An Interview With Glyn R Brown (2020 Edition)
By Neil Carr
Here we have Glyn's Second Interview for Remix64. Key points of dIscussion are:
• Reworks of his classic Firelord and Times Of Lore remixes
• His album
• Various YouTube projects
• A complete soundtrack composed as a film score of series of SID's taken from a well known C64 game
• A possible collaboration of two of the scene's heavyweights.
1) Welcome back to Remix64 Glyn, I hope you are well.
I’m very well thank you. It seems strange to be here to be honest. It’s been many years since my involvement with the scene. Many fond memories 😊
2) Your versions of Firelord and Times of Lore have always been popular amongst the remix fans here at Remix64. You were asked to rework them for the Back In Time symphony which was played live by an Orchestra in Hull. How did you look at your original work and decide how you wanted to re-invent it? What was the creative process? What did you want to change?
Well, when I was asked if I would rework the two tracks I thought, Sure why not. This should be simple enough. After all, I’ve already played them once before. How hard can it be? Geez! I couldn’t of been more wrong, Ha!
I was asked to write the music as If they may be played by real people. I thought crap!... I’ve no idea how to do that.I spent many days/nights on the internet trying to learn everything I could about orchestral music.
Usually, say for strings. I would just load up an ensemble patch in kontakt and just start banging away on the keys, It’s that simple. But this time I had to learn how to write for the strings section individually. Bass,Cello,Viola,Violins 1&2. Same process for the woodwinds and brass. Luckily, I was able to pull it off. Phew!!.. Ha! 😊
As to the re-invention of them, I figured that Instead of doing straight 1:1 copies, I’ll just add a little extra melody here & there just to try and mix them up a bit without drifting too far away from how the older remixes sounded. Some people seemed to like the old ones, so I didn’t want to take away the core structure of them. The rest is kind of blurry. It was over 3yrs ago. Ha!!!...
3) Experiencing your re-made version of Firelord being played by an orchestra what was going through your mind? Did you ever hope for something like this to happen? Your music, your arrangement Live in a concert setting?
Sure!.. It was a certainly a dream come true. Something you’d think would never happen. Guess it’s any musicians dream.
What was going through my mind ? .. Hmm, good question… Many mixed emotions I’d say. I really wanted to enjoy it, but I just didn’t feel it. I suppose it could of been an error on my part. Maybe I didn’t write it very well, or perhaps my expectations was set a little too high. I just don’t know. But I hear that many people enjoyed it on the night, and that’s what counts…So I can’t complain 😊
4) Peter Clarke, an original sid composer who’s work includes Bubble Bobble, Ocean Loader 3, Head Over Heals was so clearly enthused by your 2002 version of Firelord that instead of doing a version of Firelord from scratch he reworked your remix of it as a nod to you. What are your thoughts on this?
I loved it… I mean, come on. To have someone as talented as Peter, a man of who’s music I’ve loved from my early years want to remix something that I did, Really ?. How does that happen ??.. Ha!...
5) You have pretty much retired from remixing these days but a dicky bird told me (you) that Peter Clarke had asked you to do a collaboration with him. Are you tempted? It would indeed be amazing to hear what two great musicians would come up with. Will you do it? Or is that it - no more remixes?
Ah Yes.. This is something that Peter brought up during a live chat at the prague recording sessions.Would be pretty neat to colab with Peter. It just comes down to which sid tune & when we get the time. Life seems to get in the way at times 😊
6) Infact, I know you havn’t totally lost love with the sid chip. It’s still there buried within. I was fortunate to hear a WIP version of a project you are working on. Would you like to inform us about it? And why you are doing it?
Ah! the love for the sid chip will never ever go away 😊 Hmm, the project ? ha!... Well, The Last Ninja has always been one of my favourite sid tunes, It’s full of great melodies throughout. So I was thinking, if this game was made into a feature film, I'd want to have that soundtrack. Then Bing!!, light bulb switches on, ha! …. I thought, I'll just do my own 😊
It's a complete arranged soundtrack, I’m writing it as If I was scoring
The LAST NINJA movie. Ha!!..It's just a little personal project, something I've wanted to do for many years. And with the quality of the libraries these days, It’s possible 😊
Glyn back in 2001 had already touched upon Last Ninja well before he came as proficient as he is now. Even Back then you could hear something special about him. This is a synthy version created before he started getting involved with his now signature Symphonic sound.
7) Since your hiatus from Remxing you went on to create your first Album
V.One. Which is excellent by the way. And can be downloaded for FREE at your website. What was the thinking behind that album? What Emotions did you wish to Convey?
There’s was no thinking behind it really pal, or any emotions really. I was just simply enjoying myself. Oh, except for the track
Cody. I wrote that tune for my best buddy, my rough collie dog 😊 I'd also just purchased the Orchestral bundle for Nexus 2 and wanted to see what it could do. All the tunes on V One are pretty much 80% reFX Nexus 2.
