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063 Heroics – Erik Jourgensen – Halftone Comics – How I Make Music

063 Heroics – Erik Jourgensen – Halftone Comics

The piece of music featured in this episode is called Halftone Comics. It’s a light and cheerful comedy soundtrack that I wrote for the superhero audio drama Heroics, a story about a group of superheroes who decide to pivot and go evil. It contains a lot of live woodwind instrumentation and serves as a leitmotif for the story’s comic shop. My name is Erik Jourgensen. I’m a composer from Los Angeles, and this is How I Make Music.


01:13 Influences included Ennio Morricone’s score for Once Upon A Time In America and Jon Brion’s score for Lady Bird.

02:20 On Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, there’s a comic shop called The Nerdist. I used to go there to watch comedy. I wanted this piece to capture the feel of just hanging out in a cool comic shop like The Nerdist.

03:43 We were fortunate enough to be able to have live players on the Heroics score. Bassoon, sax, trombone, strings and guitar were included in the lineup.

05:11 I wanted to avoid using sample libraries if possible. One of the challenges was creating a live sounding full series score without the budget for an ensemble on every track.

07:26 The energy you put is the feeling the listener will get out of your music.

08:16 For one of the basslines, I used a Fender Telecaster and pitched it down an octave because I didn’t have an electric bass at the time.

08:34 I also pitched the bassoon up until it sounded like a flute or clarinet

09:16 There’s a cool trumpet moment which I achieved by first sketching the part by singing into an iPhone to see what comes out. This part was the first thing that came, and I immediately thought a brass section would sound exciting, fun and a little kitsch.

10:02 To me, the rising chord progression has the quintessential superhero tone to them.

11:02 I use a lot of analog gear. Listen to how the bassoon and winds sound through tape echo and spring reverb.

11:36 When it comes to music, there’s a fine balance between repetition and variation. The Beatles, Beethoven all had this fine balance.


* Listen to Heroics
* Visit Erik Jourgensen
* Follow Erik Jourgensen


* Ennio Morricone – Childhood Memories
* Lady Bird – Jon Brion
* Louisville Orchestra – Concerto For Wind Quintet And Orchestra (Lento)


How I Make Music is where behind-the-scenes musicians tell their own stories. Every Wednesday, we break apart a song, soundtrack or composition and investigate the insights into how it was made.

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How I Make Music is created by John Bartmann