The Wayward Guide Scoring Process (By Clark Baxtresser & Pierce Siebers)
We’re often asked about our creative process when writing music.
Countless times have we heard questions like “How did you think of this?” or “Who came up with what?” or “How are you so brilliant?” and we always shrug and deflect. Just like a magician and their tricks, we never reveal our secrets. Until now.
When The Tin Can Brothers asked us to share a bit about our process, we abruptly shut them down. But when they informed us that this would be for Kickstarter Backers, our jaws dropped. Of course we would make an exception to our rule for the backers. Anything for the backers.
“We will tell them what we know,” we said somberly.
What follows is a 100% accurate play-by-play recounting of how we created some of the music to underscore the web series The Wayward Guide For The Untrained Eye.
Clark & Pierce
SETTING: A remote log cabin, buried deep in the woods. Exact location, undisclosed.
A piano sits in a dimly lit room. Two serious looking men sit in front of it. Their names are Clark and Pierce.
Facing the piano, on a leather couch, sit Joey and Brian - two Tin Can Brethren. Brian is nursing a scotch on the rocks, his fifth of the evening. Joey has a tape recorder running in front of him, and is tapping his fingers on the armrest of the couch in a methodical and menacing way. Their faces are illuminated by a burning fireplace.
At the window, looking out at a thunderstorm, stands Mr. Lubowich. His hands are clasped firmly behind his back. His face is unreadable.
Joey speaks first.
“We’re not trying to be difficult, guys. We just want the music to be perfect. You can understand.”
Brian chimes in. “Yeah, so quit playing around and give us what we want!!” he says sloppily, spilling some of his drink.
“No one leaves,” Mr. Lubowich says quietly from the window, “until the music has been made.”
There is an eerie silence.
“Alrighty then,” says Joey. “Let’s try it again from the top.”
Clark and Pierce slowly put one hand each on the piano, assuming their music making positions.
“Picture a small town at the crack of dusk,” Joey begins. Pierce closes his eyes and plays a low note on the piano, pulsing, like a heartbeat, summoning the eeriness of the town Joey describes.
“All of a sudden a lone figure comes out of the local watering hole. A woman.”
“A redhead!!” yells Brian.
“Shh!” Mr. Lubowich delivers sharply. Brian retreats to his whiskey.
“This woman is called Artemis,” Joey continues. “She’s not from here, but she’s determined to uncover the town’s secrets.” Clark presents a beautiful theme, higher up on the piano now. Suddenly a voice whispers through the room,
The voice belongs to Mr. Lubowich, still watching the storm outside. The two musicians continue their music-ing, but slower this time.
Joey, barely containing his enthusiasm: “Artemis notices something on the ground, something strange, something suspici—“
“A paw print!!” interrupts Brian.
Joey clenches his teeth, “Yes. A paw print.” The music takes on a more sinister tone as he continues, “Artemis, invigorated by the dark winds of the night, is lured into the woods by the paw prints’ trail.” Joey’s voice gets higher and higher as he gets more excited.
Brian says loudly, “She’s so busy looking at the ground, she doesn’t even notice the full moon above her head!!” as Clark and Pierce lead their haunting creation into newer, grimmer territory.
“More…” says Mr. Lubowich, facing them now, eyes aflame. “More!!”
“Little does Artemis know,” Joey cries out, “the paw prints that so intrigue her are not from a man; not from some forest critter; no, these prints belong to something else entirely…”
Brian hisses loudly into Pierce’s ear, having snuck up behind him, making him jump. Pierce and Clark then unleash their fingers into a flurry of activity on the instrument. It’s chaotic and horrible, stunning to behold and yet terrifying to witness.
The music slowly comes to a close as the climax of the moment recedes. Clark is breathing hard, Pierce is drenched in sweat.
Mr. Lubowich puts a hand on their shoulders. “Yes,” he says softly, with a nod. “That is Wayward Guide for the Untrained Eye.”
Joey has tears streaming down his face. Brian sips his 11th drink in a satisfied way.
“Ok guys,” Pierce stammers. “We’ll go home and work on it—“
Mr. Lubowich holds his hand up—
“Don’t change a single note.”
PS There's more updates to come from us (Corey, Joey, & Brian) on post-production, honing the pitch of our show for executives, and maybe even a sneak peek of some footage 😎! And also, as a reminder, the rewards contain spoilers for the show, so those will go out closer to the release of the show. So don't worry, you haven't missed a package! We'll give you plenty of time to update addresses before we mail stuff. ❤️