Well hello again blog, fancy meeting you here. Today I am going to have a gander at how the technical processes that go into the production of music can have an influence over the aesthetic outcome of the final product. For our class project we will be working on a project titled Cave. Cave is interested in creating a heavy industrial sound but also with aid of electronic elements. With this in mind I have chosen to look at a track that isn’t quite in the same vein but shares some similarities. This song is titled Naked Body by the band Fun Machine.
Fun Machine are a “warehouse pop” band from Canberra Australia and have been making music as a group since 2009. The band use a variety of sounds to achieve a strong lively alt-pop force to be reckoned with.
I feel this song relates to the style that Cave are trying to create in a few ways. It has the big driving kick drum, has a little bit of electronic elements, distorted female vocals and finally to put it simply, it is freaking loud.
This is all well and good but “how do the technical processes affect the aesthetic outcome of the final product” I hear you asking. Well let’s try a little experiment. What does the song make you feel? If we can determine what the song is trying to evoke in us emotionally we can perhaps swing it around and reverse engineer the aesthetic to determine the technical processes. Here is what the song evokes in me.
Power Action Dance Lose restraint Party Anticipation Release Messy
Now that we have deduced what the song is intending to do to us emotionally we can swing it around. For example the use of the solid kick drum repeating throughout gives us an easy guide to dance to or the eclectic mix when all of the elements come up after the chorus really builds the power of the song. If either of these things were not decided upon during the production process the song would have suffered for it and it wouldn’t be this driving dancing epic that is currently is.
The second song I will be examining will be Lu Bu’s theme from the game Dynasty Warriors 4.
Dynasty Warriors is a hack’n’slash game series spanning almost 2 decades and is currently developed by Koei Tecmo. It loosely follows the story “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” where the player controls one of the many different characters available. The track was composed by Sasaki Masayoshi who is more commonly known by his moniker, MASA.
The song features strong drums, meaty rhythm guitar/bass and wickedly upfront electric guitar solos. It also employs the use of some sampled drums. Altogether the song is very clean with the guitar skills of MASA taking the forefront of the track.
I have a personal connection with this song due to the fact that I played this game as part of my childhood. The feelings that this song evokes in me will differ compared to someone who has not played the game. Here is what the song evokes in me.
Powerful Relentless Destruction Destiny Might Death Fear(Oh no, Bugger me, Where is he?, Oh crap he is coming at me, Run away!, SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!)
For the uninitiated, Lu Bu is the most powerful and difficult character to defeat in Dynasty Warriors. When this song begins to play during the game you know that Lu Bu is around and is about to serve you your own head. By deciding to give this character their own theme it sets a precedent that whenever this theme is heard it will instill the emotion of dread into the player. The prominence of the guitar and the solos performed confer a link between the solidarity of Lu Bu and his vast strength.
Interestingly this is also the theme for the game (only Dynasty Warriors 4) but it employs the use of some extra instrumentation.
By using musical elements of Chinese origin as well as the traditional rock instrumentation the tone of the song shifts a little, it is more wondrous and adventurous, also setting the scene for the game (China).
Here is a fun look at how Lu bu’s theme has progressed throughout the many incarnations of the game.
The technical requirements of both of these tracks differs quite a bit. If we look at the first track, Naked Body, it is really just intending for you to dance your heart out. This requires a catchy tune and driving beat which the song employs to great effect. Whereas Lu Bu’s theme is a testament to the characters power. It needs something that instills greatness into the player and uses driving riffs and insane shows of technical guitar prowess to prove its point. The technical processes used in these tracks are in coherence with the demand of the aesthetic and help to bolster their places within their medium.