Rapid Composition Episode 1 : Spelunking

The following is a transcript of a weekly event I plan on beginning for The Wired Fish.  Forgive the shitty formatting for now, we’ll find a better chat platform for next week.  Score and Music at the bottom!

Friday July 6, 2012

10:25 Suikoinfinity:
Hello readers at The Wired Fish, tonight is the first iteration of a weekly practice I want to start. Influenced by a tradition in the Doom community, I used to participate in speedmapping events where we would design levels for the game under a 60 – 100 minute time limit. A theme would be presented to all participants from which they would build a level from the ground up, and at the end of the session, all participants would have their creations merged into a single set of levels.

10:29 Suikoinfinity:
Of course, my levels always sucked dick, but the practice was fun. I don’t compose Doom levels anymore, but I am trained in the art of music composition. My training is on a classical level mostly, and there is rarely any excuse to compose music spontaneously, so I decided to begin this event. Right now I’m the only participant, but I hope in time some people might join in so that we might have a collection of short pieces of music every week.

10:31 Suikoinfinity:
Because this is a practice of composition, the two things that need to be produced at the end of the session is the sheet music/whatever notation is used for composition along with an audio file so people can listen to it.

10:31 Suikoinfinity:
For me, that’s the exported Sibelius sheet music and a recording converted to MP3.

10:36 Suikoinfinity:
To keep in line with the video game theme, sounds are going to be restricted at first, to whatever chip, synth or midi sounds you want to use. So, if I want my game to sound like an early PC game I might go standard midi, use established sound chips for a more console like sound or even dabble in manual synthesis, (FM Synthesis is the way to go if I want to sound like a Genesis game).

10:40 Suikoinfinity:
Before starting the composition, and receiving the theme of the night, I’ll decide what instrument set I feel like using and stick to that. Of course, my partner in crime, Prota is in here too and I’m certain to have forgotten a few details, so I’ll let him remind me (and inform you) of what else is to come! Hit it Prota!

10:41 Prota:

10:43 Prota:
I’ll be the moderator for the evening, making sure that Suikoinfinity keeps to the rules and regulations stated. As mentioned earlier, his background is in classical music. Because of this, his songs will be designed with a beginning and end in mind rather than as songs that would continuously loop.

10:45 Suikoinfinity:
Well, I could make it loop if you want, but I’m not used to doing it, so it might take a little fiddling around to get it working properly in regular notation.

10:45 Suikoinfinity:
That’s something I really haven’t tested in Sibelius… but it might be possible.

10:46 Prota:
Then you don’t have to worry about that tonight, just go wild with what you’re used to. We can work looping in for some future sessions.

10:47 Suikoinfinity:
We’ll make that a special challenge for me one week, “Write something with a loop that sounds cool” LMAO

10:47 Prota:
Don’t think we won’t!

10:48 Suikoinfinity:
Also, I have no clue what the theme of the piece is, as your job is to provide me with some idea or theme to work with once the 90 minute timer starts.

10:49 Prota:
Yup, then you’ll be on the clock. Once time is up, you’ll put your figurative pencil down and submit your work.

10:55 Suikoinfinity:
Yup, and for the record, this week I’m going to be working out of my more standard setup, using Plogue Chipsounds and a 4-voice NES style arrangement : Two square channels, one triangle and one for noise/percussion.

10:56 Suikoinfinity:
I still don’t know how to fucking get their sampling channel to work, so until then anything following a NES style is going to be limited to up to four instruments =(.

10:57 Suikoinfinity:
And with four minutes left on the clock, I have Sibelius opened, Chipsounds locked and loaded with four lines to write on. This is getting tense now!

10:57 Prota:
As it should be, you’re going to be put to the test once the clock hits 11.

10:59 Suikoinfinity:
Something tells me I should have committed myself to something smaller like just one square and triangle, but too late to turn back now!

10:59 Prota:
You’re damn skippy it’s too late! One minute left!

10:59 Prota:
You’re theme for tonight is…

10:59 Suikoinfinity:
Oh man I’m scared.

11:00 Prota:

11:00 Suikoinfinity:

11:00 Prota:
Temples, ruins, treasure, and danger! That’s the life of a spelunker! What will Suikoinfinity find deep within the labryinth of his soul?

11:30 Suikoinfinity:
One third through! Woooooof it’s getting heated.

11:36 Prota:

11:46 Suikoinfinity:
The hard part is connecting one section to another in a way that doesn’t sound like shit >_<

11:55 Suikoinfinity:
Ah damn I’m burning out here, might want to stick to these sections and try to refine them into something decent for the last half hour.

Saturday July 7, 2012
12:03 Prota:
It’s your call, whatever works best. We are experimenting after all.

12:22 Suikoinfinity:
This isn’t a time to be forgetting basic music theory T_T

12:30 Suikoinfinity:

12:30 Prota:

12:31 Prota:
How are you feeling?

12:31 Suikoinfinity:
Well at the last second, I decided to add a bar in to try to soften the blow of a certain transition… put the bar in the wrong part of the score!

12:32 Prota:
lol, that should be interesting.

12:32 Suikoinfinity:
I couldn’t make the save in time, plus a few parts I could have tweaked the notes here and there.

12:34 Suikoinfinity:
Now I just have to record/encode the MP3, Save some images, save this panel and of course, figure out how the fuck to get it all in one package! This should be fun.

12:35 Prota:
Sounds like a blast…let me know how that turns out.

12:36 Suikoinfinity:
Hai, Hai, That should all take a second, but for now let’s wrap up this session. Hope you enjoyed, guys and remember, don’t judge too hard, I only made this in 90 minutes T_T.

12:41 Prota:
As James said, hopefully everyone enjoyed this rapid composition segment. We’ll have more themes to subject him to next week. Until then, catch you all later!

12:42 Suikoinfinity:
I’m still scared, see ya’ll next week!

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