Shorts Soundtracks: 8bit Hero

Hope everyone had a good turkey day!  I definitely took the week off, but I’ve gotten back into my workflow and am looking like I’ll have a full month of music-making coming up.

Anyways, here’s one of the shorts I made a while ago, directed by John Hammond.  It’s kind of an ode to video games, so I made a few chiptunes to go along with it.  I definitely had some NEStalgia making these songs, I also synthesized all the sound effects in classic video game style with basic oscillators.  Hope you like it as much as I liked working on it.


Nocturne #1

I’m back to the writing music for shorts this week, this time for a short about a musician that’s looses his hearing–how depressing!  Anyways, I literally whipped this up about 20 minutes ago, ‘writing’ it by recording it…not something I typically do.  This is a basic ‘sketch’ or outline of what I want to be the ending music, the target time was suppose to be 40 seconds (!) so I’ve either got some work to do or I might just end up writing a new piece and expanding on this one for other purposes (which I’ll probably do regardless).  I wrote this around midnight, so I was in a very mellow mood.  I wanted it to reflect hope finally overtaking the obvious despair that would beset any musician that lost their hearing.   I really want to add some eerie strings in the background and make it closer to 3 minutes (not for the film, just for me :p), so if I get around to that while I’m on Thanksgiving vacation I’ll be sure to post an update.


And yeah, it’s a little rough, especially the dynamics (for a nocturne)…Maybe because the musician playing it is suppose to be deaf–I was just in character…

Meeting the greats

This week has been a blast for me, I got to personally speak with some very big names in the sound industry at Full Sail’s Hall of Fame festivities this week.  I met Gary Rizzo, sound mixer for Christopher Nolan movies such as Inception and Dark Knight, and heard a panel on how he got into the industry.  I even got to hold his Oscar! (he assured me the curse isn’t real, he held one before winning one himself)  I also got to shake hands with Leslie Brathwaite (mix engineer for a huge list of Hip Hop’s finest) and Bruce Swedien (who mixed Thriller amongst other things).  I always appreciate how down to earth truly successful artists can be; all of those guys were very humble and seemed happy to be able to talk to crowds of people that wanted to be just like them.  Very cool week indeed.  I think the highlight of it was Bruce Swedien though, he’s such a great old man.  He would interrupt the panel from time to time to caution us about listening too loudly or reminisce about the opera growing up and the entire room would just fall silent.  Then he’d finish, but remain poised like he was still speaking and there would be the strangest respectful silence in the room.  Then at the very end of the panel he said, “you guys are in the right place, now don’t f*** up”.  The whole room laughed for a long time.

In other news, I’ve started working on a new album.  I haven’t recorded much of anything yet, (I’m still a pencil and paper sort of guy) but hopefully I’ll have some demos coming out pretty soon to post up here.  I want it to be another Hot Cognition album, but this time more acoustically focused and accessible.  The musical ideas I’m focusing on are layers and harmony, the instrumentation in my mind is quite different from the Merchants & Liars album (very acoustic focused) and also the mood is more positive–albeit sometimes mysterious.  The Tree of Life Suite I posted a while back is a pretty good idea of what I’m thinking about.  I hope to be able to share some of it soon!

Set Musician: California

Here’s a brief clip from a song I got to work as a set musician on recently for my friend and fellow artist: Adiambo Riley.  This song is on his October 31st album that is available on Amazon and in the iTunes store.  The album is an explicit (heads up if you mind that) mix of psychedelic sounds and hip-hop.  Adi described it to me once as part concept album, part auto-biography.  I enjoyed adding a few layers onto this song and being a part of another musician’s process (he takes a very layered approach).  Check it out!