Stranger’s Theme

At Denver Pop Culture Con 2019 I was doing media coverage for Nerds That Geek, and on Sunday evening I attended the panel hosted by Sebastian Jones of Stranger Comics (here is the article), and then bought a bunch of their paperbacks . Once the dust settled from DPCC, I had a chance to read ‘The Untamed’ volumes 1 and 2 and ‘Niobe,’ and I loved them!

What was especially exciting was seeing that there was a ‘Stranger’s Theme’ melody (written by Jens Engelbrecht & Sebastian A. Jones) written out at the beginning of ‘The Untamed: A Sinner’s Prayer’ (volume 1) . I was inspired to write a few arrangements of the theme, and I sent them to Stranger Comics (unsolicited, which is super annoying, I know, but I figured I’d take a chance). My best-case scenario is that they don’t have a composer for the ‘World of Asunda’ HBO show, and they love my work and pick me. Or maybe Sebastian gets a kick out of them and listens to them for inspiration while he’s writing. Or maybe the email never gets opened. Either way, I’m glad I followed my inspiration and have some music to show for it. Speaking of which…

I wanted to be able to share these pieces, but since I didn’t write the melody, I don’t want to make it look like I’m trying to take credit for something that isn’t mine. In the versions that I’ve posted, instead of the actual ‘Stranger’s Theme’ melody, I’ve reduced the melody to just an ascending and descending scale, so that I can still use the chord progressions that I composed (they were not included with the melody in the comic) as well as my orchestrations. I think what’s left is different enough from the source material to be considered “inspired by.”

There are scenes from the comics that I drew inspiration from when I was writing the different sections, but the music doesn’t necessarily follow the story chronologically. The titles I’ve chosen are vague descriptions of the scenes that I had in mind.

Captain America Vs Trump: A Bernie Sanders Tribute

At the end of last year, I scored Emil Acevedo’s (Virgeo Studios) LEGO stop-motion short film Captain America Vs Trump: A Bernie Sanders Tribute. Originally, I created my own temp score using a mashup of Imperial March and Hail to the Chief, as well as The Avengers Theme and Captain America’s Theme. I then changed and simplified the themes so that they are technically different, but still recognizable as the original themes. I also included the stand-alone score in the media player in case you want to listen to that by itself.

Everything’s Coming Up Rosies: the musical, Part 3

Sorry this is late, but you know how December is…

Back in early 2015, I was the Composer in Residence for Opera Colorado’s Generation OC – Page to Stage program. As part of this program, I worked with the theater department at Elizabeth Middle School, under the direction of Jody Urbas. They took the play Everything’s Coming Up Rosies (inspired by Rosie the Riveter) by Christina Hamlett (which takes place during World War II), and turned it into a musical, with a libretto by Cherity Koepke. Here are the final two songs I wrote for their lyrics.

Faye tells Vivian (flute) that Frank’s parents just received a telegram, and Vivian assumes that it is because Frank is coming home early. When she finds out the truth, she realizes that she has to say one final “Goodbye” to him. She still sees his face and hears his voice, so it seems like this isn’t real, which is why she can’t say goodbye. She kept her promise and waited for him, but he promised to come back and now he will never will. How can she say goodbye to him? They were supposed to be together forever, but now she will be alone forever. She wishes that she could see him one last time so that she could say goodbye.

“Bringing Our Boys Home on a Wing and a Prayer” is the rousing finale about all of the strong women, with star-spangled hearts, who are sacrificing and doing their part. They are taking care of business, working in factories, and keeping the home fires burning, to support the men who are working hard off at war.

 

Movie Mumble podcast, ‘Rocky’

On Sunday, Nerds That Geek posted Episode 28 of the Movie Mumble podcast: Rocky. Listen as ZekeJoel, Scott, and I “settle in to watch a true sports classic, one revolving around a down and out amateur boxer, who gets the chance to fight for the heavyweight title.” As a prelude, listen to the all-new “Movie Mumble: Rocky” theme in the media player.