8) Most of V.One is symphonic but there’s a few surprises in there like Pixel Fever which for most is clearly inspired by Chip Tune music. Would that be right? *by clicking on the
V.One Cover it will take you to the said track*
Yeah, there's a patch on Nexus 2 that was a collection of chip sounds. Can't remember the exact name, it's been a while. I don't really use Nexus much these days. Pixel Fever was really fun to do, I did the whole thing pretty much in one afternoon. It was nice to break away from the orchestral stuff and just enjoy messing around with synths again 😊
9) With Pixel Fever and a couple of others on the Album - it shows your not a one trick pony. Most associate you with Symphonic music but out of the blue, every now and then, You create something like Pixel Fever. Is that just to have a break from the grind of making an epic sounding tunes or a reminder to yourself that hey I can do more than just one style?
I like to think that 90% of musicians today can do pretty much any style of music. Guess it depends on what mood that person may be in at the time of writing. I just enjoy all styles 😊 .. except Jazz!! haha.. And yes!.. It's to take a break from the orchestral stuff 😊
10) The track
Esteron is an out and out Dance tune but not at the same time. It’s Half Dance, Half Synth, and towards the end it’s half Symphonic. It shouldn’t work, but it really does and it’s my favourite on the Album. How do you go about creating something so original and so diverse?
Ha!, I just had to check on that, I couldn’t remember which one Esteron was 😊 Well listening to it now, It doesn't really make much sense at all does it. Ha! It's like a mix of cheesy dance music with a spaghetti western styled melody. I have no idea what I was trying to do here. Just mashing stuff together, having fun. But I'm glad you like it, guess it works somehow 😊
11) Then there’s the track
V.One. Which is a mix of synth and symphony. Are you of the opinion that Symphonic music doesn’t always have to follow the rules? If something works then hell why not?
Sure. If it sounds ok, then why the hell not. Ha! I do love traditional style of orchestral music/soundtracks ect... But I'm no different than any of these musicians these days. They all mix it up 😊 I’m especially envious of these trailer music guys these days. Those guys are awesome!!..
12) How long did it take you to create the album V.one? Did you come across any blocks in inspiration? And if so how did you manage to combat them?
I think It took around 4-5 months off & on.. I was doing other things at this time, so I was just jumping on it whenever I could.
It wasn't my intention to do an album, they were just a collection of mock-up ideas really. I've got thousands of them in my DAW folder. idea 1, idea 2,3,4..ect..ect.. the list goes on & on .Ha! These ones, I just decided to give them names 😊 I never really seem to have any trouble for inspiration Neil. When I play around on the keys, something always pops up. By that I mean a melody. I know what your thinking. haha..
13) Haha, Very funny Glyn. With so many styles on
V.One. How would you best describe it?
Is this a V One interview ?, ha! Ok, how do I describe it, Hmm.... Well honestly, having listened to bits of it just now.
I'd say that it's a collection of melodies that have been mixed pretty badly. Haha!...
You see at the time (5yrs ago) I was useless at EQ/Mixing ect... And I had no Idea what the hell Compression was.
I'm still learning all that mixing stuff to this day. I tend to really struggle in this area. It’s one of those
only if I knew then what I know now sayings. I wish I could go back an make vast improvements to most tracks, I do like a few of the melodies though, I'm definitely going to revamp a couple of them someday. Especially Highland Pride & Let it ride. With the quality of the sample libraries these days, I should be able to make them sound the way I heard them in my head back in the day.
14) You’ve also been active on You-Tube recreating classic tunes from movies and games. Such as the Halo Reach trailer and the Star Wars Melodies with all being just as good as the originals. That takes some doing. What’s the story behind these re-makes?
The Youtube channel Is just for fun. I loved the HALO reach trailer music back in 2009, but you can't find the music anywhere. So I just did my own 😊 As for the Star Wars. Those incredible scores from John Williams are masterpieces.
Learning them was a great experience. I’m a Star Wars geek you see, so It just had to be done. Haha.. Also Michael Giacchino’s music is incredible. That's why I had to add his themes from Rogue One to the final mix.
15) What plans do you have going forward for your music? Anything in the pipeline? A future project?
To be honest, I try not to do much music these days. It is just a hobby after all. I like to spend as much time as possible with the family 😊 But, having said that. I am currently working on a project, Star Wars Blackfall. Starting with an on-line comic book, with Fx, dialogue & music. Then the final part of the story is going to be a live film. It seems to be a pretty slow process though. Which suits me! Haha.. Also, a couple other smaller projects too, but nothing that great.
16) I guess the biggest question of them all is and I’m guessing most of our readers are most interested in… Will there ever be another c64 remix by Glyn R Brown? Or will this interview be your bowing out for good?
I think so, I’m sure I have a few remixes left in me 😊 I was actually writing a new version of my old Rastan track last week, seems to be coming along ok 😊 Then there's that possible collaboration with Peter that may pop up one day.
Who knows…Only time will tell 😊
While Glyn hasn't produced too much over the years as in terms of remixing he has been doing other stuff and improving his trade. He still has the C64 SID chip in his heart and interestingly still has plans to Remix c64 stuff. The Last Ninja Film Score especially is intriguing. So for Glyn fans and i know there's a lot of you this will be pleasing to the ear.
- Neil (Tas)