MP3 Chris "Hollywood" Horton - Heart Xry
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14 MP3 Songs in this album (49:22) !
Related styles: Classical: Film Music, Easy Listening: Orchestral Pop, Featuring Piano
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This album is a compilation of some of my most cherished pieces put together in a way that tells a story gradually as it progresses through the mini stories within each song. In the same way that a good book has no pictures that guide the individual mind, none of the songs have any lyrics to force a specific story on the listener. This allows the listener the liberty to fill in the music with his or her own personal stories in the same way one might picture his or her favorite character or scene in a book.
Please, please feel free to leave comments and messages about your experience and certain stories or images or emotions that came to your imagination while listening to these songs.
I wanted to open with World Mayhem, but was too afraid that people would immediately consider the album to be filled solely with Asian-based music. I needed this mini-piece as a buffer and as an entrance into this sonic world.
2. World Mayhem
This was the first piece I ever wrote in my studio, and I am darn proud of it. I sat in my room for two days working on this track with my friend Pete Cruz, who helped me mix and arrange it. The session started out as a tutorial of how to use the DAW Logic 9. I had just got my Mac and was eager to start writing music. Pete teaching me how to use the software soon turned into a heavily creative composing session as more and more ideas flooded in from both of us. After that session lasting later than 5 AM, we forced sleep. The next morning/afternoon we got up and continued talking about arrangement and different section ideas over a stack of pancakes. By that evening the recording was finished and the mix was being polished. It was the creation of a piece that would send me on a journey into that style of music in film composing.
I had just purchased my Blue Bluebird condenser microphone and wanted desperately to test out its capabilities. So in my closet, I sang into a sock covered microphone (before I got a pop-filter). By singing I actually mean what I call âshout chanting.â Yes, at 4 AM I was layering shout chants into the microphone, and yes people in the house were sleeping.
This piece was very influenced by the score for Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC) from Klaus Badelt and also from Hans Zimmer. After the âBeauty and the Beastâ section at 2:13, I envisioned the first scene of POTC 2, where Jack Sparrow is escaping from the prisoner island. I wanted to capture that darkness sonically with the addition of those shout chants and dark cellos, but then explode into something majestic.
Magic began as a test. I wanted to find out how Disney made that magical twinkle sound that is present in many of their scores. If you donât know what Iâm referring to, listen to âA Whole New Worldâ and on âsoaring tumbling freewheelingâ there is this tight run with a sound texture that I couldnât ever quite capture until I did this project. So the project was a success, I found the right combination of instruments at the appropriate levels to make that Magic sound. âº
Out of the bitter frustration of broken promises and deceptive luring words comes this simple piece called âLiesâ.
5. She Won't Fail Me
The harmonic progression and rhythm of this song was written in the basement of a house in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I was on the Young American Showcase Tour with Hello Revolution where we stayed in a beautiful 3-story beach house. I had my keyboard and acoustic guitar set up downstairs in the basement to practice songs or learn new ones or just to release. We had been away from family and loved ones for a couple months now and it was really starting to hit us hard. One lonely night in that basement I picked up the guitar and started playing this progression. Chris Wanzer was with me there and he just started improvising a melody over the chords. The verses were painfully talking about how much he missed his wife and infant daughter, and the chorus reflected on the future telling his daughter that no matter what she did, âShe Wonât Fail Me.â
6. To Miss Someone
My love traveled to Israel, 14 or 16-hour time difference, and was gone for 8 months. During this time we were able to talk only at short intervals whenever the other one was awake and not busy. The moments we did have were precious and cherished. I wrote this song for her to try to explain what I meant when I said, âI miss you.â Itâs a sad but beautiful melody. Itâs straining like the violins reaching for the high notes. Itâs dedicated to stay beautiful through the minor chords. But it never denies how difficult it is.
