Join Adam Raymonda, composer for audio drama Windfall, in a cinematic soundtrack to an urban fantasy story. An immersive listening experience. Headphones recommended.
The piece of music we’re listening to in the background is the main theme from the dystopian science fiction podcast windfall. Today, we’ll break it down and get into why and how it was made. You’re listening to How I Make Music, where audio drama composers get to tell their own stories. Every Wednesday, we break apart a song, soundtrack or composition and take a trip into how it was made. My name is Adam Raymonda. I’m a sound designer and composer from Syracuse, New York. And this is How I Make Music.
Welcome back to how I make music Episode 89 the windfall main theme, by me, Adam Raymonda. Thanks for listening in. Windfall is a large ensemble cast science fiction drama and it takes place on a planet called Proxima. It’s this towering city where the wealthiest of the wealthy live on the top of the city and the poorest of the poor live on the ground. This city was built up to a castle that appeared in the sky on Proxima. The residents worship their god queen who was found in the castle. Her name is Wanda. She bears no resemblance to a certain leader that we have in the country I live in, the United States.
I listened to a lot of prog rock throughout the years. A common thing in progressive rock or metal music is the use of odd time signatures, which probably influenced me in just as big a way as composers like John Williams or Ramin Djawadi. There’s a piece from the band Between The Buried And Me called Famine Wolf. Take a listen to it. It has this natural sort of seven four ‘1234567’ feeling to. That may have been an influence in the way that I put together this theme.
The Windfall main theme is played at the introduction of each episode. It features this Rhodes keyboard ascending line that is supposed to represent the sort of the upward motion of going up towards the top of the castle. There’s a couple of the more melodic elements which help drive us through that rhythm. This version ends with some more organic elements and is sad but sort of triumphant at the same time. I added some guitars that have some pitch shifting on them one that has a higher octave above it and then one has a lower octave beneath it and they’re kind of panned off to the sides. I kept most of the melody on the one of that five. It would help keep us grounded or more straight. Because 5/8 can sometimes be this like very almost like Balkan music. It’s all downbeats. Just helps keep it driven and you know, sort of in time. I ended up adding some fake strings to it. That would help accentuate sort of the chord progression. And then I ended up adding in some organ.
My friend, Gabi ended up playing cello on the track. She came over to my studio that I had at the time that was my bedroom studio. And we just plugged in her cello in through direct input or a DI. It had an electric output but also was an acoustic cello. So we were able to capture both signals at the same time. So we got a lot of the lower droning notes that are in there that help make up the bassline. We had her double the melody as well. I’m so grateful that she did record that on there because it just sounds so much better than anything I could have programmed at that point. And to this day.
07:50 OTHER PARTS
We very lightly put a glockenspiel in there to kind of bring something that would be like a higher timbre. It ends with these more organic elements, there’s some acoustic guitar that comes in. A ukulele. The music fades out with the first scene happening over that. It also allows space for the scene to trickle in when we cut out a lot of these other elements.
That’s about it for this week’s episode. We’ll listen to the full track in just a moment. But before we do that, thank you for listening to How I Make Music. Catch new episodes every Wednesday on Spotify, Apple or wherever else. We’ve been listening to music featured in the audio drama called Windfall. To hear the full story or to check out my other compositions, follow the links in the show notes. We did a video of the recording of this episode, visit Patreon.com/howimakemusic to check it out and to check out the studio that I work in. Visit howimake music.com for more on aims of this show. How I Make Music is created by John Bartmann. For audio experiences that keep people listening, contact John Bartmann via the show notes. And now, here are the four different versions of the Windfall main theme back to back. Have fun spotting the differences! My name is Adam Raymonda and thanks for listening to How I Make Music. Catch you next Wednesday.
* Between The Buried And Me – Famine Wolf
* Adam Raymonda – Opposing Views
ABOUT THIS SHOW
How I Make Music is a dramatically edited sound experience where behind-the-scenes musicians get to tell their own stories. Every Wednesday, we challenge audio drama composers to break apart a song, soundtrack or composition and get into why and how it was made.
How I Make Music is created by John Bartmann. For audio experiences that keep people listening, visit johnbartmann.com