Here we are at part two of the Stranger Themes contest, where the contestant listens to themes from strangers, chooses themes to orchestrate, and creates compositions based on the themes. Needless to say, the themes were strange and endless. It doesn’t seem like there was any filtering out of screeching feedback or garbage trucks backing up.
As a matter of fact, there were over 500 themes to choose from, and it was difficult to find something to work with. Thus is the challenge of the modern musical competition, where every computer user has access to a myriad of tools. Fortunately, the second part of this contest required the use of at least one Embertone instrument, most of which require a certain degree of musicality.
The only Embertone instruments I own are the complete set of solo strings consisting of the Friedlander Violin, Fischer Viola, Blakus Cello, and Leonid Bass, I had a pretty good idea of where I was headed. My only other Embertone instrument, the Sensual Saxophone, is a harrowing swanky sax fit only for those with a passion for the 80’s easy listening of Kenneth Bruce Gorelick, better known by his stage name Kenny G.
So, armed with a quartet of solo sampled string instruments, I set about orchestrating what I thought were three rather nice themes, Wilma’s Song – a bright Celtic-like tune, Your Song – an inspirational melody, and War Remnants – a sad, emotional pit of despair. Each of these themes is quite beautiful, and I would have trouble figuring out which was better than the other.
I added a simple harp part to each song, to reinforce the string qualities and reinforce rhythm, and I think they all came out OK. Not ground shaking or awesome, but just nice themes from strangers. I totally enjoyed this blind collaboration and it was a pleasure to work with such excellent material. Thanks Embertone!