K8-bit - Soulless
Back in March Kenz asked if I would compose an arrangement of some music in a forthcoming new C64 game, this was relevant to my retro-interests so I said yes immediately, plus I also fancied getting a
contributor's complimentary copy of the game for posterity
I was a bit worried though, as when I do an arrangement its because the original speaks to me in some way, but here was me approaching something new, blindly (deafly?)
Fortunately, I was not disappointed - the main theme from
Soulless was a wonderful, original sounding but with a kind of Follin/Elfman/Williams-esque style that really appealed to me... whilst at the same time very much daunting me with its structure and rhythm. My intial attempts at arranging it tried to ignore this and put too much of my own spin on it, but ultimately changing the overal tone, so I decided to stick closer to the original.
My first attempt was actually quite a nice piano arrangement that whilst sounding pleasing, wasnt really big enough to warrant being worthy enough to be put on the accompanying disk shipped with the game.. and to make matters worse Kenz - the villain - gave me some hints of what it maybe ought to sound like - he suggested
Game of Thrones and Daxx's rather lovely
Shadow of the Beast 2012 remix - I know *now* that these pieces are both magnificent... but at the time I could *not* listen to them as I feared 1: them influencing me too much and/or 2: me feeling too much pressure to match their quality!
So.. with only a few weeks before the due date I just ploughed in, initially just building up the structure of the piece, then going in and embellishing, and making small stylistic thematic changes in places - I felt certain sections really lended themselves well to a jazzy backbeat, coupled with a very real performance-sounding double-bass... I almost pictured Danny Elfman's little spooky band quartet from
Nightmare before Christmas playing some sections
Anyway - in the end I still could not implement all the ideas I wanted, but was limited by hardware, time.. and well.. my own musical capabilities!
My hope is that people enjoy the arrangement, and that the original composer and makers of the game think it does an ok job
Kate, June 2012.