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"St Valentinus" - main theme (orchestral)


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Got a commission to do the main theme for a Tim Burton-styled game. They wanted music a la Elfman, and a strong melody. I've been working on it for months, and I think now I'm finally done. Please turn up your speakers/headphones a bit before listening as there is a wide dynamic range.


Let me know what you think!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey Z! It's sounding great, man!

The only thing I would suggest, and I know you're knee deep in this theme and the music is really solid, but two things:

Elfman is schitzophrenic when it comes to arranging for orch. He loves moving around the sections and bouncing the themes all over the place. Here's a really great ref for that:

The theme is like 4 seconds long, but he uses it over and over and over again back to back to back because he changes up the instrumentation.

Now, in regards to your piece, man, for me, it doesn't really get interesting until 1:15 when you change up the composition and the instrumentation gets a little spicier.

However, consider things like this:

Between 1:36 and 1:40 you have a little pizz motif going on with two similar 4 note passages, one modulated from the other--now imagine changing the instrumentation of the second one, throw in some brass, catch your audience a little off-guard. That's what Elfman does and it's what he does so well.

The section immediately after that, I have a hard time with, it's just so... James Hornerish. Don't let us get so at-ease with the atmosphere, maybe use some of the classic choral elements Elfman always throws in. Give it a little more ghost. Keep us engaged.

And seriously, don't be affraid to give the brass some big quotes!

One of Elfman's best:


He doesn't let you get comfortable with it either, if he has a nice theme, he twists it a little darker, he'll throw something in there that doesn't let you get the warm fuzzies like your Sus4->Maj resolutions.

He loves odd time signatures or odd measured phrasings, but most importantly, he loves odd scale modulations and flourishing around the orchestra.

Anyway, man, those are my thoughts--keep up the good work!

EDIT: Here's a great recent clip!


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