Rise and Calamity

Rise and Calamity

This week, Gavin discusses drawing musical inspiration from Batman's story and Bastion's soundtrack.

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"Miracle of Sound is going monthly from now on. The reasons are that I was finding it too hard to consistently come up with fresh and interesting ideas in such a short timeframe."

Gav, it's fine. As long as you enjoy what you do and make really nice songs, it's all good.

MiracleOfSound:
I don't get it ... what is the point of this?

What is the point of any song?

I honestly can't believe this was actually a question aimed at your music! Why does someone with such a closed mind bother browsing a website filled with creative content like the Escapist? Clearly they get nothing out of it, I feel sorry for them.

Brilliantly insightful article as usual Gav. I was wondering about how you composed each song as well so that was a pleasant surprise. Both these songs are up there in my favourites and I adore the way you draw inspiration from the things you truly love. We should never let anyone dictate our methods of expression, that's how we end up with all this manufactured pop nonsense.

Actually, I enjoyed "Rise" quite a bit more than the movie. And this isn't even about any supposed plotholes - I just found it difficult to agree with Mr. Nolan's vision of a more "realistic" Batverse than usual. Thinking back to "Knightfall" and "Bane of the Demon" as well as the pretty recent impression left by Arkham City lead to kind of a "what could've been" sensation that would stick with me through all of the movie.

That said, I'm glad that this didn't reflect in your song - it came out as grand and glorious as one would've expected it from a Batman thing. Also, the Bandcamp version DID sound even better than the one from the video. Is it just the better quality of the mp3 as opposed to the audio track from the video or did you do something else with it?

Proverbial Jon:

MiracleOfSound:
I don't get it ... what is the point of this?

What is the point of any song?

I honestly can't believe this was actually a question aimed at your music! Why does someone with such a closed mind bother browsing a website filled with creative content like the Escapist? Clearly they get nothing out of it, I feel sorry for them.

To be fair, there are songs out there some people seem to find deep, emotionally engaging and whatnot that just don't talk to me (or that I just don't get). Wouldn't have hurt for that person to elaborate a bit - like this, the question is indeed... pointless.

Rise was a really weird song for me. The first time I listened to it I didn't like it at all, but then I went and watched TDKR and listened to the track again and absolutely adored it! It's definitely in my top 5 of your songs now.

Maybe that's why I don't enjoy Calamity since I've never played Bastion

I always love the question sections, they're probably the most entertaining part of the whole thing. As for the "it didn't fit the mood of the song" bit, I don't get it...

Or maybe I've just listened to enough music that tends to switch things up that I'm used to it.

So, two parts-(lies)
I almost didn't find this because of the way the escapist is layed out now. ._. If someone wasn't looking for it specificly it was very easy to miss. :/ That's not good. I like the layout of the escapist just fine and im sure as hell not expecting another rehaul of it, but yea it could hurt the article by never being seen or comented on much. (i am trying hard to not go on about this so moving on)

The fact that someone said "Isn't as good as 'Build a Wall" is hilarious to me. I hope that comment made you laugh more than it annoyed you Gav.

Suprise more parts of ranting comment- :D I'm bringing seven people down to the escapist expo! Me and my girlfriend can't wait for saturday.

Also, if you have any free time and you're on Xbox Live doing not work related gaming, care to discuss "The Dark Knight Rises"? I decided it has become my favorite movie of all time since i saw it and that's saying a decent amount considering i go out of my way to find older movies that are cult classics and such. It would be interesting to have you're opinion on :)

I've gotten very used to listening to MoS when I play TF2, and it's oddly helpful. Minin' all Day Long gives me a big morale boost as Engineer, the the rythim of New Black Gold really helps my reflexes as Scout. Also, Little Sister is oddly helpful when I play Soldier. Also, when I play Pyro during the Ballad of Clay Carmine, no one can stop me!

Anyway, I didn't listen to Calamity, because I havn't played Bastion, but I really like Rise. Keep up the good work, Gav!

Gavin sometimes I wish I could sell one of my kidneys to go to the expo... Then I think about how stupid that would be to my long term health. :D

Still, after reading your description of how you put together songs I'm amazed you put so many out with the tighter deadlines. Maybe now you won't have to worry about Justin getting revisions hours before it hits the net! I'm sure you made the right decision. :)

The eastern sounding parts didn't really fit the game.

Oh for fuck's sake, not this again ... what is it with peoples' musical xenophobia in my songs, even when it's completely in context?

I had to laugh, Gavin (you know what I think about Brothers of the Creed). You ever get that "I just can't win" feeling?

That guy / girl probably isn't a Tea Party fan, eh?

As I said before, if this month-long schedule means more songs of the same quality or even better than Calamity and Rise... well then it's more than a fair trade off. Can't wait to hear what you make next :D

Rats. I loved having new songs every other week. Still going to be hitting F5 once a month to see when the song posts.
Miracle of Sound probably has biggest rotation on my ipod. Great for getting myself psyched for Statics class, Karate, or coming up with a plot for some RPG I'm running or playing.

