Working alongside Silent and VR specialist’s No Ghost, Resonate were responsible for creating all audio for the installation MTV Choreographika. As part of the MTV EMAs in Rotterdam, Choreographika brought to life the live social conversation around #MTVEMA as an interpretive digital dance and interactive artwork. Based around the Unreal engine, the bespoke application would take key words, artist mentions and emotions from Twitter and translate them into vision and movement in real time.
Resonate’s role within the project was to look at how this random series of data could be translated into an interesting and evolving soundtrack, that felt alive and in real-time but that was also enjoyable to listen to. Creating 4 original music composition’s that were linked to the number of tweets happening at that time, they explored different music tempos and genres that gradually ramped up in intensity as the social conversation about the MTV EMAs grew over the build up to the big night.
Senior Composer and Sound Designer Andy explains the process: “Initially the biggest challenge was to create a generative piece of music and sound design that went through a whole host of different emotions and different energy levels. The different musical intensities were all triggered in realtime, ranging from intensity 1 through to intensity 4. Intensity 1 was the most stripped back and downtempo, intensity 2 was a step up in energy and had almost a Drake style beat. No. 3 was derived from dance floor culture and four to the floor beats, while No. 4 was a lot faster and had a Drum and Bass style tempo.”
As well as the 4 main compositions, Resonate also created bespoke musical flourishes for all the main artist mention’s, with a nod to their particular music and style. These would be triggered whenever the artist mention’s reached a certain number and would set off a musical take over to the main soundtrack that was all automated within the bespoke audio playback engine that they had created specifically for the installation.
ManvsMachine have just released Versus, a stunning short film that depicts the battle between a group of animals. The film was originally commissioned by Maxon as a showcase piece for the new release of Cinema 4D, and takes it’s inspiration from dutch still life art with it’s moody lighting and atmosphere. Resonate were commissioned to compose an original piece of music that would bring to life the atmosphere and emotion of this intense battle scene.
Through a combination of both sound design and music, they looked to created a dynamic soundtrack that would gradually build as the film develops and help convey this heightened state as the animals prepare to fight.
Music Director Liam explains how Resonate approached the soundtrack: “Sound design wise we created a lot of the sounds from scratch, using animal sounds for the source material. We then pushed and effected these elements as far as we could, some to the point that you no longer would know that it was an animal that originally created the sound but you still get this organic, natural tone and texture to the audio that worked well in the final piece. With the musical and harmonic elements, we recorded a lot of live horn players and got them to play loud passages of music at the extreme ends of their natural register, where the notes would start to break up and this unique tone would be created, helping to illustrate and reflect the heightened state of the animals in this battle scene.”
Back in 2010, Resonate worked with games developer Hand Circus on their first release for the Playstation. Okabu was set in Africa and involved players trying to help save the Yorubu tribe by guiding two Cloud-whale characters through a series of darker levels and worlds. Resonate worked on the project for 9 months in total, and were responsible for all the music, sound design and integration of audio into the game.
As well as composing 12 original pieces of music, they created a bespoke set of sound design and also looked after the integration into the game through the software FMOD and Unity. Working towards a non-linear playback of the final sounds allowed them to carefully craft the music and sounds to gradually evolve and become darker as the characters progressed further and further into this broken land and world of the Yorubu and Doza tribes.
Music Director Liam comment’s on the overall vision for the soundtrack: “We wanted to create something authentic and unique so spent a lot of time upfront researching the different styles of African music, taking inspiration for traditional folk music from Zambia through to more contemporary music from Nigeria. We placed real importance on the production values of each of the tracks we created, and made sure that the final sound was not overly produced and was in keeping with the recording techniques and processes normally used.”
Senior music composer Andy comments on the recording process: “We recorded a lot of African percussion and traditional african instruments alongside more traditional pop instruments such as bass and keyboards so we had a whole range of different types of instruments that we could bring together, as the soundtrack gradually evolves as the game progresses. Rather than recording everything separately, we decided to record as much of the music as a live band as possible, so we could get this authentic sound in the recordings and by committing to this approach, it forced us to keep things less quantised as we weren’t able to edit everything perfectly to the grid afterwards.”
Simon Oliver, founder of Hand Circus: ”We couldn’t be happier with the audio and music for the game, it just fits Okabu so perfectly. I think it’s given it so much more flavour that we could possibly ever imagine. It’s one of the things people comment on almost immediately when playing the game. It’s brought some charm and delight to the game itself.”