Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Summer of Music - Nova Haven

Music has been taking up most of my Eve time recently. I have been working on a couple of projects. For one of them, I was flattered to be approached by the awesome guys at Nova Haven and The Neocom to do something for them. This is the result:




Background


Firstly, I was delighted to accept the offer. Nova Haven is one of those entities in Eve that gives more than it takes. It is a young PVP corp led by KiraTsukimoto for newbros. It offers training and has a smattering of seasoned vets to show you the ropes. Additionally the Neocom, which helped spawn Nova Haven is a great show that doesn't shower you with complexity but does capture essence of what is going on in Eve. I love the chemistry between the presenters. They have also be very generous in their comments about me so of course I wanted to do something for them. But what to do?

The Brief


It wasn't much more than "do some of your magic Luobote". So no pressure there then :/  I lurked on their channel to see what they liked. Musically, it should be guitar based and not Trance was the sense of what I got. Now the first band I ever saw live was Kraftwerk which might give you a sense of my musical comfort zone. So I am worried. Guitars also don't translate well in a digital environment and can sound really mechanical and false. At which point I started getting a migraine... 

The Concept


Whatever I chose to do had to be unique to Nova Haven. Something that would identify them and they could identify with. In my mind it should be something that could be used to support one of their videos as a minimum but also stand up in its own right. It must have changes in feel and edit points for action shots but also tell a story. 

My start point was to scrape some samples off the Neocom show with the idea being to get a snapshot of the banter, the character and the purpose of Nova Haven. I don't know whether the NEVAH say Never is really their call sign but it should be. I decided to run that particular sample through a Vocoder to make it more robotic. Another "Nova Haven" sample caught my attention because it sounded like a PA announcement in a shopping mall. That germinated the idea of confused and nervous Newbro entering the Captain's Quarters, hearing the PA Announcement to join Nova Haven and to go into action. 

I added elevator music, crowd noise, footsteps and a couple of door slams along with some tense breathing to try and relay that mental scene.  I decided the guitars had to sound raw and slightly mistimed with each other because well newbros. I used synths to emphasise that we are flying spaceships in space and there is always an ethereal nature to that. Balancing synths with guitars is never easy. Both demand the limelight so I tried to give them different complementary roles during the course of the song. 

The guitars themselves evolve from standard American style power chords in the beginning to British Pete Townsend style wind-milling at the end as the synths get more dense. The synth themselves also evolve adopting a number of different European styles along the way. In a way this is meant to represent the diversity of Nova Haven but fundamentally it was about getting the sounds to work together that seemed to work in my head at least for each phase of the song. 

In Conclusion


I played an early version to Kira and Proto who were positive and had some good feeback. Proto liked the point where the guitars drop for the lead synth to enter (as do I!). So I twisted the knife a bit more and made it more pronounced by muting the back track and teased a bit with the later drops. Sorry Proto :)

Anyway it was a blast making it and the guys seem to like it so its a result.  Now to finish working on the other project...  

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