This was a nebulous idea for a long time. After a few cover arrangements fell through back in November and I was working on some new ideas I happened upon the base for this melody. 4 tones. So in early November 2016 I started working on this idea and eventually after a month of “um” and “ah” I came up with what would later become the melody you can hear. Well, half of it anyway. Initially I had no clue in which direction to take the arrangement and composition. My only idea with this half a melody was to capture the essence of speed. Not speed, maybe, but pacing. A high pace.
I have a very immature attitude to speed. I love it. While a desk work and quiet existence does not yield a lot of excitement a brief adrenaline rush from biking or driving is a great reprieve from a safe existence. No, I do not speed while driving, if that is what you are getting at, the legal limit of the high way is exciting enough for me, thank you. And why yes, I wear a helmet when I go biking. That is not the point. We all need that rush of adrenaline now and then. And with half a melody in hand, I wanted to capture the essence of speed and the adrenaline rush.
Agreeing with myself what kind of tune it would be, however, was hard. This has been a no stress theme for that juxtaposition value, it has been orchestral for the drums, it has been a rather hardcore techno arrangement at one point. All of these undercut what I wanted to do. It is about excitement, not a dance. Not danger. It is the idea of pacing. And finally mid January, I struck gold: I needed a drum kit. I needed a riding guitar and a bass that is all over the place. I figured I would start out with a rock arrangement lending a few elements from speed metal. And I like to think I landed somewhere between those two genres.
I do not play the guitar. I do not play the drums. I have played bass for about a year, but I have never had an interest in rock as such. Hence, this was a big step out of my comfort zone (that we will be revisiting shortly, hint hint) and I have been over this arrangement again and again tweaking here and there every time.
Now, personally I do not adore the sound of an overdrive guitar so I wanted to keep this clean, short and to the point. I set up the arrangement like a race with a pit stop during the contrast 16 brackets as I had few choices. I wanted to do this arrangement focused on the speed and pacing while biking, however, overtaking someone, while it feels good, would have few effects besides heavy panting and a bell. That does not really go well with an overdrive guitar. Trust me, I tried. Hence, I went with a race. Fast cars and pacing a plenty.
Some inspirations for this arrangement was Jean Michel Jarre’s “Chronologie (part 2)”, Scars on Broadway’s “Chemicals” and Eric Johnson’s “Cliffs of Dover”.