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Chris Does Composition

Hello, I'm Chris Holloway, the composer for The Snow Queen, and I'm here to take you on a guide to the composition and recording process.

Firstly, you need the right equipment (that's up to the job) and a suitable working environment. Since a project this size takes a lot of time, you need a place where you are happy working in for hours; make sure it's comfortable. I also kept a coaster handy for whenever I need a quick brew! If using a keyboard, you will need an audio interface – a small box that digitally records sound from a keyboard. There are some brilliant ones for a reasonable price widely available. Since lengthy audio files take lots of space, make sure you have a computer able to handle this. If investing in a new computer, then you can save a lot of money by purchasing a custom-built PC, or if brave, by building your own.

Once happy with your equipment, make sure you heavily plan each day – this breaks down the project into smaller, more workable chunks and speeds up the process. I spent a good half hour writing down in great detail what I was recording and how long each section takes, then ticked off each section when finished.

The next stage is to make individual themes – small, repeatable melodic sections that you can develop for many different scenes. In The Snow Queen's context, the central theme "Legend Of The Snow Queen" became an individual tune that several characters sang; it features heavily throughout the production in some way or another. Overall, about five different "themes" were written. If struggling for a melody, take inspiration from any music you know that would fit; for example, one of my themes is inspired by Beethoven's "Piano Sonata no.8." After you write your melodies, layer them up appropriately. Make sure you know your recording software – you'll find a surprising amount of new sounds you can add to make something exciting.

Finally, with a project this size, it's easy to be overwhelmed and have times where you aren't as productive as hoped. Please be assured that this is entirely normal; it is not only acceptable but highly recommended that you have some rest days where you do something completely different!

I hope this post has been a useful guide to the composition and recording process. Don't be afraid to try it out for yourself.

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