January 18, 2015

My most recent sample is underway, and I'm so excited to share it! Even if it's only 47 seconds, I'm still very proud of what's been produced so far. The piano work is complex and layered with hybrid chords, off-color notes, and time changes. An interesting aspect of t...

January 8, 2015

Most piano compositions (symphony and modern music too) tend to have a clearly defined chord structure. Classical has rhythm and great chord progression. Romantic piano has complication, but still good chord structure. Jazz is further complicated by its different scale...

January 1, 2015


This opening trailer took some time to hash out. It's not every day that you're thrown back into the 1950's, when it's actually 2277 and the world has imploded on itself.


The subway scene starts with a few images of toys as it pans out slowly, and I wanted to g...

December 9, 2014

I recently read Winifred Philips A Composer's Guide to Game Music and found it to be a huge help in developing music samples for video games. It offers a hollistic view of the entire industry rather than just hitting on the techniques used in creating video game music...

December 3, 2014

If a piece of music is boring, it's probably because it repeats itself too much or in too many ways. If you look at modern piano music such as Phillip Glass, you'll see that they repeat-but-vary. They're not quite boring, they are just easy listening pieces. So while y...

November 12, 2014

I've been fighting with the chord progression in my new piano composition, but I think I finally figured it out. It is still a working title, but I've dubbed it "Project Liszt" as it shares some techniques used in many of Franz Liszt's Hungrian Rhapsodies.


The breakthr...

October 20, 2014

The BioShock opening was difficult to rethink. The melody that Garry Schyman developed was already so beautiful that it felt hard to reimagine. The difficulty composing this piece was that it had to engage you, but not overtake the scene.


The background sounds of the v...

September 23, 2014

My first day of composing was back in 7th grade, and man were things a lot simpler. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Every so often I'd change from a minor chord to a major chord, but other than that it was nothing special. Off-chord notes sounded strange and I coul...

July 8, 2014

Music changes the way we perceive any given situation in media. We add emotion and layers to the message that is being conveyed. The most interesting part of this relationship between music and media is that the media affects the inspiration for the music just as much,...

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A lot of my nights composing are spent trying to remember the epic song I came up with while sitting on the bus, or remembering a simple phrase of no...

Composing Music, Even When You Don't Want To

April 7, 2015

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Prismatic Wolf Productions © 2015 by Derek Chisholm.

Civil cover is © 2012 by Derek Chisholm