Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Life of an Amateur Composer

Good afternoon Blogeers and Blogettes! How are you all?

We've had a string of lovely days here—very few clouds, which means lots of energy for me. And a lot of that energy has gone into making music... the topic of today's post.

I believe I've mentioned before that I've been composing music for an indie video game. The theme for the game is “space cows” (a play on the ubiquitous “space cowboy”), so the music was supposed to be “space western.” Well, the space part kind of got cut, but I've managed to keep the western part pretty much in tact.

Now I am by no means a professional composer, but the music I put together is good enough to put in the game, and I'm having fun with it... and learning a lot.

The hardest part is writing battle music. I kept thinking I'd gotten a good tempo with lots of punch, only to be told over and over that it's too slow and ho-hum. Now maybe that's because the majority of my musical experience involved playing clarinet in band and orchestra. It's not quite the same thing as saving the world with a rousing battle tune.

What about you? Have any of you ever tried to write battle music?

Well, I knew I had to find some inspirations. I needed to keep the western style, and I needed it to be fast and exciting. So I set about trying to merge music along the lines of Megaman with something like, well, this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caxAXxnXQ68

See the challenge? In fact, if you're looking for something to do on a rainy day (and you happen to have some sort of music composition software—I use Finale PrintMusic), try your hand at combining the two.

I think I've managed to come up with some passable pieces. (Along the way I gathered a few pointers from listening to the instrumental version of Lady Gaga's Poker Face, of all things.) It's been fun.

Though I am looking forward to doing something besides western music for the next game. As much as I've grown to love the banjo over the past few weeks, I'm ready for a change.

And how are all of you?


  1. How cool, Audrey! I didn't know you dabbled in music composition! I know next to nothing on the topic - total mystery to me. I LOVE the results, though! :D
    I'm doing well, thank you. The weather has been quite lovely here as well. Daniel and I lit a fire in our outdoor fireplace 2 nights ago. Very dreamy, it was.
    Hugs to you sweetie! xo

  2. Great! Glad to hear things are going well. I've been thinking about you a lot lately. I can just imagine you all cozy by the fireplace--sounds so nice.

  3. When do I get to hear the results of your efforts? I'm very excited for this game. :) I want to see it! Your music, Sen's art... it's gonna be so cool! XD

  4. By the end of the year at the very least. I'll let you know when we release :)