When it comes to criticisms, there something I don't get (maybe I'm an odd duck.) A lot of complaints center around "it didn't fit in with the game soundtrack" or "such and such a song in the game was better."
I'm totally lost on that. The composers and performers for video game soundtracks are using the music to push the narrative, help build the mood, or something else very specific to the game at specific play points. Usually those composers are brilliant because we hardly notice that they're doing it.
However MoS is not driving any narrative or setting a mood. It is music inspired by the game itself (not the game's soundtrack.) Folks seem to think that if MoS's song couldn't be slipped into the game soundtrack, it failed.
Very Odd (at least to me)

Aww... sad to hear that we won't get to hear your music as often. Still, if anyone has earned a lighting of workload, it's you, and I look forward to future songs in which you have all the time you want in terms of making songs you are comfortable with: the last two songs were fantastic, and I have every confidence that you will only get better over time (sorry, no pressure!)

It was interesting when someone said that 'Calamity' didn't have Western elements to it, as I felt that all the 'Western' stylings present in the game were pretty much encapsulated in the 'cloud burst, moving in reverse' sections. Not all Western stuff has the sweeping grandeur of the theme of 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' or 'Redemption Blues'. Sometimes it's just the nitty-gritty plucks of a guitar that suggest a lone figure doing the gritty work. I really liked this part of the song, as well as everything else about it, especially its cyclical nature.

Gav you're totally awesome. I'm sad we won't get your music as often, but I know you're going to turn out some amazing quality work.
I got an iTunes card for my birthday, despite the fact I run Linux and so can't actually use iTunes. So I gave it to my friend and told her to use it all on your songs! Cause you're awesome! She'll probably get hooked as well.

illusionmajik:

When it comes to criticisms, there something I don't get (maybe I'm an odd duck.) A lot of complaints center around "it didn't fit in with the game soundtrack" or "such and such a song in the game was better."
I'm totally lost on that. The composers and performers for video game soundtracks are using the music to push the narrative, help build the mood, or something else very specific to the game at specific play points. Usually those composers are brilliant because we hardly notice that they're doing it.
However MoS is not driving any narrative or setting a mood. It is music inspired by the game itself (not the game's soundtrack.) Folks seem to think that if MoS's song couldn't be slipped into the game soundtrack, it failed.
Very Odd (at least to me)

I think I'm going to copy and paste this comment now everytime someone says 'this didn't fit the game's soundtrack hurrrr' :D

maxmanrules:
Gav you're totally awesome. I'm sad we won't get your music as often, but I know you're going to turn out some amazing quality work.
I got an iTunes card for my birthday, despite the fact I run Linux and so can't actually use iTunes. So I gave it to my friend and told her to use it all on your songs! Cause you're awesome! She'll probably get hooked as well.

Aw :) Thanks!

Irridium:
As I said before, if this month-long schedule means more songs of the same quality or even better than Calamity and Rise... well then it's more than a fair trade off. Can't wait to hear what you make next :D

I don't want to jinx it but I think next month's song could be shaping up to be... a special one :)

cricket chirps:

The fact that someone said "Isn't as good as 'Build a Wall" is hilarious to me. I hope that comment made you laugh more than it annoyed you Gav.

Actually it didn't annoy me at all because I knew the moment I decided to do a Bastion song that I was going to get that comment numerous times haha

I really don't have many criticisms as I loved both of these songs tremendously and feel you did this amazing game and movie justice with theses songs.I wish I could go to the Escapist Expo and finally meet you in person! If they do another Escapist Expo next year and you go i'll have to make sure i plan for it!

Wow, somehow Calamity managed to slip right past me. Glad I heard it just now. It's probably one of my favourite songs of yours now. I haven't got round to playing Bastion yet, but the structure and instrumental work in that song is just perfect. And the "Backtrack/ Keep you on the right side" bit was out of place? I barely even noticed a change in style, it fitted perfectly!

I must applaud your continued work ethic considering the amount of absolute dicks and keyboard warriors there are out there. Jesus, who the hell do they think they are? OK, rant over. Sorry, it just annoys me every time. I'm really glad you manage to put them in their places with your witty and thoughtful responses.

Finally: have you ever considered trying a real drummer for any of your stuff? As a drummer myself, I notice that programmed drums lack a certain "feel" that a real drummer could give- and that's no disrespect to your patterns, they're always great and fit with the songs perfectly.

Hi Gavin, loved the article, man! I'm always fascinated in learning about people's creative processes... Be they chaotic and like sculpting from lighting, or methodically honing on whatever the subject is.

Incidentally, was listening to RISE for the duration of the read- really added to the article if you ask me.
What I found about the song initially was that while I liked it, it didn't quite grab me by the collar like your previous work has. I forgot about for a week and then randomly ended up listening to it again as I did a little online Batman reading... and, curiously, it just... builds, it grows on you. It swells, wells up until you find yourself punching the air at 'Rise!'
I can really understand what you mean about emotional pay-off, that's usually something I really look for in a movie, and The Dark Knight Rises was no exception.
Sure, it's got its flaws, but I'm going to let the dust settle before I go back and dissect the film's metaphors etc etc... I just loved it the first time I saw it, and that's kind of all that really matters...

