The works below are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and ©2013 Gregory Weaver.
When I’m feeling a little down about new stuff that I’m making on a certain day, sometimes I tell myself to go work on a jazz-influenced piece since that’s the music that I have the most experience performing and listening to. Sometimes forcing myself to work on a jazz piece produces the beginnings of a new tune that I like and sometimes it doesn’t; but when the results are positive, I end up with tunes like “Mr. A.C. (Keep Your Cool)” and my latest, the tentatively titled “Sabba4” (short for Sabbatical Tune #4, but I’ve also come to like it as a title ‘cause it sounds all space sector-y).
Here’s what I have so far for the first part of it:
I pretty much got the first 30 seconds over and done with one day and then moved on to do the next bit a day or two later. Using Finale I wrote the vibes melody first and then created the harmony, etc., and when I put it in Logic I noticed something: there was a distinct emptiness in the second part that wasn’t in the first (or so my ears told me—you may disagree). Take a listen to the parts I’m talking about back-to-back:
Do you hear what I hear? There is a significant energy to the piece that seems to drop out starting at :10, and it’s not because of the lack of a piano as a whole. I chalked it up to the bass duplicating the vibes too much, the open feel of the drums, and the downward harmonic movement of the guitar chords leading into the open sound of the line after it (i.e., everything).
The question of whether it sounds fine as a piece of music wasn’t what was bothering me because yeah, I think that the old cut sounds good. However, I think there is just too much space and the energy suffers due to it.
Writing for a game, that’s a problem. Or, at the very least, writing a piece like this without a particular situation in mind from the beginning, it’s a problem. Music for a game needs to continuously add to whatever the player is experiencing because it is tied to and thus affects that experience directly. If the music somehow shifts the mood to an odd gear in the middle of a situation, it most certainly has the ability to detract from the situation and make it less believable or authentic. More