How to Create a FEZ Track Like Disasterpeace

November 20th, 2014 • Composer Quest, Production Tips


I had the privilege of watching Rich Vreeland (aka Disasterpeace) give a live music production demo at Gamer’s Rhapsody this past weekend. I recorded it for my new sub-podcast of Composer Quest, Charlie's Music Production Lessons. In the talk, you’ll get to hear Rich composing a track on the fly. He shares his secret ingredients in scoring the video game FEZ: the Massive synth, with heavy amounts of reverb, bitcrushing, randomness, and tape warble. Continue reading...

Scoring and Re-scoring Films with Alex Ruger

November 19th, 2014 • Composer Quest


By day, he works for living legends Danny Elfman and Inon Zur. By night, he composes film scores himself and "re-scores" classic films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Inception, and Saving Private Ryan. In this episode of Composer Quest, Alex Ruger talks about his personal challenge to add score to scenes that, admittedly, should not have music. We also discuss his vegetable-based sample library, Lord of the Rings music theory, and how he got the gig with his longtime hero, Danny Elfman. Continue reading...

Chopin, Hendrix, and Pianist Paul Cantrell

November 12th, 2014 • Composer Quest


What do Chopin and Jimi Hendrix have in common? What do "Graceland" and "Yesterday" have in common? How do mp3s work? What is the purpose of music? These are just a few of the random topics Paul Cantrell and I talk about in today's episode of Composer Quest. He has a ton of golden nuggets for composers, and you'll get to hear him live at the piano, explaining the composing styles of Chopin, Brahms, and Paul Cantrell himself. Continue reading...

Star Reaction Video Game Soundtrack

November 7th, 2014 • Music, News


I'm excited to announce the release of my first major video game soundtrack, for the game Star Reaction. I was asked to join the indie game company Untied Games with Will Tice (lead programmer) and Ethan Calabria (lead artist), and it's been great fun working on the music for this puzzle game. Continue reading...

Geriatric Songwriters and Music Therapy with Angela Johnson

November 5th, 2014 • Composer Quest, Psychology


It isn't every day you hear about a CD release party at a nursing home. Music therapist Angela Johnson worked with some older folks to create a CD of songs that include everything from sage advice to dog barks. In this episode of Composer Quest, Angela gives us the lowdown on being a music therapist, and she shares what it's like dealing with death on a regular basis. She also plays some of her beautiful songs live. Continue reading...

Composing with Knobs and Patch Cables, Featuring Mike Olson

October 29th, 2014 • Composer Quest


Mike Olson schooled me in the ways of old-fashioned analog electronic composing, where you only have dials and cords to create music with. In this episode of Composer Quest, Mike shares how his creative process works when he's at his Moog modular synthesizer. We also talk about how to sound-treat your home studio, and what makes music go from merely "perfect" to "hair-raisingly transcendent." Continue reading...

Quest 12: Suzuki Flute Choir

October 24th, 2014 • Composer Quest


For the 12th Composer Quest quest, I challenge you to write a piece of music for flute choir, with parts that can be performed by beginner, intermediate, and advanced students. We'll be collaborating with the Minnesota Suzuki Flute Teachers Association, who have some fun concerts lined up to premiere these Composer Quest submissions. For the inside scoop on this challenge, take a listen to my talk with two of our collaborating teachers (and exceptional flutists), Bethany Gonella and Andrea Myers. Continue reading...