Tropscore entry “Returning”

This year I participated in the Tropscore competition which is part of the Tropfest Australia. The object of Tropscore was to produce a musical score or synch for a short film clip provided by Tropfest. The film “Returning” was created by emerging Australian filmmaker Amelia Olsen-Boyd. I created the soundtrack for it.

I spent three months on a 3-minute score which tried to capture the ambient nature of this beautiful film. The hard work paid off eventually. My entry made it to the Top 20 (out of almost 900 entries).

“Overload”

My next track is called “Overload”, a dark instrumental that could be used over the end credits of a movie. I sampled the beat from Led Zeppelin’s classic “When The Levee Breaks” – the synthesizers are a mix of different sequencers from the 80s that fit pretty well with the core beat. The voices are taken from the air traffic communications of a major airport overseas. You can listen to the track in the music player on the right – enjoy !

“Luck Of The Draw”

The second track is finished. A nice laid back tune with an electric piano, some strings that slowly build up and a Spanish guitar at the end. I used an electric guitar with a Wah-Wah effect throughout the song. The voice took me some time to record since I wanted to use a reverb effect to strengthen it a bit. If you ask me what the lyrics are about – I just took a piece of paper and wrote the first words that came into my mind. Enjoy the track – it is no. 2 in the music player on the right.

“Awakening”

The first track is finished now. It is an instrumental piece called “Awakening” that I modeled after fairly dramatic Hans Zimmer like film music from movies like “Inception” or “Batman”. It is about somebody or something that is slowly awakening from a dream or a state of mind and I tried to reflect that in the song. It is using quite a bit of special effects as well as low sounds such as horns and strings to make it sound more dramatic.
I am a big fan of film scores and will definitely try out more soundtrack oriented music in the future, maybe not always as dark as “Awakening”. You can listen to the track in the Music Player on the right.

“Luck Of The Draw” – first take

Spent all afternoon today working on the first of the two tracks on my list – “Luck Of The Draw” and “Ghost In The Machine”.

“Luck Of The Draw” will be a fairly laid back song with a jazzy rhythm and lots of piano. I started out with the basic idea of what it would sound like and spent a couple of hours on outlining the basic rhythm using a Jazz drum kit. For an interlude without drums I found a Chinese gong that perfectly fit into the song.

I recorded the basic piano and bass track and included a layer of the obligatory strings – not too intrusive however, slowly building up initially and then getting more velocity in the 3rd and 4th verse. I decided to not use a chorus in the song – no idea why, but I thought an instrumental interlude between two verses would be better.

The last step was to mix the electric guitar into the song – very simple, just repeating the chords with an exotic Wah-Wah sound. I will definitely have to re-record that part since I still need to get my head around finding the right balance in recording guitars.

I am happy with the result – the next step will be to finalise the basic track and then add one or two more layers on top with other instruments. A Spanish guitar would fit in nicely, but I do not want to overload the song…yet. And, of course, I should start working on the melody and the lyrics – for me personally the least interesting aspects of a song.

By the way, the 2nd song I will record will sound completely different to the first one. “Ghost In The Machine” will be all electronic. I am still under the influence of the sensational soundtrack Daft Punk created for the movie “Tron: Legacy” and, yes, the song will definitely borrow from that work of art…

First post

The first post – usually an introduction into what a blog is all about.

When I was a student I had a dream: I wanted to build a music studio in a house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Why the Outer Banks ? It was a place that I visited many times during my studies and that I always felt to be inspiring and beautiful.

My idea was to live in that house, compose and record music and share it with whoever was interested in it.

Now I am taking a small step towards that idea and set up a small music studio in my study that will hopefully grow into something bigger. As of now, I am just starting with a keyboard, a guitar, a microphone and some software with sounds and instruments.

Why the name “Mash Waves Music” ? Going back in time again: when I was in high school I ran a school newspaper with some friends that we called “MASH”. Writing articles and running that newspaper was a probably the most creative experience in my life so far. Back then, I also thought: “If I ever decided to form a band, I would call it MASH.” So I also associated this name with creativity – either in writing or in music.

I will use this blog to document my progress on whatever music I will be producing, to share my ideas, results, any progress, but also backlashes- whatever comes to mind.

Enjoy !