Evelyn Glennie – Deaf But Not Dumb

Evelyn Glennie

This is a video of Evelyn Glennie performing ‘Prim’ by Askell Masson. I remember learning about her in GCSE music at secondary school. She is a scottish lady that is actually deaf and she performs bear foot to help sense vibrations of sound. I used to play the drums when I was younger so I can appreciate just how amazingly difficult what she is doing here is. She performs a steady increase-decrease in tempo using double strokes with such precision. The speed that she gets up is amazing, and the fact that she can throw in accents whenever she wants is ridiculous. This progressive drum roll starts at 5:37 and goes until the end. I will be adapting this technique for use in my percussion scoring task.


My Finished Unity Game

I chose to make a first person shoot ’em up, which turned out to be pretty tricky to be honest. I didn’t get on very well with unity for quite a while, but after a couple of weeks I got more fluent with it. The aim of the game is to collect all 40 gems and then the door to the shed will open letting you in to see its beauty inside!!! Haha! Oh and of course you have to avoid getting killed by the bad guys, of which there are 20. I have also planted a couple of pickups around the island including rocket launcher ammo and extra health.

For the audio….

I used five separate samples of footsteps, which were attached to the FPS Walker script.

I have background music played at an appropriate volume, so it is not interfering, but still positively audible.

I used gun shot samples for the machine gun, which loop rapidly when triggered.

I used two samples with the rocket launcher, one for when the rocket is fired and another for the explosion. The explosion sample is attached to the rocket prefab, which is a child object to the rocket launcher so that the sound source is attached to the rocket. So, if the rocket explodes close to you, it is loud and if it is further away then it is more quiet. Magic.

I used a ‘cha ching’ sample that is triggered off when you pick up a gem.

I made a vocal recording of myself giving a mission brief, which is triggered off when you start the game. I put it in logic and added some funny effects to make to make it sound more interesting (and for a laugh).

I made another vocal recording of myself saying ‘nice one son’, which I used a BandPass Filter on and bounced it together with a sample of a crowd cheering. This is my ‘success’ audio event that gets triggered when you get into the shed.

I used a ‘gurgling’ sound sample for the volcano and set a specific spatial spread distance so that it gets louder when you get closer.

I used a vocal sample of ‘ah yeah’, which gets triggered off when you pickup more ammo for the rocket launcher.

I used a weird sounding sample, which kind of sounds like someone swallowing something that gets triggered off when you pickup more health.

I used two different sample for when the player gets shot, they are two groans, one louder than the other.

I used the Wilhelm scream as my ‘failure’ sound for when the player dies.

Unfortunately, there were a few glitches with the audio. I found that after a completely random amount of time the footsteps, gem pickups and success samples completely stopped working. Also sometimes when you pickup more ammo for the rocket launcher it doesn’t register, which is a bit shoddy. Still a fun game though.

Note: I did try to add a script to hide the cursor but it didn’t want to work when I attached it to the FPS Player Prefab and I ran out of time to try embedding it in the existing script.

I got a few of my samples from freesound.org ensuring that the copyright licenses complied with cc 1.0 regulations.

Task 6 – Scoring Percussion For Film


1).My objective for this task was to create a score for percussion to a section from American Beauty (1999). I needed to sync the first section to the original track and score over it, then score the second half entirely.

2).The visual elements that I wanted to highlight was towards the end when she starts unzip her top. I performed this with a increasing tom tom drum roll mixed with some progressive cymbal scrapes, marimba, crotales and chimes.

3).I took inspiration from Evelyn Glennie’s performance of Prim by Askell Masson (1984). She performs a gradual increase, then decrease in tempo using double strokes. I modified this by using a paradiddle pattern using two seperatly pitched toms where Glennie just uses the snare drum. 

4).A new audio technique applied in this task is the syncing of logic to the original film audio, enabling me to quantize my percussion to the film. I also automated the tempo for the progressive drum roll.

5).A music technique I learnt while doing this task was learning about different rudiments for drumming rhythms. With singles strokes (L,R-L,R), double strokes (L,L-R,R), single paradiddles (R,L,R,R-L,R,L,L), double paradiddles (R,L,R,L,R,R-L,R,L,R,L,L), triple paradiddles (R,L,R,L,R,L,R,R-L,R,L,R,L,R,L,L) and paradiddle diddles (R,L,R,R,L,L-R,L,R,R,L,L-L,R,L,L,R,R-L,R,L,L,R,R).

