With years of composing, mixing, and mastering for games, radio, accompaniments, and other media under my belt, I'm confident I can help take your project to the next level. I specialize in all kinds of orchestral/acoustic tracks. Minimalism, hybrid, epic, emotional, full orchestra, chamber ensembles, etc. . . https://www.damiencasteel.com/home
My name is Damien Casteel and I'm a composer with a particular focus on dramatic scoring and storytelling for games, film, and other media. With my music, I make sure to pay careful attention to melody development and motifs, following suit to some of my favorite composers such as John Williams and Ramin Djawadi. I draw inspiration from my dark past as well as the sublime beauty of everyday life.
I'm available to score your next video game, film (short, animation, other), trailer, background track / accompaniment track, and/or any other media.
I'm also available for sound design, sound effects, and mixing and mastering services.
I have been producing and composing for over 5 years. I've composed original music for college radio station; KCSU. I've composed, arranged, produced, and mix and mastered music for the St. Loius School of Music and STL Ocarina. I'm currently working on writing music and doing sound design for an upcoming video game (name and release date forthcoming). I'm currently obtaining my A.A.S. in Recording Arts Technology and Composition, as well as studying with Dr. Kris Maloy, award winning composer and performer. But talk is little;
Let my music speak for itself. If it resonates with you, consider hiring me for your next project.
Visit my website, https://www.damiencasteel.com/music to listen to all of my stuff.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Damien Casteel
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Film and video game scores, accompaniment tracks, original themes and music (for radio, film, games, etc), sound effects & design (foley), and mixing and mastering any type of music.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: John Williams is my favorite composer. His use of motifs, the way he blends them into his tracks, his instantly recognizable themes, his deliberate instrumentation, never seizes to amaze me. I'm also a huge fan of Ramin Djawadi for much of the same reasons. I also draw heavy inspiration from composers like Hans Zimmer, Sarah Schachner, Mikolai Stroinski, Bear McCreary, and John Powell, just to name a few.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: A traditionally treated studio (acoustic foam in the vital speaker reflection locations). Computer near the dead center, two main studio monitors and two smaller ones, both of which I've grown so accustomed to the sound that I rarely need to mix and master much anymore. A weighted M-Audio Hammer 88 key MIDI keyboard, a Behringer XTouch Mini for extra MIDI control and expression, as well as a Behringer 8 channel mixer. For mics: two Audio Technica AT875R Shotgun condensers and an Audio Technica AT2020, all for sound recording and instrument recording. Almost everything sits on a custom made 'producer' desk.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: After assessing the needs of the client, I go into my experimental phase - the part where I create multiple melodies, sounds, or whatever, on a piano. I usually make several of these and they always cater to the client's specific needs (tone, timbre, style, era, etc). Next I go into the skeleton stage - the part where I create the basic chords and the melody (the "skeleton") from the client's selected melody. I produce about a minute of this. Once I have something that stands very strong as a skeleton (just the chords and melody), I move to the "flesh" stage. In the flesh stage, I start "fleshing out" all of the other ideas. The ornaments, bass, treble, and any additional liveliness the skeleton is lacking. After it's all fleshed out (in piano), I begin scoring. The scoring stage is where I take the piano reduction (usually four handed - representing all voices of audio), and score it according to the client's instructions. For full orchestra, for strings, or other specific instrumentation. This can be the last stage, or if additional work is needed, it moves to the notation stage / mix and master. The notation stage is optional, but needed if the client would like a physical score of the work. The mixing and mastering usually happens for the most part during the whole production process, however, if the client would like to go 100%, I will then mix and master the finished product.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Strong, unforgettable melodies. Melody development through all different types of melody. (Reoccurring) motifs and leitmotifs, tied to emotions, characters, places, etc. I've studied melody and motifs very extensively so I'm very confident in my abilities to create a brilliant melody, as I do with all of my pieces. Also quality sound design and a polished, finished sound.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Melody development and the use of motifs to invoke whatever feeling/emotion intended in the listener. The ability to invoke whatever emotion desired in the listener. Wise and deliberate scoring, composing, and instrumentation choices.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Orchestral and soundtrack. Sub genres and feelings include; minimalism, epic, sad, emotional, grand, empowering, hopeless, happy.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Once you have a solid melodic idea, expand upon it. Let it grow, develop, blossom. But very, very gradually.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Ramin Djawadi. Not only am I a huge fan of Game of Thrones and other projects he's worked on, but I always pick up the motifs he uses in certain situations, with certain characters and places. His ability to convey emotion is paramount. His delicate use of many instruments and the way he combines motifs and melodies is awesome.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My musical style? Soundtrack mainly. Huge and epic. But also mysterious and sad. Any emotion is no problem. Also classical pieces/orchestral works.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started producing EDM in early 2013. Before that, I played flute from middle school to high school, as well as messed around with a keyboard a lot. In September of 2015, I almost died from a drug overdose. I realized I needed to change, and took a year to really find myself again. I got my one year sober chip after taking a break from music. I decided to sit down and write a track with a friend after the hiatus, only to find myself absolutely in love with it once again. At this time though, emotional orchestral music was touching my soul. I decided to start composing, and went back to school for a degree in Recording Arts & Composition. This was in 2016. I'm still absolutely in love with music and composing, and will stop at nothing to achieve my dreams.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My computer (if that counts as a piece of gear), some studio monitors, headphones and my keyboard. A DAW also (if that's not included in the computer).
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What their budget is, specifics and details about the project, when they need it by. The basics.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Know what you want and try to be as clear and precise you can about the details, to ensure the delivery of a top quality piece. Communicate as often as you can, and be honest.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will be very responsive and quick in delivering a top quality product. I'm a perfectionist, and will stop at nothing until it's perfect.