Movie Mumble podcast, ‘The Santa Clause’

On Sunday, Nerds That Geek posted a Special Holiday Episode of the Movie Mumble podcast: The Santa Clause. Listen as ZekeJoel, Scott, and I unleash our “holiday cheer upon the world by taking a moment to examine a Christmas themed movie that just so happens to be Zeke’s favorite.” To get in the spirit, listen to the “Movie Mumble: Christmas” theme in the media player.

Everything’s Coming Up Rosies: the musical, Part 2

Back in early 2015, I was the Composer in Residence for Opera Colorado’s Generation OC – Page to Stage program. As part of this program, I worked with the theater department at Elizabeth Middle School, under the direction of Jody Urbas. They took the play Everything’s Coming Up Rosies (inspired by Rosie the Riveter) by Christina Hamlett (which takes place during World War II), and turned it into a musical, with a libretto by Cherity Koepke. Here are the third and fourth songs I wrote for their lyrics.

In “It’s Men’s Work,” Roy and Carl (trumpet/trombone) have too much work to do in their factory, so Roy’s Wife Faye (horn) offers to help, but they tell her that it’s ‘men’s work’ (it’s dirty, she wouldn’t like it, etc.). She tells them all of the experience she has taking care of children, cooking meals, sewing socks, volunteering, washing laundry, etc… running the ‘business of home.’ With all the men going to war, there’s work that needs to be done, but who’s going to do it?  It’s women’s work!

In “Chorus of Rosies,” Vivian (flute), her friends (oboes), and a woman named Rosie, are now working in a factory. They sing while they work, including a chorus of ‘We can do it!’ It’s hard, dirty work, but they are independent women, working as a team, who are just as good as men. They are serving their country by being tough and strong to keep the factory moving until their men are brought home. They stop abruptly when Carl walks in with a message for Vivian…

Tune in next month for the final two songs!

Everything’s Coming Up Rosies: the musical, Part 1

Back in early 2015, I was the Composer in Residence for Opera Colorado’s Generation OC – Page to Stage program. As part of this program, I worked with the theater department at Elizabeth Middle School, under the direction of Jody Urbas. They took the play Everything’s Coming Up Rosies (inspired by Rosie the Riveter) by Christina Hamlett (which takes place during World War II), and turned it into a musical, with a libretto by Cherity Koepke. Here are the first two songs I wrote for their lyrics.

“The Happiest of Happy Days” starts with a group of girls (oboes) laughing and reading their friend’s diary about a cute boy named Frank. After scolding her friends for reading her diary, Vivian (flute) prepares for her wedding to Frank in two weeks. She’s getting butterflies wondering if she should wear her hair up and what she should use for her ‘something blue’ when her father walks her down the aisle in her grandmother’s dress. Nothing could ruin her perfect day!

Frank finds out that he has been drafted and has to leave in three days for basic training. In “I Can’t Say Goodbye to You,” Frank (cello) tells Vivian that he doesn’t want to leave right after getting married. He understands that it is difficult for her, but he has to go. Vivian (flute) tells him that she doesn’t want him to leave before they’ve gotten married. She understands that it is important to him, but she still doesn’t want him to go. What about all of their plans and dreams? Frank tells her that he can’t stay while they’re at war and that he has to do his part to keep her safe. They can get back to their dreams when he comes home, because good things are worth waiting for. He will take her love with him and think of her every day while he is gone. Vivian agrees to let him go, but only if he promises to come back. Frank promises to come back if she will wait for him. She promises to wait for him, and they can finally say goodbye to each other.

Tune in next month for the next two songs!

Movie Mumble podcast, ‘Eyes Without a Face’

On Sunday, Nerds That Geek posted Episode 25 of the Movie Mumble podcast: Eyes Without a Face. In this episode, we are joined by our new, permanent co-host, Zeke (who brought us Bad Times at the El Royale back in February as a guest for a special episode). Listen as ZekeJoel, Scott, and I “break own a classic foreign horror film about a surgeon who will do anything to preserve his daughter’s beauty when she’s badly disfigured in a car crash.” As a prelude, listen to the various themes in the media player.

Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator, Engraver, Teacher