels self-conscious when playing games. Not ashamed, per se. But as if the rest of my life is passing me by. I still play games once every few months, but I can only stand games that I can finish in a couple afternoons or evenings. It's been on my wishlist to get around to Breath of the Wild, but every time I had the opportunity recently, I chose to do something else. There was just some other thing outside of games I was more interested in. I don't play League, but someone I know does. He's like a Diamond II ranking, or something supposedly ridiculous which I don't understand. But he's almost my age and still lives with his parents. He got a college degree but he's never had a job. His family immigrated from Korea when he was maybe 13, so culturally his family is very private, and I'm not sure they know how to handle his situation. He's been stalling for years, retaking the same grad school admission test about four times, claiming to be studying for it each time. Really nice guy, but a sad situation. His parents have sunk tens of thousands of dollars into supporting him and sending him to test prep programs. His last allowable attempt at the test is next month, and I'm interested to see how his family reacts. Most families would have kicked him out years ago, like the guy in the video.
  19. Very very nice arrangement and performance. Nit picks: I would make the the cymbals at the end a bit quieter and set a little farther back in the mix with slightly more reverb. They sorta steal the attention. The final chord feels a little brusque. Of the many ways you could tame it: maybe take out the percussion hit on the chord, and let the lower strings (along with the major third of the chord) fade into the chord more slowly, after a moment of letting the wind breath on its own
  20. DarkEco, my path and my experience with Impostor Syndrome was very similar to yours. So I'm inevitably going to write too much here. Unfortunately my path ended with me switching to another field besides music. But there's some optimism to be found in your situation. In summary: you are right to feel disconnected, yes that's mostly normal, and there are ways to get better. I grew up with classical piano and guitar lessons and studied a ton of theory in high school (I'll touch on music theory at the end). I attended college on a full music scholarship, breezed through music theory, took a ton of composition. My senior project was a portfolio of rescored film scenes (here's part of it), and I graduated with honors. My teachers always said I had a lot of talent and could make it in the industry if I moved out to LA and committed to the grind. But I didn't feel secure. And I never pursued that path after graduation. I felt exactly like you: that the music I had created was with 'tricks of my sleeve,' extensive trial and error, and/or imitation. Both before and after graduation I invested a lot of effort into trying to "fix" my musical ear and tap into some greater talent, something more inspired, something more deliberate, but I never made much progress at the time. Now it's six years after graduation, and music has become a hobby instead of a professional aspiration. So, with some distance between me and this same doubt you're experiencing, and with the pressure gone of having to make a living from music, here are some conclusions I've come to. First, I agree with the seed of your concern: that writing music can feel totally inconsistent and feel detached from any intention or emotion. I also agree that there are some talented folks who seem to not have that problem, folks who seem to speak music like its their first language---folks who don't know half as much theory as I do. That divide, between where you are and where you think you should be, is understandable. Even more understandable in light of the fact that many non-musician friends and family members may look at you proudly and assume that you have some supernatural abilities, which we do not. Ok, so that's the bad news. The rest of this post is good news. My experience is that most composers are the same way. It doesn't seem that way because it takes a lot of honesty to admit that "I just keep working until it sounds good" or "I just remember some other pieces or tricks that accomplish what I want here." Not to mention that saying those things sorta spoils the mystique of your brand as an artist. But in my experience talking to people, learning about composers, listening to interviews, etc., most composers have a somewhat uninspiring process, though they won't say it outright. If you get familiar enough with the work of any single composer, you'll start to pick up on some of the same solutions they have to the same musical scenarios. Now, their bag of tricks may be bigger and more subtle than yours or mine, but it's still a bag of tricks. As one example, I grew up idolizing John Williams as a creative genius (and I still do), but the more I studied him, and the more I listened to him describe his process, the more I realized how directly he begins with pre-existing works and uses them as a diving board. For example, Parade of the Ewoks comes straight out of Love for Three Oranges. And