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Theme for an Imaginary Thriller 

 October 19, 2023

By  QJé composer

Theme for an Imaginary Thriller 

This composition was inspired by some of the best all-time crime drama television series themes I enjoyed in my youth. 

Most still sound great today, and many are still the model for TV themes written for today's audience on channels like Netflix & Amazon Prime. 

This is a composition where melody is paramount, and the mood is fast-paced and still  suspenseful. 

The piece is for enjoyment. 

As usual, my aim is to get feedback from you. 

How does it make you feel? 

Does it take you back to a bygone era, or not? 

Allow yourself to be taken over by the music, go with it, and don't stop until the music finishes. 

Then share with me how it made you feel, so that I can tune in to your feelings. 
And thank you for listening. 

Here is the music...

Your response to my music is welcomed below...

© QJ 2023. All rights reserved. PRS registered.

  • Interesting piece, especially the poly-rhythmic idea starting at the 13 second point. Additionally, I would love to see the score to better get my arms around a couple of melody/chord ‘clashes’ I heard at a couple points. Concerning dissonance, I get what you are doing with the main melody, but question your choice of a major triad chord against the melody (at a couple points in the piece) that does not set well with the dissonant melody. I’ve encountered musicians/composers (especially those with little training) who maintain that “any notes can be used in the context of any chord”. At the very least, such thinking will become a barrier to elevating yourself to the next level. Have you analyzed the main melodies and counterpoint against each other, and against the chord voicings you use? Do re-consider the harmony at the points that I question….I think you know where I am speaking of. Even the “masters” follow harmonic rules that censor certain note/chord combinations.

    • Hey vinny, thanks for your comment. It’s well considered and your make your points very well. In response, my musical training started when I was five years of age. Since when, I’ve undergone training as a boy chorister, training in harmony and composition (with the late, great Alan Ridout), passed Grade 8 piano with distinction, had a rock band, a pop group and my own symphony orchestra which I conducted, accompanying Nigel Kennedy on three occasions in the Elgar violin concerto. Having been very conservative in my early church music choral compositions and my rock and pop periods, I’ve now thrown away the ‘rule book’ on everything I was taught academically and am now enjoying myself as a composer of ‘film music’. My ear is now my guide and teacher, and my DAW my playstation. I don’t know if you’ve listened to any other of my compositions, but I would love to get your feedback on them too. ‘Imaginary Thriller’ is – in my own opinion – an example of my most conservative current work. Other pieces are much more ‘mucking about’. Thanks again for your involvement. Please do keep up the dialogue. I love it!

    • I definitely intended the piece to have energy and drive with an unremitting pulse of 144 BPM.
      I think the pace of this piece is paramount. It feels like running or indeed a lot of movement, so finding the right still image for it was quite hard.
      Anyway, I’m glad you liked it, and as always, I appreciate the conversations we have. Big thanks.

  • To me, this is all about the magic of an inventors workshop. Central in the room is a machine from which beams of light, stars and small gadgets appear. This is a concise piece which establishes it’s path early on. The pace & tones are infectious and suggestive of an an early TV detective theme but the magic element wins for me. A rolling delivery & sense of the unexpected suggests the future. Superb for those movies which deliver wizardry with a touch of festive occasion. Ideal for TV or movie we can all watch. Really good fun! Thanks QJ.

    • The magic of an inventors workshop is, in itself, a title!
      This really is a conversation: from me to you, from you to me, and then from me to you again.
      What fun and games this really is.

  • American 70s TV murder mystery comes to mind. Randall and Hopkirk, (which scrolling through the comments, has been raised before), Ironside, etc. But if I’m honest QJ, I’m not a fan of the organ. Never have been, which is personal to me. Like this upbeat style though. It is ‘bouncy’!

    • Your comments are so good to read, and very interesting to hear how you perceive things. Everyone’s take is different, which I find fascinating.
      Interesting that you mention organ. It obviously sounds like one, but isn’t! If you’re referring to the tune, then that’s made up of marimba, vibes, an opal synth sound called ‘City Living’, and a Mai Tai synth sound called ‘Blues for Blade’. The bridge section is Fender Rhodes electric piano.
      Obviously, this piece is much more melodic and not so ‘dark’ as my usual fare.

  • Sinister and yet bouncy at the same time, which isn’t supposed to work well together, but you made it so. The industrial strength percussion added to both the bounce and the suspense of the piece. Nice work. Again..

    • You’re a star.
      I so like to read your comments. ‘Sinister yet bouncy’ is a great way to describe what I was aiming at. Thank you. And you’re the first to pick up my ‘industrial percussion’ element and talk about it. The clang is actually a railway track hit with a mallet! Who knew? And just to say how much I love your work too. Keep it up. You Rock!

  • Nailed it again QJ!!! This takes me back to the eighties, with a gentle humorous twist! You know someone is going to be murdered, but it’s not going to upset the viewers! And of course, it’s got the QJ stamp all over it 🤩🤩🤩

    • Your comments about being an original mean the most to me. You know I never wanted to be like anyone else. So a huge ‘thanks for listening’ and for being a pal.
      Take care you.

  • Really like it, especially on headphones. I also like the break at 0.59 which acts as a great contrast to the rest of the piece which is fast moving, relentless ‘chase’ music. Not nearly as dark as previous pieces.

    • Glad to hear you’re getting a headphone experience! The contrast you mention was just a bit of gentle meandering improv because I like the Fender Rhodes sound so much and it’s really easy to get it to sound nice! Of course this piece was never meant to be ‘dark’. I’d say it was a bit cheeky, and all the better for it.

  • To me it immediately evoked a 1960/70s crime escapade. Men in sharp suits, women with big hair and short skirts. Running, skiing, driving. Evading chasers or being them. Light with dark undertones. Fun and adventure, suave and freaky.

  • Love it QJ. It has the air of a not-too-serious thriller, something like a Randall & Hopkirk or Hustle. I can visualise the title graphics that would go with this piece of music.

    • Wow! Then I have to get the music used on a new TV series on Warner TV, BBC, Disney, Fox, ITV, Netflix, Paramount, Sony or Amazon, just so you can get to design the graphics! Thanks for the feedback. Randall & Hopkirk and Hustle and both spot on for what I was inspired by.

  • Wow, this is exciting! You had me from the title of the piece, and then all the way through the music – right to the end – which was a cute twist. It’s a light touch, fun-filled yet frenetic and funky finagle through a musical journey. Exuberant, chirpy and fast-moving. Loved it!!!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    QJé composer


    Hi I'm QJ - a composer of music and sonic art.
    My music is mostly dark, cold and unsettling.
    A theme park full of intense, scary rides, and sonic thrills.

    It's sometimes about social issues I feel strongly about.
    It's designed to elicit emotional responses.

    I hope you enjoy some of it.
    Please do leave your comment: I want to learn about how you react to music - especially mine (even if it makes you uncomfortable).

    Enjoy the roller-coaster! ... and big thanks.

    QJ Short Bio...
    Composing Music to be enjoyed purely as an emotional, imagination-triggering listening experience, and for Film & TV.

    Ex-Rock/Pop producer, artist and song-writer.
    Now Solo Artist/Producer (interested in collaborative projects).

    Former Chorister, Classical Pianist & Rock Guitarist/Keyboard player / session musician.
    Former Song-Writer, Record Producer, Label Owner.
    PRS member. Music Publisher. High Quality Sound Guy (engineer / producer).
    Former commercial studio owner.

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