Song: Find You (March Remix)

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Note: The original version of “Find You” can be found here.

Today’s download digs deep into the archives of an old video game project I was involved in (circa 2002). The original version of this song is a simple orchestral theme led by an oboe melody (linked at the top of this article). The game called for an action sequence using the original song, but it didn’t really fit; the original mix is slow and unassuming, which isn’t generally what you want accompanying an action sequence.

As an alternative, I put together this demo of the theme remixed as an orchestral march. It retains the instrument mix of the original, but the oboe is moved to a supporting role while the melody is taken over by a trombone.

Because this was just a demo, it’s only two short movements separated by a key change. Though the video game project dissolved before reaching completion, I enjoyed the opportunity to show off the versatility of the original theme.

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"Find You (March Remix)" 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: Thugs

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Hmm… what to say about this piece…

For starters, let me clearly state that “Thugs” didn’t turn out at all how I intended.  I was working on a deathmetal battle theme and instead it turned out like this.

<sigh>

Rather than throw it out and start again, I decided to wrestle with the piece a bit longer and flesh it out as more than just an 8-bar theme.  Maybe someone out there can find a use for the cheesy rock style as the theme song for… something?

“Thugs” is awfully repetitive for my taste, but it did end up being fairly catchy.  Unfortunately.

Creative Commons License

"Thugs" 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 Journey (Kroc’s Theme)

Download song: mp3 MIDI

Ah, it’s nice to have this remix done.  While I enjoyed writing the original “Journey” midi, this song has been in desperate need of an mp3 mix for awhile.

There are several noticeable differences between this and the original; I’ve tried to rewrite some of the weaker sections without changing the song too much (it is, after all, a theme song hehe).  Also, the change of the lead instrument to a Spanish trumpet turned out as good as I could have hoped…  Spanish trumpets are awesome!

Many thanks go out to Kroc for all he’s done to help me out these past few years.  This song – as well as Leaving Millie and Retribution are my small way of saying thanks!

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"The Journey (Kroc's Theme)" 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: Leaving Millie

Download song: mp3 MIDI

“Leaving Millie” is an interesting addition to the theme of Kroc’s life (my source material for this “Kroc’s Symphony” experiment; see also Retribution and The Journey).  In spring 2005, Kroc shared with me a series of remarkable stories.  One of the recurring characters in these stories was a girl named “Millie,” and she is the inspiration for this song.

My hope for this was to accomplish several things.  I wanted a piece that sounded pretty and pleasant (not dark or dreary), but I didn’t want to go so far as “happy,” per se.  I wanted it to be the kind of song you could contemplate to.  I also wanted it to start simple, then gradually progress into a more complex ending that stayed true to the simpleness of the melody.  It’s designed to be a sort of musical conundrum.  :)  I’m rather fond of it.

Again, thanks go out to Kroc for all he’s done to help me out.  This song, as well as The Journey and Retribution, are my small way of saying thanks.

By request, the mp3 version of this song includes a “live piano” track.  This version of the piano part was recorded as MIDI through my keyboard and recreated via soundfont – so it’s not entirely “live”, but the notes are an exact replica of me at my keyboard.  In my opinion, this version has more grandeur than the all-electronic version, and although some dissonant notes appear toward the end (oops!), I find this to be a nice improvement on an already excellent song.

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"Leaving Millie" 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: Remember

Download song: mp3 MIDI

“Remember” is a simple remix of the 2nd half of “Cyaron’s Gate” – which tells you how long ago I wrote it (~1999).  Despite its age, I still find it to be one of my more majestic themes.  I wrote this song for piano probably a good year or two before I used it as part of Cyaron’s Gate, and a short piano version of it is available for anyone curious about what it originally sounded like.  Email me if interested.  :)

I’ve not done much to change it from the piano version to the MIDI version, and I don’t know that I’ll ever change this theme much.  There’s something invariably nostalgic about compositions from early in your career, and messing with songs from that era just seems…wrong, you know?

Creative Commons License

"Remember" 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: Find You

Listen online:last.fm

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“Find You” is another return to the roots of classic RPG music.  Originally designed as a main theme (or main character theme), this song was probably my first real non-battle orchestral theme.  The melody itself is purposefully short and simple, and the three levels of orchestration (duet -> trio -> epic) are pretty standard for an RPG theme.  The counterpoint between the oboe and brass in the final section worked out particularly well, and – fun fact – this song spans almost the entire physical range of the oboe.

Some have said this song sounds familiar to Braveheart; in retrospect I suppose it does.  Another friend mentioned that it would have fit well in FF6.  I’m still looking for a game deserving of this great little song…and hopefully I’ll someday find a home for it.

Creative Commons License

"Find You" 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: Fate (Clint’s Theme)

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“Fate, it seems, is a funny thing, in how it creates both nightmares and dreams…

What once was black may now be white, as blinding dark becomes brilliant light…”

The only way to really understand this song is to understand Clint V. Franklin …and I don’t think anyone – Clint included – really understands that.  Kinda like this song, I guess.  It’s not meant to have a unified theme or style or feel or anything of the sort.  It’s meant to be…”different.”

You may recognize the theme at the end (if you don’t, I won’t spoil it for you).  It was included because Clint said that particular song was the only one of my compositions that “really stirred his soul…”

Whatever, Clint.

Creative Commons License

"Fate (Clint's Theme)" 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: Destiny

Listen online:last.fm

Download song: mp3 Ogg FLAC MIDI

Destiny is one of my favorite female character themes.  It’s quite short, but very pretty and memorable. I am also quite proud of the sound this song draws out of acoustic MIDI instruments (which tend to be terrible). The ocean SFX were an afterthought that seemed to match the flow of the melody, and I think it comes together nicely.

I would love to someday do an epic orchestration of this piece but have yet to amass the soundfonts to do it correctly.  Maybe someday.

Creative Commons License

"Destiny" 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: Crossroads

Listen online:last.fm

Download song: mp3 Ogg FLAC MIDI

“Crossroads” was written well before the Britney Spears movie, lest any of you think there’s some kind of connection between the two.

There isn’t.  I promise.

“Crossroads” has been the character theme of several unfinished game characters.  Generally, it seems to embody a secondary party member who – in typical fashion – has something to prove but not necessarily the means to prove it.  Using what was, for a time, my trademark mix of instruments (gotta love the ol’ charang), this is another harmonically simple piece with a simple but catchy melody.  I firmly believe that the best “theme” songs are actually thematic in nature…something often lost in modern video game and film scores.  Theme songs should have a recognizable “theme”, i.e. something that you could sit down and plink out on a piano and know right away what it was from.

I’d like to think that “Crossroads” has such a theme.  Something simple, something memorable.

Creative Commons License

"Crossroads" 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!