Soundtrack, that is!
I had a little tune I dreamt up for an escape scene early on in the script that was bouncing around in my head when I woke up a few days ago and I just couldn’t seem to shake it. I thought to myself “Maybe this is something good, something that would work,” so I rang up Tim, my friend and our musical composer, to see if I could swing by his place and talk to him about it. He said to come on by, so two days ago I went over to see him and effectively hummed to him to the best of my ability what it was that I was “hearing” in my mind.
It was both awkward and slightly embarrassing, but in a goofy kind of a way. You know when you can hear a song so clearly in your mind and then you go to sing or hum it and you just can’t focus in on it at all no matter how hard you try? Your mouth is making a sound, but whatever that sound is, it doesn’t match up with what you’re hearing in your head? Well, I was struggling against that, and in the face of Tim clearly trying to intently listen to specifically what sounds I was making as I feebly fought to extract the tune from my head well enough for him to understand what I was hearing.
Fast forward to today.
Here we are, just two days later, and he pings me this afternoon and says “Hey, I have a mock up of what I think you were trying to sound out for me. Why don’t you swing by and take a listen.” So I head over to his place again and he cues it up in his studio. I listen to it first via his external speaker system, and then again completely immersed in it via deep, rich-sounding noise-cancelling headphones. What I heard was 1:35 minutes of magic.
It felt like when Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series places his wand aside his temple and “clears his mind” by temporarily removing some of his memories and placing them in the Pensieve. Tim was able to get to the core of the sound and the theme that I had in my head and extrapolated it out into a wonderful, full-bodied track that I could see playing over the scene that I had written. The necessary beats were there to help guide our heroes around the corners and through danger as they continued on in their escape. Even in this early mock-up form, I could envision just how well it would marry perfectly with what I had written and how I imagine the scene would look visually.
It was during that minute and a half, head-down, ears consumed by the headphones, the world around me shut out as I lived in this familiar yet never before heard sound, that as it neared its end I had a moment where I could feel my eyes almost wheal up just ever so slightly with emotion. I know, it probably sounds ridiculous. I felt ridiculous. When it was over I raised my head up and removed the headphones and Tim asked “Well, what do you think? Any good?” I realized at that moment my eyes were damp and let out a chuckle as I dabbed at them and said “Yeah man, it’s awesome.”
I laughed at how ridiculous it was that this small piece of music was having such an effect on me. But as I sat there engrossed in the rhythmic orchestral sounds he composed, I reflected back on the words I wrote for the scene and how I could so clearly see the actors playing it out. Including this music with the other pieces in my mind added so much depth to that vision that it fed into the sad longing in me that I have that I will never see the scene produced the way it was intended, as a feature film. Well, I’m often asked to never say never, so I guess I’ll just say how it’s very highly unlikely that I’ll ever see it as it was meant to be.
Passion for this story is something that Tim and I share though, as do the very few others that I’ve shared it with. This is one of the reasons why I was so encouraged and supported to launch this website and to produce this radio drama. Nobody wanted to see this story just fade away. Tim would say to me that as he read the script he could hear the music for it in his mind. Now he’s getting the chance to apply his talents and his vision to my words so we can hopefully create something amazing for you all to experience. He’s taken the spirit of Star Wars, the essence of John Williams, and imparted his own musical styling to the construction of our soundtrack to create something that sounds wholly familiar and native to this wondrous universe, but yet unique at the same time.
This was the same philosophy I had when I wrote my take on Episode IX. My goal was to create something that if one day George Lucas was to read it, he’d say “I read through the script. It’s pretty good.” That would be immeasurable praise to me, and that’s what I set out to achieve to excite everyone’s imaginations. That’s what Tim is working to achieve right now to entice your ears. And we’re still looking for more folks to help us achieve this sensation for your eyes! So if you’re an artist that would like to helps us complete the circle, please be sure to send us a message!
And I know what you’re thinking right now. “Well? Where’s the music?!” As much as I’d love to share it with you, Tim’s not quite ready to give up a sample yet as he’s still deep in the trenches in working out the tracks. I’ll be honest, I’m so excited about what he keeps sending over that I’m all over him to “bless” something for me to share with you all. However, I made him a promise that until he felt comfortable with what he has to share that I wouldn’t spoil the surprise; so we’re just going to need you all to hang in there a little bit longer before we’re ready to share out any music or artwork with the world.
As always, though, be sure to sign up for The Commlink, as that’s the best, and the first, way you’ll be notified when we do have something new, big, or exciting to share!
Until next time…