BA [Hons] Creative Music Production
Hi, my name is Sam, and at a young age, I got my start within the industry by being a studio hand for Westland Studios from this point I have done numerous mixing and music production jobs, this had led me to my current job as a music curator for a company called Hyph when I have worked since early 2022, in this job I would analysis music and document the content of it. throughout my young career, I have been very fortunate to have worked with Grammy winners and chat toppers.
First Track - LOVE
The beginning of this track starts with an ethereal choir that layers harmonies to create a rich sonic. The string was written in a legato setting, by doing this it gives the listener a sense of calm and liking. The use of the music box directly correlates with the research on the other instruments in the idiophone family where mallet instruments sound the happiest, for this reason, it was chosen to provide the high-end frequency content of the track. All of these are providing harmony with one another, this was to further imply the emotion of this track. The entire rack was written in C Ionian/Major, research has found that this was the happiest sounding mode and for this reason, it was used to portray the beginning of a relationship. The tempo of the track was also considered as it is kept at 105 bpm this is considered medium range and encourages the brain to be more emotionally excited by the piece which, by doing this the brain is more likely to sync your heart with the tempo of the song. The use of reverb is evident in the track as it was constantly used to make everything sound bigger and more romantic and mysterious The track then makes a split to an ambient piano in a train station, the train station is a theme that follows throughout the tracks and is used as a storytelling device. There were two references for this track as there are two distinct sections for the track; the first track is “Lana Del Rey - Young and Beautiful”; this track is a perfect reference for its use of ethereal vocals and string sections, which serves as both a composition and a mix reference. The second track is “Aphex Twin - aisatsana ” This is an ambient track with only a piano and the ambient sound of birds so it is a perfect reference to have for the second half of the song, this serves as a mix and composition reference
Second Track - BESIDE ME
The concept of this track is to capture the blossoming relationships of young adults through the means of lust, this is reflected in the lyrics where it describes the longing of intimacy with the other individual, this craving for intimacy is taking over the character's life this can be heard in the opening line of the track “Don’t know what I'm doing later today I just hope i'm going back to your place”. The tempo is the same as the last track as it is a smooth transition from the last song. The scale used in the song is C natural minor and borrows elements from C harmonic minor. The track was written in minor because many of the elements are staccato, by having the articulation like this the track is able to have elements that sound happy but ultimately the track has dark undertones, which reflects the subject matter of the track. The track opens up with a piano and a guitar strumming the chords this allows the vocals to come in and set the tone for the rest of the track the vocals harmonise throughout the track to create a sense of joyful dreaminess, the vocals also have a considerate amount of reverb adding to the ethereal feeling.The composition reference track was “Father John Misty - Real Love Baby” and the mix reference is “father john misty's - Nancy from now on” This track was chosen due to the instrumentation being similar to the track from the project.
Third Track - INKY BLACK TOWN
The idea for this track was to make the listener feel as uneasy as possible. The song was written in F phrygian, and due to the flattened second note, it creates tension and darkness in the piece. The tempo of the song is also the lowest out of the entire ep, starting at 55 bpm and going up to 63.5 bpm. The slow tempo adds to the uneasy/agitated feeling that the listener gets from the piece. The vocal is purposely sporadic so as to never let the listener in a state of ease with the track. The track opens with a massive sweep of delay and reverb to give the feeling that the emotions are coming unexpectedly. The back rebound vocals are serving as the inner thoughts of the character in the story constantly plaguing him with doubts about his relationship, he then acknowledges it in the main vocals trying to reason with the irrational thoughts until they eventually get disintegrated making it inaudible to the listener. This leads into the second half of the track where the character has succumbed to the inner thoughts of his mind, the character knows that the claims he is making are false but he is just looking for an escape from the relationship this can be heard in the line ” you're so perfect but my only flaw is you no need for correction I know that untrue”. These vocals are soaked with reverb as it can make the vocal sound more hopeless and empty. The track opens with two sub-basses providing dissonant harmony to make a dismal sound. The guitar was written with the intention of alternative rock as the main demographic of this genre often has self-esteem issues, so hopefully, it is possible to capture these self-esteem issues with this guitar riff. The percussion in the track is samples of chains and the background ambience that has been randomly panned so that it is disorientating, these were done in the hopes the listener will associate the sound with confinement. In the second section, there is a sporadic synth that provides the high-end frequency content for the track, the panning has been automated to constantly go between the left and right, by doing this it allows space for the other instrument in the mix while still trying to make the listener feel uneasy. The references for this track are “Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Leviathan” and “Dum Surfer by King Krule”, these tracks give a gritty atmospheric track that would suit the desired emotion of the track.
Forth Track - GAMOPHOBIA
The title of this track means the fear of commitment, this fear has led the character to the conclusion of the relationship the first have of the lyrics is the character talking to the other person in the relationship telling them that it won't work out, the second half of the track is the character then feeling sorry for himself but ultimately reaching a conclusion that it was the best outcome. The genre of this track was done in the style of shoegazing as it is a genre that is prevalent with reverb. As stated before the tempo of a track is very important to the emotion it provides. The track opens up with a long wobble synth which could be interpreted as instability in the relationship. During the middle of the first track, there is a synth that adds the high-end frequencies, this synth is panned using a Spectro pan. The genre of the track is done in the style of shoegazing, a genre known for its heavy use of reverb, for this reason, it was a good choice of genre as it adds a hopeless-sounding emotion to the track. Throughout the track, there is an ambient sound of the train with it eventually reaching the destination at the end of the first half of the track. The track is written in c minor, to try and create the conclusion that these relationships are in a loop as the first track was in c major, the way this is bridged is by having a scale that is in between both tracks, this can be seen in the second half of the track. It could also be interpreted that because it is a mix of both major and minor that it adds to the emotion of bittersweet. This loop would indicate that the story has happened before and it will happen again. The reference for this song for both mix and composition is “beach house - space song” This track is the perfect reference due to the genre and the mix of the instruments
What is the relationship between Music and emotion and can it be captured?
The plan for the project was to research the relationship between emotion and music and write a collection of songs that demonstrate the effectiveness of these techniques. These songs would relate to each other telling a story about a relationship of a young couple and the emotions they face through it.
The aim of this project is to explore the relationship between music and emotions, then with this knowledge showcase the techniques that correspond to the desired emotion. This will be executed through the means of composing tracks that incorporate the techniques. This would be relevant to the industry as having the knowledge of what techniques are the most effective to use to convey emotion in a song would be a valuable resource. These songs will be written around the philosophy of Erik Erikson and his stages of development through life. The stage that will take focus is stage six where Erikson breaks down early adulthood by explaining his idea of intimacy vs isolation. This idea explains that young adults are unable to maintain relationships due to the fact that there is too much priority towards their career, studies or their ego. For this reason, the project will tell the story of a young adult and the emotions that he feels during a relationship. The ep focuses on a different emotion per track. The project will be broken up into four different tracks and has approximately eleven minutes of content.