I was contacted recently about making music for a Kickstarter project called “The Daring Adventures of Captain Lucy Smokeheart”. I was asked to make pirate music that should be “about six seconds in length”. That suggested some wiggle room to me, and I wiggled. Also, the request was made on Thursday evening and needed to be done by Monday. There’s two things about me: I’m cheap and I get things done quickly. (The picture on the left is from a costume shop ad and has nothing to do with this project.)
So Andrea Phillips contacted me needing theme music, and rather quickly. I was given the impression that the whole thing was based on pirates and that fun was a huge component. Somehow I got the image of Andrea dressing up in a pirate clown outfit appearing before a group of children and I sent her the following piano melody within minutes, asking if this is what she is after:
[I’m wondering if my online “students” can enter that into NotePad, you need to set the key signature to G Major and also be able to sharp the A-note in the third measure. Five measures in all.]
When I sent an MP3 file of this melody she said that it sounded “jaunty” but she was more after the soundtrack to Pirates of the Caribbean, and she sent me a link to YouTube. It had a lot of symphonic strings and Johnny Depp and didn’t sound at all like pirates to me except that there were pirates in the video. But there was a sense of largeness from the strings and also a spirit of bold adventure. I ended up making a short piece using three sounds that I knew would work because I had used them before: timpani, strings, and trumpet. The following link will take you to Andrea’s Kickstarter project and you can hear the theme I came up with in the video. The complete shortened version is at the end, about the last 20 seconds of the 2-minute video:
I was surprised that my name was credited below Andrea’s in the same font and size. Shouldn’t I have been put first and in larger bolder letters!?!?! (Kidding.) I’m doing this as a favor and for the credit, if the project makes enough profit I might actually see some cash out of this. I think there are going to be 30 daily promos for this project and if I’m right my theme will be in all of them. I’ve seen a draft video of one of the promos and every time Andrea starts doing something piratey, like trying on an eyepatch, the beginning of the theme starts up and then fades out as the eyepatch doesn’t quite work out for her personally. It’s funny.
I’m posting this so that my students can get a peek at a real-life thing I’m involved in musically. When I finish my “full version” which is 40-seconds long, I’ll post that on this blog.
Really though, if you like pirates and puzzles you might want to actually participate in this adventure. For $25 USD you get the full novel in monthly installments with clues, and the whole thing as an e-book including solutions to the puzzles once it’s completed. It is a bargain when you consider that there is reader participation involved. You can read the promo below the video if it interests you.
Andrea literally wrote the book on TransMedia storytelling. Her book on the subject is used as a textbook in major universities such as Stanford, and she has guest lectured on the subject at such storied universities as M.I.T. TransMedia brings various forms of media together and involves the participants in the actual creation of the story/game, or that is my understanding of it. With this current project, the readers and puzzle solvers will have direct access to the author and can influence important ways the story moves along, like having a favorite character play a more predominant role as things move forward. Try it, you might like it.
Tomorrow I will likely continue on with my Music Theory articles. I waited until this Kickstarter project went live to mention it here.