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Hey Master
  • Official selection for Australian Panorama at the 2017 Melbourne International Animation Festival

About the project

  • Creative productions (music composition, audio production, audio post-production, voice acting)

People:

Executive Producer: Mark Sheard
Director and Animator: Tien Doan
Sound Design, Mix, Master, Foley Sessions: Andrew Monte
Music Composer: Adam Scott McGuinness

SOUND PITCH: As above

What we did:

Hey Master follows the story of young martial arts student Yuuki as he strives to become greater than his deceased teacher/master. There are two emotional states within this film that required starkly different music compositions; one depicts meditation and serenity, the other, violence and determination. It was our job to create both, in musical terms.
Hey_Master_04_webready

Turning meditation into music

The animation style draws heavily on Japanese Anime, an art and style definitely setting trends in the contemporary setting, but with a beautiful, traditional foundation. For the meditative scenes, inspiration was taken from 2004 film Hero; in particular, the Jet Li/Donnie Yen Chess Courtyard fight scene - check it out here. To really play into the gorgeous, traditional Japanese element of the work, we decided to feature the Japanese koto as well as the shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute). Another reason we chose this instrumentation was the traditional use of these instruments for meditation practice in Eastern culture as well as the ability of a wind instrument (shakuhachi) to emulate the wispy, ethereal sound of the wind one might experience at the peak of a mountain top, a supremely surreal location.

Combat: a musical emulation

The combat scene sits in stark contrast to these meditative moments. The music needed to reflect as much. Key to our deciding upon the instrumentation here was a need to emulate a sense of strength, excitement and determination. The decision was made to use large distorted drums, distorted bass guitar, and a nifty little choral arrangement in order to really drive home that sense of grandeur, collective action, and achievement.

The final word

Hey Master was an en exercise in dualities. Of embracing a sense of contrast, but with the central aim of achieving unity across the sonic palette.

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