It’s been a while

Time does fly. Seems that there’s been just too much to do. Always a good excuse.

I started working on a movie score a few months back – a movie more or less based on a yet unreleased album by Nightwish (it’s coming out in 2012, I think). The screenplay and the whole plot is just simply brilliant, and Mr. Stobe Harju, one of the manuscript writers too, directs it. You probably knew every word of this already, if you’ve been following either the news, Tuomas Holopainen’s or Stobe Harju’s twitter account or visited the Nightwish Official Website. The whole concept of this score is a bit different from everything else, a bit dogmatic as well, some might say: I’m using Nightwish’s album multitrack data as my raw material – and only a little else. I’d say the percentage is 80/20 for NW, clearly. There’s just so much to build onto, so many building bricks. The only evil thing is the toughest question I’m facing on every track: where the hell to start from? What’s the ground zero for each song? You could turn every song into a duck – or a unicorn, easily. Every piece has enough stuff for that.

I turned out every song had two or three “hooks” that seemed to talk in a clear language. They quite seldom were melodic motives, though, usually they were just some odd noisy bits and pieces that immediately triggered the train of thoughts – and sometimes I just listened to a whole orchestra track thru a double bass channel, in mono. Thru an unmerciful compressor. After making very comprehensive memos of everything, every track, every song, I had a clear picture of what’s where. The initial transfer from ProTools to Logic took a month – of course, I made my notes at the same time. Also, I created a set of Kontakt 4 instruments on the fly, grabbing a straight note there and another from here, the usual sample stuff. I’m not in my comfort zone now, as I’m depending on solely someone else’s work of art, and am willingly, knowingly, trying to steer away from the I’m-replacing-everything-with-my-output easy solution lane (which everyone, including me, would hate eventually). Everything gets treated. Really, really mangled, to find the right patina for the existing colour. I’m not destroying Tuomas’s brilliant work, I’m building something new using existing material. Call it reinterpretation, whatever, but I can guarantee they’re not just mere remixes. And there will be no dance beats. (At least not yet.)

(By the way, as a sidenote, I’d like to encourage the software developers to finally fix the frigging, effing, bugs that prevent the AAF transfer from working. Thank you. It’s not working no matter everybody tries to say. Not at least from ProTools to Logic.)

So, I’m in “under construction” mode right now. It’s a funny state of mind in which I seem to be unable to find time for shaving alone. Also, during this phase I’m also consuming vast amounts of green tea and find sleeping a hard job. I’ve been thru these phases so many times that I’m already adjusting my mind for the misery of giving up, leaving the project, you know, the moving-on-phase. Luckily, it’s still months away and I’m enjoying the energy, but I recognize the pattern.

Also, before I even started about thinking about starting to think about thinking about Imaginarium, I laid my hands on a few game soundtracks and in addition to those, I also had a chance to collaborate with my #1 person to collaborate with, DJ Orkidea, on his upcoming album. I even wrote a series of blog articles for every single track I was involved with, but decided to postpone them until the release gets closer. It’s going to be some really, really hardcore nerdy read, but I feel that opening my bag of tricks is not equal to letting my mind slip away from me. I’m using my tools my way, according to my taste – someone else will use the same exact tools in a totally different way. One shouldn’t fear sharing the knowledge (if such thing exists).

I’ll try and update this site accordingly when the time comes.