My favourite genre is ambient music. I like listening to music that is very harmonic. Music that can evolve over time and transition to different harmonics that create resonance with the human being. I also like the more darker shades of ambient that have changing harmonic textures in the mid range that create an incredible feeling of subtle movement and power. I will provide you with examples later on so you can hear what I am talking about.
One of my dreams is to become a video game composer and be able to provide ambient and atmospheric music to video games.
So, to begin…my inspiration to compose comes from many places, video games, films, TV shows. The most notable ones include:
“Dungeon” “Sacred Shrine” “Inside the Deku Tree” Zelda Cave Themes
When I first entered the Great Deku tree in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, I will never forget that feeling. I was blown away by the sound and the atmosphere, I thought ‘this is a sacred place’. Conversely the other tracks I have mentioned gave me an overwhelming feeling of just…awe. The ‘Dungeon’ theme from Wind Waker, to me tells 1000 stories and feels very deep and ancient, whereas the ‘Sacred Shrine’ theme floats like an oasis of peace.
“Donnie Darko” Original Soundtrack
This is some of the most emotional music I have ever listened to. This was my initial spark for creating electronic music as I loved the atmospheric sounds he used here, but also how he used the piano. The piano in these songs is beautiful, I have never heard it being played so delicately.
“One Hour Photo” Original Soundtrack
What I love about this music is its subtle complexity. It can be very serious and intense, but in a deep and peaceful way, with an inner driving force. This music deals with some strong emotions. I also love the very airy ambient quality that this music produces, on the edge of space.
“Metroid Prime” Video game Soundtrack
This music really inspired me into the wondrous possibility of creating electronic sounds. I have always been keen on creating interesting sounds and I think the sounds and atmosphere in this music is world class. The vibe from this music is totally something that is out-of-this-world with sounds organically morphing and blending with other sounds. If you like this music I recommend you check out Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, it is equally as impressive.
“Perfect Dark” Video game Soundtrack
This music seemed to have it all for me. Every single piece is composed perfectly, and I love the atmosphere in these tracks too. What I liked about these tracks is how they were conventional in their approach in that they included parts like Drums, Bass, Pads, Melody and how they were all composed to an exceptional standard.
Pokemon Gameboy Music
Composition wise, these pieces of music really inspired me to want to understand how to compose music. The pieces seem perfectly composed to me, and its amazing how even though the sounds are all similar (blips and beeps), it doesn’t feel like anything is missing. The music is complete.
Other Notable Tracks:
“Self Esteem Fund” from Portal
I love this track so much I’m going to put it here too. The whole soundtrack is good, but this track in particular I find incredibly emotive. The expression in the electronic sounds is incredible. There is just something about that deep electronic sound that really connects to me.
Hereos – “Fire and Regeneration Theme”
This is another important piece of music that had a real impact on me. This music takes me back to many key scenes in the TV Show especially with Peter at the end of Season 1. I find this piece very emotional and intense, and there is a deep healing process in it. Wendy and Lisa did a great job in expressing the deep sombre tone of the TV series and its themes.
“Syrim Atmospheres” – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Disc 4
I totally forgot to mention this man. Mr Jeremy Soule. This man has been an influence of mine from the beginning with my first introduction to his music being ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ Videogame, which I highly recommend you check out if you like Harry Potter. So onto this piece of music. This is one of my favourites, the Atmosphere’s from Skyrim, this music is perfect for unwinding and returning to a relaxed peaceful state. This music is a master at his work.
(This is also an example of the lower mid range textures I was talking about that transition in such an effortless subtle and powerful way, that just astounds me. Have a listen at 17:42 during the video).
Shades of Orion 2 – “Orion Transfer” by Pete Namlook & Tetsu Inoue
This is another piece that has become one of my favourites. What I love is the main pad sound that we hear throughout the track. I love how it changes harmonies so effortlessly, and there is a specific point of resonance in this too that I love.
(This is an example of the higher harmonic sounds that I was talking about that have a special resonance. I also love the more subtle textures that Pete and Tetsue create when the pad sound is not present, it sounds very deep and mysterious, but also very calm and timeless).
“VR Room” – Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
This piece also inspired me a lot. I remember hearing this piece in the game and being amazed at the atmospheric music in the background, it is timeless. The music floats endlessly through time and space. It is like the ether realms where all is still and calm and energy is moving effortlessly forward for eternity.
Starfox Adventures – “Magic Cave Theme”
I remember entering these caves and feeling very peaceful. This piece of music is very meditative and contemplative and is perfect for putting your mind at rest. This piece is similar to Zelda’s cave music in that they both really add to the magical wonder of these sacred underground places.
These pieces of music introduced me to the world of electronic music, composition and atmospheric sounds, and I still listen to them now. What impressed me most was the atmosphere and I knew I wanted to take that same journey of self discovery and create my own music.
My favourite composers that I absolutely love would be Jeremy Soule and Yoko Kanno. I could listen to any of their music and all their compositions offer something different and unique for the listener. Click on the links for a mix of their music.
Thanks for reading!
Last updated February 2018