Song: The Forest Awakes

Download song: mp3 Ogg MIDI

As background music originally designed as an “entering the forest” theme, this number is distantly reminiscent of classical Irish music.

(VERY distantly!)

The pan flute lead is quick and clever, and the 6/4 time signature keeps the piece moving along.  FWIW, I think this is one of the few pieces that I enjoy better as a MIDI – the mp3/ogg versions sound too dense and mushy, and until I find a way to remedy that I recommend sticking with the MIDI.

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"The Forest Awakes" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: Deeper

Listen online:last.fm

Download song: mp3 Ogg FLAC MIDI

“Deeper” is a new type of music for me – a techno dungeon theme with a bunch of cool non-MIDI sounds. Exciting, right?

As you’ve probably guessed, “Deeper” has been designed as background music (meant to have narration over the top of it), which explains the largely benign instrument choices. Also of note is that I’ve had no choice but to cut down the MIDI track because the mp3/ogg versions use some unorthodox instruments that don’t translate into MIDI. (Listen for the low gong in the first few seconds, as one example.)

Something else I’m excited about is that “Deeper” uses an all-new guitar soundfont, which I think works well in this context. It’s quite grungy, and I think it melds nicely with the heavy synth instrumentation.

To give you a feel for the thematic setting of this piece, think of a sci-fi hero quietly sneaking through an alien lair. When the music escalates, the hero makes a run for it after being detected by his otherwordly enemies…

Creative Commons License

"Deeper" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: The Haunting

Download song: mp3 MIDI

“The Haunting” was my first composition after a two-year composing hiatus (2003-2005).  After being away from music for so long, I wanted to start with something simple to help get back into the groove.  It felt great to sit at a piano and plink out a dark, compelling theme.  Add a few subtle panning and velocity effects, and bam – this piece turned out quite nicely.

Unlike “Halls of Despair” – which is a very in-your-face creepy song – “Haunting” is much more cunning and insidious.  I’d love to someday hear it in the background of a clever RPG horror sequence…

Creative Commons License

"The Haunting" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: Halls of Despair

Download song: mp3 MIDI

“Halls of Despair” was my first attempt at a fully mixed horror theme.  Because of this, it was also the first effects-driven song I ever wrote.  The huge amount of volume panning almost gives me motion sickness now…hehe…  Part of me thinks the effects are almost too much, but another part of me kinda likes how they work together to totally disorient the listener.  This song is best listened to at a quiet volume, so the effects are more subconscious than explicit.

Personally, I find this song too thick for use in an actual horror sequence.  Were I to tone it down a little bit (and strip out the whole last half, obviously) I think it would work just right as an ambient horror song.  But, for now, I’ll leave it as-is to demonstrate the fun that panning effects can be.  :D

Creative Commons License

"Halls of Despair" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: Surreptitious

Download song: mp3 MIDI

Every time I hear this song, I think of sneaking around in a castle.  In fact, it sounds like it belongs in FF9 during the scene where Steiner runs around looking for Princess Garnet.  Fitting, eh?

Surreptitious is still very unfinished, as you can hear.  It is still in need of more “filling out” and the current version tends toward repetition (especially toward the end).  That said, the new mp3 arrangement certainly adds some depth to the piece, and hopefully this song will someday get the full treatment it deserves.

“Hopefully.” :)

Creative Commons License

"Surreptitious" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!