Posts tagged #Electric Guitar

Original Music // Depactus

Sometimes what makes a great soundtrack is the space between the music. We used silence as an instrument in a recent collaboration.

Our friends at Instrument always kill it and their newest film for Depactus is nothing short of compelling. Bringing together an ominous VO narration with striking and surreal imagery brought forth a dynamic film that not only showcased the intensity of surfing, but conveyed the moodiness and awe-inspiring nature of the sea itself.

Giving respect to the humbling imagery, our team of music supervisors and composers worked on a soundtrack that accentuated the raw power of waves and what lays beneath the surface of the ocean. Our team of producers—Tim Shrout and Rob Dennler—worked closely with our Creative Director and co-founder Brian Hall, going with a grittypowerful direction with his soundtrack. Mimicking the fluidity of water, his music was equal parts silent serenity and bombastic dissonance crashing in like waves on rocks.

The collaboration of music and picture is a dance. Great dance partners don't step on each others toes and when it comes to writing a soundtrack, there's a lot of potency of knowing when not to take the lead and simply follow along in silence.



Why You Should Be Using Original Music For Your Film Project

Original Music // "Anthem"

Music + Picture // The Seven Wonders Of Oregon

Guest DJ: Rebecca Hynes, Director

Last Tuesday, we caught up with director/filmmaker, Rebecca Hynes about her search for finding the right story to tell. She landed on a compelling portrait of a small town rodeo in her documentary "Rodeo Dog." Check out the teaser HERE.

Inspired by the soundtrack to her recent film, Hynes created her mixtape "Cloud Beats," filled with tracks that give a chill and engaging vibe, helping you find your story within the fog.

The cinematic "Intimidated By Silence" by Cars & Trains combines organic textures with electro-pop beats. This ethereal track lays a perfect foundation for those moments of travel and reflection.

Bliss out to this dreamy track by Tape Recorder called "Master of None." This stoic and upbeat instrumental brings out all the washy drum machines that you could ever want, along with soothing synthesizer textures. Peaceful and serene, this song is an ode to imagination.

The inspiring and anthemic "See the Sun" by Safe // Sorry is filled to the brim with big drums, sweeping piano, electric guitar and synthesizer. Empowering with an intimate vibe, this ambient track is a call to action to start on that adventure you've always wanted to go on.


Filmmaker Interview: Rebecca Hynes on hunting for the right story

Filmmaker Interview: Gabriel Saurer on turning mistakes into masterpieces

Guest DJ: Gabriel Saurer, Filmmaker

Featured Artist // The Retro Vibes of Ancient Heat


This nine-piece Portland ensemble doesn't emulate the "sound" of disco, they live and breathe it. Thanks to Ancient Heat, the hypnotic vibes of the 70s are alive and well; complete with pulsating synthesizer, sexy vocals and of course...the occasional sax solo.

Here are three funky tracks that can help create an authentic, vintage aesthetic to any scene you're working on.

"Oh...You Bad" bounces along with thumping bass lines, a strong horn/brass section and pumped up electric guitar. This fun and mischievous composition explodes with color and glitter, evoking vivid images of the best party that you've ever been to.

The steady beats of the soulful "Josephine" keep things interesting with oohs & ahhs and lively percussion. Check out 2:37 where the song takes a more spacious approach and locks into a mesmerizing groove, ascending into a blissed-out state.

"Slap & Gallop" would be the perfect soundtrack to a spy show filled with car chases. Keeping a cool demeanor, this piece goes into more adventurous territory with cinematic horns and reverby vocals. Rising and falling with multiple crescendos, this song dips into subtle grooves with bass dreams and ascends into full blown, electrified anthems.

Check out more at Ancient Heat's Artist Profile.

New Music // Plunge into the chill vibes of Amy Seeley's "Divers"

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We have a song that moves mountains.

Amy Seeley released a new batch of songs a few months back and they've been stuck in our heads ever since. One composition in particular that stands out is the mysterious song "Divers." Layers of electric guitars, oohs and ahhs and Seeley's signature piano brings steady waves of serene, chill vibes that reminds us of fellow Marmoset Artist Laura Veirs

Seeley's piano-driven pop has won our hearts with memorable songs like "Hem Me In" and continues to tell stories of reflection, intimacy and revelation, leaving us speechless in the process.

Check out more from Amy Seeley at her Marmoset Artist Page.

A (brief) History of Music in Film

Music set to picture has the unique capability of enhancing the emotional nature of the story, of setting the tone and mood to add depth to a filmmaker's narrative. But do you know how music plays into the history of film? We scoured musical timelines and histories to find out - and in the process found some pretty epic composer/director teams that made an impact on film forever. Check out our (brief) summary of music in film below:

So we know that the Lumiere Brothers premiered the first motion picture in 1895. The first music set to picture happened in the early 1900's, and that's believed to be for a few reasons:

1. Because the projectors that used to play the films were loud. Music played over film was intended to help cover up the sound.

