Copyright © 2018 Roland Karl Bryce

Repton School Dubai: Boarding School Film

Composed in two evenings: this request for a music track was unpaid work. There comes a time when it is no longer flattering to be asked to ‘compose’ just for the exposure that you will get. May I recommend to all young composers out there: ask for a fee and stick to the agreement. This particular (very expensive) commercial media company could have found some ‘library music’, Bach, or gentle Mozart, pastiche. They “didn’t have a music budget”. My fee ought to have come in at around $4,000 U.S. for 4 minutes of a full multi-tracked and production-ready mixed original sound-track. The school management begged and flattered.

The opening motif that turned into a short overture perfectly matched the task of the school’s promotional video. The video was cut to the sound-track.

No money, but some good ‘exposure’.

EIS Emirates International School : Expo 2020  (promotional video)

This soundtrack is an edit from ‘Dubai Beats’, a fusion- style piece that I had created earlier. There was a tight deadline, so I gave permission for the track to be used. This is a re-edit of the the original youtube movie. I took  some time to sort out the cross fade edits. Success!

If you ever hear the Arabic Ice-cream vendors plying their wares, they tap out a particular rhythm using the steel spatulas and the heavy wooden, pounding stick. Pistachio seems to be a favoured flavour. I emulate their rhythms here.

The flute, as ever improvised and straight takes.

THE TRAIN Nr. 1

Playing the game of ‘Chicken’ by running across the railway tracks with a bunch of other kids who are in full knowledge that a train is coming. Aged 4 a child has no idea of the inherent potential danger involved. Monkey see, monkey do. 

His shoe gets stuck in the narrow space between the rails and the wooden planks that cover the track-fill. He is pulled clear just in time by his brother who races back to grab him.

‘The Train’ uses magnetite spheres along the strings or ‘railway tracks’ inside the piano. These spheres ‘stick’ to the strings in a unique way every time they are cast depending on where you place them. The aleatory result is then copied and developed by the flute line. The Sculpture synth ‘cello provides a “what if?” drone.

(Auto-biographical)

THE TRAIN Nr. 2

Thundering noises can be heard along the track. The Iron horse approaches evermore menacingly.Further up line carriages roar past with a galloping rhythm. This existential sound collage captures thoughts, sounds and primal emotions. A parent might even have been watching the train from an office window across the valley. A relative waiting to cross the road further up line and hearing the thundering steel hooves clattering along the tracks. Perhaps one or two are passengers were about to arrive at the next station. Synchronicity had placed the children in danger.

It seems that we are born to take risks, we are ... stupid.

‘The Train’ uses magnetite spheres along the strings or ‘railway tracks’ inside the piano. These spheres ‘stick’ to the strings in a unique way every time they are cast depending on where you place them. The aleatory result is then copied and developed by the flute line. The Sculpture synth ‘cello provides a “what if?” drone.

(Auto-biographical)

Music GCSE  CDROM:

Staveway Code Videoclip

This soundtrack is from my brilliant GCSE Music Theory CD ROM  (Published by the TIMES Education) from back in 1999: The short intro movie is a bespoke 3D animation. The music track was done on an ATARI 1040 Ste., hooked up to and 8 track ADAT recorder. The flute part and guitars were recorded live. No auto-tune available on the ATARI at that time! Unfortunately Aircom Education & THE TIMES ceased distribution of the CDROMS series and sold them on to company called ‘Guildhall Leisure’. Not a penny further in royalties was forthcoming from this vendor and soon enough the CD ROM was replaced by APPs with the arrival of the iPad, IOS medium. I may venture to publish the original theory book as an e-pub. The artwork is good enough and music theory seldom changes. ;-)