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MIKE HALLENBECK
ORIGINAL MUSIC FOR ANIMATION:
WHIRL

Highlight reel of original music composition for the animated series "Whirl" from the Sparkhouse division of Augsburg Fortress Publishers.

Styles include rock (creative brief: think Springsteen), Looney Tunes-esque orchestral mirroring, old school hip hop, monster movie disaster soundtrack, kung fu R&B, war drums, and vintage soap opera organ. I was also the sound designer on these episodes, and I performed the raccoon voices as well.

I did not, of course, write "Ode To Joy"; but I did play it appropriately ineptly on the song flute and arrange the bombastic orchestral delivery at the end.

"WHIRL" THEME

I also wrote the theme music (plus several variations) to complement the show's bright color palette, quick pace and dynamic feel. I hoped to create music that reflected Sparkhouse's progressive approach to Christian curricula while remaining faithful-- if you will-- to its theological intent.

Executive producer Aaron Christopher gave me some examples of what he had in mind, his favorite of which was the driving opening sequence of "Futurama". We found the bell tone the most appealing sonic element there, and that fit well conceptually with our piece too. So I drove the melody with a church bell tone reminiscent of a carillon (bolstered by a unison guitar line). I supported the theme with double-time bass and drums, some understated offbeat uke and not one but two different organs (a pipe organ and a Hammond B3).

I also repurposed the theme in several different iterations for various uses throughout the series, including a Halloween version and different renditions for credit sequences. Hear the variety below:

JUNIOR BIRDMAN AUDIO

SOUND + MUSIC FOR MEDIA

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