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For this piece, I chose many orchestral instruments and samples to achieve a dramatic effect. Quick ostinato strings applied a repetitive rhythm to add urgency, while brass and drums echoed the sounds of battle and war. The key is in c minor for a sensation of dread.

The piece is introduced with a low drum and chorus (0:05-0:10) to set the tone. From 0:14, I crescendo in the instruments of the main theme, starting with strings, bass, an original drum patch, and finally two experimental patches. The last two add an eerie feel (0:30-0:36) that reflects the nature of the otherworldly green "Breach." Right before the battle at 0:38, I use caesura (a brief pause) to heighten suspense.

The chorus returns at 0:39 to add drama throughout the battle, and new instruments are introduced: more brass for harmony, a counterpoint horn, and a cymbal. The dynamics are much louder, and the beat syncs with the axe strike at 0:43 and the ogre's appearance. At the climactic banishment of the ogre (1:00), all but the chorus drop out for a final eerie note. At 1:04, the music dies down to just ostinato strings and drums and finally slows (ritardando) to the dragon fire (1:15), which ends the piece.


I began by watching the video on mute and getting a feel for the tone I wanted to create. I listened to other epic soundtracks for inspiration, such as Hans Zimmer and Audiomachine, and researched which timbres created the best effect. After finding orchestra samples and creating a few patches for the low thrumming drum and eerie notes, I worked on each section of the video, syncing the rhythm (one of the most challenging parts). I incorporated feedback from student comments, addressing the problem of transitions between the two climaxes by making the second lead up less dramatic. I also added sound effects and beats to sync with moments in the trailer (for example, crackling fire, the flap of the dragon's wings, and a low drum when the ogre stepped), as suggested in class.


I believe I achieved my objectives of creating an epic composition-- the choral and orchestral samples really bring out the drama in the piece. While I was unable to find good sound effects for all parts of the trailer, as a whole it transmits the grand feeling I intended. If I had heard this piece before this semester, I would have listened for just the theme or beat. Now, however, I am much better equipped to appreciate the nuances in the piece (balance and layering; composition techniques like crescendi and caesura; and especially the importance of using good samples).

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