Interludes: Three for August

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and ©2012 Gregory Weaver.

I’ve decided to birth a new post prefix – “Interludes” – which will represent blips of ideas that may or may not make it to “draft” status for the purpose of this blog.  I have a ton of ideas jotted down, but I don’t necessarily want to focus on completely fleshing them out right now.  That being said, I don’t want it to seem like I’m not producing anything relevant by not posting!  And, of course, I love sharing what I write with you, my readers and listeners, and leaving you with nothing for relatively long stretches of time just kind of, for lack of a better word, sucks (for us both!).  By the way, if you like a particular tune and want to hear more, the best way to get me to keep working on it faster than anything else is simply to comment—keep that in mind!

The first up out of my piddling is “Streets of L.A.”:

When starting something new with no immediate ideas floating around, I trend towards messing around with a particular instrument.  Typically that instrument is of the orchestral variety, but on the day I wrote this tune I wanted to go for something different.  I thought to make something electronic and played around with a bunch of synth pads first—clearly, I didn’t stick to that road.  Instead, I wound up wanting to play with an electric bass and came up with the bass line that you hear.

It didn’t take long to choose the tone and write the main ideas for the guitar part.  I knew I wanted some shreddage, but at the same time I wanted to keep things kind of creepy.  Somewhere in the middle of it all I started to imagine the dark, threatening streets of a metropolis, and the details of the tune – from the length of the bends to the quick licks – came together.

I likely won’t come back to this tune anytime soon, if at all.  There’s plenty I could do, from making this less atmospheric by adding a drum track and varying the other parts after what you already hear to making it more atmospheric by adding sound effects, but until I need to work on that particular kind of piece I will move on to others.

As a side note, I entered this tune after the fact to the latest TIG Source Forums Musical Challenge, but, despite my best attempts to describe it to the tune of the theme, I was told that it doesn’t “entirely fit” by the host/judge.  No harm in that, though!  It was nice to get a couple of positive comments from the guys there.

Next comes “Town Accords”:

I’ve been wanting to write an accordion track for a while now, and the above piece is the first that actually came out.  As far as the process, writing this was quite simple—I quickly came up with the low part and then improvised the top.  The bridge (where the low end solos) was also improvised after I took care of shaping up the main melody.

The second time through the melody I wanted to expand the song.  However, to my dismay, I was also trying to write lines too quick for my feeble keyboard skills to handle.  I actually have a Yamaha WX8 MIDI wind controller but have never gotten the thing to act appropriately on Logic (read: I haven’t yet taken the time to learn how to make it act appropriately), so after getting frustrated trying to make it work by means that don’t work, I just said “to heck with it” and left the tune as-is.

I enjoy this diddy and plan to develop it further at some point.  I’m imagining it being longer (but not necessarily too much so) and having more instruments to make it more interesting.  Look forward to it!

Finally, here’s “A Lass of the Moon (East Coast)”:

Honestly, I don’t remember how this tune started.  I think I was playing lines using harp samples and wound up with this, what I imagine to be a song played in a pub.  And, by “song” I mean actually a song—I wrote impulsive lyrics to it and everything (to be released at a later date… maybe).

While working on the chord progression I thought to do something fun.  I had come up with two different progressions and in turn crowned them “East Coast” and “West Coast.”  This song, in my mind, is to be played with the different progressions at opposite ends of the map.  Wandering bards would know of the tune and sing it in many pubs scattered throughout the land, but at some point, “east” becomes “west” and, as a result, the song's progression changes, though the lyrics [might] stay the same (I’d be glad to write a different set of lyrics if anyone wants to use the song this way in his or her game, but otherwise…).  The idea is to keep the song fresh and also to represent the different cultures/atmospheres of the different parts of the game world.  As soon as I finish writing the second progression I will post that as well in the same way that I decided to present this progression ('melody only' followed by 'melody with chords').

Since I enjoy the melody, after finishing the second song’s progression I’m going to write an orchestral backing to it, plating it as my imaginary game’s main theme.  Naturally, that version won’t be tacked on to what you hear here; rather, it’ll be it’s own entity.  So, yes, more of this is to come!

As always, thanks for reading and listening!  Any feedback would be great—please feel free to comment your thoughts below!