Dramatic, cinematic music for action, adventure, suspense and romance.

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Abstract Study No. 1

Total Time: 02:23

Keywords: suspense, action, violence, dark, dissonance, contrabass, horns.

Deep pedal tones create a growing suspense which tells you that something isn't quite right. Metallic tones ring, only to bend sharply upward as the waterphone makes you feel slightly seasick. Suddenly you run, the staccato of your footfalls plays in the bass register of a piano. Without warning, the horns blare beside you and the trumpets stab as trombones growl at your heels. Just as it seems you've escaped, you get the queasiest feeling....

Also listed under Dark Classics


Total Time: 02:04

Keywords: action, militaristic, marching, suspense, pursuit, crash, bugle, brass, tympani.

Military rhythms and a full brass section set the tone for Mobilization, a grand work of action score created to illustrate an even mix of danger and heroism.

Alternate Ending for Mobilization

Total Time: 0:39

Keywords: action, suspense, pursuit, crash, brass, tympani.

Alternate ending for Mobilization with less military snare drum.

Romance For Piano & Strings

Total Time: 02:02

Keywords: romance, waltz, strings, piano.

This work for chamber orchestra invokes feelings of love and longing with a series of brief duets between the piano and string sections. The melodically layered Romance for Piano & Strings is in a gracefully measured waltz time.

Race Against Time

Total Time: 01:18

Keywords: agitation, tension, suspense, hitchcock, violas, tympani.

In this homage to Hitchcock's greatest composer, Bernard Herman, nervous violas insist upon urgency, over the deliberate drive of tympani and contrabass viols, as the clock counts down to serious consequences.

Cut to the Chase

Total Time: 02:02

Keywords: chase, action, speed, hits, crash, splash, flight, brass, french horns.

Inspired by a popular roller coaster, Cut to the Chase is pure action score. It features a 13-piece brass section playing at full volume. Please keep your hands, arms and legs inside the ride until it comes to a full and complete stop

Day of Reckoning

Total Time: 01:58

Keywords: serious, drama, tension, agitated, dark, suspense, consequence, judgement, brass, tympani, strings, cellos, french horns.

At the same time as the trombone section tolls the hour of judgement, the french horns announce it with a sense of dark fanfare. Moments later, violas nervously fret the approaching hour of decision as it arrives with the slow deliberate strides of the Tympani. Again, the trombones now toll the hour and this time, the french horns are answered by trumpets. Now a moment of quiet suspense as the verdict is delivered. With the tolling of the brass, the full weight of the decision is realized in a final great swelling of the orchestra.

Edited portions of Day of Reckoning:

Day of Reckoning Theme 7
Total Time: 0:45

Day of Reckoning Theme 1
Total Time: 0:36

Day of Reckoning Theme 2
Total Time: 0:36

Day of Reckoning Theme 3
Total Time: 0:36

Day of Reckoning Theme 4
Total Time: 0:24

Day of Reckoning Theme 5
Total Time: 0:34

Day of Reckoning Theme 8
Total Time: 0:36

Day of Reckoning Theme 9
Total Time: 0:22

Also listed under Dark Classics

The Pirate Jig

Total Time: 01:16

Keywords: pirate, jig, ship, english, brass, strings, woodwinds.

The Pirate Jig is based on old English melodies and cinematic orchestration techniques. The melody first appears in bass instruments and quickly moves to the french horns and finally onto the trumpets. This brief theme paints a picture of sailing ships, cannons and cutlasses. Hoist up the Jolly Roger!

The Hero's Journey

Total Time: 01:58

Keywords: heroic, regal, idealistic, adventure, triumphal, fanfare, horns.

French Horns and trumpets fanfare with youthful heroism, punctuated by skipping woodwinds, before moving toward a great regal finale.

Ordeal by Fire Part 1

Total Time: 01:08

Keywords: wonder, mystery, suspense, strings, horns.

Part 1 of Ordeal by Fire begins slowly with woodwinds tentatively expressing curiosity mixed with wonder. Swirling strings rise atmospherically before the french horns bring in a melancholic melody. Trumpets and trombones follow to bring the moment to an expectant crescendo that pushes into a tense moment of suspense.

