Composing for computer games requires the use of specific compositional techniques as well as an in-depth understanding of structural elements such as stingers, underscores, state changes, diegetic music, sound effect saturation, and the generative nature of gameplay. The following tasks were applied when designing music for the gameplay featured here:
- Work to the director's brief
- Use layered and looping structures
- Consider creative interaction with diegetic sounds
- Devise musical elements that can be spontaneously combined and manipulated to follow the players progress.
- Create musical structures that can modulate or evolve across scene transitions effectively
- Reinforce emotions and atmospheres induced by the gameplay
- Build musical arrangements and textures that compliment the gaming environment.
Below are examples of compositions designed to accompany a pre-conceived narrative and theme portrayed through visual elements as well as and text.
This composition was intended to accompany a short film about a fisherman who goes out to sea and gets caught in a vicious storm. The film was not completed in time, giving me the opportunity to premiere this composition as a purely musical performance. This work uses experimental compositional techniques, extended performing techniques across all instruments, prepared piano and guitar, graphical scoring, and live mixing (performed by me). The piece was performed by the Cork New Music Ensemble, and conducted by Conor Palliser.
This large scale work acts as programme music to what is widely accepted as the beginning of the Big Bang. After sufficient research on the subject, I was able to create a 'universe' of my own that acts as a sonic equivalent. Space-Time is represented by a sonic chord, which is subjected to multiple distortions, invasions and manipulations throughout the piece.
The visual elements within the video help guide the listener as the piece progresses, while programme notes mark important movements at relevant points in the composition.
This is a promotional video for the function band Red Effect, of which I was a member since its conception in 2009 until 2013. My responsibilities in the band involved performing on lead guitar, keyboards, vocals, designing sounds, devising MIDI protocols, and transporting band members and equipment. I recorded, mixed and designed all of my keyboard synth sounds as well as the guitar sounds (but was NOT involved in the production process). The band rapidly became incredibly successful, and toured across Ireland for six years. In 2015, after the pleasures of working together and enjoying national success, the original members of Red Effect moved onto new and exciting career-developing projects.
Below are examples of promotional music composed for clients who provide a brief on the musical style, atmosphere, and length. Multiple versions of compositions are made available for the nature of the promotional music, and are composed with 'loopable' sections when requested in order to minimize the editting workload on the client.
Other Audio for Film
My responsibilities involved in the realization of this cooperate event coverage involved the organization and archiving of all the video footage caught on camera. Due to the hardware provided on the day of the shoot, this unexpectedly involved a lot of problem solving regarding digital storage space, storage type conversions and high-pressure time restraints. I was also required to record audio on site for multiple interviews after the celebrations, operating booms and optimizing clip-on microphones (unfortunately evidence of this was destroyed along with the interview footage due to an unexpected activation of fire sprinklers in the hotel...).
The Nightman of Nevermoor was one of my first dealings with budget films. I was selected to be the foley artist and assigned half the film. My time was mostly spent cleaning up submitted audio with an unfavourable signal-to-noise ration, recording foley audio (such as footsetps, cars, cloth etc.)/ and synchronising foley and other sound effects to moving picture. Pro Tools was my primary DAW for this project, along with multiple noise reduction, EQ, dynamic, effect and editing plugins.
These soundtracks demonstrate my ability to compose music to moving picture, utilizing the appropriate compositional techniques while considering:
- The director's brief
- The atmosphere and visual stimulas
- Musical elements that can indirectly manipulate the emotion of the viewer
- Music that evolves harmoniously with the content on screen
- Musical themes that syncronize with the images on screen
*Come back soon for a more updated section on soundtracks!*
Finding this footage (1944) of the Ross Sisters doing all kinds of contorted choreography gave me inspiration to write an equally twisted passage of music that shifts what use to be a comical and entertaining atmosphere into a dark and disturbing one.