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Any "chase " cue with ONLY percussion?


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Hello! I'm writing the music score for a drama film set in a Greek island. I have 2 similar cues of a child running and falling from a cliff in the sea below.. The keyword for the scene is "panic". I have written a mainstream action cue that I think best fits the scene but the director wants something with only percussion. ( I personalyy disagree with that and I don't think it fits the film and the rest of the low profile classical orchestral music) Something like the feeling of a temp piece he sent me from Beck's "We are MArshall" (track 13).

Can anyone recommend me similar cues with ONLY percussion that bring out the sense of panic? Not any electronics (like in Terminator) but more symphonic percussion...

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Isn't there a cue in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (the chase on the roofs-music) that is scored for percussion only?

And doesn't John Williams' Images have some great music that would meet your requirements?

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On the Varèse Aliens - Deluxe Edition CD, there are a couple of bonus tracks ("Bishop Countdown" and "Futile Escape", if I remember well) presented with the percussion-only overdub. Although not written to be listened to that way, it's pretty interesting.

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Joseph LoDuca's score to The Evil Dead features a track titled "Panic" ironically enough. Aside from a brief string statement at the beginning, I believe it's entirely percussion. That track is probably my least favorite on the album though. I pretty much always skip past it. But it could be of help to you. Possibly.

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On the Varèse Aliens - Deluxe Edition CD, there are a couple of bonus tracks ("Bishop Countdown" and "Futile Escape", if I remember well) presented with the percussion-only overdub. Although not written to be listened to that way, it's pretty interesting.

And actually a very good listen.

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Hello! I'm writing the music score for a drama film set in a Greek island. I have 2 similar cues of a child running and falling from a cliff in the sea below.. The keyword for the scene is "panic". I have written a mainstream action cue that I think best fits the scene but the director wants something with only percussion. ( I personalyy disagree with that and I don't think it fits the film and the rest of the low profile classical orchestral music) Something like the feeling of a temp piece he sent me from Beck's "We are MArshall" (track 13).

Can anyone recommend me similar cues with ONLY percussion that bring out the sense of panic? Not any electronics (like in Terminator) but more symphonic percussion...

Difficult situation. I would try what you like first, and if it is rejected, go for a near-ripoff of the temp track. Sad as the case may be, if the director doesn't trust your sensibilities, you'll spend far too much time on that cue if you try to be creative. Maybe you could also outsource that track to the original artist and credit him if you do not want to rip it off.

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Might not be a bad idea to check out Attack of the Clones track 3, lots of percussion only for the coruscant chase.

Seconded. That's what I was about to suggest.

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Much of the score to Battle Star Galactica (the remake) is percussion. There are occasional other intstruments, but the main allure I would admit is the percussiveness... especially "Prelude to War" from season two.

I'd recommend that especially becuase of its greek and ethnic influence... may help inspire you as well.

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Then add a boom chh! lol

I still stand by looking at BSG's music. They do have an Erhu or a Shamisan or a Duduk mixed in a lot along with full orchestra/electric guitars

but one of the coolest things are the percussive moments which are there and very strong and last a bit...

They use a gamelan set up although I'm not entirely sure what they use but I know that they use quite a bit of Taiko drums

(Episode III drums).

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Hello! I'm writing the music score for a drama film set in a Greek island. I have 2 similar cues of a child running and falling from a cliff in the sea below.. The keyword for the scene is "panic". I have written a mainstream action cue that I think best fits the scene but the director wants something with only percussion. ( I personalyy disagree with that and I don't think it fits the film and the rest of the low profile classical orchestral music) Something like the feeling of a temp piece he sent me from Beck's "We are MArshall" (track 13).

Can anyone recommend me similar cues with ONLY percussion that bring out the sense of panic? Not any electronics (like in Terminator) but more symphonic percussion...

I suggest you don't kowtow to these kind of pretentious demands. If a Director starts asking for these kind of things, they don't know what they are talking about. They just think it's artistic to have an all percussion cue for something like a death scene.

It's horsegarbage.

You tell him what for, make your case and stand by it.

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Hello! I'm writing the music score for a drama film set in a Greek island. I have 2 similar cues of a child running and falling from a cliff in the sea below.. The keyword for the scene is "panic". I have written a mainstream action cue that I think best fits the scene but the director wants something with only percussion. ( I personalyy disagree with that and I don't think it fits the film and the rest of the low profile classical orchestral music) Something like the feeling of a temp piece he sent me from Beck's "We are MArshall" (track 13).

Can anyone recommend me similar cues with ONLY percussion that bring out the sense of panic? Not any electronics (like in Terminator) but more symphonic percussion...

I suggest you don't kowtow to these kind of pretentious demands. If a Director starts asking for these kind of things, they don't know what they are talking about. They just think it's artistic to have an all percussion cue for something like a death scene.

It's horsegarbage.

You tell him what for, make your case and stand by it.

I'd say use your judgement before doing this... if you can, say that... but I still wouldn't ride in there arrogantly and tell a person how their film should be. If you can convince him, that would be cool... but if you can't... you may just have to deal.