listen to the first three minutes Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra and tell me you're not on Tatooine. That brass at 2:15. John Williams obviously starts with some known quantities and then begins vamping on them. And then, don't forget, he hands them off to a professional orchestrator who makes them sound even better. The truth is that everyone writes music with a mix of inspiration, craft, and trial/error. I know it sucks that some people seem to have a more gifted ear and a correspondingly higher mix of... emotional intent, if you will. But even those people absolutely rely on craft and even trial & error to get things done. Those who do not learn to subject their nuggets of inspiration to a more dry, uninspired sense of craft and experimentation tend to not be able to break out of writing short tunes. And if they do write longer material, it's usually a collection of shorter ideas smushed together. And to add even more confusion, as an artist your insecurity will probably inflate your estimate of other people's artistic intent and success. If I had sent you the link to my above portfolio with no context, my guess is that you may have made some assumptions about how easily I wrote them. They sound good. I'm very proud of them. But what you don't see are the hours of dumb trial and error, or the source material I may have begun with, the expert musicians who sight read and self-conducted them, or the moments of frustration that eventually led me to quit. So now that I've convinced you that you're normal, how do you get better? Well, again it will always be a mix of inspiration, craft, and trial/error. A -- Trial and error will always be the same battle, but the more experience you have, the more music you get into your ear, then the more kinds of experimentation you'll be open to, the more you'll realize how some crazy shit you thought would never work might actually be perfect, and the more freedom you'll give yourself. You may not feel inspired while doing it, but it will be a problem solving tool for you that gets better and better. B -- Inspiration, the kind where you just hear what you want to write, does exist in various forms for different people. But unfortunately it's a function of some perceptual abilities that develop mostly in childhood, and it's difficult to improve quickly in this area as an adult, for similar reasons to why learning languages is more difficult for adults. Personally, every once and a while I make music in my dreams, and it breaks my heart that making music isn't like that in waking life. (That's a big source of my Impostor Syndrome, because my real life music is an impostor to music I've heard in my dreams.) But you can slowly improve here. It all comes down to your musical ear. I don't necessarily mean academic ear training or transcribing. Those can help and are not inherently bad, but they too easily allow some people (like me) to start playing an overly conceptual game of mix and match rather than focusing on learning the sounds fluently. What you need to do is get comfortable with a polyphonic instrument and just continually try to pick chords/melodies out by ear with no extra assistance. This will do two things to help you be more receptive to inspiration. 1) It will help you get better at holding sounds in your short term memory against the incoming sounds from your instrument. Thus, when the time comes, it helps you protect the little moments of inspiration that may come to you during the compositional process, even if they are brief, rare, and a struggle to materialize. 2) It will force you to develop a more streamlined ear wherein the learned associations begin with sounds and never stop listening. Regardless of how you think through this clumsy process---you may be hearing the sounds and associating them with shapes on the fretboard/keyboard, or maybe even pure muscle memory, or maybe even some simplified theory---as long as you are starting with listening and not instruction. There's a universe of difference between the memories you gain by clumsily picking out a lick on your own versus being shown or reading how to play it. And again it's ok to employ some simplified music theory here to understand what you're hearing, as long as your primary task is listening and finding, as opposed to turning on the analytical mix and match part of your brain, which often allows you to stop listening and turn the exercise into a game of educated guesses. Also, to conclude the inspiration section, I would suggest that every musician sing more. But some people are just too embarrassed to enjoy getting better at singing. C -- This brings me to craft, under which I would place music theory. Music theory is not one thing. It is many things that have their strengths and weaknesses. It's notation. It's orchestration. It's analysis. And there are different kinds of notation, different approaches to orchestration, and different ways to analyze. I agree with AngelCityOutlaw that most composers have picked up some music theory, if merely by virtue of a life lived in music and the inevitability of encountering theory at some point. But I would disagree if anyone