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Talking Book - Alamat

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Author Comments

Another group of friends asked me to make the music for their first thesis and I ain't going to complain about getting more MONEY.


Strangely with this group I felt more comfortable with my direction towards the music and I don't know why. Maybe it's because I've done more or less simillar work with the other group that I knew what questions to ask to full understand what the game needed.


This game is called Alamat and it's about some guy committing war crimes I THINK. That was what I understood from the explination of the guy writing the damn thing. He actually had to re-write part of the story because it was too dark or something so I don't really know anymore. I just know the setting is spanish colonial era in the philippines with magic and stuff.


Since we were going for a more folk approach the instrument choices were very clear: woodwinds, guitar and maybe piano. There's supernatural elements like magic, treants and other strange creatures that try to bite your butt so I wanted to add that "otherworldy sound" by using synths. Lucky for me I've had a bit more practice with manipulating my synths to get that sound... maybe... I was given the direction to steer more acoustic and folk-y so there was a real pain to avoid using drums. Funilly enough by the next song I broke that promise ahahaha


So this song is actually the very first sketch I made for the team. I wrote it literally an hour or so after we got off call just to get a bit more time for them and for me to polish things. Immediately they went "yeah sure" and gave me the go ahead for the aesthetic for the whole soundtrack.


I really really wanted to use the clarinet not only because it's a very versatile instrument but also for the mental image of squidward playing the main melody. We have a piano providing the bulk of the harmony and a guitar to play a more rhythmic accompaniment to that as well. The bass is a cello because why not and for percussion we just have bongos even though the Philippines didn't really have "bongos". You use what's readily available okay.


For that magical element I just had a basic sine wave with a bit of a triangle at the tippy top just to add a bit more texture. I added a small amount of attack to the envelope and make it abruptly stop to simulate a flute playing a short note. Lastly drown it in reverb and delay and you have this cool sounding thing that maybe sounds like magic I dunno man.


I repeat this so many times with my works that it honestly feels like I'm cheating. The piece is composed so simply that it just works. 99% of the song is literally a Bbm7 > AbM7 4 bar loop with barely anything added to the instrumentation. All I do is add the second melody under the first to STRETCH out that development. Because I'm already pushing it I have to add a B section just to keep the listener interested.


Writing this little commentary actually made me realize that I actually wrote it in a dorian mode where the 6th scale degree is rasied by a half step. I think that's why this piece actually works despite it being so simple. It's technical as hell and I tried to break it down but gave up since it's too complicated and even I'm conflicted trying to understand what I did.


Anyway we back to the B section, we sneakily modulate to C# Major but instead of hitting C#M7 we go to it's IV chord F#M7 to give it a bit more subdominant push. Our chord progression for the first 4 bars is F#M7 > C#M7 > BM7 > C#M7 giving us a sort of IV > I > bVII > I kinda sound. On the next 4 bars we just replace the last two chords with a turnaround Cm7b5 > F7 (iim7b5 > V7) to loop us back to the start.


I don't know what in my brain caused this strange piece to just exist. It's a much more complex piece than I thought it was. When I was listening to it again writing this it felt oh so simple "just do this this and that and I get the job done" kinda thing but now that I'm actually looking at it... I might be smarter (or stupider) than I think I really am.


Perhaps this first piece for the game was foreshadowing for whatever bullshit I did for the next few songs haha.


It works so I'm not going to go crazy writing this so late at night trying to breakdown every little thing I did. Let's just say I'm glad I did what I did.

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Credits & Info

Artist

Listens
168
Faves:
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Waiting for 2 more votes

Uploaded
Feb 1, 2022
2:22 PM EST
Genre
Video Game
File Info
Loop
2.7 MB
2 min 1 sec
Software
  • FL Studio

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