Archive for the ‘music for film’ Category

0439

March 23, 2009

this is a track i made for 411God, a project that i compose music for weekly.  this one was particular satisfying for me.  prolly in a couple of weeks, you can hear the final version with the voice-over at http://www.411god.net/archive.php

i’ve been writing for this project for a little over a year now, and it’s been a great way to get lots of short ideas out and expand my pallate as i go.  it’s essentially what’s replaced the “song a week” project for me.  perhaps i’ll post some more of these favorites as i go.  maybe weekly!  i always appreciate the feedback and support of my friends, and it’s a nice way to review what i’m making and how things are progressing (or not).

thanks for listening!

http://www.jonsteinmeier.com

j

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floyd sleeps in

June 18, 2008

click here for the jonsteinmeier muzik player

Floyd Sleeps in

welcome back friends! i’m staying on the floyd-ferry for the time being, and in this episode, he sleeps in a bit late. “snoozes” if you will. this track is a mix of orchestral instruments and environmental sounds, some of which are INSIDE floyds half-awake dream, some of which are outside, in the real world.

i see this entire floyd series as “music for film with no film”, and as always, would love to hear anyones interpretation of this one, or any of them for that matter. any images or ideas they inspire. if they don’t, that’s good to know too. 🙂

it’s funny, i end up with some pretty specific ideas after each of these, and many of them have to do with WHERE things are happening.  what the room looks like for example.  where the window is.  things like that.

next week, i may get more into a full on dream floyd has. stay tuned!

as always, thanks for listening, and come out to Stan Mansion this thursday night for Mucca Pazza’s cd release show, also featuring Chandeliers and Baby Teeth! it’ll be a raucous night fer sure.

j

floyd goes to the open mic

June 5, 2008

episode four:

floyd’s really nervous about going to open mic night.  he’s got some songs he’s been dying to try out live, but he’s nervous that they won’t go over well, and generally has a hard time with social scenes.

listen, and see how it goes.

ABOUT:

this was another experiement for me, initially to find a way to combine a lots of instruments without maxing out my computer completely.  i ended up with a lot of instruments, all generally playing minimal parts.  i wanted lots of different color’s, and wanted to play with more instruments than i have been.  so i started a session of about 5 or 6 orchestral instruments or sections, then 5 or 6 more in another file, and so on, until i had about 4 sessions going, that all got mixed into the final live recordings.  the last step (live stuff) was the melodica, some sound effects, guitar and vocals, and mixing the end to sound cinematic, with volume and panning choices.  considering the number of things going on, and time it took, it feels very short to me now, but hopefully effective.  let me know what you think!  this was also fun, because it started without any clear idea, just sound and idea searching.  the one thing i wanted was the sneaky/creapy/pensive thing, which influenced some of the instrument and note choices.  the entire openning of the piece takes place inside floyd’s head, until he gets out of his head and into a bar at the end of the piece, and makes his decision on the “open mic” experience.

thanks for listening!

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and see detholz, baby teeth, danny black, and dj bobby conn at hideout this saturday night for a benefit for lena yohey’s trip to Nepal this Fall!  http://tmt.detholz.com/yohey-fest.jpg

floyd gets about some business

May 28, 2008

firstly, two shows i’m doing this weekend:

1.  friday, may 28, with sad brad smith and friends, at Heart of Gold, 10p.  i’ll be playing drums, piano here and there, and bass guitar and melodica at the same time (it’s never been done before).

2.  saturday, may 29, mucca pazza plays Do-Division Street Fest at division and damen at 7pm.  http://www.do-divisionstreetfest.com/

—————–

now, floyd: episode three

i actually just decided that this was a floyd episode, as i didn’t approach it as orchestrally or intentionally as the first two.  but, the melodica has sort of become my instrument of choice for floyd’s character, and, having bought a new melodica last week, i’ve been using it a lot.  this one was also an opportunity for me to play more with all live instruments, except for that fake honky tonk piano and a fake keyboard sound.  here’s the layout:

2 melodica’s

bass

drums

cowbell

conga’s

tamborine

piano sample

wurly sample

this track is interesting to me, but more repetative than the last couple.  for that i appologize (especially if it bores you)  but, the goals were as follows:

live drums – decent sounds, but i’m still working at figuring out how to get better live drum sounds.  this was not a total success.

live percussion – a success in this case, as i havn’t recorded a live three instrument (or more) percussion section in my little home studio.  worked pretty well i think