2. Music added another dimension to the plot line, characters and story in the film that wasn't there when the film was silent.

The music then isn't like the music we have in film today, though - more often than not, it was played by one person on piano or by a string quartet and was either improvised or borrowed from classical music cue sheets that didn't always quite fit the story. That was until Birth of a Nation in 1915, which marks the first time a full orchestra played the music for the movie.

Audio didn't make it into a full-length feature film until The Jazz Singer in 1927, with the opening line "Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothing yet," making history as the first synchronized audio to film. Just a few years later, in 1933, Max Steiner created what is believed to be first-ever original score to film, in which music matches the story. This was to King Kong, and Steiner went on to score hundreds more films, including more you might have heard of: Gone With The Wind or Casablanca.

Right around this time was when composers adopted the classical scoring technique, where a composer writes music with themes and simple, repetitive melodies called leitmotifs to trigger the audience's emotions. Music at this point was still largely orchestral and considered Western classical.

Later, in the 1950's, jazz music began appearing in film, which opened the door for other genres to become a part of film as well. One of the most popular movie genres around this time were spaghetti Westerns, backing Clint Eastwood or John Wayne...

One of the biggest composer/director teams of the 1950's and 1960's was composer Ennio Morricone and director Sergio Leone. The duo worked together on many films, including Once Upon a Time in the West, A Pistol for Ringo and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Morricone's scores are noted for their sparse arrangements and unconventional instrumentation (he added things like bells, electric guitar and harmonicas into his scores). It is believed that his compositions changed the way composers wrote scores for Westerns from then on out.

While Morricone and Leone were teaming up to revolutionize the Western film genre in the 1960's, sci-fi movies and thrillers were also making their way into theatres. This is when one of the most famous composer/director teams was born: Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Hitchcock.

We'll try not to fan-girl out about this duo too much here, but...this is a pretty awesome pairing. Herrmann, a New York born composer, made his name first by classically scoring the radio broadcast of War of the Worlds in 1938, and then by scoring Citizen Kane in 1941. But the late 1950's and 60's showed Herrmann creating more stark, dissonant scores. like the dangerous, shrieking violins of Psycho or the darkly ominous, orchestral soundtrack to Vertigo. Much of Herrmnann's work was uncomfortable in its sweeping intensity, creating an unsettling tone that might not have originally been there. Hitchcock famously wanted the shower scene in Psycho to be silent, for instance, but Herrmann disagreed.

Herrmann's experimental technique paved the way for composers like John Williams in the 1970's. Williams wrote the score to the little series called Star Wars and made film history with his two-note theme for Jaws. The classical scoring technique made a return during this decade, ushering in more theme-driven scores from composers of the time.

The 1980's and onward has seen a ton of advancement in musical scores. From the dawn of the synthesizer - which allowed composers to create a score entirely from their own, without an orchestra to back them - to stepping away from entire thematic soundtracks to more individual "song scores," the past few decades have produced many memorable scores, such as Williams' magical score to Harry Potter, Howard Shore's epic, sweeping soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Hans Zimmer's booming, ominous score to Inception.

Needless to say, with all of this history to build on and grow from, we're excited to see what comes next. What are some of your favorite music moments in film? Let us know in the comments below.

- Kaitie Todd

Meet the Grit and Ruckus of Hillstomp // 3 songs that will kickstart your film


Being bad never felt so good.

Born in the woods of Portland, OR, there's a lot of ruckus and sound coming from the duo that makes Hillstomp a force to be reckoned with. Each song is energized with electric guitar, banjo and heavy stomps + percussive clatter. Filled with twang and grit, Hillstomp's unique brand of swamp-rock creates a special sound that cannot be replicated, delivering a raw emotion and story with every note. 

Here are three reasons Hillstomp should be the next band you listen to.

Their song "Santa Fe Line" could easily fit in a rustic outlaw bar way out in the middle of the desert. This piece captures a rebellious spirit that makes you raise your fist in the air. Immediately kicking off with energetic drums, this song races forward with gritty, masculine guitar driving the whole way. 

Showing a lighter side, "Undertow" tells a tale of accepting things for what they are. Banjo takes the lead with a steady pulse of percussion supporting it. Filled with whimsy and earnest vocals, this song provides a sense of intimacy and organic sensibilities.

There's a carefree energy from "Reason to Leave" that can calm the most restless of spirits. Telling a story filled with sentimentality, bouncing along with hope and optimism. Lulling electric guitar and steady clicks from the drums. There is a strong human element to this song, as if it were played on a front porch amidst a muggy Georgia summer.