The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

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ChamMusic
KVRian
893 posts since 12 Jun, 2006

Post Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:57 pm

WARNING: Cheese alert! For anyone who has listened to some of my more experimental efforts in recent years...this one is deliberately much more mainstream!

https://soundcloud.com/chameleon-music/ ... -the-cross

City and Memories: Sound Photography Project

citiesandmemory.com/

To be released on the world towards the end of March...100 photographs set to music.

PHOTO: USA Burkittsville Cemetery
This was the stimulus for my music.

Straight away this darkly atmospheric picture with its powerful religious imagery said “Murder Mystery TV Detective”. The sort of story that combines creepy deaths with light-hearted comic characters and bizarre, totally unbelievable scenarios!

Think Miss Marple, Father Brown, Murder She Wrote, Columbo, Alfred Hitchcock Presents!

The opening scene fades from black as the camera slowly sweeps across the cemetery towards the tolling bell. Choir boys singing inside the church. A slowly evolving, warped choir drone adds a subtle, rising edge of tension.

The camera pans back out towards the Cross as disturbing vocal lines weave around each other accompanied by dissonant string runs. The music reaches a peak just as the camera focuses on the dead body of the local priest, hidden behind the cross.

Cut to the opening credits and the main theme for the programme – hopefully conveying mystery, suspense, adventure and a healthy dollop of cheesy humour!

Finally, a brief hint of the opening Agnus Dei from the Choir boys leads into the first scene via a dramatic close up of a second body hanging in the Bell Tower! :0)

ChamMusic
KVRian
893 posts since 12 Jun, 2006

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:18 pm

Before anyone else mentions it...

Burkittsville Cemetery (the photo is from there) - yes I do know about the link to The Blair Witch! :0)

JKillz
KVRist
181 posts since 30 Dec, 2017 from USA

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:15 pm

This was great, I really like how you capture so many key elements. I read your description after I listened and I am impressed. You did a great job of recreating these visual scenes in audio :)

fastlanephil
KVRian
641 posts since 3 Jan, 2016

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:55 pm

It sounds really good! It should make for an interesting multi-media project, delving into the macabre. Everyone loves a mystery.

ChamMusic
KVRian
893 posts since 12 Jun, 2006

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:43 pm

Thanks both...much appreciated.

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Allomerus
KVRAF
2109 posts since 28 Aug, 2012 from Melbourne, Australia

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:06 am

Agree with others. This is a detailed portrayal of the scene! Great sounds and just the right amounts of tension and release.
Coole ending!
Great work! :)
Impressed!
Allomerus.com
Bandcamp
Music with progressive intent.

ChamMusic
KVRian
893 posts since 12 Jun, 2006

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:03 am

Thanks John.

Any positive feedback is very welcome as this one was a serious lot of work for such a short track, particularly behind the scenes making those orchestral sections sound reasonably authentic! One of the reasons I rarely dip into MIDI orchestration nowadays is the fact that you spend as much time automating everything as composing it in the first place! :0)

sjm
KVRAF
1740 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:44 am

Maybe it's because I just got up, but the intro really made my hairs stand on end with the wonderfully crafted build up and the creepy bells. Think you captured the audio equivalent of the photo very well.

The composition is good, but it's the atmosphere evoked by the overall sound that I particularly dig. Nice ending too.
Voted KVR's resident drunk Robert Smith impersonator (thanks Frantz!)

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satYatunes
KVRAF
1920 posts since 22 Aug, 2006 from Charlotte

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:19 am

Impressive. I always love a track with some back story attached to it. I can totally visualize the scene.
satYatunes - Sound and Graphic Designer
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Music - Soundcloud | Album - Memoirs of World Traveler

ChamMusic
KVRian
893 posts since 12 Jun, 2006

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:57 am

@sjm and satyatunes:

Thanks for all that feedback; the fact that you both got the story and atmosphere is great!

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Frantz
KVRAF
4856 posts since 18 Jul, 2008 from New York

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:06 pm

This is flawless. Perfectly realized. 'nuff said.

ChamMusic
KVRian
893 posts since 12 Jun, 2006

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:39 am

Hi Frantz:

Very short , but very sweet feedback...thank you!!!

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seismic1
KVRAF
9069 posts since 13 Mar, 2009 from UK

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:47 pm

Before I listened to the music, I saw the photo on SoundCloud, and my first thought was "He's making another Omen soundtrack" - this was before I saw your Blair Witch reference. This feeling or suspicion was not dispelled by the orchestral "mayhem" which appeared at 0:46 emerging from beneath the choir. At 1:15 the mystery motif appeared, and that definitely had me thinking along the lines of Midsomer Murders. An exciting, rhythmic segment with a great orchestral arrangement, a powerful arpeggio and melody. The Hitchcockian ending is to die for, in more ways than one, it seems.

I really liked the mix, powerful and balanced.

Good work :)

ChamMusic
KVRian
893 posts since 12 Jun, 2006

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:52 am

Thanks for the feedback Tim.

Blair Witch - wise, I worked from the actual photo itself and didn't research the background story until after I'd done most of the piece. Otherwise, I think I might've gone down a darker Omenesque path.

NOTE: I may have created a new word there! :0)

Thanks for the positive comments regarding the orchestral arrangement / production...as I've said before...I avoid MIDI orchestral writing whenever possible as it invariably involves as many hours of automating / editing as it does actual composing! Having been an orchestral trumpet player for many years, I put too much time into desperately trying to make it all sound as authentic as possible!

TRUTH is: I have a strongly embedded antipathy towards MIDI recreations of 'real' instruments in general..for me electronic music stands on its own as a powerful genre with its own distinct timbres.

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vurt
addled muppet weed
38548 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: The Mysterious Case of the Bell Tower and the Cross

Post Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:49 pm

holy shit :o
that's impressive.

thank you for sharing :)

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