16
March 2018
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Cue of the Week: “Birth of Empires”

Ah, the early stages of a war game. The mood is optimistic. We haven’t yet heard the blood-curdling screams of onscreen avatars (and real-life players). For the civilization-selection phase of Empires Apart I wanted the music to feel expansive, forward-looking, and a bit mysterious. The second half of the cue is a positive spin on an arching melody that will reemerge, in more dire form, in later battle music.

09
March 2018
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Cue of the Week: “Warriors of Tenochtitlan”

The title above is a bit of a cheat, since in Empires Apart this music represents all meso-American cultures rather than strictly the Aztecs. (Tenochtitlan was the famed Aztec capitol, constructed on Lake Texcoco.)

This battle cue uses percussion and winds to evoke a sense of location, and orchestral strings for continuity with the game’s overall narrative.

02
March 2018
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Cue of the Week: “From Fields to Towns”

Empires Apart, launching this month, is a real-time strategy game that revisits the genre with beautiful stylized visuals.

RTS games start peacefully, as the player begins constructing a town in a relatively unsettled natural environment, then pass through phases I call “bustling society” and finally “all out carnage” as other players get involved.

I wrote this track to accompany early gameplay for players who opt to participate as the French. The music draws from European folk traditions and makes use of instruments such as the mandolin and dulcimer.

16
February 2018
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Cue of the Week: “Driving While Inspired”

Sometimes the flow of a film requires a very short musical cue. These are surprisingly tricky to write. An entire scene may be emotionally defined by one musical phrase, which creates pressure to come up the exact right one from countless possibilities.

Usually when writing micro-cues I reprise a fragment of existing musical material. However, for the moody driving scene from the film Craving Greatness I came up with a standalone theme just for that moment. In retrospect, I wish I could have made it longer!

09
February 2018
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Cue of the Week: “Craving Greatness (Opening Sequence)”

This weeks’s selection is a two-part cue that opens Stephanie Keefer’s film about the joys and struggles of the creative process. (I featured the closing cue in a prior week’s post.)

This cue introduces the film’s main theme, meant to evoke the quiet satisfaction that creativity can bring. Following that is a jaunty section for the film’s depiction of some of the amusing realities of a writer’s life: disorganization, scatter-brainedness, and the occasional fit of expletives. To match the film’s intimate perspective, I stick to piano throughout the score.

Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  1. Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  2. Emerald, Texas // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  3. Mythic Battle // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  4. The Yard Sale // Michael Gordon Shapiro - HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  5. Investigations // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  6. Home Room // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  7. Sands of Arabia // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  8. Spider Cult // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  9. Poker Night // HOMEPAGE MUSIC