MELODICA! – my new melodica is pretty satisfying.  and i’m loving how expressive it is, as a wind instrument, but easy for me to play, as a keyboard instrument.  i also just love the character of it

eastern modal melodic work – this is a little vague, but by ear, i just used a lot of lowered 2nd’s and a couple of other little minory eastern sounding notes in my main scale for this piece.  i also went for some flourishes in the part that were characteristic to my ear.  this worked pretty well.  sort of, almost phrygian.

groove – i’ve been feeling like making something a bit “funky” (as the kids say now), and this was another influence on this piece.  the piece is really the product of a short “to-do list” of musical and sound ideas.  the way that they all came together isn’t exactly what i expected from any of them individually, but that’s part of the fun of it, i think.

thanks for listening, as always.

also, my interview and performance on chicago’s WBEZ 91.5 FM aired on monday night!  thanks to all that tuned in.  i’ll be posting clips from the show shortly!  so stay tuned!

j

clik hier fer thee maling Lyst

floyd goes to the ball

May 21, 2008

click down there

this is the second of the “floyd” series, which is turning out to be a fun programmatic romp with a combination of sampled and real instruments. this one was written only days after the first episode, “floyd takes a walk”, posted last week, and in this episode, we find floyd at a ball or dance of sorts, again struggling in some endearing way. i imagine him trying to fit in socially, maybe even trying to dance, but generally failing at all turns. it’s the sort of party that would be great fun if you were someone else, he thinks, as he’s preoccupied with his own inabilities to function in such a social environment. but floyd strikes me, so far, as someone who keeps trying. this is part of his charm, and part of the thing that frustrates him so much.

musically, i used pizzicato strings for the basis of the waltz, and percussion that nods to a “falling down” idea; clumsy perhaps like floyd. there’s a toy a accordian in the first section of the piece that also feels very a little awkward or out of place playing single long notes at these same “crash” moments. the opening theme is in the oboes, a favorite of mine, but not as popular a solo instrument as, say, the violins or clarinets. the middle section of this piece is my favorite, where a solo violin takes the melody, and the atmosphere changes a bit. here, i think floyd starts to imagine himself as someone else, someone who’s smart and interesting and smooth and charming. he welcomes the attention. he proudly slides through the room like the sound of a single well played violin, and the underlying accompaniment changes with him. it becomes a little more hip. it moves a little better. grooves a little. it’s another, better, place. here, i used electric bass and drumkit, under organ and violin. the “back to reality” transition is me whistling over the organ, and a bit of the first theme, on the oboe again, before one final crash brings floyd back to awkward reality.

i’m hoping to overdub the solo violin part with a real violinist soon, which will help the piece a lot, some of the sounds i think are pretty believable, while that one is sort of an earsore i think.  once that happens, i’ll repost.  until then, sorry about some of the synthyness.

thanks for listening and reading! i hope to have another orchestration for this series soon. either way, tune in next week for more new material of some sort.

j

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six shooter

February 6, 2008

six shooter” (mp3)

i watched 3:10 to Yuma recently. and immediately began writing this song. i liked the movie, but was more generally inspired by the genre. i hadn’t seen a western in a while, and just love ’em. love love love ’em.

so, “six shooter” is my music for some version of the “final showdown” and/or “walk to the grave bravely” music.

i went for stringy stuff, guitars, etc. an effected piano that sounds a little tinny and scratchy, and a slow minor key progression, and some dirty-ass drums and other percussion. and bass. and whistles. and organ. and a church bell. those are all things that are in there.

well, i hope you enjoy this one. imagine it with me as a tall skinny dirty cowboy determined to do the right thing even though it may cost me my life. and everything is brown.

love,

brown and dirty

theme one

November 27, 2007

welcome back.

i call this one “theme one” (click to listen) because i think of it as the first of a specific collection of “film music with no film.” i wrote it this weekend at my parents place in Missouri, on their piano, in a food coma.

i’ve been getting more and more focused on writing for picture, and at times when no picture is readily available, i’ve written a few things to mental pictures. this pieces mental picture isn’t as specific as some, but i think it leads the minds eye in a certain direction. while i was writing in MO, i started transitioning into entirely different music at the end of the piece, but in this case, chose and recorded and ending to it. in said film, it probably wouldn’t end the way it does in this case.  i dunno.

Form/Theme

A. the main theme is presented right at the top of the piece, heard in the high voice of the piano…playful but with a bit of a “trouble in paradise” idea.

