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Gumshoes (Draft 1.0)

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and ©2012 Gregory Weaver.


Last post I indicated that I was planning to write a tune to a picture.  I actually had planned to do such a thing for, I don’t know, a couple years, probably, but never really got around to it.  The drafts that you’ve heard on this site so far have come from general ideas; for example, “Theme for the Woods” was originally based off a flute lick I heard in my head and for “Monday’s Theme” I was thinking about life on a farm.  Using a picture grounded me a lot more, and you’ll read why below.  Here’s the picture off which I’ve been writing:

The picture depicts my girlfriend Jen, Mog, and me as the authorities in sleuthing.  It was drawn by none other than the [Score.] logo artist, Natalie Parisi, who drew it for me because I was one of the first five to solve the first puzzle on her mystery/puzzle blog, Clavis Cryptica.

I decided to use this one for my first picture-to-audio project because, one, it was recently done; two, I like it; and three, because it threw me into an unfamiliar genre.  Out of all of the compositions I’ve ever done – and I’m not just talking about ones done for this site – I’ve never been focused on ‘mystery.’  In fact, I’m not sure that I’m even that close to the music of many puzzle games.  Tetris notwithstanding, the only audio that comes immediately to mind is Professor Layton and the Curious Village.  My tune has a similar vibe to the beginning of “Professor Layton’s Theme,” I guess, but it certainly isn’t half as killin’.  Who wrote it…?  Tomohito Nishiura.  I’m going to have to check out more of that guy’s stuff, holy cow.  And in case you want to compare that live version to the in-game, here it is.

And then, here is mine in all its Finale/Garritan sample glory:

Not even close on the scale of killin’!  But I like the direction that my tune is headed, so I’ll keep it for now.

Originally titled “Sleuths” (and changed because that’s the title of Natalie’s picture, not to mention gumshoes is a pretty cool word), I first started writing by fiddling around with the Steinway in Logic.  It didn’t take very long, as I recall, to come up with the first fourteen measures of the right-hand part (before the woodwinds and viola come in).  In fact, the evidence is in my Logic file; it’s essentially those measures out of time with corrections embedded within.

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Quick chat with Christopher Tin

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I’d never believed that Twitter was actually cool until I started following Weird Al and until this happened to me:

Greg WeaverGreg Weaver @ScoreVGM
I’m scared of listening to “Baba Yetu” because I’ll immediately want to go spend 6 hrs playing Civilization IV.

Shannon MasonShannon Mason @pongball
@ScoreVGM I’m scared of listening to “Baba Yetu” because it’ll immediately make all my music seem terrible in comparison. 😉

@pongball Fair. In fact, a little TOO fair. X)

@christophertin @pongball He caught us! Run! To space! … oh wait, that view of Earth will just remind me of “Baba Yetu,” too.

@christophertin @pongball It’s times like these… tinyurl.com/7k9fudmThat is what you look like, right?

Christopher TinChristopher Tin @christophertin
@ScoreVGM @pongball Haha. More or less, minus the makeup.
@christophertin @ScoreVGM Oh god, I just sat down and saw all this. Yeah, that video sums it up, hahaha.

Christopher Tin is the composer of “Baba Yetu,” title track from Civilization IV. Fun fact: “Baba Yetu” was the first piece of VGM to win a Grammy.

Shannon Mason is also an up-and-coming VGM composer (“also” meaning alongside me because I technically consider myself one as well; she, though, has actual content to back up that title, haha).