The Black Piper
3 months ago

Project Update: Tales & Refractions Update

Hi everyone,

I hope all is well with you!

We are hard at work over here plugging along on both Tales and Refractions, and I want to give you a few updates, starting with ...


Things are moving along on Tales of The Black Piper. All authors' stories have been read by the alpha reader crew (who provided some great comments on the stories!), and most of the stories have gone through their first editor round and have been returned to the authors. The remaining stories are being worked as we speak and should be back into authors hands by early next week.

The authors will have some time to make changes to their stories and send them back to the editor, at which point they will go through either more rounds with the editor and/or passed through the beta reader process.

We'll keep you updated!



This album has been quite a journey, and we have a few things to share with you - including what one veteran Hollywood professional said about our music!

When we took a poll regarding the number of tracks we would include on the album, the overwhelming response was that you all wanted "more!" Well, the short version is that we've increased the track count from 20 to 22 songs, and we're currently sitting at just under 45 minutes of music, though that will likely end up around 50 minutes when we're all done.

If you're interested in the process, read on!

The Process

Originally, we thought it would be a simple matter to select our best tracks, polish them up, and get an album straight into your hands. Well, as we listened to our carefully-selected favorites on repeat, it became clear that, as with the rest of our work, we needed to "tell a story", something that is, after all, a significant part of our brand. Well... telling a story turned out to be a bit of a challenge with such a disparate set of tracks.

So, we sat down and mapped the tracks out (not to an actual story, but to an imagined idea of a story overlaid over a rough hero's journey.) That helped to line things up, but we also found that some tracks which we were excited about ultimately needed to go.

The Tracks That Wouldn't Work

We discovered after repeated listenings that a small number of songs wouldn't work as part of "the story". So we killed some darlings/cut a few tracks. Having promised 20 tracks, we needed to find a few more to fit. Fortunately, this wasn't hard to do, but it would require a bit of additional work, since some of the replacement tracks were in rough shape.


The Fortuitous Discovery Within a Discovery

One of those "behind the scenes" things we've been working on has been securing rights to songs. We owned a few of our selected tracks, but the remaining songs have all required some form of negotiation.

During such negotiations with one client, something interesting happened. We were hammering out the rights for a certain track, when we came upon the mutual realization that this track had never actually been purchased. (It had been commissioned, but the project it was meant for had been completed and the track had not been selected for the given project.) That was nice from a rights perspective, but there were two discoveries that came from it:

1. In trying to determine who had the rights to the track, the client sent us two (other) songs that had been paid for. One of them, it turned out, was a song that had long been forgotten. It, too, had not been used in the final project, but it had been paid for. We realized it would be a perfect addition to the album, so we negotiated for it.

2. Then, while loading up the old session for that newly re-discovered track, we found another song buried in the session files! This one had been started but never completed! Oftentimes, a composer will work through some ideas; some will get rejected by the client and some will be tossed out by the composer before they get fully baked. This was one such case. The song was good; it just hadn't been right for the original project. After listening to it, we thought this track would fit perfectly on the album!


Originally, we didn't think we had a lot to record, but as we've switched out tracks and dug into others, we've found the need for a few soloists. It hasn't been a ton of recording, but it has been enough to slow us down a little. It's actually been a good thing, as we've been fortunate to work with some phenomenal performers.

One in particular, Chris Tedesco, who has worked in Hollywood for over 35 years on everything from Iron Man to The Princess Switch and has played with/for such stars as Josh Groban, Shakira, and Barry Manilow had some high praise to say about what we're doing:
"The charts are impeccable! [...] The tracks were done very well writing wise - iconic film type cues, really cool stuff - wish there were more of you that know what they're doing [...] These tracks are home runs [...] Your melodies are good - I've seen it all in 36 years - lots of writers can't write like this." (edited for formatting)



With the changes & additions to the album, we're currently looking at mid-to-late October. We'll be pushing for sooner, but we'll keep you updated.

Track List / Working Titles

For the curious, here's a look at our current track list:

  1. Out of Time
  2. A New World Awaits
  3. Following the Lightwisp
  4. You're Not Taking My Saddle
  5. Ribbon Dance
  6. Cora
  7. A Brief Moment
  8. Cat and Mouse
  9. A Plan and a Pair of Shades
  10. The Letter/Everything Changes
  11. No Matter the Cost (Teancum's Theme)
  12. The Majesty Within
  13. Fortify the Inner Sanctum
  14. They Won't Stop Coming
  15. A World Corrupted
  16. Rising in the Face of Yesterday
  17. Strap In
  18. The Heroes Coalesce
  19. Beauty From Ashes
  20. Island, Home
  21. Time Heals All Wounds
  22. (Bonus) Count Me In

Well, that's all for now - back to work!

As always, please let us know if you have any questions, or feel free to drop us a line!

All the best,
Michael & The Team @ The Black Piper




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