Rhymers Theme Tune

Blog from The Rhymers and author Andrew Buller

Less than a month ago I woke up with a tune buzzing in my head. Getting up first thing in the morning is sometimes a challenge, but not this particular morning. Bouncing out of bed, Tigger-like, I went to find my phone. Still waking up I began whistling (very badly!) the melody into the audio recorder app, before the moment of inspiration was gone. We are so blessed by the modern technology at our fingertips now – amazing!

Whistling beginnings

For ages I have wanted to record a theme tune for my Rhymers’ series and I am delighted to have finally realised that goal!!! I really love all the different creative elements that go into the development of my children’s series and the production of this theme tune has been no exception. Within this post I share how I have come from that initial idea to the completed tune.

I may well regret doing this but below is the very embarrassing first whistled file!!! Please remember it was first thing in the morning – and I have very little musical ability! 🙂

Great friends

Friends are so important. Patient, encouraging and talented ones – incredible. My great buddy Matt has been immense in supporting and encouraging me throughout the last few years in seeing my artistic dreams for The Rhymers’ series grow and flourish. He is also a very talented musician with his own impressive home recording equipment. And over a drink, he kindly agreed to record my theme tune for me!

Children's author Andrew Buller making The Rhymers theme tune

Creating the music

Last Saturday we met up at his house to make that happen. I had to play Matt my whistled tune – embarrassing!! He was very kind about it! With keyboard all plugged into his Roland XV-5080 Synthesizer we were ready to play and create. In the picture opposite I pretend to know what I am doing at the keyboard – the reality was that Matt did all of that!

Scrolling through all the possible sounds was like being in a musical sweet shop. It was taking me back to my childhood and the fun of idling away hours making daft noises going through all the pre-recorded effects on my first keyboard. But this kit was far more grown up. Before long we settled on the beautiful sounds of an orchestral flute for the melody – just gorgeous and a perfect fit for the ideas within my head.

Building up the layers of sound was a joy – the discovery of the amazingly light and airy Victoriana that comes into the second half of the piece a real moment of magic – it so captured the innocence of Rhyme Island I have in my head; the light breeze, the singing of birds. The inclusion of the tuba bouncing along was such fun. I have always loved the tuba as an instrument and I love to think of my character Bass bouncing along to it, followed by all his other Rhymer friends in their alphabetical order.

Collaborating with Matt on this work has been a real joy. We understand each other really well and it was lovely to give each other the space to express our creative ideas, honing the sound throughout the afternoon and early evening.

Making The Rhymers theme tune. Andrew Buller proudly holds the finished CD of his Rhymers theme tune!

The end product

The final mixing and mastering element of the process was where I could really kick back – and do very little, except nod occasionally and eat jaffa cakes!! Matt is a wonderful perfectionist and tweaked sounds and mixing levels my untrained ears could not hear.

At around 9.30pm the great moment – the CD of my theme tune in my hand – hardly the X-Factor winner’s CD single, but maybe my equivalent?! Thank you so much Matt – what a talented and generous friend.

Just how many times did I listen to the tune on my car journey home? Quite a few!!!!

Below I include the finished Rhymer’s theme tune. Next job, the visuals to go with it – watch this space!

I am a children's author and illustrator, creator of The Rhymers' series. I also publish books for others and I am a speaker and tutor.

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