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From Charlie’s Music

Music Production Lesson: Visual MIDI Improv

Charlie McCarron - VMI v1a

I was inspired by my interview with Cyriak Harris to create a piece of music purely by visually entering MIDI. Although Cyriak listens back and tweaks the notes as he goes, I decided to take it to another level and turn off my speakers until I was totally finished. I also tried to avoid anything I would normally do to make it musically "right," and just make visually-interesting patterns.

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Transforming a Soap Opera Theme into a Chiptune Track

Plogue Chipsounds Soap Opera Theme

Challenging yourself to rearrange a piece of music is a good way to practice your composing skills without having to start from scratch. This week, I made it my goal to transform a cheesy soap opera theme into something that I'd actually want to listen to. In the end, it turned into an old-school video game track.

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“Kagome Kagome” for Student Flutists

Kagome Kagome Suzuki Flute Choir

In our latest composing quest, we were challenged by the Minnesota Suzuki Flute Teachers Association to write flute choir pieces that could be played by beginner, intermediate, and advanced students at the same time. I thought that was a cool challenge, and I decided to start with the Japanese children's song "Kagome Kagome," which means "bird in a cage."

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The Animal Song (aka The Battle for Life)

The Animal Song (aka The Battle for Life)

I just finished a song and animation for the latest SpinTunes songwriting challenge. Animating this brought me back to my childhood dream of becoming a cartoonist. It also reminded me of how much The Far Side has had an impact on me; the baboon I drew seemed especially Gary Larson-style.

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Star Reaction Video Game Soundtrack

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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.

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