Unseen light

We listen, we breathe. We dance, we see. We move, remain still.

Take a moment to listen to yourself with this song. Dance with your eyes closed. Dance, float, sit down. But breathe and listen.

Cover by Drew Graham via Unsplash.

Other music


Día de los Muertos

What piece of music would you write for one of your favourite cities and one of your favourite periods of time? That was the assignment.

Well, I had to take some liberties here. A favourite time in a favourite city already sets the tone for a happy and pleasant tune, and I found it very hard not making it too sugary and sweet.

One morning I was listening in the car to “Malagueña Salerosa”, the song played at the end of Tarantino’sKill Bill II”. The song is a rock version of a well-known Mexican song, although usually played in a more traditional way. It is played by Chignon, the band formed by Robert Rodriguez. Then this idea came to me. Flip it around. Make it a gritty place, an unforgiving and raw Mexico inhabited by Machetes and Mariachis. It is madness, mayhem, you have no idea what is going to happen between dusk and dawn, but it can only end up bad.

And that is what it became. Not a place that can be listed as a favourite, but definitely a favourite one to write music for.

Enjoy “Día de los Muertos”, the day of the dead.

The cover is by Tony Hernandez via Unsplash.

Other music


The one before sunrise

We’ve been there before. All of us. We talk, we laugh, we dance, we play, eat and drink all night long. But then the moment comes to say goodbye. The bittersweet feeling of letting go comes over us, and before we know we are standing there alone again.

Photo credit: Andressa Voltolini

Other music


On the house


The party music

This week I have been exploring the party music for the pool party in the movie. You can do two things: license music, or create your own. Since  we are on a composing exercise, the only way to go is creating my own.

This is harder than expected. I like melodies. I can think of a melody and then play it on an instrument. That decision is very clear for me: the melody line, and which instrument should play it to get the desired effect.

For the party music I wanted a basic house tune. And this definitely is not something I am very good at. You are looking at creating a sparse, repeating set of bars, and add effects, instruments and whatever other elements you can think of to make it sound not boring. At least one thing will not be achieved. It will be either boring, it will have the wrong combination of instruments, or will have too many instruments, sounds and noises included that the actual song will be completely lost.

Here is a minute of what I have so far in its raw, unmixed form:

It is somewhere, but whether it is good or will become something good remains to be seen. It will need a lot of work and listening to other house producers to get some inspiration and a feel of what should and should not be done.

As far as composing for the movie goes: it is completely separate from the movie score itself. It has no relation to the characters or the stories. As a piece of music, it pretty much stands on its own. And in that sense, you might as well pick a piece from any producer and put a new soul in the spotlight.

With that in mind, the party music may not make it on the final album. Do what you are good at, and let others do the rest.

Do what you are good at, and let others do the rest. Share on X

As always, let me know what you think about the piece in the comments.

Music Script Writing

Why write a movie script?

Now this is where things get interesting. I have already talked about why I want to compose film music. But how do you practice composing music for movies?

One way is to grab any movie you like and compose an original score for it. This is a bit tricky for two reasons. First, you will have heard the music when going over the scenes and will be influenced by it, which makes it hard to come up with something truly original. Second, you will be competing with well-established and respected composers in the field, and your music will be compared to theirs. It will be similar to what it would be for a Hans Zimmer or Rachel Portman to compose an original score to a scene that has a piece of temp music set to it. (Temp music: music that is put under a scene temporarily.) That piece of temp music is already setting the tone of what is expected from a composer, and it will be nigh on impossible to come up with something that will be perceived as better.

Then what is the solution? An internship, or write your own movie. Since an internship for me is currently not an option, and because I love writing and making up stories, writing my own movie script is a good and fun alternative.

And with that I started writing. The idea was to write something high-level, an outline. However, soon I got a bit too involved and wanted to know more details about the story. A bit further along in time I had written 60 minutes of movie. The thought hit me that if it was that easy, why not make it a full-length script? Perhaps easier said than done, but all of a sudden it was done.

Yes, it is done. I now have a full-length movie script.

With the script finished, I can start breaking it up and start composing music for it. When the music is finished, I will share it with you and share some of the details of the scenes. It will be fun, so stick around.

And speaking of fun, wouldn’t it be fun to see the movie on a big screen? That it actually gets made? This will involve a few more fun exercises, such as find out where to send it to, how to talk with film producers, and learn more about the movie industry.

In other words: why not get that ball rolling as well. Easier said than done? Perhaps yes, but then all of a sudden it just might be done. And then there it will be, on a screen near you. Fun? You bet.

After the music has been composed and presented here on this website — together with parts of the story to give you some context — I will continue writing scripts. Whether they will be as detailed or long as this initial one will remain to be seen. I love to make music, and love to experiment more with composing for movies. But right now there are at least 4 other stories for movies that I can think of expanding into a full-length movie, so who knows.