Daymare Town 3 – Alex Voytenko insight

Alexey Voytenko’s few notes about working on “Daymare Town 3” music.

I’m not a gamer at all. Sure, playing computer games was a pleasant leisure in my childhood and teens – but having become older I’ve almost entirely forgotten about such an activity: it seemed a vain wasting of time not worth of any attention.

In the autumn of 2009 I’ve casually met a link on the first 2 episodes of “Daymare Town”. It made a crush in my mind for I began to understand that a computer game could be not an entertainment but a true piece of art. I was really charmed by that mysterious graphic world (impressed by Kafka’s writings? by Büchner’s ones?) – a creation of Mateusz Skutnik, undoubtedly an outstanding artist.

WWW is a good media to get acquainted. I can suppose that Mateusz didn’t think my music to be dull – and I received a proposal to collaborate in the development of “Daymare Town 3”. How could I renounce it?

I’m a convinced academic composer and I’ve never had any experience of working on neither movie nor theatre and television music. The “Daymare Town” seemed to be a good lesson for me. As I thought, first of all, it should have accorded to all the demands of game-music soundtrack specifics, second – it must not have been a creative compromise for me.

The task has found to be not an easy one. Mateusz had given me a “carte blanche” (I could write anything I could desire, the music of any stylistic trend), but he appeared to be a strict critic. I’ve made quite a large amount of false attempts before the current result was adopted.

The main feature of quest-game music, as I realized, is a warm, ambient and psychedelic mood; the music must not irritate the player’s ear as an independent layer, but the music’s task is to envelop the mind of the player and to tune him on relaxed solving the difficult set of logical puzzles. And even a nice and complicated compositional idea may be a not appropriate decision in the case of sensible contradiction between the music and the picture.

Also, there was a second mistake done by me. According to my vision of two previous episodes of “Daymare Town”, I tried to create a kind of a genre-based music added by a bit of “black humor”: a piano polonaise played from a dusted vynil, a pathetic quasi-baroque organ prelude, a sentimental folk tune etc. Mateusz rejected all these variants; he has aimed me on writing a silent and unpretentious piano ambient, mournful and serious: according to his view, it would have been much more suitable to the picture. I couldn’t say that I agreed but I obeyed him, and later I began to understand that my initial point of view was an erratic one.

Having realized it, I felt myself much better and the further work of mine has flowed much more successfully.

Some of the tracks are based on a fresh material; some of them contain references to my chamber and symphonic compositions written before. The music to the “Outro” of the game is based on a motive appearing in my 2nd Symphony “Parabazis” (2008). The “Intro” music is similar to the “Outro”, but it’s much faster and it’s written in C-major instead of c-minor. Also, in several tracks I operated with harmonical sequence taken from my “Music of Erich Zann” for violin solo (2009).

Writing the “Daymare Town” music was a great pleasure, and I can’t deny that I felt sorry about the work’s end. Mateusz Skutnik has created an outstanding piece of modern art and I’m really glad to make a small contribution in his artistic masterpiece’s becoming.

Alexey Voytenko

Composer, musicologist

(Kiev, Ukraine)