Jaywalk Audio are a music and sound design collective based in the city of Preston.
The group, made up of Jack Naylor, Dave Robertson and Steven Fleming, are all currently undertaking their third year studying music production at the University of Central Lancashire, and together they specialise in creating distinctive and original orchestral compositions for film and game soundtracks.
The trio were a part of the team who travelled with the GSM team to Cyprus in March 2016, and helped to collect the variety of sounds that can be heard in our Cypriot sample package. Over the last two weeks, Jaywalk Audio have been working together with these sounds and instruments to create a four-track EP of original orchestral material titled Pentadactilos, which can you stream on our SoundCloud, and download via our website. After the guys had sent us their EP, we asked them a few questions about how they found working with our Cypriot sample package…
COULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR AIMS AND INTENTIONS AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS PROJECT?
For ‘Pentadactilos’ we set out to demonstrate how the GSM Cyprus pack could be used within an orchestral, cinematic setting. It gave us the opportunity to create a coherent group of compositions as opposed to individual pieces which we usually do.
By using these new instruments, we hoped to create a unique sound to develop our own compositional style.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORKING PROCESSES?
Coming from film and game music inspired backgrounds, we aim to create compositions belonging to a certain sub-genre. We typically start by composing a rhythmic pattern or a chord progression using a typical string software instrument, and then we’ll build on this by creating rich textures that combine both traditional orchestral timbres with synthesized and electronic elements.
WHAT DAW(S) DO YOU USE?
For the majority of the pieces we used Logic Pro X for specific effects and plugins, and occasionally Pro Tools. To use the GSM instruments, we utilised Kontakt 5.
HOW DID YOU FIND USING THE GSM SAMPLERS?
We found that using the sampler instruments aided our compositional process. The use of unfamiliar timbres influenced our writing style; for example, the fast attack of the Santuri was particularly important in creating the high tempo melodies akin to action genres.
We took inspiration from Hans Zimmer’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’ soundtrack which features heavy use of a dulcimer, an instrument very similar to the Santuri. This helped us to integrate the Santuri within our music.
HOW DID YOU INTEGRATE THE GSM INSTRUMENTS INTO YOUR MUSIC?
The instruments blended in well and complimented our compositional style. We used the Rockenspiel as a layering instrument with a piano, with its fast attack and next to no sustain it blended with the piano to provide a unique sound which enabled it to cut through the mix more efficiently.
We also integrated the Turkish percussion within more traditional orchestral percussion parts to provide more complex rhythms and textures. Instruments like the Darbuka and the Davul are sometimes used within a contemporary cinematic orchestra, and so the GSM percussion gelled well with established percussion libraries.
By using the GSM Cyprus instruments we found ourselves using different scales and styles of harmony, which we had previously never used, to further emulate the sounds heard in Cypriot music, for example the Harmonic minor and the Phrygian mode.
IS THERE ANY PARTICULAR INSTRUMENT OR SAMPLER THAT YOU FAVOURED OVER THE OTHERS?
It’s very evident that our favorite instrument was the Santuri, we thought it was an interesting variant on the dulcimer, an instrument commonly heard within an orchestral context like in Howard Shore’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ soundtrack and the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ soundtrack which we mentioned before. The percussive nature and unique tone of the Santuri brought about an interesting style to our compositions and will be an instrument which will feature in many of our compositions to come.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
We hope to continue our development of film and game orchestration, as well as gaining more clients within that field and expanding our portfolios.
Through helping to create the GSM Cyprus package, we also hope to further our passion in sampling and creating sampler instruments, having already recorded tuned percussion instruments such as a Marimba which will soon be released.
Jaywalk Audio’s four track EP, Pentadactilos, is available to download and stream here
Follow Jaywalk Audio on SoundCloud here
And be sure to check out their YouTube channel
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