A Deeper Listen into the Sounds of CEREBRAL by Sean Sumwalt

Tagging on to my last post about SKOOKUM, I thought I’d dive into a few of my ideas for the main titles of CEREBRAL. ~~ Sound boring? Trust me, it may or may not be, but don’t worry! I can post pictures of my kitties at the end!

Surprisingly enough the hook came right away while vamping on a patch I made on my buddy’s Moog Sub-37 synthesizer.

<In My Head> “OoooOoOOo, not too shabby, that sounds cool, but could use some ‘umph.’” A few plugins later, I got it sounding like this.

What about adding strings to that?

YESSSS, now we’re talking. Now, I just needed a vehicle to champion this motif. Easier said than done.

Let’s set the scene; BAM! Space is the first frame of the video.

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A huge dark sounding ramp to transition us from the teaser opening into the main titles felt right. The Moog Synth motif was the perfect candidate to propel us there. Awesome! From here on out I didn’t really hit anything visually (mickey-mouse) with the music just merely setting the tone for the series as we cut to various scenes from the different episodes. As I said before, this show covers Bigfoot, zombies and even body doubles so the music is suspenseful and off-kilter in a way.

The melody that we hear at the beginning is set by the cello and is a bit ungrounded without a specific pitch center.

This main theme is somewhat chromatic and not adjusting to any specific harmonic progression. An extension is heard with the violas, but what is more interesting (to me anyways {sorry violas}) is what is going on behind the strings.

Alternating polychords to keep the viewer uneasy. Bring back our motif with a different starting pitch and add a backbeat with the percussion (not in the native time signature) and we have a nice bit of hemiola to the mix. (Nerd moment)

Now it’s time to round the corner with the return of the cello melody with violins in octaves. A crescendo to the end with a nasty glissando hits the picture of the pulsing brain with the words, CEREBRAL.

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Here is the whole cue for your listening pleasure!

I hope you enjoyed this breakdown of the cue itself and my thought process while writing it!

Now, more importantly…Kitties!