(Box set currently stands at four CDs and a bacon download album!!)
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Welcome to the Back in Time Symphonic Collection
Ever since I first heard C64 Music, my holy grail was to hear it played by an orchestra.
We're raising money to arrange and produce a box set of Symphonic Commodore 64 studio arrangements that bring out the classic Hollywood in the SIDs.
We want to produce full scores for orchestras to play live.
We want to create a whole new generation of SID fans by giving away the scores to amateur orchestras, bands, youth groups and schools.
Imagine the next generation falling in love with Ghosts and Goblins, Thing on a Spring or Martin Galway's Ocean Loader!
Imagine sitting in a concert hall being swept away by Giant Zoids!
It's not just us. Ben Daglish, Fred Gray and Rob Hubbard sometimes dreamed of orchestras while programming their SIDs. Martin had an extensive musical background thanks to his Uncle James (now Sir James), the world-famous flautist.
Please help us give them that. Even if Symphonic remixes aren't your thing, we'd appreciate the help.
We get one shot at showing those console people that Zelda, Mario and Halo aren't the only classic games people want to hear in orchestral form. Let's do this!
Going for concerts
This box set is the first leg of the "Symphonie 64" roadmap:
1) produce big, fat, emotional orchestral arrangements and scores (that's this Kickstarter) and finish this great box set.
2) Arrange concerts in 2017 for all of you lovely C64 music fans.
3) Albert Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) in 2018? We might not get there in one go, but why not dream? All we need is 2000 SID fans. The LSO is up for it. The Albert Hall is bookable. Imagine that!
So, what will the box set contain, exactly?
Disk 1: Throne of Sids
A dark fantasy tale told through Commodore 64 music.
The following track, Times of Lore (The Gathering) will be re-done by its creator Glyn R. Brown specially for this CD using over a decade's more experience and a lot more equipment :)
He will also be redoing his seminal "Firelord". Here's his original classic:
Beyond the Forbidden Forest will feature many subtunes, but our overture is this Peter Connelly masterpiece, which channels Danny Elfman, which will be re-recorded and reworked.
Kentilla will be an updated version of this classic, scored by Rob Hubbard himself:
Disk 2: Escape from Sids Castle
A celebration of all that is Hubbard (that wasn't on "Throne of Sids")!
A highlight of the album (and any subsequent concerts!!) will of course be Zoids/Ancestors. Here's the full version of the Back in Time 3 version which you've already heard in the video (which we will be reworking).
And we'll be remaking me and Boz's Flash Gordon remake from Back in Time 3:
Rob Hubbard's version of WAR from the same CD will also have a makeover. Here you can hear the SID morphing into the orchestral version.
Meanwhile, we are going to base our Commando orchestration on Firestorm's amazing version (with the help of its arranger, whose website is here). Imagine what a symphony orchestra could do with the resulting score (while you watched in awe).
Disk 3: Sidventure
An wretched(ly amazing) hive of SID symphonic villainy: music so good it's criminal!
One of the people helping us with this Kickstarter will be Markus Schneider, who is/was one of the most prominent orchestral arrangers in the scene. Here's his "Fred Gray orchestra":
And of course, we just had to get Ben Daglish involved. "Please, give me an orchestra and let me do Trap" he pleaded. If we can meet all our stretch goals and/or get orchestral concerts going, we can all give Ben what he deserves. Here's the Trap version that we'll be reworking with proper orchestration, attached to a very early re-working of the classic "Trap Demo" by Tony Crowther and Ben Daglish.
Stretch goal CDs
Disk 6: Cinematic 64 (£34,000 - £36,000)
"Commodore 64 music goes Hans Zimmer" - the disk Slaygon has always wanted to create. A dark, dramatic disk with hopeful moments. Adventurous!
So, here's a bit 'o Slay-Driller!
Disk 5: Big Band Bacon 64 (£38,000 - £40,000)
Feeling in a party mood? Breaking from the serious Symphonic stuff, Rune-Bertils/Uncle and the Bacon will produce a brand new CD of big-band styled remixes to boogie on down to.
Here, he goes Commando!
And here is a brand new clip from the "One Man and his Droid" WIP for the album.
Disk 6: Progressive 64 - (£44,000 - £46,000)
The theme for this box set is "Orchestrated". However, some of the most effective and evocative use of orchestra in recent times has been in guitar driven prog rock/heavy metal, where orchestra lends it a grand sound, such as in the works of Metallica or Steve Vai.
