project vgm

Earlier this past fall I decided to participate in Project VGM:

It’s pretty neat. A bunch of people are helping out compose this fictional RPG soundtrack. You can checkout all the songs at the soundcloud page, as well as the project page at that blogspot link.

You get a few sentences description, some context with the rest of the game description and then you basically get to do whatever you want. The first piece I got to do (back in september) was the following:

77 Mustle
Beyond the forest is a series of tall trees that form a sort of village, where the majority of the mustlen live. This place still exists in the pocket dimension originally created for the mustlen race, and the only known portal is on the side of a cliffnear the ocean. The mustlen have slept here for the past few thousand years.

I’m glad I finished it but of course it’s been the part of a learning process in writing songs. It’s tough to make something listen-able if you’re using samples that aren’t professional quality (and I don’t have recording equipment to record myself playing any instruments at a good quality.) That being said, with the magic of synthesizers anyone with enough work (and that’s a lot of work, I’d say) can make a nice-sounding piece without needing expensive recording equipment!

The second one I’m doing (due tomorrow) is

52 Mort Highlands
The party follows Shane as he leads them through the Mort Highlands, a mountainous region that separates Gabbad from the north. Its distinct rock formations resemble arches and bridges, and many short cave

systems connect open, grassy areas to each other.

which was a tough one to think of a sound for. Initially I was using instrument samples, doing this sort of march-ish song with a piano backbone to it…but it got out of hand a bit too fast (started being kind of full-blown orchestral) and I really wasn’t seeing the Highlands image with it, so I scrapped it. Moved to a different idea a few days ago, but I’m glad I did.

It’s odd, really. It’s much more relaxed and it matches the image I have in my head but I don’t know if it’s a typical image of “Highlands” – there’s this light piano-like (in timbre, at least) synth keeping the pace of the song, with actual piano samples adding texture throughout, and this nice percussive-like synth that comes in at times. Dream-like you could say. It’s very simple, but I don’t think I would have thought of it if I didn’t go through the process of scrapping the previous idea. So that’s that.

And here it is.