suggests that Music Theory Proper is a prerequisite to successful composition or somehow correlates with one's ability. That's not my experience, but I might be wrong. What everyone does have, however is some form of craft, which may or may not express itself through the vocabulary of music theory. In the case of our area, DarkEco---the area of making music for visual media---there's a whole galaxy of 'craft' knowledge that can help us begin and continue to write. And you mentioned that in your post, i.e. genre and instrumentation. I know they feel cheap and wholly unlike the inspired process we want it to be. But those two words encompass a lot and paradoxically can be a big source of inspiration. Movie music basically has developed a language of meaning based on the genre and instrumentation of music being heard. For example pizzicato strings below clarinets playing melodies with a bunch of chromatic notes of course convey humor. Brass and marches convey resolve or power, etc. That boring kind of knowledge is part of your craft, and you can keep developing that sense of craft in areas outside of genre and instrumentation. For example: time. Music that quickly follows the action (like in cartoons) conveys a sense of unpredictability, whereas music that establishes it's own rhythm that doesn't follow the onscreen actions highlights a sort of inevitability to whatever is happening on screen, good or bad. That kind of knowledge arises from critical listening to your others in your craft. And we haven't even started talking about Music Theory Proper yet. Planing whole tone chords, a la Debussy, conveys a very distinctive, almost psychological sound. Those idiosyncratic Prokofiev harmonies in Love of Three Oranges conveyed a quirkiness that John Williams utilized for the planet of Endor. And at the end of the day, notes aren't even the most important thing. You can write a ton of beautifully sculpted music with a minimum of note material. If you just get the right instrumentation playing at the right energy levels, it almost doesn't matter what notes they are playing. You can even win an Oscar. And even in that seemingly small area of craft---instrumentation and energy---you can spend a lifetime developing your sense of craft, developing your own ideas and theories as to what should go where when. *** Yes, I wish I could write tunes and melodies like Yasunori Mitsuda or Toby Fox seem to be able to, and I'd like to imagine those songs were written like in a waking dream. Maybe if I had started music earlier, or started with playing by ear sooner, or moved on to classical training and theory later... maybe then I would feel more in control of my original music. And maybe some people possess some powers of skilled inspiration which I will never have. But there's still a lot of fun to be had in music outside of how we imagine it should be. In my experience, most composers are flying mostly blind most of the time. They just start with something that might work, keep trying until it works, and then further refine their ideas about what might work for the next time.
  21. A friend of mine has a knack for imaginatively describing the vibe of songs, so I played this remix for him and showed him this picture: And this is what he wrote...
  22. I like the evolution and the enthusiasm... ...but just so things don't get confusing about this "I consent" business, I want to add that the primary consent is choosing [or not choosing] to submit your music under the content policy. Voicing consent in this thread is redundant to that choice and muddies the waters a bit, possibly leading some readers to incorrectly assume that not posting somehow implies non-consent, or that non consenting has any meaning if you still proceed to submit your music under the content policy.
  23. I really like the percussion. So many different 'places' outlined in the tune with their own snare/hat patterns, openness of the hat, etc. For example, the A section of the athletic theme: the lead/bass/hats all tighten a bit while the snare is dropping at half time. Fun times.
  24. Yeah, worthwhile and fulfilling are the right words I guess. Certainly the "achievements" aspect of games rightfully loses its depth as you age. Peeling the achievement flavor away, I guess things like escapism/narrative/fantasy are what still have some meaning for me from time to time. And that shows in the games I chose to play. Though even that has faded. I had a strange thought recently about this recently... related to thinking about dating again. You know how there are people who just don't understand video games or for that matter fantasy genres/media of any kind? I heard Midna's Desperate Hour from Twilight Princess recently and was transported back to some teenage memories of playing Zelda. I thought to myself, even if I never play another game again, I don't think someone can understand me if they don't relate that sort of transportation---or make believe, if you want to be call it like it is. And it's something more than just enjoying fiction, you know? It's late. I'm getting into that weird, late-night writing headspace.
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