The music is incomplete, but intentionally so. Most notable, the piece ends on an unresolved cadence to reflect that the situation was not yet over and was still difficult despite its beauty. The other more subtle incompleteness was the meter in which it was written. For a little music theory Easter egg, a common time signature is 4/4 or 6/8. This piece is based off of the 6/8 pattern, which basically means there is 6 beats to a measure. But this song is missing a beat. Instead of having the complete 6 beats to finish the measures, it only has 5. This whole first half of the piece was written in 5/8 intentionally to poetically reflect the missing beat in my own song â the longing, the incompleteness, and the anticipation.
7. No Sleep Tonight
Too many things on the mind to get a good night sleep tonight. Itâs time to get up and take care of your problems. No looking back.
The percussive elements were taken from actually BEATING on the piano.
This song was placed in the score for the short film, âThe Journalâ by Alex Bright.
8. A Treasure With a Price
Imagine a stormy afternoon at your grandparents old home. Look at the world as if youâre 8 years old again. Thereâs nothing to do inside but chase around your brother or sister. There is a stairway to an old door. The adults are busying themselves with other things. You and your sibling sneak into this attic filled with all kinds of things youâve never seen before. Dust and cobwebs cloud the air. You start moving around a bunch of old things â clothes, collectable glass bottles, old documents, boxes of books â and you discover a single chest. After wiping some of the dust off the lid you ease it open to find some amazing treasure â whatever it is that the word treasure means to you. However, upon both of you viewing this great treasure, you know that it comes with an obligation. Something within you has changed and you now have the responsibility to do with this treasure what needs to be done. It is A Treasure With a Price.
9. I'll Try
The act of trying to do something can be a delicate, light, and frivolous effort. But when you realize you canât accomplish the task with the frivolous half-hearted way you used to do things you become frustrated and determined to accomplish the task. The song starts off light and half-heartedly, but progressively gets more determined and more powerful. You can hear the failed attempts, but you can also hear the person dusting himself off and trying again. Until finally, at the very end â simple, delicate success.
10. Heart Xry
A man walks from left to right onto a stage and begins playing his Heart Xry. His heartâs cry starts slowly and gingerly, but it grows over time into passion. The melodies are desperate and reaching for something but they always seem to fall back down once theyâve almost touched it.
This song is the first song I ever wrote. I wrote it about 5 years ago, and recorded a rough version of it on my keyboard.
11. Rude Awakening: Memories of a Forgotten Soldier: Threshold of Decision
This song was written for the short film, âWelcome Homeâ by Joshua and Loren Story. It is about a soldier coming home from war and finding the civilian world has moved on without him. He must come to a decision in choosing how to readjust to the civilian world or go back to what he knew in the military.
Listen for little instances and mutations of âWhen Johnny Comes Marching Homeâ and âGlory, Glory, Hallelujahâ.
12. There and Back Again: Broken Hallelujah
This is the second half of the score for the short film mentioned above.
The last section of the song starts playing as the credits roll and you can hear the beginnings of âGlory, Glory, Hallelujah,â but it never quite gets there. As with the soldier, he feels that though he earned his Glory, Glory, he hasnât quite received the Hallelujah yet. His story is not finished or settled yet. So to capture that, the melodic phrasing leads to many unresolved instances of âGlory, Glory, Hale----â before it falls back into its minor origin. Even the ending of the song is an unresolved cadence.
In the song âHallelujahâ there is a lyrical line that says âLove is not a victory march. Itâs a cold and itâs a broken âHallelujah.ââ I wanted to capture the feeling of that concept of a broken hallelujah and also apply it to actual phrasing of breaking up the word âHallelujahâ melodically.
After listening to Hans Zimmerâs song âTimeâ from Christopher Nolanâs movie âInception,â I had to write something similar to that. I listened for the way Zimmer developed his song and tried to put my own twists on it to make it set apart.
The song captures the feeling of safety. Itâs an exhausted embrace from a place of safety after running away from something for far too long. It is a cold and broken victory march.
This song was placed in the score for the short film, âThe Journalâ by Alex Bright.
14. Farewell's Wake
An elderly man enters his house at night. He walks into his living room as it begins storming outside. He slowly sits down to his piano, takes a deep breath, and begins playing a farewell to his love.
Album Cover Artwork created by Michael Cox www.michaelcox.com
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