The First 30 Seconds

Someone once asked me what it is about music that I liked. Back then I could not answer that question, but over time after hours of self-study and experimentation my answer became clear. 

I it all started when I was watching Star Wars for the hundredth time. At the time I was trying to write screen plays in the hopes of becoming a screenwriter. One thing I learned about screenwriting is that there is a rhythm to the screen structure. Screenwriters call this beats. For each beat your achieving a major plot point that moves the story forward.

I like this idea of beats because it meant that stories have an inherent pattern I could follow.  Its the single thing that gave me confidence that I could write anything. If I could just find the pattern I knew I could write the story.

There was this funny iconic scene where Darth Vader chokes out the one of the imperial soldiers for failing him. I remember discovering how much I like the music in the scenes where Darth Vader appeared in. The other characters had music as well, especially after they spoke. As I was counting beats I started to notice subtle little patterns in the way they used music in Star Wars. 

The scene structure and music matched matched the plot points. Anytime they wanted to strike fear and expose the threat to the hero they played dark music. If the scene was to be light-hearted and expose the kindness of a character they played light or soft music.

I thought this was funny because like the Jedi and Sith it meant the composer used both the light and dark side of the force. It was hear it was that I discovered what I like about music and exposed what I wanted to do with it. 

I wanted to do theme that exposes the true intention of my characters. I think story-driven music is what I have always longed for. I always cherished the first 10 to 30 seconds of my TV show that sums up what the show is about. The one I think of from recent memory is Damages. I love that intro. I think it encompasses all the music that comes during the show. 

When I set out to tell my stories I went back to all the shows that I liked and found the ones that spoke to me musically as an understudy to the themes I wanted to create.  I couldn't have gotten there had I not taken the journey in the first place and you should too.