I’ll have to do some explaining for this one: I’ve been messing around with vertically layered music composition, and wanted to do something with problem sleuth (that OTHER mspaint adventure). Feel free to skip my blathering below and just listen to the music though!
I always felt like PS was at least partially a callback to 90s point ‘n click adventure games along the lines of Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island, Sam & Max, etc. so this song is intended to reflect that. If you imagine PS as a video game, this is the song that would play at the very start of the adventure while our heroes are messing around in their offices and getting caught up in all kinds of shenanigans.
Now, the nice thing about PS is that the three main characters (Problem Sleuth, Pickle Inspector and Ace Dick) all have some strong themes that make it easy to come up with appropriate musical motifs. In fact, the three musical instruments that appear fairly early in the comic ( A trumpet, a clarinet and a tuba) all are pretty obviously intended as metaphorical representations of the three heroes, which means that as a composer I have my work cut out for me.
The idea with vertical layering in this song is that depending on which of the protagonists is currently ‘on screen’, the theme uses different motifs and lead instruments: when more than one protagonist is on screen their motifs are played at the same time and combined. Normal playback methods don’t support this kind of interactive music (many game engines do, however), so this particular version is more of a proof of concept that just demonstrates the different layers and highlights how they interact.
The first section after the intro belongs to Problem Sleuth. He’s the leader of the bunch, and to reflect his mario-esque all-around average strength, his motif is played on a muted trumpet in the middle register with a combination of short and sustained notes.
After that we come to Ace Dick. His motif consists of short notes played on a tuba and backed by trombones and timpani to throw some appropriate weight around.
Pickle Inspector goes third with sustained notes played in the higher register of a clarinet. He’s a bit of a loopy character so there’s some glockenspiel and a lot of chroma… chromatics? chromaticity? to give it a bit of whimsy
The fourth loop combines the motifs of all three characters to demonstrate the interaction between layers when all three are present. The final loop is a variation on the Problem Sleuth motif with an added theremin and a delay effect on all the instruments to give it a ‘spacy’ sound: we’re entering the realm of imagination and the music becomes appropriately screwy.
I wanted a piece of The Doll with all the Great Ones bosses and another with the main bosses that weren’t Great Ones (however I added the Moon Presence because of its connection with Gehrman). I have a horizontal and vertical compositions I like for The Doll and Great Ones piece that I like and still not completely sure which one to go with even tho I started the lineart for the vertical composition. Idk what do you guys think?
Also after talking w/ @loshka the other night I started a postcard of Father Gascoigne’s daughters being friends with the Oedon Chapel Dweller if things had worked out better in the game ;w; </3
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Looks like I’ve been favoring vertical compositions lately! I really enjoyed drawing this.
One thing that I really reallyreally love about this ship is that BOTH of them are really awkward and bad at this whole romance thing, but once they let all the little things stop holding them back, they can be a compassionate and supportive couple ❤︎
Mrs. Pepper: Lewis, can you take your sisters outside?
Lewis: Sure thing, but it’s raining.
Mr. Pepper: We know. But they’re getting too restless in here.
Lewis: Hmmm… Girls! Grab your raincoats! We’re going for a walk!
Being the big brother that he is, I wanted to draw a scene where Lewis is like the mother duck and his sisters merrily follow him along. And I love rainy days and wanted an excuse to draw Lewis with a giant umbrella. Not much of a background person and was originally going for a vertical composition. But this layout conveys the “follow the leader” concept much better!