Creation Exercise

As part of this unit you must submit one original creation of music from a local or global context for your own instrument

Maximum of 1 minute

Check out some of the examples below

Track 1 (techno creation exercise) .mp4

Techno creation example

For my creation exercise I have produced a short techno extract which highlights some of the key features of techno music. These include; the use of common time (4/4), a continuous four-on-the-floor kick/bass drum rhythm, looping, layering, the use of the snare or clap on beats 2 and 4 and a hi-hat played on every 16th beat. As well as the use of step sequencing, synthesisers/synthesised sounds and drum machines.

Before creating my example, I had to consider how I do not have any experience in creating electronic dance music specifically, and that I lack the access to more professional digital audio workstations (DAW), due to their cost, that may be more authentic to the actual production of techno music.

To combat these issues, I have had to familiarise myself with the typical features of techno music and the importance of loop-based composition when creating my example, as well as choosing to use an IOS app on my Iphone as a free alternative compared to more expensive and professional equipment/software. By using this method, the quality and range of the synthesised sounds I use are limited. However, having a mobile music studio in an app form makes it easy to use and still allows me to access the type of synthesisers and drum machines I need. [d1]

[d1]Try to make it explicitly linked to your research. By this I mean that you need to refer to your research on how techno is produced. For example you mentioned the use of rhythm and bass synths, namely the TR-808 and Tb-303, so you would need to write about how your research influenced your creation and if you used these specific synths or had to use similar versions, or had to adapt. You are kind of doing this as it is implied that your creating would be based on what you have learned. However, implying is not enough; you need to be specific.

The example above and below are draft submissions from two year 12 students who both play piano as their first instrument. The written explanation is part of the written component. An example of the whole written component can be found HERE. You can also find exemplar materials for this unit HERE

Chris Crome Film Music Creation Exercise Video 011220 DRAFT.mp4

Film music creation example - first draft

I downloaded a clip from the film Mission: Impossible – Fallout, from 2018 and loaded it into cubase. With this 1 minute clip, I removed the original audio and recorded my own music to it. With most action films using an orchestra, I decide to do the same giving me a range of instruments to experiment with. The vst orchestral pack gave me orchestral sounds. I started coming up with a motif which. The violin motif has chromaticism creating a tense dramatic melodic line to match the dangerous environment the characters in. With this I added another motif with a cello playing a low G note played staccato giving the overall rhythm. To accompany these two leitmotifs I added mezzo forte strings, trembling on a low G in the background adding to the dangerousness. Likewise I recorded brass playing a low G note with spiccato adding to the tension. As the character climbs the helicopter, to represent the ascend in the characters action, I recorded a French horn playing a 5th giving a sense of lift and achievement. As the character jumps onto the edge of helicopters door, a crash cymbal enters with sforzando brass playing a mid range G minor chord. As the two characters look at each other, to build tension I recorded tremolo strings ascending in 3rds sustained with a quiet timpani rolling. As the characters lunge at each other, a new section begins with a new leitmotifs being played on strings, timpani's and brass play the new rhythm with semiquavers being played on high-hats over it.

Video 2 (1).mp4

Film music - creation - final draft

Section 2: Statement on the creating exercise – Track 2 – 1:00 min

I wanted to learn and understand how film music is used to enhance film and how it is used to convey emotions, using different instruments and techniques to create emotion.

Looking deeper into film music, I have explored how leitmotifs are used, and how they represent characters and objects, likewise how time and location can be represented. For my creation, I wanted to explore more with the orchestra. This was because the orchestra is a prominent and the most popular way to create soundtracks for film in mainstream cinema. For my creation, I used Cubase Elements 10. I first downloaded a film clip from 'Mission: Impossible – Fallout', 2018. With this 1-minute clip, I imported the clip into Cubase and removed the original audio, then recorded my creation over the top. With most action films using an orchestra, I decided to do the same using a VST orchestral pack, providing me with a wide range of instruments to experiment with.

I started coming up with a leitmotif in G-Minor. I used a violin, implementing chromaticism (shown in the red box below), with a sharpened 4th. This is important as it creates tension in the melody, matching the character's dangerous environment. The ‘Mission: Impossible Theme’ also uses chromaticism, also implementing a sharpened 4th.

I added another motif with a cello playing a low G staccato note in unison with the brass playing legato. I added mezzo-forte strings, trembling on a low G note in the background to accompany the leitmotifs. This thickens the texture, and the tremolo provides tension to the danger on screen. I recorded a French horn playing a 5th interval and at one point rising in dynamics on the D, representing the ascent in the character's actions. A crash cymbal enters with sforzando brass playing a Gm chord while the character leaps onto the helicopter's door (shown in the score below). As the characters faced each other, I recorded tremolo strings ascending in minor 3rds, sustained, with a quiet timpani roll. Timpani and brass chords create a new rhythm in this new section, with semiquaver hi hats accompanying to aid the increased pace. New accented motifs enter on strings, with chromatic notes used in the string phrase.