Back in the year 2000, as a young music composer wannabe, who even had some music published at the mp3.com phenomenal website, I was looking up the internet for some opportunity to create music for animations and I came across the young filmmaker Ryan Foss. He had just posted a very short scene of a work-in-progress of his, featuring a bulb-headed robot in dark surroundings. I watched the few seconds of silent video and felt an atmosphere... eerie... almost religious... but heavy.
I didn’t talk to Ryan. I proceeded to compose some music on my computer, using the sounds of a church organ, a cello and a fake choir. Then I sent the music to him while also introducing myself.
I remember he said he didn’t immediately like the music, but as soon as he heard it with the video, he found they matched. A partnership was born – he did need music – and the result, a very short 3d animation, can be seen at:
If you are seeing this much later, bear in mind this was the year 2000 and the whole thing was done in our personal computers...
Now we have completed the animation Bulb II, which shows that we both made a lot of progress in one year.
This time, there was much more work to do, so in addition to the music, I am responsible for part of the story and part of the sound effects.
2A in the first short meant 2 amperes. But now we think of it as a serial number. Thus, 2B. But the real mysteries in the story are to remain unanswered.
Here is something nobody has ever noticed: Near the end of the music, I quote Schumann’s Warum? (“Why?”, third piece from the Fantasiestücke op.12). That is such a beautiful piece of counterpoint!
For the sequel I have been able to use better sounds and equipment. I feel the lack of words makes the music entirely responsible for setting the mood and explaining the feelings. I like that responsibility. Reminds me of old silent film, such as Metropolis. There now exist countless soundtracks to this classic movie, written by different composers. Not many are good, but at least one is: Descent, written by the Australian composer Carl Vine.
I don’t think the 2 videos can change people’s lives, but they were great as creative exercises and they actually got included in 2002 in Volume One of North America’s Best Independent Animated Shorts.
Hell, my name even got into IMDb, the largest website about cinema.
I have never met Ryan in person. Isn’t it amazing what we can do over the internet these days?
Now if you are tired of the heavy atmosphere of these 2 shorts, I have the perfect antidote for you. Another australian artist, Dave Jones, makes wonderful, funny Flash animations. Browse his Transience website, click Animations, then watch The Heist. (No, I didn’t work with him, I just love The Heist.)
I enjoy composing serious music for film and I would like to do it again...