B. transition material darkens the character a bit, then redeems/lightens (“ah” vocals) the character a bit. this section acknowledges that something mysterious/questionable is abound i think.

A1. the main theme in a new key with slight alterations – a back and forth of light and dark ideas…using a whole tone scale at the end to add escalating tension.

C. transition/truncated theme brightens things up a bit, quoting the theme and creating a nice little “V I” to the end section. a “V I” (five, one) is basically a way to set up a new resting place, or harmonic “home” for the ear. it’s like the “amen” at the end of a hymn, with two chords (five/one or four/one) that say “all-done” or “your home” to the ear.

D. new material – we arrive at this “home” and slow the pace down. the character is tired perhaps, or contemplative. this section goes back and forth between light and dark versions of itself, nodding to that conflict still existing (whatever that conflict is). then, maybe the character falls asleep.

what do you think?

YOUR MISSION, if you choose to be awesome:

come up with a short narrative for this piece and post it as a comment. i have ideas, but they’re pretty open. i’d LOVE to hear yours.

j

radio poo pee REDUX

November 18, 2007

hey hey!

i mentioned in my last entry the idea of revamping/arranging the tune “radio poo pee,” this weeks “song of the week” exclusive creative catastrophe. here is it. i call it….(wait for it)…

RADIO REDUX

i think it’s stronger now. i played more with the sound design, creating a little “get into the car, drive around, arrive, get out” sort of sound design, and i modified the music medly to include more song-time and less radio-being-tuned time. i like it a lot more. i also ditched most of the “guy in the car” talking bit, which i think helps.

SO…this is a first. this qualifies as the first revision i’ve done and posted in the song of the week project. i think. at least, the first dual-posting on this wordpress blog thingy in one week. wow. things are getting crazy over here.

obviously, i hope you like it.

i think it’s stronger. i’m happier with it. i’m also a little slow.

thanks for listening.

i’ve posted only the most recent version at http://www.jonsteinmeier.com, but you can still open the original version through the last post “radio poo pee” on this here wordpress dot com blogger thingy.

techknowledgy.

the wind dance of satin nightingales

October 25, 2007

welcome back weary travelers! for this weeks tune, i have traveled to the Peruvian high Andes with Frenchmen dressed as Inca kings and toting cigarette holders and 50 year old cognac.

the wind dance of satin nightingales” is steiny’s first real attempt at “exotica”, inspired in part by the halloween party here at maplewood on saturday night. i have heard many of these tunes in my roommate stevies magical party mixes, and finally got inspired on saturday to write in the style.

the instrumentation is as follows:

two pandero’s (small frame drum)

tambourine

shaker

drumset toms

percussion

upright bass

guitar (tremolo)

piano(s)

cellos

xylophone

misc. jungle ambiance and bird calls

some french guy (from a french language program)

jon steiny vocals

rachel steiny vocals

EVERYONE GIVE IT UP FOR RACHEL STEINMEIER! rachel came in just today and whipped out some magical vocal lines, some composed and some improvised. i told her to go for “kermit the frog sings opera” and she rocked it. in case ya’ll don’t know, my sister is a talented and trained vocalist, with a great ear and great range, and will also be appearing in the Detholz – Jukebox of the Dead show halloween night! NEXT WEEK!

well, not sure what else to say about this tune. i’m pretty happy with it. i hope you get transported to a mysterious place (but don’t freak out).

thanks for listening!

j

p.s. a barrel of laughs for anyone who can translate the french

p.p.s mailing list is here

mikey

October 2, 2007

mikey” (click for mp3)

welcome back to the jon steinmeier song a week super blog blitzkrieg. this weeks song, “mikey”, is a fun little electro dance sci-fi cinema sound scape.

i felt like doing a little semi-programmatic thingy this week, and play a bit with sounds and atmospheres. i get into this zone sometimes, inspired in part by sounds that i find. in this case, i’m using some of the same “kraftwerkesque” drum sounds from last weeks song “berlin” but in a more instrumental way, and playing more with atmospheric samples.

i like that the piece is a bit ADD, and moves from idea to idea and back in a pretty short space. and it’s a different sort of “composition” that i’ve gotten into a lot in the past year or so, getting away from chord changes and song forms a bit.

it’s also the sort of piece that i imagine a video with, as the main focus of the piece. in that sense, consider it “unfinished” until one of you brilliant videographers wants to take a stab at it. let me know! i can pay you in hugs.

thanks for listening!

j