GL019 Ain't No Friend of Mine

You say we'll get coffee at quarter to 8
you make a promise you won't be late
you must have lied again
cause baby, it's half past 9

You say we'll split even but you're always broke
won't buy packs, but you'll bum a smoke
you'll trade five for ten,
Well you ain't no friend of mine

Okay, those lyrics are terrible; nobody ever accused me of being a librettist. Most music from this genre/era originated as a song, so it's fitting to think of something singable when writing a melody. I tend to think more in terms of syllables, general character, and plausible phrasing than concrete words (though "ain't no friend of mine" seemed to fit pretty early on). I figured the lyrics would have been something in the spirit of "The Lady Is a Tramp" or "Hit That Jive, Jack". The rest was improvised for this post. What do you want from me?

This track was inspired by a humorous montage of "Things Animation Girls Say"created by the very talented Rebecca Parham of Let Me Explain Studios. I was impressed by the writing, artistic style, and overall execution. Despite the absence of music I kept hearing this gypsy jazz-ish clarinet riff in my head. I had some time before I needed to start the next project, so I sketched out fragments of the melody and changes over the next few evenings while riding the subway to and from various engagements, and produced the track in a little over an evening. While the production is a little rough in some spots, I'm happy with how this one turned out considering it's a first attempt at producing something in this specific style of jazz.

This is the original video which inspired the music. While Rebecca was extremely supportive, she was understandably unable to alter the video without losing the current number of views, commentary, and general stats in the process. Please subscribe to her YouTube channel. It's full of creatively awesome things.

This loopable track is distributed with several options. Clarinets have the tendency to fight with the frequency range of spoken word, and the guitar solo may be too busy to work as background material for your project. Because of this, I've included a version with JUST rhythm guitar, drums, and bass as well as a sololess version with separate stems for the clarinet and guitar. This way you can edit together whatever version of the track works best with your project. I've also included the ending tag melody as a separate stinger so you can edit in an ending wherever you see fit.

As with all the things posted here, this is freely available for use in games and/or animation projects. It also works as a sort of demo of my style and abilities. I’m actively looking for new gigs, so if you enjoy anything here please get in touch to discuss some custom work.

I’ve provided separate intro/loop files for ease of editing. If you would like to use this free loop, please message me for attribution requirements.

GL019 Ain't No Friend of Mine Files

GL018 The Watchmaker's Daughter

Amidst the thicket of cogs and ticks, delicate hands work jewelers tweezers with a reluctant precision. Born into this trade, the watchmaker's daughter winds her days around twitching autonoma, toiling to keep time passing. While ever vigilant of her duties in the shop, her mind lives an artistic life in lands abroad. Mechanized monstrosities of her creation paint portraits, equally masterful and absurd. From humble beginnings hocking her wares on the streets of Paris, she gradually gains the attention of great galleries far and wide. Among those to exhibit her work is an eccentric yet dashing young man of ecclectic and strange tastes. His awkward yet endearing attempts to court her with tales of exotic lands and adventurous expeditions prove successful and they enter into a rock-skipping, wine-drinking, bike-riding relationship. Several decades later she unveils her life's greatest achievement - an army of automatons which wash away the drab hues of the towns and villages with a whirling dervish of quirky colors and shapes. Now old and tired with an equally time-worn lover by her side, she sighs wistfully hoping to find a way to freeze this moment so she can have it forever. The clock strikes one, and the watchmaker's daughter wakes from her slumber. Another completed clock is in front of her while an unfinished mechanical man is slumped in the corner. The vibrant hues of her imagination dim as she begins work on yet another watch.

This piece is loosely programmatic, meaning elements of the music directly correlate to events happening in a story. Symphony Fantastique is a piece which famously exhibits this technique and could arguably have set the stage for many practices now common in film scoring.

I'm trying out some new formats with this track. This site began as an opportunity to keep myself busy between projects as well as an excuse to experiment with various styles of music and production methods. That said, I am very aware that writing music for use in media is very different from simply writing music for music. Standalone pieces require a certain amount of drama and melodic dynamic to remain vibrant, while music for media typically necessitates low musical contrast so as to avoid stealing attention from dialogue or on screen action. To wit, good stock music is often boring and repetitive. How do I bridge the gap? I want to release music I would like to listen to, but still be useable by editors and directors? My solution is to start releasing "flexible compositions".

Basically, I'm going to start releasing options with each track. This may come in the form of multiple loopable sections or perhaps solo stems of parts that could potentially be too distracting for use in say, a 3d animation with the exact story I had written at the beginning of this post (hint hint). With this piece I've included the full track you hear above as well as a version which loops back on itself. I've also included a render that does not have the clarinet and piano solos, as well as both the clarinet and piano solo as separate tracks. I've also included the ending "ticking down" part as a separate file so if you'd like to tack an ending onto the piece, you can simply fade out the track and layer the ending over the top. Since it begins with a cymbal crescendo, it should be able to transition from almost anywhere in the track.

As with all the things posted here, this is freely available for use in games and/or animation projects. It also works as a short demo of my style and abilities. I’m actively looking for new gigs, so if you enjoy anything here please get in touch to discuss some custom work.

I’ve provided separate intro/loop files for ease of editing. If you would like to use this royalty free loop, please message me for attribution requirements.

GL018 The Watchmaker's Daughter Files