“Kraken Mare: The Score”

Kraken Mare ArtworkKraken Mare: The Score

On November 10th, Matthew McLean from YAP Audio Production and the Audio Drama Production Podcast contacted me needing someone to score his latest audio drama. I gladly accepted the offer and began working on music for his excellent science fiction/horror story “Kraken Mare.”

What is “Kraken Mare” about? “Nine years ago the Wells-Dyson satellite picked up images of what appears to be some sort of wreckage on the floor of Titan’s biggest hydrocarbon ocean – Kraken Mare. The discovery prompted eccentric billionaire Jennifer Barrie to fast-track an expedition to the mysterious moon of Saturn. The three British astronauts who have just arrived in Titan’s orbit have only one job – find out what’s lying under Kraken Mare. And potentially answer one of humanity’s biggest questions. Are we alone in the universe?”

When I began working on scoring the story, the first thing that struck me was the fantastic soundscapes Matthew had created. On top of that, quality acting and writing truly inspired me! It was a pleasure to create music to help illuminate the production. I wrapped up scoring and sent over my mix to Matthew on December 17th. The following day YAP Audio Production released “Kraken Mare” to the public which has already received quite a few positive reviews!

Today I Audio Drama Production Podcast Logohave released the score through Overlook Hotel Records as a free download. What I am asking in return is, if you like the music (or the audio drama or any of the other great works YAP have put out), please consider making a donation to their Patreon account to support their works. They are lovely people that have been building a growing and supportive community of modern audio drama producers. They also release a regular podcast (the Audio Drama Production Podcast) that helps to educate people on how to make their very own audio dramas. Have a listen to the story below and let us know what you think. You can find quite a few of us hanging out on the ADPP Facebook group, so drop by and say hello! Maybe you will find yourself making your very own audio drama, too! Thanks for listening!

“The Sounds of Nightmares: Music Composed For Campfire Radio Theater”

TSON_MCFCRT_ArtThe Sounds of Nightmares: Music Composed For Campfire Radio Theater

For about the last year and a half, I have been writing music for a podcast. What the hell is a podcast? Aside from a silly word, Wikipedia says ”A podcast is a form of digital media that consists of a series of audio or digital radio episodes, subscribed to, and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. The word is a portmanteau of “(i)Pod” and “broadcast.”‘ Essentially, it generally seems to be, an mp3, you see, and most of the time, available for free. You can find every kind of podcast imaginable. From Politics to Religion, Sports to Sex, and even one of my favorite topics, Audio Drama! More specifically, horror, science fiction, and fantasy stories are my cup of tea.

So, back to my point. I have been composing music for a horror anthology series podcast called “Campfire Radio Theater.” If you read this site then you may have already heard me mention this series. Both John and I are big fans of the classic CBC horror series called “Nightfall,” so it was easy to be on the same page as far as music, sound design, and production. John is a very talented audio drama producer. I became a fan of “Campfire Radio Theater” immediately after hearing the show. In fact, one of my favorite audio dramas of all-time is “Twilight Road” from the series.

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I have compiled over forty tracks from the episodes I have worked on and created “The Sounds of Nightmares: Music Composed for Campfire Radio Theater.” For those already familiar with the series, you will hear music from “RIP” (a story on the topic of Jack the Ripper) (parts 1 and 2), “The Ghosts of Flannan Lighthouse,” “Night Delivery,” and “Whispers From Hell.” The music may all be horror-based, but there are various styles of music in the collection. I also created a few new arrangements of “A Violet From Mother’s Grave,” a song written by Will H. Fox in 1881 (public domain), to be used in “RIP.”

The entire album is streaming for free at Bandcamp. I made the release a fund raiser for Campfire Radio Theater. I was a fan before I began working on the show, so this was another way I could support CRT. If you choose to download the collection, it’s a mere $5 (or pay more if you like). All proceeds go directly to Campfire Radio Theater to support the creation of more episodes and cover hosting costs.

With World Audio Drama Day and Halloween rapidly approaching, this is a great time to immerse yourself into a good scary story and give yourself the creeps! Thank you for taking the time to listen! It is greatly appreciated. Please share the music and links with anyone you know that might enjoy them. :)

Kev
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Campfire Radio Theater: “Ghosts of Flannan Lighthouse”

Campfire Radio Theater #13 Cover Art
Campfire Radio Theater: “Ghosts of Flannan Lighthouse”

Writing music is a pleasure. Writing creepy music is even better. Over the last month or so I have worked on just over thirty short pieces of music for the latest episode of Campfire Radio Theater. “Ghosts of Flannan Lighthouse” was written by Campfire Radio Theater creator, John Ballentine, and is based on an actual historical event. The Telegraph (UK) ran a short story about the event which occurred just over 100 years ago. It remains an unsolved mystery to this day.

I have seen lighthouses on the coasts of the US and in a handful of other countries and they all conjure up very specific emotions for me. Maybe it is the sense of isolation and solitude that makes me feel equally nostalgic, melancholy, and introspective. I remember a story about a lighthouse keeper who had to row his boat for hours in order to make it back to his home after his watch was over. There were no neighbors and any sort of emergency had to be dealt with on his own.

Being so alone…secluded, carrying the burden of maintaining the light without falter in order to save lives, and having to be entirely self-sufficient in so many ways seems like a rather mad way to live. Perhaps in another life where I was a lot smarter and stronger I would have taken on such a job, but in this life, I am quite content to write music in the comfort of my own home not far from grocery stores, hospitals, entertainment, friends, and family.

You can listen to the latest episode of Campfire Radio Theater below.

It was easy to visualize the lighthouse and the sea and a real pleasure to immerse myself into the atmosphere of being in such a place in my mind while writing the music. Here are some of my favorite tracks from the sessions.

“Ghosts of Flannan Lighthouse: Main Theme”

“Harpsibroken”

“Bending Drone”

I hope you enjoy the show!

Kevin Hartnell – “Umbra” Reissued On BandCamp

Kevin Hartnell - "Umbra"

Kevin Hartnell – “Umbra”

I have just re-issued my Umbra project from Overlook Hotel Records on BandCamp, which is a collection of ambient and dark ambient compositions. Umbra was born back in the late 90’s and was greatly inspired by my love of horror and science fiction film scores. There are no drums on this release. Some of the music may make you feel calm and relaxed while other tracks may simply give you the creeps. Some of the music was licensed for a film years back. While I don’t write as much ambient music as I used to, there is certainly more in the works.

I have also released The Dusk Single which has two of my more popular ambient tracks with percussion. These were written quite a long time ago but seem to have legs and show up in the strangest places on the web.

Both releases are available as free downloads and streaming audio. I do hope you enjoy the music!