Ordeal by Fire Part 2

Total Time: 02:16

Keywords: adventure, conflict, dark, anger, drama.

A confident cello plays an ancient melody over a low pedal tone but immediately the contrabasses introduce a dark angular line of forboding as the violas worry them from above. French horns repeat the ancient melody with heroic force, but the contrabasses return and are joined by tubas and bassoons. All the while the violas and violins have become a panicked swirl. The dark, angular melody grows, transforms and builds with pulsing rhythm, until it overwhelms everything in its path.

Also listed under Dark Classics

Ordeal by Fire Part 3

Total Time: 02:16

Keywords: adventure, heroic, horns.

French horns heroically state the ancient melody beneath a held tremelo in the upper strings, in expectation of the action to come.

Ordeal by Fire Part 4

Total Time: 01:26

Keywords: adventure, struggle, flight, battle, heroic, brass, horns.

Strings and woodwinds leap into flight as the the horns and trumpets call out the ancient theme, which begins its conflict with the lower brass. The wagnerian battle continues to struggle and dive, then struggle again, until, losing its grip, it falls far, below and out of sight.

Ordeal by Fire Part 5

Total Time: 01:42

Ordeal by Fire Part 5 (extended)

Total Time: 02:29

Keywords: adventure, struggle, flight, battle, heroic, brass, horns.

Trumpets announce the chase and horns lament their loss as cellos and contrabasses take up a driving rhythm. The ancient melody swells up mornfully in the violins until the brass section begins building toward a pounding climax.

Sulfur et Mercurius I

Total Time: 01:59

Keywords: suspense, dissonance, dark, creepy, serialism, strings, woodwinds.

The violins quietly play the angular serialistic melody as the low pedal tones grow into startling little surprises, creating an atmosphere of suspense. Sulfur et Mercurius I is excerpted from a larger orchestral work based on the writings of Mediaeval Alchemists.

Also listed under Dark Classics

The Premonition Part 1

Total Time: 00:40

Keywords: anxiety, forboding, dread, strings, trombones.

The string section plays a short insistent falling figure, that repeats it's message of dread. The trombones answer seems to confirm what you already know.

Also listed under Dark Classics

The Premonition Part 2

Total Time: 01:05

Keywords: anxiety, menace, dread, strings, horns.

Cellos and contrabasses play a forboding bassline while above, the violas anxiously move at angles. Low, growling horns reinforce the menacing bass. A moment later the violins climb sharply upward until the french horns reveal that things are much worse than you had imagined.

Also listed under Dark Classics

The Premonition Part 3

Total Time: 00:51

Keywords: trance, dreamlike, nightmare, impressionistic harp, vibraphone, strings.

A lilting, dreamlike duet between the harp and vibraphone begins. A flute slowly and hazily sings a brief melody, then the violins gracefully fall a little way from their high note as the woodwinds leap upward into a disconcerting dissonance.

Also listed under Dark Classics

The Premonition Part 4

Total Time: 01:29

Keywords: anxiety, menace, dread, dissonance, brass, piano.

Trombones agressively bellow the menacing, falling figure. Immediately, the violas begin their anxious angular fretting. The piano begins to pound, then the trumpets stab wildly. The french horns blare out harsh, dissonant tones as the the orchestra builds to a great crescendo.

Also listed under Dark Classics


Total Time: 0:55

Keywords: anxiety, tension, dread, minor, strings.

A brief, tense bit of pulsing underscore, that illustrates the pressures of working under a short deadline, using strings and sparse percussion. Perfect for Reality TV.

Shorter, edited versions of Potboiler:

Potboiler 46
Total Time: 0:46

Potboiler 37
Total Time: 0:37

Potboiler 32
Total Time: 0:32

Potboiler 28
Total Time: 0:28

Potboiler 23
Total Time: 0:23

Ghita Theme

Total Time: 0:44

Keywords: arabian, desert, grandiose, strings, horn.

The string section plays the slow, solemn Arabian melody that speaks of desert dunes and a sea of sands. On the melody's repeat, the french horns begin a soaring descant that resolves into the wind.

All Music Ozone Layer Music (BMI)
Design, layout and text Carvin Knowles.
All rights reserved.

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