6).This task was an example of practise as research because I explored popular percussionists and researched into rudimental drumming. I furthered this by adapting some of her work using the knowledge from my research and applied it to my composition in a creative manner. 

7).I would give myself 62.5% for this task because I have met the guidelines, created a score that I am happy with and I have taken inspiration from popular percussionists and adapted their work and applied it to mine using what I learned with my research into their field of expertise.

Word Count: 264


American Beauty. (1999). [DVD] Directed by S. Mendes. United States: Dreamworks Pictures


Masson, A., 1984. Prim performed by Evelyn Glennie. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEdrLjq_RRo. Last accessed 3rd May 2011.

The 12-Tone Technique, Serialism And Pitch Sets

The 12-Tone Technique was invented by Arnold Schoenberg in 1921. It is a technique where tone-rows are used to ensure that all of the 12 notes in the chromatical scale are used the same amount of time as one another without invoking an emphasis to any element in the series – sort of like organised randomness.

This a-tonal technique of composition was very influential on composers of the mid 20th century, for example Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Milton Babbitt.

In music theory, the technique of attaining a series of values like this to use in composition is called ‘serialism’. I modified this theory in my Brass piece by creating my own pitch-set (a set of pitches that assign value to and apply in serialism). I chose the notes C, C sharp, F, F sharp and G and found that I could pretty much throw them in any order, for any length of time and they would fit together harmoniously. This made it very easy to make variations, which is why there are probably over 20 variations in my Brass piece.

More Theme Co-Incidences (Or Rip-Offs?)

I am quite a big fan of Frasier and I usually watch at least one episode each night before I go to sleep to wind down. I noticed the other day that the music in the’Paramount Pictures’ logo that appears at the end of each episode uses the exact same note contour and rhythm (but sped up a little) as the Star Wars theme tune.

In this video you can hear the Paramount Pictures Jingle at the end, which uses just 6 notes, starting from 6:44 to the end.

In this video you can hear the same six notes in the Star Wars melody from 0:09 to 0:12.

Task 5 – Scoring Woodwind For Film

Note: I deliberately let a few seconds of silence run at the beginning to set the mood.


1 – My objective for this task was to create a score for woodwind to a video of our own choice. I chose 2001 : A Space Odyssey (1968).

2 – The visual elements I wanted to highlight were at the beginning when the glass smashes, conveyed with a dissonant minor chord to create the effect of shock. Also when he sees the monolith at the end, performed by long similar sounding chord.

3 – I took inspiration from Alex North’s Night Terrors in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), where he uses long dissonant chord gestures at the point where the monolith appears creating an unsettling, eerie feeling.

I also took inspiration from Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Gesang der Junglinge

I combined both of these styles by lining up the attacks of each note in the chord unrealistically close together, which produced a more synthetic sound reminiscent of Stockhausen’s Elektronische Muzik. You can hear this between 1:39 and 1:44.

4 – One new audio technique applied was panning, where I applied it to each section of instruments according to Rimsky Korsakov’s Principles of Orchestration (1965).

5 – One music technique I learned is the correct orchestral positioning for woodwind instruments.

6 – This task was practise as research because I researched Stockhausen’s style of Elektronische Muzik and North’s expressive style of orchestral music and furthered it by combining the two together forming an ambiguous innovate, yet successfully imitated manner.

7 – I would give myself 62.5% because I have researched two previous composers’ styles and amalgamated them together in a creative way, which meets the criteria of the task. Also, I am quite pleased with the musical outcome.

Word Count: 248


Stockhausen., K. 1955. Gesang der Junglinge: (Song of the Youths). [Vinyl] Germany: Deutsche Grammonphon. 138 811. 13 mins. 10 sec.

Rimsky-Korsakov., N., 1965. Principles of Orchestration. Dover study and playing editions. New York: Dover Publications

2001 : A Space Odyssey. 1968. [Film] S. Kubrick. United States: MGM

Some Sound Design Research

The Lyrebird

The lyrebird imitates sounds that it hears and some of them are pretty amazing. Before you ask this is real and the sounds in this video are not dubbed over the top of the video.

Worldising – Walter Murch

Worldising, (a post-production technique) is the process of taking a dry recording and playing it back in a new sound space, then mixing the recording of that (with its new environmental sonic attributes) and adjusting it to recreate the image of sound in a certain environment, for example in a hall, or outside.

This is a clip of Walter Murch describing this in more detail.