Music Composers Unite!
Hi everybody. I've been writing music freestyle for a few years now and I am studying sound at university. I have a large project for uni whereby I have to write music for a mobile game that has a circus/western theme.
I have been trying hard by listening to western and circus music but I feel like my creativity has been imprisoned and it's so difficult to do. I know that a lot of my classmates have been turning to sample libraries but that's not what I went to uni for. I went to uni to advance my skills but unfortunately composition is not part of the curriculum even though it is a major part of the requirements (that's another story). Also, the other projects are not restricted by theme to the extent that mine is which makes it doubly difficult.
Has anybody got any words of wisdom that can help me here?
I have a very good knowledge of music theory so technical terms are very welcome. Thanks a lot in advance for sharing your expertise.
There are a few things you can do to find your spark. Start with a genre that you are more comfortable (you have electronica listed on your profile). Then add one or two circus/western elements to start. Maybe a syncopated accordion or a nice solo Tex/Mex style trumpet. Or you can let the instruments that you comfortable with do the heavy lifting but give them a simple chord progression based in the targeted genre. Or just find a place where you can related to the target material. I did a Tex/Mex track completely outside of my comfort zone and turned to the "Spaghetti" westerns and Ennio Morricone for inspiration. t reminded me oF watching Westerns in the basement with my dad. Find a way to make the target genre fun for yourself and go from there.
I hope this helped a little (probably not though(. Good luck.
I would say, stay simple, stay live instruments, it will sound really great if you can record some very basic stuff. I recently did some circus music that I recorded live. I played melodica and soprano sax, we had an accordion player, upright bass and percussion. the upright bass player also played mandolin. So we just horsed around, improvised over some VERY basic progressions (i iv i V7, etc.) and had some minor and some major tonality stuff. I would say unless you are needing to create an entire full circus orchestra, just stick with some instruments that are handy that you have access to. Make it a jam session with some friends and just have fun. I would suggest darker cirque soleil type of themes as its just easier to do in a gritty, small ensemble way.
Thanks guys, unfortunately I don't have any instruments to work with, I would have been able to organise some had I tried earlier but I suppose it's my own fault for trying so long by myself. I will post some of the stuff I have been doing here with synths in an attempt to make circus music. It's a kids game as well so my creative thoughts were to have it bright and happy for the kids. Lecturers informed me that traditional instruments would be better but it's too late in the day for that :(
Here you will maybe find some help