Sabbatical Tune #1 - A New Horizon (Draft 1.0)

View of the sunrise from atop Fuji-san

View of the sunrise from atop Fuji-san

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The works below are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and ©2013 Gregory Weaver.

This week has already started off better than last in terms of productivity as it pertains to my sabbatical. While last required a lot of housekeeping and getting settled in to my new place, this week should lean a lot more on the music side of things, and to kick this productivity cycle into gear, I've decided to share with you an early draft of my first sabbatical tune, "A New Horizon."

The idea behind the tune's a bit corny: I wanted to sit down and write the first thing that came to mind while thinking about this new adventure that I've set out on. Not only was it the easiest thing to think about at the time to get myself simply to write (after all, I'm in a brand new place living a completely different lifestyle), but that situation is often relatable to video game characters. The way it's come out, I think that this particular tune could be used situationally (e.g., the main character makes his or her first step in their new quest) or even possibly as a "world map" sort of theme.

Per usual, please excuse the poor instrument samples, as I am writing this first in Finale. There're also bits of dynamics and articulations added here and there, but they're not really to be taken seriously at this point. Sometimes when working in Finale you have to force yourself to add the details before you're done with your first complete sketch to make up for the muddiness of the samples, etc.

As is the idea, the theme's a bit cheesy, too. If you don't think that, then awesome, but as I was sketching it out in a reduced piano form, I was honestly a bit uneasy about releasing the idea to the public, haha. I wanted to stick with it, though, because not only did I just want to practice my orchestration, I thought that maybe I could orchestrate the piece in a way that enhanced it to the point where the listener would forget or become unaware of the cheese. As a result, I'm happy with what I have so far and am eager to continue working on it.

Let that be a lesson to all you would-be composers out there! Making the parts behind and around your lame melody cool can negate most of your dissatisfaction and can even make you learn to love your piece.

The one thing that I'm most interested in doing with what I have is inputting it into Logic and using my good sample libraries to listen to my orchestration. The beginning of the tune sounds especially muddy with all of the instruments, but I've convinced myself that it's mostly the product of the sounds and Finale's way of mixing them. It'll be a while before I prove myself right or wrong, though, because I'd like to finish writing the tune and then come back and tweak as necessary.

In other news, I've written about three other ideas for tunes that I hope to share with you soon. There's a "lullaby" for solo guitar, another orchestral piece, and – to spice things up a bit – an electronic number. What gets the O.K. to get fleshed out more remains to be seen...

Thanks for listening, and, as always, let me know what you think! In the meantime, I'm going to keep playing Ni No Kuni in hopes that Joe Hisashi's beautiful soundtrack rubs off on me a little.