Tune #4: Winter World


The fourth tune I composed for the Summerland Project had nothing to do with Summer and everything to do with a massive blizzard. This was written in January and February 2013 and finished February 5th, 2013 under the working title “Solemn Beauty”.

This came out of an idea of mine that while snowfall and blizzards are tremendously impractical and nuisances in a big way, they are pretty. And while the inner grown up in me sighs at the sight of snow falling, my inner child stares mesmerised in wonder and awe. Snowfall is an inadequate word to me. Snow flakes do not fall. They dance – almost waltz – through the air with such beauty and grace only to land and be tainted by the ground.

After I had composed the melody and it was little more than a nebulous idea I would execute on a piano the question I posed myself was: “If this was a snow level in a kid’s video game, what would it sound like?” I went though a lot of inspiration and whether or not I carried anything with me I leave for you to decide. I gave up on the inspiration and just did what I felt was right.

I wanted to capture the inherent beauty of a snowflake’s descend from heaven in the frigid air and try to make a tune that is as cold as it is heart warming. Hence I chose severely processed electronic piano to carry the tune adding a reverb that almost cracks in the air. The strings are made up of five violins to keep it in the high frequencies and a cello to keep it grounded. This is joined by a very deep set synth bass to contrast the main voice. In order to bend the chaos of a snowfall in music I went with a brightness synth alternating slightly left and right. And finally to bring it home I brought in a nylon guitar to fill out the mid frequencies and to impose a warm feeling into the last passages.

The contrast 16 brackets are made up of 8 brackets with minimal music, but opting to catch the ambiance of a winter market with footsteps in the snow, a horse carriage and grown-ups bartering. The following 8 brackets introduce the brightness synth leading straight back into the melody.

As for the drums I wanted to keep the rhythm as simple as possible, ideally none as the snowflake’s descend and dance happens without a beat. Hence I let the bass be the backbone of the beat with just a hi-hat in there.

What came out of this is a tune that I personally hold in high regards. I love the tune and the arrangement and while there are a few things that bug me, overall, I am happy with this one.

All sound effects are from freesfx.co.uk found here: http://www.freesfx.co.uk.