Original Music by Brian Joseph Johns
[Updated: Wednesday April 23, 2014]
These are some musical pieces that I have written and produced. Most of it I have done on my computer but a few were done with a real midi keyboard. There are no vocal tracks (yet), and perhaps they will have some one day.
This is my first experiment of an extremely low budget music video (no budget is a pretty low budget!). The context of the content in the video is sensitive to the progression of the song if you look closely. The song itself was written and mixed over the course of a month a few years ago using Magix Music Maker. The guitar part is a mix of packaged samples and hand played and contructed parts using my M-Audio KeyRig 49. This is actually something that I worked on when I was writing the first part of Stories From The End in 2011. At that point I had thought that I was going to write the story backwards. Start with the ending and step backwards through the timeline to get the beginning. I still don't know how its going to end. By coincidence about two weeks after coming up with the name for the this song, I saw the movie The Truman Show for the first time, and was floored when I saw the connection between the two events.
This one was recorded with Magix Music Maker and despite the name, there is no authentic counterpoint in it though conversely there might be a few Diablus En Musica, which roughly means harmonic intervals of exactly one half octave. Such intervals were seen as the devil in music (hence the term Diablus En Musica). Funny enough, that same interval is present in much harmony in all music, as it forms the basis for the third and the dominant seventh of the Myxolydian mode of the major scale. I tend to think that music is not anything devilish though, but some people used to. Some people used to think that electric amplifiers were going to kill music, as guitars would take over and ruin it taking the natural beauty of it. Then, about sixty years later, another group of people said that drum machines would kill music. Fortunately music is still going just as strong as it did from the first time we heard the beating of our Mother's heart (rhythm) and the sound of her voice (melody) and the voices of our family and friends (harmony). The three components of music.
Anyway, this piece has an easy going melody and is more along the lines of a downtempo ambient piece. The video itself was done ad hoc if that isn't apparent.
Just An Illusion MP3
This song was written and produced during my stay at the Dixon Hall School House shelter about four years ago. I had worked my butt off for three months and bought a cheap laptop and a keyboard so I could write music to keep myself from going crazy (it didn't work).
The laptop was a HP Compaq Presario, the keyboard was an M-Audio KeyRig 49 an awesome midi controller keyboard with a Virtual Synth package included. It was recorded in two takes at about 3am in the morning on a February using the included Ableton Live recording software. Thanks to the great guitar sound which had effects like string noise and muted play based upon the velocity of your playing, I was able to get the perfect acoustic ballad sound and retain an eerie-ness with a great organ patch. I left the keyboard behind in storage when I left and it was quickly snatched unfortunately. I recently purchased another one. This pieces was one of my favourites as it really shows off the capabilities of a synth for writing acoustic guitar music. Nobody believes the guitar in this piece is is a synth, yet anyone I play it live for quickly is shown that it is in fact played from a keyboard. I think it took about five or six takes to get the guitar track just right.
This song was written a few months ago late one night. I have retrieved a clavinet part I played with my M-Audio KeyRig 49 a few years earlier and had saved it as a section sample, so I could reuse it in future material. I put it all together with Magix Music Maker, a great program for working in audio and video. A good starter package for less than $100 with a lot of features. It features a funky clavinet line with some pretty hopping guitar reminiscent of late 80s early 90s club funk. Most of the other chops are either samples that came with the package or parts that I hand arranged in the built in midi arranger. I enjoy the energy in this one. I like the energy of this one, as it really has a positive and upbeat sound.
This short piece was written with a sort of Tim Burton atmosphere and a little bit of a Danny Elfman touch to it. It was created with Ableton Live and most of it was created note for nore by hand without a keyboard or looped sample to back it up. Maybe even title music to a game or a TV show like Tales From The Crypt. Danny Elfman being one of my favourite composers.
This is one that I did on Music Creator Touch 6 in a few live takes. The twelve string guitar part (which is all played on a keyboard by the way) is amazing and produced by the Cakewalk Sound Center (though in this mix I've got a little bit too much compressor on it). Both Music Touch Creator 6 and Cakewalk Sound Center are available on Steam or if you're in Toronto at Saved By Technology.
I still start up the Cakewalk Sound Center by itself on occasion and just wing a tune on the twelve string guitar patch. There's some other great patches as well such as the Rhodes and Wurlitzer pianos. The guitar in this one is another example of a piece that few people believe is a synth until I play it live for them on a synth. Is it live or...