Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bridges To Life

Photos & music by Mark M. Hancock / photos © The Beaumont Enterprise

Bridges To Life is a restorative justice program. It allows victims a voice while encouraging convicted criminals to understand the results of their actions through a faith-based program for prisoners who are about to be paroled.

Award winner:
3rd Place, Feature / Multiple, NPPA Region 8 August clip contest

Please read, "Criminals, crime victims share experiences..." by Sarah Moore.

This is my first official published attempt at composing music. The first 30 seconds are meant to be musically disturbing (like prison life). Then, it should become easier on the ears as the inmates and BTL volunteers connect and graduate. Any feedback about the music and/or images is appreciated.


Wanderlust Scarlett said...

That's pretty incredible. I wonder how many lives it makes a difference in, really. Several, I hope.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

John MacDonald said...

sounds like a midi file. so, tell us, what did you use to compose your music? Congrats on working the photo and the music together!

Would you do it again? I.e. how much time did it take?

Mark M. Hancock said...

I used the program Garage Band to manually set the notes. The melody itself took about an hour to compose. It'll get faster with experience.
I kept the song simple with only (synth) strings and piano because the subject didn't lend itself to more aggressive music (expect dance beats, bass loops and faster tempos soon).
I'm satisfied with the overall melody considering I had no intention of writing music back in April.
Yes, I intend to start using original music regularly soon. We're doing more linear presentations (slideshows and video) and the cost of purchasing music rights for editorial use is prohibitive.
I want to get the sound quality up to a professional level before I get too ambitious with it though. This is why I'm asking for specific input.

Jenners said...

Its a great film with very moving music to a moving subject. Here in England, the Bishop of Bath and Wells Peter Price, has produced a DVD on forgiveness called "Changing Lives...for good". Here is the link to it if interested;

Yours is a great site....well done.


Ken said...

I like the music it does a good job of setting a mood. Did you get audio from the event? I would love to hear the inmates and victims talking with the music in the background.

Mark M. Hancock said...

No audio. No video. It was difficult enough to get a camera into a prison. I literally had to send a list of every item I was carrying to the state to have it approved beforehand.

John MacDonald said...

I watched the slideshow again tonight and you can really feel the difference in transition between the sombre beginning and the final light melody. It works. Good luck with composing the music for upcoming shows. I look forward to viewing them as always.


Mark M. Hancock said...

Thanks John. I'm working on some standardized backbeat stuff, and I've almost got the electric guitar sounding like an electric guitar (no small task). Unfortunately, I seem to do more depressing stories (piano only) than Rock N Roll stories. I have another sad show coming this Wednesday. I'll probably add something upbeat to the Monday Movie.

Wheeler Sparks said...

How is the music composing going these days? I was intrigued to see this post, though I am several years late on finding it.

I work for a multimedia music production company here in Dallas, but have been progressing toward photojournalism and documentary photography. Music is my first love, but photography is fast becoming a compulsion.

See, no matter how you slice it, writing music for living still means you sit inside and write music for a living. Where's the fun in that? It seems photojournalism means, amongst other things, constantly exploring yourself and a surrounding community.

I have often pondered if a PJ has the opportunity to write/record music for his/her own stories and photo essays. For me, I guess the ideal scenario, when weighing career paths between composing and photojournalism, is a combination of the two... Thanks for illuminating the possibility. And thanks for all your other insights too.

If you ever want to swap harmonic help for some PJ pointers, you know where to find me.

Mark M. Hancock said...

Hi Wheeler,
I didn't find any contact information on your blog.

The compositions have progressed a lot since this post. I've gotten the Symphony and World Music Jam Packs and I've started working with them on much more complicated pieces.

I'm leaving these pieces in place to remember my progress. However, I'll eventually replace them with better work.

Unfortunately, I have too many projects under development at the moment to dedicate the time I need to include current musical compositions in recent slideshows.

Once I get my biggest current project out the door, I'll focus on music. Considering the move to online slideshows and video, there should be a need for reasonably-priced stock music.

Wheeler Sparks said...

Interesting - I will look forward to hearing the more recent stuff. The blog is embarrassingly behind...

Not unlike your scenario, I am at a music company trying to find time to update my photography portfolio.

Thanks again - Hope you enjoyed the road trip.

Wheeler Sparks said...

by the way, I meant MY blog... not yours :)

but that should be fairly obvious given the content...