Friday, September 01, 2006

Blue and Green....Part 1 ..my debut album

As a composer I'm quite happy to stay holed up in my studio and let the world whizz by. My performing days are long over - an adrenaline fueled "Prodigy' type act being my last venture back in 2000.
But now I'm putting the finishing touches to my debit album Blue & Green its dawning on me that I may just have to dust off my old 'live kit', run off a few pounds and get back out their and promote this with some live dates.

Now, how did this album come about?. Well generally I write music to order. Producers, directors, music editors etc contact me and ask for something very specific. Occassionally I get time to write for myself, I'll find myself sitting at the keyboard lost in one thought or another and gradually a melody or chord structure emergies from my ramblings.

As I see piano as my first instrument the compositions that emerged were generally piano based. Gentle flowing passages accompanied by strings or woodwind. (Yep I know, million miles away from the Prodigy!)

A lot of the tracks were influenced either by the state of our enviroment and the devastating impact we are having on it or simply by the beauty of some at our most abundant elements, such as the sea for Deep Blue. I'm hoping that by listening and possibly tapping into the emotion I feel, it might just bring home to a few people how fragile our planet really is.

I know, I guess I'm expecting a lot. Anyway this collection of music that is approaching completion will hopefully soon be available on CD and as a digital download.

Please feel free to have a listen to a few samples of it on my site http://www.encoremusic.co.uk and let me know your thoughts. You might even influence how it eventually sounds.

Monday, August 21, 2006

There can be only one.......Gibbage that is!

Now if you haven't heard of Gibbage, just where have you been huh?...

Its a pc game...no.. wait...its a stonklingly fantastic pc game. here's a few reviews.

PCZone made Gibbage "Indie Game of the Month" in issue #169, putting it firmly in their Top 20 Indie Games ever with a rather respectable score of 71%. This is what they said:
-- Diverse and superbly designed levels...
-- Full of humour and powered by a great soundtrack...
-- A Cracker...

GameTunnel, one of the leading Indie Games sites had the following to say:
-- The later stages really get wild and will be sure to keep duels against humans or the CPU exciting and fun.
-- Whether it’s replay or price, this game falls into a category that very few other games dare to follow. Why? I don’t know. But Dan Marshall’s Gibbage is a relentless take on dueling death matching with a great sense of what makes battling a friend fun.
-- If any of the previous reasons don’t incline you to want this game, I can’t imagine what would. For quick duels and fast-paced action, Gibbage is a game that’ll occupy many of your waking hours.

A high-octane, high-speed, testosterone filled experience... Like dipping your head in nitroglyserene and gargling!"

So ok its one of the most highly rated independent pc games released this year but why am I harping on about it?

Well apart from the fact that it really is a cracking game yours truely scored the game. No..don't shake your head...I did...really!

Way back last year I stumbled across a posting by a Dan Marshall who was looking for a theme tune for his new game. Dan writes regularly in PC Zone magazine and at the time he had a series or articles following his creation of Gibbage - from back of a fag packet to world domination. I sent Dan a few examples and although none fitted his brief for his theme tune one of the tracks fitted the game play perfectly. I carried on writting in a similar vein and pretty soon we had a theme tune, menu music and a complete score. (You can hear most of these at http://www.encoremusic.co.uk under Music / Adrenaline.).

The gameplay and the music matched up perfectly and for that the credit goes to Dan Marshall. He knew exactly what was needed to make this rock.

Now don't take my word for it, hope on over to http://www.gibbage.co.uk and either check out the free demo or stick your hand in the trouser pocket and buy the complete game.

Reading the reviews and comments on the gameplay I really am proud of the small part I played in this cracking little game. When a composer writes blindly for a project it can often be a hit and miss affair. Did I get lucky?...maybe, but it worked and that was down to the judgement of Gibbages' creator. That boy Dan Marshall knows his onions!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Journey of a Thousand Miles...

Hi and welcome to my first blog.

My name is Michael Watts and I run Encore Music - a music production company specializing in scoring for film, tv, internet and pc game.

Music adds so much more than just an audio backdrop to a moving image. Done correctly it enhances emotion, drawing one deeper into the drama, be it a thriller or a natural history documentary. It doesn't need to overpower or stand out on its own. It compliments, it colours, it underlines, it guides, it fills the gap between what is seen and what should be felt.

I've written music all my life. Was found bashing the neighbours piano with my fists at the age of two . From that impressive start (!?) I've played in bands, orchestras, dance projects, clubs and continued to write music the whole time. After completing my Music Composition for Media Diploma last year I've fnow ollowed my life long dream to write music full-time.

After successes with the fantastic Gibbage (www.gibbage.co.uk) and the soon to be released Sector 13 (both amazing independent pc games) my new project is a Italian film noir short called 'Un passo più lungo', more info to follow shortly.

I want you, the reader to tell me what you think and share my journey as I grow as a musician and a composer