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Thank you all for your suggestions! I'll check them out. (I'm aware of the Aliens music. It's great but too militaristic for this kind os scene). The theme is that both me and the director are insisting on our opinions and someone has to give up eventually. If my track won't be used finally, I'll put it here so as to tell me what you think. Am I the only one who thinks that it's very "panic-y' and fitted for the scene? I'm so puzzled, because I don't know how to make with only percussion things that only harmony and different orchestration colours can do..

I also heard the track "echo game" from House of flying daggers. This has a nice rhythm too, but it's always the same , it doesn't change a bit in all the duration of the piece..

Edit: I heard the Attack of the clones track! Thanks, I didn't remember it, it was my least favourite score of the SW series. It has many helpful percussion only passages, but still I insist that there are more things that only percussion can't do! Oh, well....

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On the Varèse Aliens - Deluxe Edition CD, there are a couple of bonus tracks ("Bishop Countdown" and "Futile Escape", if I remember well) presented with the percussion-only overdub. Although not written to be listened to that way, it's pretty interesting.

And actually a very good listen.

Yep, my first association was also this stuff. Isn't there also something in The Matrix Reloaded? :blink: It's funny, being a percussionist I still can't remember some percussion only tracks ... ;)

konstantinos, whatever you do, be sure to make it heavy on the interesting and cool-sounding stuff, such as tubular bells, tam-tam (preferably at least two - large and small), rolling upturned cymbal on timpani while glissanding them with the pedal, playing vibraslaps (with different sustain), flexatones etc. etc. ... :D

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konstantinos, whatever you do, be sure to make it heavy on the interesting and cool-sounding stuff, such as tubular bells, tam-tam (preferably at least two - large and small), rolling upturned cymbal on timpani while glissanding them with the pedal, playing vibraslaps (with different sustain), flexatones etc. etc. ... :blink:

Thank you very much for your suggestions.. although I have to make an only percussion piece, on the other hand i shouldn't make it too "big-sounding" like for a hollywood movie.. Difficult..

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Thank you all for your suggestions! I'll check them out. (I'm aware of the Aliens music. It's great but too militaristic for this kind os scene). The theme is that both me and the director are insisting on our opinions and someone has to give up eventually. If my track won't be used finally, I'll put it here so as to tell me what you think. Am I the only one who thinks that it's very "panic-y' and fitted for the scene? I'm so puzzled, because I don't know how to make with only percussion things that only harmony and different orchestration colours can do..

I also heard the track "echo game" from House of flying daggers. This has a nice rhythm too, but it's always the same , it doesn't change a bit in all the duration of the piece..

Edit: I heard the Attack of the clones track! Thanks, I didn't remember it, it was my least favourite score of the SW series. It has many helpful percussion only passages, but still I insist that there are more things that only percussion can't do! Oh, well....

I'll bet the directors will not be possible to please on this matter. I find it very difficult to please clients who have totally different ideas about musical cause and effect. I am working for one now I am not sure I am in step with also. It is difficult, but if you can make it through and learn a new technique, it is worthwhile.

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Well, there is a percussion only cue in Herrmann's 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD called "The Fight" which is exclusively percussion. Several players, plus two sets of timpani (it's during the mutiny on the ship before they get to the island).

There is an unusual cue in Alfred Newman's THE ROBE (1953), at the end, where Marcellus is being pursued by chariots, and it's a several drums and two pianos (the pianos play basically the same notes in differing rhythms).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unfortunately we're still stuck on these 2 cues... I have made 4-5 alternate cues (percussive, more percussive, dramatic, adventure) and even I put 2-3 temp tracks from other soundtracks but nothing seems to please the director..

I'm searching any similar scene from other movies... it doesn't have to have percussion only, just to see how these scenes are treated.. Although I know, and I'm telling him but I can't convince him...

The 2 scenes which are similar are like this: A child is running towards a cliff by the sea to jump ( to show that he can do it) and someone is after him.. He eventually jumps... The first time he dies, the 2nd he's saved.. And all this is set in a greek island.

Does anyone know any similar scene? we want mostly from European films because the director doesn't want Hollywood stuff or too big!!

His argument is that the cue must fit the general setting of the film (greek island). But I don't agree with this.. If a film is set in China then all the music in the soundtrack must be traditional chinese? It doesn't go like this.. Of course it'll have some elements here and there but we can't expect the music always to give clues about the place..

Can anyone suggest something of Morricone? I'm not so familiar with his work...

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Just launch the prick..

You gave it five shots? That's three more than I would give.

If he is such a big-shot, he can license the track he wants. Otherwise he is just playing you for a worm.

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I greatly empathize with your situation. It sounds like you're putting a lot of effort into an ungrateful task.Have you considered not scoring the panic, but rather just the drama?

I think perhaps it could be a tempo issue. What about just low pulses/impulses on a very sonorous bass drum, or something purely textural, and not metered?

Low, resonant percussive sounds can have a way of conveying tragedy, of impending doom even, and if that could work, you could get a lot of mileage out of very simple things, and perhaps your director really wants something simple (maybe that is what he, somewhat subconsciously, implies when he says he wants something non Hollywood?).

