Thursday 25 April 2013

Uncle Bill - Funny Music Animation

"Uncle Bill" - Quirky and Catchy Song
Music and Lyrics: Jon Brooks
Animation: Octavio Oseguera
Editing: Jon Brooks

Both Ted and Uncle Bill live in Antarctica. Ted is a cheeky, cocky little penguin who repeatedly tells Uncle Bill his name is NOT Fred.  Uncle Bill has always called his nephew "Fred" - but that is not his name!  Uncle Bill is a big, old, perverted, smelly, scruffy, simple minded yet wealthy and extroverted penguin. Ted is unable to get the message through to him and is frustrated by his Uncle's ignorance.  Hope you enjoy this quirky and catchy song!  Let me know in the comment section below what you think.

Official Website

Some of my musical influences include: Hans Zimmer, Gustav Mahler, John Williams, Bon Jovi, Patrick Doyle, Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman, Wishbone Ash, James Horner, Brian Tyler, James Newton-Howard.

A penguin is a flightless marine bird, and an iconic figure in the avian world, despite the fact that their range is restricted to the Southern Hemisphere. Many children learn to recognize the distinctive black and white coloration of the penguin at an early age, and the birds are popular attractions in zoos and aquatic parks all over the world. Many adults find the birds endearing because of their waddling walk and engaging faces, and the birds are also used to brand a number of products including the popular Penguin Classics books and the Linux operating system.

All penguins are in the family Spheniscidae, and the exact number of penguin species is a subject of dispute, with estimates ranging from 15-19 distinct species. The largest variety of penguin is the Antarctic Emperor Penguin, which stands an impressive four feet (120 centimeters) when fully grown, and the smallest is the Little Blue Penguin of Australia and New Zealand, topping out at 14 inches (35 centimeters). In all cases, penguins retain essentially the same coloration, with dark backs and pale bellies.

The coloration of the penguin assists it in hunting seafood such as fish and crustaceans, because the dark back camouflages the penguin from predators above while the white belly makes them less visible to prey from below. Penguins also have wings which resemble flippers, having evolved to value swimming over the ability to fly, and they have strong webbed feet to kick with while they swim. In addition, penguins have oily, stiff feathers to waterproof their bodies while swimming in cold water.

Penguins feed exclusively in the ocean, surviving on stored fat while on land incubating eggs. Most penguins share incubation duties, keeping the egg on top of the feet and crouching over it, insulating the egg with their bellies. One penguin will travel to the ocean to eat while the other incubates, and then the couple will switch off. Once the penguin chick hatches, both parents participate in the feeding and care until it becomes a juvenile and is able to fend for itself.

Oddly enough, the word "penguin" is Welsh, despite the fact that penguins have never been known to live in Wales. It is a compound of pen for head and for white, and it was originally used to refer to the great auk, a now extinct flightless bird which was native to the Northern Hemisphere. When explorers saw penguins during their Southern adventures, they associated them with the great auk, and began to refer to them as penguins as well. Although the great auk is gone due to human depredations, the penguin lives on.

Computer animation or CGI animation is the process used for generating animated images by using computer graphics. The more general term computer-generated imagery encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images, while computer animation only refers to moving images.

Modern computer animation usually uses 3D computer graphics, although 2D computer graphics are still used for stylistic, low bandwidth, and faster real-time renderings. Sometimes the target of the animation is the computer itself, but sometimes the target is another medium, such as film.

Thursday 4 April 2013

The Shaman

This was one of the music demos I did in 2004 for my application to work at WASP Studios (Malaysia) where I held the position of Audio Consultant and In-House Composer for 6 years.  Below are the presentation notes I prepared for the interview of my thought processes and how I composed/produced the music to the visuals:

"The Shaman" Sony Vega

- Even though it's a commercial, it's portrayed like a film.
- Visuals contained a dramatic sense of mood so it felt like the commercial demanded a dramatic, evolving musical score to reinforce and enhance the drama.

- After researching Shamanism and Far East Asian modes, my intention was to implement the pentatonic scale into the thematic development.
- Subsequently, after incorporating this into the creative process, i then realised the drama required a much darker tonality.
- I then decided to flavour an epic soundtrack style approach with oriental and ethnic instrumentation/influences - such as Chinese violins, Chinese Harps, Japanese Taiko Drums, Vietnamese Bells and ethnic Flutes. (As noted in the handout).
- This was to give the commercial a sense of time and space along with multi-cultural value.

- First I worked out an appropriate click track to ensure I could highlight significant hit points.
- I began by setting the scene and mood by means of sound design and a dark musical timbre.
- After a relatively peaceful introduction, the pace of the drama picks up; therefore the soundtrack imitates.
- I planned to portray the Shamen as mystical. My inspiration came from his facial expression and gestures.  A subtle scraping on the Tam Tam (as he lifts the lid from the pot) marks the introduction to the Shamen's mystical powers.
- Reverb was added to the ethnic flutes to create an atmospheric sound when we see the clouds and moon.  This then leads to a menacing and suspenseful section highlighting the foreboding presence of the warrior.
- The suspense is built up by use of ostinato rhythmic devices, diminished 5ths, rasping trombones and other chromatic features.

- Subconsciously, for the the audience, I paid attention to specific hit points in order to get the message across that Sony Vega produces clear and precise images and sound.
- To concluded the commercial I conveyed Sony and their product with positive vibes by an unexpected, happy major modulation.

(XV-5080 Sound Module was used unless otherwise stated)

- Orchestral Reeds
- Ethno Flute (eLAB)
- Voyager Brass
- Trumpets
- Trombones (Project Sam)
- Zheng Harp (Ethno World 2)
- Wuhan Tam Tam (Ethno World 2)
- Timpani
- Percussion (Cymbals, Snare)
- Japanese Taiko Drum
- Vietnam Bells (Ethno World 2)
- Chinese Cymbal (Wizoo)
- Tubular Bells
- Xylophone
- St. Choir
- Gaohu (Ethno World 2)
- Erhu (Ethno World 2)
- XV Strings
- Violin Section Trills (Wizoo Strings)
- SFX (Various Sources)

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