This has been one of my favorite projects I’ve ever done at Berklee. First of all, the game is so endearing it wasn’t hard to write cute, fitting music for it. The hand drawn art design of the game is a very inspiring world to live in. Secondly, it was refreshing to get outside of the orchestral world I’ve been trying to fit into for so long. I feel that writing orchestrally is a life long journey, and yet I have found how useful it is to stray away from that path sometimes.
This was my first time writing for solo trumpet and accordion. My friend Conor played a beautiful trumpet part. In an effort to make the music interactive I wrote multiple versions of the same track so that when the player enters the same environment again they don’t hear the same entrance over and over. I had Conor play his lines in multiple passes with different mutes. In mixing it I even combined them all into one track which created a terrific quirky trumpet sound.
Writing for accordion was a learning experience. I brought my accordion playing friend Donny into the studio with a part that was basically just notes and dynamics. He sat and showed me all the possible ways of playing with various stops in and out. I couldn’t believe the versatility of that instrument, and when I write for accordion again I will be able to notate more of what I want in the score.
I searched for a long time for sounds that would feel like they match the Steam Punk style of this world. I wanted actual steam which was easy enough to find and put in, but finding the right metal sounds took a while. I finally landed on using a sample of a prepared piano. A prepared piano is an instrument that has been altered on the inside to create something that sounds nothing like a real piano. There are metal pieces added to the strings, hammers, and innards. I quickly discovered that a prepared piano is sound design gold. The metal scrapes and boings are far more interesting than a simple metal anvil sound or even a knife clink. Because most people aren’t familiar with a prepared piano it is not easily distinguishable as one when it’s a part of a larger piece. I look forward to using this again in other scores that call for an industrial, metal sound.
There was no better project to end my short Berklee Video Game Scoring career. This was one of those complete successes where I did what I set out to do and even exceeded my own expectations. Here’s to hoping for more and more REAL projects like this one…