066 Palimpsest – Ian Ridenhour – Anneliese

The piece of music featured in this episode is called Anneliese. It’s an off kilter piece which I wrote as the character theme for the psychological fantasy/horror audio drama Palimpsest. The soundtrack conveys a quiet and contemplative feel. This week we’ll look at some of the insights into why and how it was made. My name is Ian Ridenhour. I’m a composer from Asheville, NC, and this is How I Make Music.


01:56 I was influenced by Gregorian chant music. Gregorian sheet music was written without barlines, and I wanted the feeling of flowing seamlessly without a fixed rhythm.

02:54 The first electronic artist I listened to was Deadmau5. I’ve cited him as an influence because of the idea that Anneliese should use a palette of purely electronic sounds. Other influences include Moses Sumney, who is from my home town of Asheville.

03:38 The rhythm in this track is complex. It’s a core 6/8 and I’ve added a bizarre 2+5 meter over it. Listen as I count along. There’s a word for this type of polyrhythm: it’s called hemiola.

04:55 The harmonic structure pushes the boundaries of typical pop harmony. I wanted to convey a lack of permanence by using odd shifts. Noteworthy influences include Gabriel Kahane. I use a circle of 4ths (plagal cadence) modulation to destabilize the listener. Every chord sounds like the root.

06:47 There’s a low and subtle wind sound throughout the piece. You only really notice it at the end. It changes pitch and pans back and forth. It’s my favorite piece of the composition.


* Listen to audio drama Palimpsest thepalimpsestpodcast.com/
* Check out other work by Ian Ridenhour www.ianridenhour.com/
* Follow Ian Ridenhour twitter.com/ianridenhour


* Monks of the Dark Abbey – Derek Fietcher and Brandon Fietcher
* Strobe (Club Edit) – Deadmau5
* Cut Me – Moses Sumney
* Empire Liquor Mart (9127 S. Figueroa St.) – Gabriel Kahane
* Gleam – Covet


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 johnbartmann.com