FastLoaders have been waiting for this chance to make C64 remixes that fuse their trademark guitar driven sound with an orchestrated backing, on tracks like Arcade Classics, Green Beret or Monty on the Run. Sounds mighty fine to me!
(fastloaders cover concept by Slaygon - man of many talents!)
Disk 7: Sidphonie 64 (£50k to £52k)
What if I took favourite Commodore 64 classical tunes, and supersized both their chippiness and orchestrality?
This disk will take these fun classical tunes and make them sound as if they were played by a hybrid chip orchestra. What would 16 SIDs playing slightly different violin sounds in unison sound like? This is where we find out!
The track choice reflects some of my own favourite tunes from the early pioneering years of the Commodore 64. Some of them were responsible for my own love of orchestras. So, light, fluffy, chippy, yet polished. A challenge I'm looking forward to!
Disk 8: Orchestra 64 (£56k)
Some of my favourite classical pieces became my favourites because I heard them on the Commodore 64 first.
So, I decided to collect my favourite "real" classical pieces from the C64 into one CD, played by top quality orchestras worldwide. True story!
Note that this CD will not be available for digital downloads for licencing reasons. All tracks are fully licensed from the Naxos catalogue of orchestral scores. It sure beats paying orchestras to record them ourselves :)
Blu-Ray Companion Disc
This Blu-Ray BD-A is a high quality audio disk, and will contain the 24/96 versions of the tunes released on the main CDs. It will also contain the highest possible quality versions of the other stretch CDs (we will be encouraging everyone to work in 24 bit throughout the chain).
It will also contain alternate versions, WIPs and other extras.
The score books are at the heart of this Kickstarter. Each score book contains the "Conductor's scores" (basically, all of the orchestral instruments are covered). We're aiming at B4 size for the paperbacks.We imagine each volume will be ~300pp, except for the megabook which will be ~ 1000pp
There are various options available for the three volume set which features over 40 scores (amazing value!). All visualisations here are courtesy of the amazing Thomas Koch.
1) A set of three digital PDFs for "Throne of Sids", "Escape from Sids Castle" and "Sidventure". This is included in Level 4, Level 6, Level 7, both VIP levels and Collector+.
2) A set of three separate paperback score books: "Throne of Sids","Escape from Sids Castle" and "Sidventure". While paperback, these will be premium quality, and one of the stretch goals is to upgrade them to hardback. This is included in level 7, all VIP levels and Collector+ (2 sets).
3) A set of three leather, individually hand-made, rare hardbacks with slipcase. Made to order with the best materials. Includes bonus scores in each volume. This set is included in VIP Level 2 and Collector+ Levels.
4) The biggie: all of the scores in one giant expensive-leather bound book, in a museum-quality presentation box. This quite literally belongs in a museum. A must for any DotCom entrepreneur who to have something extremely rare and geekily beautiful, and also support the arts. Obviously this is only in Collector+ level.
What will the tracks sound like on the main CDs?
We can't afford to record a real orchestra, so we're having to do it the hard way!
However, we're investing wisely in the latest samples and technology, (and getting a little expert help) to make these the very best Hollywood-y arrangements we can produce.
Our aim is to make the sound experience as close as possible to you sitting in an audience listening to a real orchestra play.
Who's the team?
The project is very inclusive, but the core musical team is myself and Kenneth "Slaygon" Mutka who will be putting in most of the hours.
We'll be doing the core of the work together, and then taking advantage of some of the decades of experience in the C64 and Amiga scene to get feedback and improvements.
There might be surprise guest tracks from previous BIT Alumni, or even people new to BIT!
The composers of the original tunes are supporting this project 100%, with some of them actively participating.
We will be joined (to varying degrees) by Alistair "Boz" Bowness, Glyn R. Brown (best known for Firelord, Times of Lore and Rastan), Gari Biasillo (best known for Target Renegade), Patrick Nevian (Pianist), Markus Schneider (respected orchestral remixer), Rob Hubbard, Ben Daglish, Allister Brimble, Peter Connelly, Matt Furniss, Will Morton, Sound of Games, Firestorm and probably more. Auntie Anna will be Twittering away as usual!
Risks and challenges
The main risk here is people getting ill, family emergencies, etc. You can't really legislate against that. Deadline slippage is also a risk on such an ambitious project.
But the problem space is clearly defined, the team is fully committed, and we've already invested quite a lot in preparing for this. Orchestral scoring isn't wizardry, but it does require imagination, persistence, the best equipment, commitment and hard work. Some of the extra stretch CDs are being done in parallel to the main CDs by others, so that removes some of the bottleneck.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (42 days)