Christmas Music Contest: A Scary Krampusnacht To All!

Hello boys and ghouls, it’s your old pal the Crypt Keeper, here to wish you all a very scaaaaaary Christmas. :ghost:

Here’s my entry for the Christmas music contest. Had a bit of fun with this at @Mikael’s suggestion. I had already done (well, redone anyway) a Christmas piece in a more traditional style you can listen to HERE if you’d like.

So for this one, I tried to be a bit untraditional and use Krampusnacht as my inspiration and use Camille Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre as a bit of an example. If you don’t know Krampus, in central European mythology, he’s kind of the evil devilish twin of St. Nick. He comes the day before St. Nick to scare the naughty boys and girls and leave coal in their stockings. So, I wrote something that was a bit mischievous and creepy, but used a traditional Christmas song (Jingle Bells) as a basis

The piece overall is in the key of D minor–harmonic minor specifically, and I tried to give it a focus on the A Phrygian Dominant scale as well to give it that darker sound. Slower tempo, about 79bpm, and in 4/4 time–though the rhythm makes it feel a bit like a waltz :grin:

Gear used:
Strings: Spitfire Intimate/Studio strings
Solo Horn: Cinematic Studio Brass
a2 Bassoon: Audio Imperia Nucleus
Piano: Native Instruments Kontakt Library Concert Grand
Harp: Orchestral Tools Berlin Inspire
Glockenspiel: Audio Imperia Nucleus
Marimba/Xylophone: Orchestral Tools Berlin Inspire
Bells and other percussion: ProjectSAM True Strike
StudioOne 5
Valhalla Room reverb
Waves j37 emulator
Izotope Ozone 9

Happy (or scary :grin:) holidays to all!


I like it !!! GREAT !! :clap:
Given the covid period, I think this music is more suitable than traditional style one.

Wonderful idea !!!

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Lovely man!!!

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Grazie Roberto! Ironically, when I began to sketch this out on piano, the way I wrote it sounded really depressing, and I almost just left it as a solo piano piece dedicated to all those we’ve lost, but I want to look forward instead of dwell.

Thanks for listening! Hope you’ve got a piece in the works. Happy holidays!

Thanks! Still need some work on the mixing :sweat_smile: but it’s getting there!

Happy holidays to you!

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Yeah a as little but it was very good. I really appreciated your orchestration and in this instance I felt that your mixing didn’t detract from the track, so there was nothing to add except that I loved it :smiley:

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Wow, the feeling that “there is someone in the closet” bathes me. Jeje. Very soundtrackable (new word?) :crazy_face:
Well, I hope you have a happy holidays. Personally, i’m moving for a couple of weeks near the sea. I’m still deciding if I will turn off everything related to composing. It has been a lot of months in the same routine and I just need new and different experiences, for my brain and creativity.
Anything you do, enjoy the last days of the year.


Ah, yes, take some time to clear your mind! I could use a nice winter trip to Hawai’i myself, but, you know Covid.

I know your feel @MaestroX unfortunately.
For the same reason I’m sketching a music, but I have no ispiration how to develop :confused:

But you are rigth: look forward and positive is the only think to do now !!!

I will try to express somethings evenif not happy as it should be!!

Happy Holiday to all :vulcan_salute:

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Matt - this is a fun take on Holiday music! This would fit a Tim Burton style Christmas tale. Love the dark colours and chimes and tambourine. Tubular bell… one of my favourites! Congrats.

Happy Holidays!

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Thank you Brandon. Mikael suggested doing a Danny Elfman, Nightmare Before Christmas piece, and I thought that was a great idea. Haha! I didn’t realize how creepy marimba and xylophone could really get :laughing:

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Love it! This makes me wish there were more Christmas/Halloween movies to watch.

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This is an awesome piece of cinematic-type Christmas music. The Krampus would be so happy, he might skip over some unsuspecting child. Your strings could come up in the mix a bit more and some dynamics in the said strings would add to the tension you have created. Well done!

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Thanks for the comments Suzanne! I definitely agree the high stings are a tad quiet in parts and was planning on making a quick fix of that. I did use a chamber orchestra for this, so it’s actually only 8 violins rather than the full 12-16, so I wonder if that affected the volume a bit from what I’m used to.

Thanks for listening and have a wonderful holiday!

You did a fine job on this one