HOW I WRITE AND PRODUCE MY MUSIC
The creative and technical flow of the composition process from start to finish
Improvising, sketching, writing
I usually start off my improvising at the piano, experimenting with different time signatures, keys and tempos until I settle on the right combination. Then, I start a session in Logic to record my ideas so I don't lose any creative sparks and to build up a collection of ideas to use. When writing to picture, I also spend time working out the flow and character of the video, scene changes, and where to start & end music.
Creating each track and sound layer
I probably only use about 10% of the ideas generated at the ideas stage, but this is where I take the best concepts and begin recording different sounds. Working at my piano and using various sound libraries, I create the individual layers of sound which will make up the final piece.
Even when I've found a great melody or harmonic pattern, the skill is in building textures and palettes of sounds which will interpret and enhance the video, yet without over-powering it.
Adjusting each sound and track to produce the perfect mix
Once all the tracks are recorded to create the ambience and atmosphere I want, the potentially endless process of editing and mixing begins. This is a series of questions about textures, mood, atmosphere - how to build engagement and connection, how to mirror the rise and fall of the emotion in the video.
This is a stage full of subtle adjustments and tweaks to get the balance between all the instruments absolutely perfect, allowing space for dialogue and sound effects where present.
Subtle final touches to make the finished track stand out
Once I have the competed mix with all the sound layers as I want them and overall ambience created, the finishing touches are applied to the completed track. The real skill here is in listening and making tiny adjustments to EQ, reverb, presence and compression so that the finished track is as good as it can be.
This is the final track to be added to the client's video to create the finished product. The end result is a fully integrated mix of video and audio which brings the video to life and creates the required audience engagement. This is the point I sit back and enjoy the completed project!