Sunday, June 12, 2016

Musical Cues and Bumpers

Lately, Megumi has been fascinated with all kinds of music cues, bumpers, incidental music, etc. This all started when a family friend of hers asked her to compose something for his photography website, and of course, she dragged Yasuko and me into it.

My father had a record of this really cheesy music--he called it elevator music. It's the kind of music that was played on easy listening format stations in the old days--before my time! When he was a kid, there was this American boy he knew in the neighborhood, and he got it from him. This was in the 1970's. My father told me that the family was returning to America, and the boy was giving away a bunch of his possessions, things that he had taken to Japan to make it feel more like home. He guesses the boy didn't need it anymore.

It's all instrumental stuff, soft versions of popular songs. It's funny, when you first listen to it, it drives you bonkers, but after a while, it made me feel really peaceful.

When Megumi asked us to help her write some theme music, I started thinking, should it be happy? Sad? Wistful? And then I realized, it's really hard to write music that is a specific mood. A lot of times, it just turns out that way. But to do it on purpose...

Oh, there are some things you can do--like for sad music, make it slow and use minor chords. I had a guitarist friend a while back who said that anything in the key of F# major will always sound happy. But a lot of times, using tricks makes it sound gimmicky. I guess the more you do it, the more natural it will sound.

We've been experimenting with various ideas. Here's our first set of stuff. All I can say is, it sounds clunky.

Megumi wasn't satisfied at all. Normally, I'm a "eh, it's good enough" kind of guy, but she's right. I think we need to practice listening and breaking down compositions. In any case, it will have to be put on the back burner, because Megumi is finishing up a new song and she wants to record it!

No comments:

Post a Comment