What's the orchestration, percussion aside?

I know your director says he wants only percussion, but if you were to introduce strings playing a cluster in touch 4th harmonics 'pp' as a sort of quiet pedal to your percussive propulsion, we would only 'feel' the strings, not really hear them. It can be very discreet.

Maybe discretion could be a key word to solving this scene, even if the director thinks he wants something percussive to blatantly shout panic. Directors often lack a way of clearly communicating their musical ideas, since they don't have musical training (generally), and subsequently lack a consistent, articulate terminology, which unfortunately frequently leads to misunderstandings, because they're simply conveying a hunch, and not a complete and intelligent/intelligible idea...

For this reason, it is our job to guide them as well.

Good luck!

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I greatly empathize with your situation. It sounds like you're putting a lot of effort into an ungrateful task.Have you considered not scoring the panic, but rather just the drama?

I think perhaps it could be a tempo issue. What about just low pulses/impulses on a very sonorous bass drum, or something purely textural, and not metered?

Low, resonant percussive sounds can have a way of conveying tragedy, of impending doom even, and if that could work, you could get a lot of mileage out of very simple things, and perhaps your director really wants something simple (maybe that is what he, somewhat subconsciously, implies when he says he wants something non Hollywood?).

What's the orchestration, percussion aside?

I know your director says he wants only percussion, but if you were to introduce strings playing a cluster in touch 4th harmonics 'pp' as a sort of quiet pedal to your percussive propulsion, we would only 'feel' the strings, not really hear them. It can be very discreet.

Maybe discretion could be a key word to solving this scene, even if the director thinks he wants something percussive to blatantly shout panic. Directors often lack a way of clearly communicating their musical ideas, since they don't have musical training (generally), and subsequently lack a consistent, articulate terminology, which unfortunately frequently leads to misunderstandings, because they're simply conveying a hunch, and not a complete and intelligent/intelligible idea...

For this reason, it is our job to guide them as well.

Good luck!

Thank you very much for your suggestions! But I have done all that.. I have exhausted all the posibilitites that can be made... Even a dramatic cue (without panic) (the dramatic one resembles the last track from the 2nd cd of Legends of the fall complete score if anyone knows it [1.22-....]. He says all are very good but don't fit the movie. I'm so curious to see what fits...

Here's the original version of the first cue (not from the beginning).

original cue

Apparently he doesn't like that piano figure and most of all the brass! He says it resembles like we're in a mafia movie.. But I don't agree because I have found many examples with this kind of orchestration in many kinds of movies.. I wouldn't put that percussion rhythm either but it was a request.. At least the part from 0.21'' and on fits perfectly because it's when the child is on the cliff, looking down, thinking of making the dive, and another one shouts "what are you doing". I was instructed to make a feeling of dizziness and I think those tremolo strings with these figures do that...

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It sounds like it is quite hard to please him!

Here's a short snippet of music I just made. I know it doesn't fit the picture but maybe it helps you with some new idea or so.

If not, then the last 25 minutes where just fun for me to write it ;)

Cliff Chase

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There's also some very cool sounding percussion stuff (although no percussion only tracks) in Conti's For Your Eyes Only, mainly in tracks Gonzales Takes a Dive and Ski...Shoot...Jump... And that 007 is also partially set in Greece (Corfu and Meteora, to be precise). :(

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It sounds like it is quite hard to please him!

Here's a short snippet of music I just made. I know it doesn't fit the picture but maybe it helps you with some new idea or so.

If not, then the last 25 minutes where just fun for me to write it :(

Cliff Chase

Thank you very much Nemesis for your cue! It's excellent indeed but I don't think something like that would fit (according to the director always, on the contrary I would like to hear something like that with the specific scene).. I like it very much but I guess I would be told that it's too much complicated.

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Why don't you get him in a room full of percussion, and get him to bang away on all the instruments until he finds the sound that he wants. When he is happily banging away on a snare drum like the little child that he is, take a snap shot of it, give it to him, and tell him to go home, suck on a lollipop, and reflect on his own stupid pretentious demands.

Explain to him the composer, knows what is best, that he is just a petulant child demanding the impossible because he thinks his film is more artistic and worthy than it could ever hope to be. His film is likely a pile of dog garbagee. That he is one of an endless string of try-hard directors who never got what movie making is really about.

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  • 3 months later...

I just uploaded in myspace page the piece for which the talk here! it was rejected eventually, and taken in from another composer.

This is the first version (without much percussion).

You can listen to it here:

Myspace Page

It's the 2nd piece, "Chase to the cliff".

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I just uploaded in myspace page the piece for which the talk here! it was rejected eventually, and taken in from another composer.

This is the first version (without much percussion).

You can listen to it here:

Myspace Page

It's the 2nd piece, "Chase to the cliff".

Hey cool music there, sounds good!

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I just uploaded in myspace page the piece for which the talk here! it was rejected eventually, and taken in from another composer.

This is the first version (without much percussion).

You can listen to it here:

Myspace Page

It's the 2nd piece, "Chase to the cliff".

Hey cool music there, sounds good!

Thank you!

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