Hey guys! Composer for Bindstone here. So happy to finally meet all of you through the digital space we call the internet!
My name is Monish Corona, and I’ve been composing music for about 10 years, and have been composing game music for 5 years now. I met Michael and Jai about a year ago, and we’ve become pretty good friends since! I actually just recently joined on to do music for Bindstone, and I’m having a blast. I feel incredibly honored to be a part of it!
Anyways, enough about myself, let’s talk about the main theme. Give it a listen!
I really tried going for a fantasy type vibe with this. I tried to stay away from more modern instrument such as synths and guitars. Before starting a composition I like to try to take some time to look at the art or designs and concepts for what I’m working on (if it’s available of course.) When I saw Jai’s art I thought the best word to describe it was: beautiful.
The style resonated with me and something about it inspired me to make something with a kind of waltz feel.
So, I’m kind of weird in the sense that I usually like to actually create piano sketches of my compositions before orchestrating it. Of course, you can’t do this all the time as it depends on the kind of music; but this piano sketch really helped convey the main ideas I had for this piece. Most composers like to actually create piano versions of their songs after making an orchestral version of the songs.
Here’s the actual piano sketch I did for the main theme:
The reason why I like to create piano versions of compositions before hand (again if I can) is because I find it is an effective way to write out memorable melodies. By playing the piano version I have enough expressiveness to construct a strong melody and it is easy to modify before adding additional instruments while it is in early concept phases.
After this I worked on creating the strings around the melodies, and first draft went a little something like this:
During this first draft, I decided to keep the waltz feel that was described earlier. I also decided to keep the keyboard as a primary instrument because there were lots of little nice touches I thought could be added. A great example of this would be the arpeggios that play at the 45 second mark of the song.
I found that having it replay the melody with double octaves just helped the piece have more of that fantastical feel that I really enjoyed. Though this draft turned out really great, I felt there were some elements missing. For example, one of the things that Michael and I thought could use some work were the first few notes. It felt a bit too dark and dreary.
Michael described his vision for the title music in this way:
“When the player opens Bindstone, they are getting ready to queue up and win some games.
It should be bright and exciting, we want players to think:
Alright, I can’t wait to play this game, let’s kick some ass!”
With that in mind I set out to make this vision reality!
I added a very fantastical intro on the piano. At first I was going to use a lute or violin, but I listened to each instrument individually, and something about it just felt odd, and it felt like there were too many strings.
Piano seemed to be a nice fit for the intro since a piano was going to appear later on in the piece as well. It kind of gave the listener a sneak peak of what was to come later on instead of just having a piano come out of nowhere later on. I also made some strings a little more apparent in the version as well, but for some reason, the strings didn’t feel complete towards the end.
At first I was trying to add a few other elements, but a lot of what I did sounded forced. At some point, I was going to add tubas towards the end. It was a weird choice, and I was using stock Logic Pro X Tubas as well, so it didn’t blend well with the other instruments I had in the piece. I decided to actually change the ending strings almost entirely. The strings I did change were the Bass and Cellos, and the end was result was the finished piece!
Of course, there was a mixing process involved, and other various small touches in terms of exporting what not, but after all is said and done, the main theme that you heard in the beginning of this post isn’t too different from the second last iteration of the song!
I’m glad I was able to take you through this process. I tried not to delve too deep into technical musical terms such as key signatures (though this theme is in D Minor, hint hint), scale degrees, and so on. My hope was that anyone interested in Bindstone can appreciate a bit of the process.
With that said, I didn’t do anything too crazy in terms of musical ideas and I believe the not every piece of music has to be extremely complex. Sometimes, a simple approach is the best thing for a piece. Especially when it’s a piece that is supposed to just be enjoyed and inspire awaiting players to have a great time in their new favorite game!
The next piece I’m working actually does have a some more subtle and complex elements however; and it’s a piece that benefits from those complexities. I look forward to talking to you guys about the next piece in a future blog post! As for now, I’m going to sign off, and continue working on this next piece. I can’t wait to share it with you!