So impressed was I with the creative manoeuvres behind the trailers for my Kimi books, I asked the man himself to tell us a bit about himself and how he managed to do such a great job.
Ladies, gentlemen and chilblains, give it up for the music man himself Mr Olly Martin…
When bestselling author John Hudspith asked me to write something for his “Kimi” blog, I grabbed my keyboard in excitement, then my dyslexia gremlin pointed out “You’ve already written Kimi’s theme scores, he means words, paper, pens, text and typing you idiot!” Damn it. I thought I’d done a deal with God about that hideous subject. You can’t be into everything and I’ve always been into music.
I grew up in one of those households where the grown ups stood around a piano singing and getting merry. I remember at the age of four, wondering how a violin created such a beautiful sound. My dad told me it was horsehair and that intrigued me even more! I pestered my mum to buy me one, a violin that is, not a horse and (would you believe) my godfather happened to work in a classical instrument factory so instead of a plastic toy, four year-old me was given a £2,000 professional violin. Mum decided she had obviously given birth to a 21st century Mozart and ordered me to have lessons. No pressure! My other favourite toy was the huge Steinway in the hall. It seemed only natural to have piano lessons too.
But it didn’t stop there. At the age of ten, the music teacher at school proudly unveiled a shiny new drum kit. Everyone took turns to bash away, as kids do, and when I had my go out popped a 4/4 drum rhythm complete with a fill-in. Everyone looked surprised, including me. Mr Harper came rushing over and said “Good God, Oliver, how long have you been playing the drums you dark horse?” I replied “About a minute, Sir.”
Now studying 3 instruments, I became a member of the East Berkshire Youth Orchestra. At 16 I won the prestigious Arthur Catterall Cup Award for most promising young Violinist, reached grade 8 on the piano and was session drummer for several bands. By the time I reached my twenties I started to mix a classical obsession with the digital world. I ended up sleeping in a room full of keyboards, computers, monitors and mixing desks. Something had to give and it did. I released a dance record that sold enough copies to fund and build a recording studio – my dream come true – and I’ve been rattling around in it ever since.
I have written music extensively for TV, film and multimedia productions over the years, creating scores for anything from mobile phones to big charity ads, computer games to films, all of which broadcast worldwide. To write frame accurately, i.e. put music to images, the necessary ingredients are my Apple Mac book computer, a keyboard and editing software called Logic Pro. Job done! The process for creating a book trailer is virtually the same.
When I read Kimi’s Secret I was inspired. I wanted to add a new dimension and bring her to life musically. The childlike sound of the glockenspiel started to haunt me, it seemed to capture Kimi’s innocence. Then the sound of cheeky children taunting ‘na-nana-naa-nah’ popped into my head. I grabbed hold of the idea and ran to my keyboard before I would forget and that’s when the real fun began.
I wanted to create a cinematic epic feel, a soulful cello sound, mystical but with a modern funky twist to keep you with Kimi on her journey. I started working on that ‘simple’ idea until it grew into something much more complex and profound. The glockenspiel ‘na-nana-naa-nah’ evolved into a catchy hook, one that I knew would stick in people’s minds, instantly recognisable after just one listen. Kimi’s soundtrack was created.
The soundtrack for Kimi’s Fear was even more challenging. The storyline demanded it be menacing and darker with driving tension and a ‘Close Encounters’ feel to bring the greylians to life. It needed to be exactly the same yet somehow completely different and nothing like the twinkly childlike almost nursery rhyme feel of Kimi’s Secret.
How did I do it? By understanding the rudiments of music and knowing how orchestral instruments work their magic to create feelings and moods. Keeping the same notation, thereby retaining the original Kimi’s Secret score but using contrasting instruments Kimi’s Fear was born. Finally, a “Kimi” theme was alive… and singing!
You can hear and see examples of my work at:-
Kimi’s Secret trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8qja1e0bFU&list=ULxxMpXzN7HwU&index=1
Kimi’s Fear trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxMpXzN7HwU&list=UL