But back to the music, I think that any crowd seeing you at the Expo had better damn sure go insane when/if you play RISE for them.

I was lucky enough to be one of the lunatics howling and going nuts to your stuff at UCC's WarpCon, so if you get a bigger crowd, I hope they enjoy it as much as I certainly did!

Also- fellow Escapists- Gavin is, to quote Bane, 'a lovely, lovely man'- go see him live!

...Most unfortunately, all those comments about "why doesn't your song match Bastion's style" is what you're going to get if you write a song relating to a game that has a very unique musical style that people can pick out from a mile away. Then again, I've always been one of those people that twitches at all the trance mixes on OCRemix, because *argh* most games are not meant to have trance be one of their fitting genres. I'm a sort of purist or something, I guess. Rock tends to fit a lot of games, and I tend to like your rock songs best, so there it is.

I'm inclined to say that Calamity isn't my thing, but lately some of the songs you've done that I've initially put off since they didn't gel with me have been becoming favorites (Bullet Time, and Take It Back for example). So as of now, I'm holding my judgement for it.

And since I believe I've already gone on about how I love Rise, here's this instead:

(stellar article by the way)

Althenias:
I really don't have many criticisms as I loved both of these songs tremendously and feel you did this amazing game and movie justice with theses songs.I wish I could go to the Escapist Expo and finally meet you in person! If they do another Escapist Expo next year and you go i'll have to make sure i plan for it!

My sentiments exactly, I even went and bought Calamity for my mp3 player.

I'd love to go to the expo, but the trip would cost a fortune from New Zealand.

If you can, do a world tour Gav!

5-0:
Wow, somehow Calamity managed to slip right past me. Glad I heard it just now. It's probably one of my favourite songs of yours now. I haven't got round to playing Bastion yet, but the structure and instrumental work in that song is just perfect. And the "Backtrack/ Keep you on the right side" bit was out of place? I barely even noticed a change in style, it fitted perfectly!

I must applaud your continued work ethic considering the amount of absolute dicks and keyboard warriors there are out there. Jesus, who the hell do they think they are? OK, rant over. Sorry, it just annoys me every time. I'm really glad you manage to put them in their places with your witty and thoughtful responses.

Finally: have you ever considered trying a real drummer for any of your stuff? As a drummer myself, I notice that programmed drums lack a certain "feel" that a real drummer could give- and that's no disrespect to your patterns, they're always great and fit with the songs perfectly.

I would like to work with a drummer some day yeah, it's just not financially possible for me right now!

MiracleOfSound:

5-0:
Wow, somehow Calamity managed to slip right past me. Glad I heard it just now. It's probably one of my favourite songs of yours now. I haven't got round to playing Bastion yet, but the structure and instrumental work in that song is just perfect. And the "Backtrack/ Keep you on the right side" bit was out of place? I barely even noticed a change in style, it fitted perfectly!

I must applaud your continued work ethic considering the amount of absolute dicks and keyboard warriors there are out there. Jesus, who the hell do they think they are? OK, rant over. Sorry, it just annoys me every time. I'm really glad you manage to put them in their places with your witty and thoughtful responses.

Finally: have you ever considered trying a real drummer for any of your stuff? As a drummer myself, I notice that programmed drums lack a certain "feel" that a real drummer could give- and that's no disrespect to your patterns, they're always great and fit with the songs perfectly.

I would like to work with a drummer some day yeah, it's just not financially possible for me right now!

That's understandable. Thanks for the response :)

The article was a little bit TL;DR, for me at 2:20am, but I absolutely loved the song. I am thoroughly impressed and will be looking for more work to come, and will try to read the articles at an earlier time to give some more constructive criticism! Regardless, thank you for that tune, I'd throw that on my "general" playlist in iTunes in a heartbeat!

You know, the comments that were along the lines of 'This isn't like bastion' are probably the more hilarious ones to me. Why don't people get that others have a different spin on a style or their own style entirely?

Also, keep making music. I can wait for it, as long as it's quality work. Definitely love most of your stuff and I basically listen exclusively to that right now.

PS: I'm kind of of the same mind. When a song is about a character or a story, it's much more easier for me to stomach. Especially since I'm kind of irritated at most pop(read: love) songs. But that's my generalization.

Two of my favourite songs so far. Iīd even go as far as to say that Calamity has overridden Redemption Blues as my favourite Miracle of Sound song!!

Incidentally, I had never played Bastion before, your song is what finally pushed me to buy it. Thatīs how much it rocks.

I have to wonder if the person who complained that the Eastern parts didn't "fit the game" actually listened to the soundtrack, specifically the songs The Sole Regret and Terminal March.

 

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