“Dief” is a short album created in under two weeks for Teddy Dief‘s GDC Talk “Still Grooving: Game Dev Life Set to Live Music”.
The artwork by the way is made by game designer artist musician multitalent Ben Swinden.
As the title implies, I’ve created backing music as Teddy read a sort of poem about his life. The talk itself worked better than we anticipated! We had very little time working on it, mostly because Teddy is a busy boy directing a new game at Square Enix, which, who knows how much time that swallows.
Everything of “Dief” runs at a smooth 90BPM, mostly because I had to make sure the BPM was the same all across the board so I could quickly switch over to any song that I desire. However, the album version of course doesn’t do any crazy transitioning, it’s more of a normal traditional breakbeat style album. I’m hoping it works really well with just playing it in the background and chilling to it.
“Texture Prayers” is the simplistic intro to the entire piece, mostly consisting of string chords and pretty much nothing else for about 3 minutes. It’s supposed to be a tranquil intro before things get more active.
“Work Life Imbalance” is both supposed to be optimistic and sort of discouraging, as the piece was supposed to describe the feeling of moving onwards to new adventures, yet mournfully missing your past life. You’ll probably start to notice with this piece that most songs seem to share the same instrument and drum base, and that’s not a mistake. I wanted everything to feel sort of similar, but still far away enough to make every song unique.
“Imaginary Interlude” is one of the few songs I didn’t actually use for the performance. In on itself it’s very dark and melancholic, with the use of bells, broken drums, and heavy compression.
“Smooth Fall” is probably the coolest of them all. It starts extremely minimalistic with only a few base chords, but then starts breaking out into rhythm, until the piano dictates the entirety of the piece. I also didn’t use this song in the performance. I just couldn’t transition to it without muddying the performance too much.
“Blank Cubicle”, huh. I seem to always use 808 drums whenever I want to describe busy work life in cubicles. I wonder why… well, anyway. I tried putting lyrics into this piece, and I’m not sure if I was quite successful at it, but I don’t think I ruined the song with it. I hope, lol.
“Keighley” is supposed to be the most confusing piece. I tried to give the emotion of a lot of things happening, but without making the piece itself too loud, since I did write all of this with the afterthought of Teddy having to narrate stuff on top of it. I think it worked, but ultimately this is maybe the least enjoyable piece to listen to outside of our performance.
“Match Cut”, the ending of the entire piece. It starts with an optimistic, but cautious melody and groove, telling you to don’t feel bad about what’s to come. But also, be careful and always make sure you know what you’re signing yourself up to do. Finally, the song ends the way this album started, which string chords, fading into nothing.
I’m pretty happy with what I’ve managed to accomplish in less than two weeks. It’s of course SUPER simple and you can’t really compare it to the works I’ve spent years on. Still, it chill, ok.