Score Relief 2021 Contest

I would like to share the music that I composed for Score Relief 2021 contest. I decided to participate because I love animation films and it is difficult to get the opportunity to work with this genre of films.

In this case, the prize of the contest is to record the music with an ensemble of 27 musicians. For this reason, I decided to compose for this ensemble. No extra musician, overdub techniques or electronics instruments were considered.

The ensemble of the prize is the following:

1 Flute
1 Oboe
1 Bb Clarinet
1 Bassoon

1 Trumpet
2 F Horns
1 Tenor Trombone

1 Percusion (the musician change between Timpani, suspended cymbal, mark tree)
1 Piano
1 Harp

4 1st Violins
4 2nd Violins
4 Violas
3 Chellos
1 Double Bass

To compose for this ensemble, it is neccesary to be careful with the string section to balance and work with it due to the 4-4-4-3-1 configuration is a bit unbalance regarding the common orchestral rule of number two. In some moments, I divide the 2nd violins and violas to balance the open textures (doing a configuration (4+2)+(2+1)+3)

It is also neccesary to be careful with percusion and let the enough time to the musician to change of instrument. In some moments, I use the sound design of the video as an element of the soundtrack. For example, during the chase moment I use the sound of the trees to contribute to the music accents so the musician can play the cymbal instead to use the timpani for the accent (the sound design work as a Gran Cassa in this point).

And, that’s all. I hope you like it!

Global Game Jam – Pathlighter OST

During the last weekend of January, the Global Game Jam 2021 was performed. I entered without a team in the site coordinated by UCM and Voxel School. This year the event was completely online due to COVID situation but it wasn’t a problem to meet a talented development team at the beginning of the event and join with them.

To provide more details, a game jam is an event with a duration of some days where small teams of developers (6-7 person max) design and develop a videogame within a topic fixed by the organization. This year the topic was “Lost & Found” so, we decided to design a game where a lighthouse guides lost ships during the night to arrive safe to the port. The team worked so hard in every aspect (art, design, playability…) and finally we won the “most innovative game” award. It made me really happy because the work was rewarded.

I would like to share the main theme of the game that I composed. It was composed and produced during a night due to the inner limitations of a game jam.

I hope you like it


Westworld Scoring Competition 2020

During the last weeks of May I was composing for this competition that is hosted by Spitfire Audio company and HBO Westworld TV serie. The competition was about composing the soundtrack for a car chase scene of the third season. In the real episode, the producers chosed the orchestral piece The Ride of the Valkyries of Richard Wagner as music for this and I would like to say that, although this piece has been used in many films in a great way, in my opinion, it doesn’t work well for this scene because it doesn’t enchance the story and doesn’t create tension for the action. For this reason, my proposal is completely different.

My proposal for the music is darker, with a orchestration similar to films as Inception, the trilogy of Batman of Nolan and this kind of films with a dark atmosphere. In this work, I don’t use woodwinds but I use an expanded brass section with more power in the middle-low range: 9 horns, 3 trombones, 3 bass trombones, 3 tubas, 3 cimbassos and 3 trumpets that I only use in some specific moments. I also use electronic, hybrid sounds, synths and a big percussion ensemble in order to create a modern sound.

In my opinion, the biggest difficult with the video is that the electric cars are too slow so the music must provide tension to create an epic persecution and create the illusion of the cars are faster than they really are. From the point of view of the composition, there are three parts, the first one is the persecution with no melodic music that has the function of create the effect that I already mentioned, the second one is the counter attack part that has a melodic heroic music and the third one recover the tension because the counter attack was useless and I use here some leitmotivs of the main theme of Westworld  because it is what I would do if I’ll be hired to compose music for the TV series.

I hope you like it.

PS: I have included an easter egg of one of my favourite rock bands. Try to find it.

SCORELIVE London Film Scoring Competition 2020 (Runner Up)

During the last weekend of February I was composing and producing an orchestral track for the ScoreLive London Film Scoring Competition 2020. The contest consisted in the composition of a track for a 65-piece orchestra (see below) of aprox. 2 minutes. I choose to compose a powerful track with orchestral tuttis but with section to share the main role to the different sections. You can listen the track below.

According the comments of the coordinators, it was an extremely close run competition with entries from composers of all the world so the judges needed more time to deliberate. I would like to mention that one of the judges was the videogames composer Garry Schyman (Bioshock, Middle-Earth Shadows of War) and another was the famous orchestrator Pete Anthony that is the name behing a hundreds of films as I Robot, Spiderman, Dumbo or  Fantastic Beast and Where to Find them.

Finally, I won a Runner-up price and was selected as one THE 12 CONTEMPORARY MALE COMPOSERS. Being honest,  to be listened and valorated by these great artist is a prize more than enough but to be selected as top 12 is for me an incredible honor.

I hope you like the track.

65-piece orchestra
2 flautas (one player can also play piccolo)
2 oboe (one player can also play english horn)
2 clarinets (one player can also play bass clarinet)
2 bassoon (one player can also play contrabassoon)
8 french horns
2 trumpets (in B flat or in C)
4 trombones (1 bass trombone)
1 Tuba

1 Harp
12 first violins
10 second violins
8 violas
6 celli
2 double basses (4 strings)

1 player for 4 timpani (32”, 29", 26", 23")
2 players for orchestral percussion maximum 2 instruments for each player

Bass drum, snare drum, congas, bongos, drum set (BD, Snare, Hi-hat, 1 12” high tom, 1 16” floor tom, 1 Ride Cymbal, 2 Crash Cymbals). Cymbals a 2,1 tam tam 
Xylophone, vibraphone, glockenspiel, marimba, tubular bells, Triangle, wind chimes, sleigh bells, finger cymbals, 2 cowbells, tambourine, guiro, castanets,
3 temple blocks, ratchet, claves, cabasa, maracas, whip, vibra slap Various whistles

Berlin International Film Scoring Competition 2020

During the first two weeks of January, I worked in this project for the Berlin International Film Scoring Competition 2020. The competition consists in the composition and production of a original soundtrack for an animated short film chosen. After, the works are evaluated by a international jury formed by composers. In this case, the short movie selected was Escape, an animated sci-fi movie very visual atractive and a great storytelling.

