An epic theme composed for the Dragon Age: Inqusition trailer.
December 3rd, 2014
Great ideas, and thank you so much for sharing in class! This will be a fun project, and your initial instincts are compelling and will manifest as an awesome score. I would suggest bringing some musical ideas to lab tomorrow, and we can begin to find where things fit.
I remember seeing this in class and really liking it. I especially like your idea about using choral voices-- they seem to make everything more mysterious but I wonder where you're going to get the sound for that.
Using a few instruments seems perfectly fine for the beginning, especially since the piece is just beginning to gain momentum. However, what were you planning on doing once you've reached your peak tempo? Will you be using the same instruments (drums, brass, etc.) or will you use other instruments as well that aren't instinctive to use (electric guitar for example) to increase the layers in the piece?
Overall, I really like your idea and think that your proposal really fits the tone of the trailer. Nice work.
I like your idea of using epic music with chorus, so that you create your own music so different from the original. Remember from the examples analyzed in class that brass can fit well for battles, and for the epic sense in other moments you could create a melody in a minor key with full strings. For danger or evil sense you can try low dissonant tones with double bass, cellos and/or tuba for example.
Now you will have to do the analysis of the video with the exact timings. You should mark all them, the parts, things to synchronize with music (there is a lot going on in the video, you can select just synchronizing few things as you remarked in your explanation), in Logic as it is explained here below.
As a general thought I recommend to compose something simple at the beginning (just the main instrument melody, the leitmotifs, and drums and so on), and then think what you would expect to listen apart from that, as background: a bass line? Some string chords? Other melody (countermelody) to accompany nicely the main one in a different instrument? You decide. If you would like to get ideas listen to music similar to the style you want to use and listen to its instrumentation and rest of characteristics to create your own piece with your own decisions, with your own taste (not a copy!).
Here some general ideas to help you build the music: Think of the functions of the music for audiovisuals that we studied at class and also the composition concepts. Start with analyzing the video precisely and setting its parts and the mood and characteristics of the music for each part. Plan your instruments. Remember that to make a crescendo you can add instruments apart to make them play louder and vice-versa with decrescendo. Select a good tempo that goes well with the images (beat per minute), though you might change it in some section if you think it is going to fit better. To open the video in Logic: File-Movie-Open Movie. Then mark the sections of it in the next way: Logic Pro-Preferences-Advanced Tools and activate all except for Control Surfaces and Surround (and score if you are not going to use it). Then Track-Show Global Tracks and in the Arrangement Track you can establish the sections, for example:
- Introduction: objectives (mood to set, things to remark with music...), Function/s of the music in this section (set the mood, present the main character (you can create a leitmotif for it), place the viewer in the physical place where the action is (country, region, etc.), underline the time the action takes place...), Composition concepts to get the objectives and music functions: crescendo to begin, tempo that fits, kind of music to set the mood, instrumentation that fits with the place and time,...
- And something similar to the other sections: note that the mood might be the same for all the video or that some functions can be in several or all the sections
Also in the markers track you can put markers to synchronize important moments in the scene to synchronize with the music, example: evil monster appears suddenly (remark with its leitmotif or with some low tones, or drums, etc)
The process should be that: set the objectives, set the music function/s, set the composition concepts to get them, compose the music starting from something simple, just the melodies, leitmotifs, etc. and then "decorate" it with the rest of elements and instrumentation you think that fits (it might be string/brass chords, bass line, drums, other melodies with other instruments...)
I also love hearing epic music accompanying fantasy/action videogame trailers. I agree with Kristen that it may be a little difficult to actually find choral sounds to accompany your music, but if you are able to, I think they would fit perfectly. I agree on your two timestamps for climaxes, but I wonder if you will be able to have enough time to fall after the first climax and then build up to the second climax since they are relatively close together. Great work!
The moments where you wish to make a crescendo are very appropriate in my opinion. My question is how do you plan to go from the pace of the upbeat fighting scenes suddenly to the buildup for the ogre and the dragon. It seems that the transitions to these parts will be pretty difficult, because the pace in this trailer goes all over the place.
Ivan, this sounds like a very well thought-out idea, and I can't wait to hear it! I think you introduce a lot of different elements, and so I have one suggestion for you: if you have time, you could try having a loud, steady drum in the background that accelerates with the piece until the climax. I think that would tie together all those elements nicely.
This was awesome! Your piece matched really well with the action in the plot. When the camera enters into the green mist, the sound undoubtedly reflected that. When one of the soldiers decided to dramatically swing an ax at somebody, the low notes of the piece reflected that. The outcome seems to be that the viewer feels more immersed in the trailer because the sounds are so well-placed. You have certainly achieved your goal and this piece was a pleasure to listen to.
I was blown away, you did an awesome job, Ivan! I loved the voices in the beginning, and my favorite part was the cymbal at the very end. The only thing I would've liked to hear is more of a beat (ex. a steady drum in the background), especially during the intense parts. I think that would have made this scene even more intense. But overall, this was amazing and you should be proud of what you have done!
Exllenct piece! I can really feel the different tensions in different settings. The music is very engaging and dramatic! All the background music fits the story in the video perfectly! All the transitions are well done too, I really like how use make the transition in 35s, although two background musics are so different, but it is not abrupt at all. One thing is that I think it would be good if you add more movement sounds in the video, like the sound of smashing the ice.
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An epic theme composed for the Dragon Age: Inqusition trailer.