3 days until Umbi is released and I’d like to talk about the music and how it’s intertwined with the game structure. Let’s dive right in!
The music in Umbi is all about the number seven. The first melodic motive heard from the rhodes piano contains a string of seven notes. This leitmotif develops further into a string of fourteen notes, through an additive process as the music (game) progresses. A new melodic note is introduced every phrase until fourteen notes have been reached. The phrase is a two-bar ostinato in 7/4 @ 60bpm. BUT, this ostinato rolls over a drum beat in 2…mostly.
The shaker pattern that goes with the drum beat is a palindromic rhythm in 7/8 that is repeated…which is why I said the drum beat was in 2…mostly.
The bass line ostinato isolated:
When the drums come in there are 8 melodic notes in the leitmotif. Below the main rhodes track is isolated, so that the additive process can be clearly heard. The sheet music shows the full 14 note melodic line.
When the synth lines are added in you have the music that’s heard from :08 – 1:52.
In the next post I’ll finish breaking down the music, talk about how the number seven is also very prominent within the game structure itself, & discuss how the game structure becomes more complex over time… It’s no coincidence that the music runs @ 60 bpm and the game runs @ 60 fps. We’ll see how action and music can be synced when one sec equals one beat.