Celluloid (From Bedrooms To Billions)

I’m very pleased to say that I am releasing a new mini-album on the 22nd September 2014. It is called ‘Celluloid (Music from & Inspired by the Film From Bedrooms To Billions)’ and it is available through my own store on Bandcamp as well as iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other online stores.

Celluloid (Music from & Inspired by the Film From Bedrooms To Billions)

You can listen to and buy the album here:

 

From Bedrooms to Billions is a feature length documentary movie telling the remarkable, true story of the British Video Games Industry from 1979 to the present. The film tells the story of how the creativity and vision of a relatively small number of individuals allowed the UK to play a key, pioneering role in the shaping of the billion dollar video games industry, which today dominates the modern world’s entertainment landscape.

The film has been a 10 year labour of love for the filmmakers, Anthony Caulfield (my brother) and Nicola Caulfield. They have shot over 140 interviews all over the world with the biggest names in the industry, including tracking down some that haven’t been interviewed for decades, as well as uncovering and cataloging an enormous amount of archive footage from the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

The film is released on the 25th September 2014, with the premier taking place at the EGX London. You can view the trailer for the film here:

Anthony has been working with some of the great game music composers from the glory days of the Commodore 64 including Rob Hubbard and Ben Daglish to produce music for the film soundtrack.

Anthony also asked me if there was anything I would be able to contribute to the soundtrack too. Never being one to pass up the opportunity of making some new music, not to mention procrastinate over my own album some more, I jumped in and ended up producing 12 instrumental tracks. I’m very pleased to say that several of which have found their way on to the finished film.

I decided to take two different approaches to see what music I could produce for the film and the resulting album is spilt into two halves to represent this.

Tracks 1 to 6 are the first half of the album. They were recorded using my usual studio set up, although I tried to stick to using one particular sound source for each track. I used various bits of software from Spectrasonic, Spitfire Audio, XILS-lab, Imperfect Samples, Soundtoys, PSP, Arturia, FabFilter and Apple instruments and effects.

I had particular fun with a sample library from Spitfire Audio called Leo Abrahams – Enigma, which I used for the tracks The Landing and Celluloid.

Leo Abrahams - Enigma

Leo Abrahams – Enigma

I also found myself reaching for, what now seems to be my ‘go to’ synth strings, the XILS Lab V+ which emulates the Roland VP330 synth, particularly on the track Try Out.

XILS Lab V+ Roland VP330

XILS Lab V+ Roland VP330

Tracks 7 to 12 are the second half of the album. They were recorded exclusively using the reFX quadraSID Commodore 64 emulator.

reFX quadraSID

reFX quadraSID

I wanted to record these tracks as if I had a Commodore 64 with me in the studio, specifically the SID Chip that was used to generate the audio. I wasn’t trying to recreate a game soundtrack, as this would have been a bit to restrictive for what I wanted to do, as you only have three channels of polyphony to play with. I was more interested in seeing what I could do with a Commodore 64, a multitrack recorder and a mixing desk.

This way I could still layer up the sounds using the multitrack recording approach and have a much polyphony as I wanted, but I could only make sounds with the Commodore 64. I used the mixer to apply some EQ, a touch of Compression and some volume automation, but nothing else.

I am really please with how all these tracks came out and how the first half of the album flows into the second half. Some tracks like a callback to some of the classic games I used to love playing, whilst others sounds like they have come straight out of my studio and happily sit alongside other tracks that I have made using the latest equipment and software. Maybe that says more about the music I am making!

I hope you enjoy the album and the film!

Stephen.

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