First things first, go HERE and support Spellirium.
Today is a big announcement for Untold Entertainment and for me, too! After five years of development, their new game Spellirium is available for preorder today. If you support for the project, not only do you get a release copy when it's finished, but you can play the alpha version of the game today (sorry, if you watched the video I guess that was a bit repetitive).
So I've partnered with Untold on this - I worked with Ryan to film and edit the video you see above, and I wrote the music you hear when he's speaking (after the Blackbird Raum song / trailer).
Here is the track I wrote, available on Soundcloud:
[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/87107102" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" 1="/" ]
The game still needs music, sound effects and voice overs... not to mention some animations and a few other details! So there is a long road ahead, but I'm looking forward to seeing the final product released sometime in the next few months!
A Day in the (Studio) Life
I spent a day at The Vine Studio in Mississauga to record the 5 minute track I linked above. Kyle Reid came along with me to play piano and to engineer for me, and Jordan Cabral came in to track violin parts (or Ryan would call them "fiddle" parts I suppose).
Ryan gave me a list of youtube videos as reference for what he was looking for (probably 10-12 tracks), and since the video was more or less edited at that point I had a really good guideline to work with. Some composers really like having free rein to be creative, but there's something to be said about working with restrictions.
When you look at the video, you can break it into 3 parts: introduction (Ryan sitting in front of concept art), exposition (Ryan standing by the red shelf), and call to action (close up of Ryan on the couch). Because of that, I decided to break the music up into 3 parts as well - this was made easy by the vast amount of reference I'd been provided with. The three tracks that I mostly based the parts on were 1) Sad Wind Sighs - Flatt Lonesome 2) Fire on Fire - Heavy D, 3) Yellow Bird - Akeboshi. It's a bit embarrassing to list them like that because it feels really obvious to me, and I don't want you to think I flat-out copied them either. Music reference can be a lot like Art reference and I wanted to show a little bit behind the work that went into this.
I set up a scratch track with a click and a rough guitar part to direct the chords and transitions in the studio, which helped quite a bit. Once we got into the studio it was basically just a matter of recording the different instruments one by one.
Including the voiceover, scratch track and some unused takes, I had around 36 channels to deal with. In terms of instrumentation: I played acoustic guitar(x5), banjo(x2), snare, bass drum, guitarkelele (it's a real thing I swear), shaker, tambourine and accordion. Kyle played piano, organ and glockenspiel (glock didn't make the final mix). Jordan played violin, as per usual.
We tracked the whole thing in one day and I spent the next day editing it to be the music you're hearing today. SO THERE YOU GO! informed.
Stay tuned for more Spellirium updates. I'll keep you posted.