For the contest, it is possible to use the sound design and foley material of one of the three finalist of the Berlin International Sound Design Competition. In my case, I used the foley work of Peter Baumann as a base to compose the music on it. My style of composition for this work was totally orchestral, without electronic elements and without sound design. The idea was to create an tribute to the adventures films that I enjoyed when I was a teen (I am keeping enjoying it).

I hope you like it!

Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Contest 2018

I decided to take part for the first time in this international film scoring competition that is well-known. This competition consists in scoring a short film chosen for the edition. The entries are judging by some international award-winning composers (with Emmy-winning names).

In this year, a documentary short film called The Time Machine was chosen. In this documentary a watchmaker that has a small workshop within Grand Central Station (New York) tells his story, his way of life and his philosophy. Firstly, you can watch the short film with the soundtrack that I composed and produced and in the next paragrahps I will describe some details of the music and show the comments of the judges with the puntuation gotten.

In this project I tried to make music that works well under dialogue with some climax to provide movement to the story. I aimed to a modern sound, in the style of actual documentaries and TV series. The instrumentation is mainly string section, piano (including extended techniques), synth, the sound of clock engines, 2 flutes and piccolo. And, during the climax I added brass section, timpani and cymbals. The harmony is sometimes tonal and sometimes modal depending of the piece. I was looking to make it attractive to the general public keeping the leading role of the narrative. All the project (composition and production) took me 25-30 hours during 9 days.

At the end I was very happy because the judges gave me a calification of 79.5 over 100 so I entered to the Top 40 (over hundreds of participants). The commentaries of the judges were:

1º Judge: Pros: Excellent production, the music flows in a coherent way with the image and catch the viewer in the story. The dramatic connection is excellent. Great work!
Cons:  Your high musical skills could benefit with a more unique point of view

2º Judge: Pros: Great mix work, this is a work above average. Great taste the use of watch tick. I love the ‘beautiful tone’ around the minute 4.
Cons:  While the most sync points that you choose fit perfectly (for example, I really like 1:04 and 8:45 with the constellation mural), I dare you to consider the film narrative in your proposal.  For example, when Wil says ‘people still look up to the sky to tell time’ it should increase the intensity with the movement of the camera to the ceiling to prepare the change of the camera angle. In a similar way, it happens in 9:20 when he says ‘sometimes I try to forget about it’ because Wil continues with the same concept. He forget the time and does not use a watch like the people that look to the sky to know the time. With the pause here, you contradict  in someway the narrative and the idea that the director is trying to tell. In these moments, don’t take literally the dialogue or follow the image, try to understand the underlaid story and emphasize it.

I’m glad to have participated. The experience has been very educative and the commentaries of the judges a great lesson. I think that after all of this I am a better composer. If I won’t have time constraints I would like to participate the next year.

This is the soundtrack music:

I hope you like it!

Hyperion String Scoring Contest

The last week Soundiron launched an express contest to rescore the trailer of the new string library Hyperion Strings that seems to be an excellent library. The deadline of the contest was only two days so I had to work fastly to compose and produce my entry. It took me 4 hours more or less and I hope you like it.

“Hollywood Demo Choir” contest

During March, the compay EastWest Quantum Leap organised a contest to compose a choral piece using their new library Hollywood Choir and other libreries of the company. For this, they send Hollywood Choir licenses for 1 month of use . The most insteresting feature of the libreary is the Wordbuilder tool that allows us to create personalized phrases for the choir using sampled phonemes. You can listen the short piece that I composed below. In order to create something different from the epic choir tracks (choir singing in staccato or marcato, or a choir behind singing syllables “ah” or “oh” as many cinematic tracks) I wanted to compose a piece where the choir was more relevant so I composed a little hymn with a text written by me in Italian.

Although I couldn’t test and compose with this library enough time due my tasks in other projects, I think that this library is not fit for me. In my opinion, the wordbuilder produces not enough realistic results due to the unions of phonemes. Also some phonemes have different volume so it is hard to play with it. It requires to make hand corrections to get a result that sounds better and more realistic.  For me, the use of traditional choir libraries based on syllabes produces better results fastly although we sacrifice the possibility of write the text.

ALBION ONE 10th Anniversary competition

At the beguining of the year, I participated in the international contest organised by Spitfire for the 10th anniversary of one of his most important libraries, Albion.

The task of the contest was to create a score for the trailer of the new update of Albion One. There was no rules about the style of the music so I took as reference the style of the video that is a bit futuristic and modern, and for this reason I decided to mix some synth sounds with the symphonic orchestra. This is precisely the concept of Albion One because it includes orchestral sounds with a module of hybrid sounds and synths.

This is my entry for the contest. I had to make the entire music the last day (it took me four hours) due to  I was working in a short movie soundtracks the previous days. But, even with this time constraint, I think the result looks very well.

“Show us your musical Genius” contest

Some months ago, I participated in the international contest “Show Us Your Musical GENIUS” leaded by with the collaboration of the composers Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe which are the creators of the excellent soundtrack of the TV series “Genius” about the life of Albert Einstein.

The task of the contest was to make a version of the main theme. As I can saw, the quality of the tracks was very high and I could listen some really interesting.

I post here my track. I decided to vary the theme to give more power that increases the intensity with the time. The whole creation proccess took me almost five hours. It was really fun. I love this kind of challenges.