Dogman Jack Nostalgic Music contest

Dogman Jack Theme for an Imaginary Movie

My idea was to write a theme for an imaginary movie and explore the ideas of loneliness, frustration, isolation, being misunderstood and using the techniques that Ennio Morricone used. When I listened to his music the first thing I noticed that he was not limited by anything but his own imagination and was a master of any style he took on. Some of his music was just lyrical and melodic and breathtakingly beautiful. I was impressed with his wider ranging use of instruments and things not necessarily associated with symphonic music like the harmonica, whistling, almost folk type singing. Fortunately I had used things like oboe, clarinet and plucks in some of my previous compositions and felt those would be extremely useful. I was able to play the electic guitar solo myself. My piece kind of wanders around a bit but I was trying to get every bit of Morricone feasible into a short piece and also trying to display the emotions that went on with the plot line. I may have used some stuff that Morricone did not use but felt it was justified because it followed the spirit of his compositional methods. One thing I did not do was that I was thinking about was adding a bit of narration because that did seem to be not in the spirit of Morricone and frankly I think it interfered with the passage.

Dogman Jack, born Dagmar Jackson his name symbolically corrupted by the local town people who just dont understand him and pretty much ignore him after needling him mercilessly throughout his school years. Jack prefers the company of dogs to men as he says dogs don’t hate you for joining a political party and you can have a rational conversation with a dog. He lives on the outskirts of the city training service dogs, working dogs, sheep dogs, police dogs and bomb sniffer dogs. Although Dogman Jack is usually avoided, his dog’s are in demand and he makes a pretty good living but pretty much keeps to himself.

One day on his scanner radio he hears that the mayors daughter has been kidnapped and he has noticed unusual activity of late and has figured out where the kidnappers are. Naturally eschewing the company of people he sets out on his own with his trained dogs and rescues the captive daughter from the clutches of the evildoers. Yay!! Overnight his life has changed and the High School Football Field is renamed Dogman Field in his honor. So even though Dogman was cast as an outsider and unappreciated he risked his life for the very people who mistreated him.

The idea came from a conversation I had with someone who was really smart, good looking, highly successful and very popular at my high school. I ran into the guy after graduation and told him frankly that I really admired him and was really impressed with all of his achievements. He told me life was no picnic for him, he had all the same feelings of doubt and insecurity that I had and that success, popularity, etc is no guarantee of happiness. I realized that everyone at some point feels friendless, isolated, alienated and maybe prefer the company of dogs to men. Sometimes it just takes a while for people to recognize our natural talents and abilities or see through the superficial to the inner man.

Main Instruments:

Studio one 5 pro
Yamaha P-45 Digital Piano for keying in various parts
Slash Gibson Les Paul 2020 model

Sample Tank 3 for oboe, clarinet, bass guitar, some of the voices, violin plucks
Presonus Presence XT for strings
Various samples for toms and orchestral percussion, distorted telecaster chords
EZ keys for Grand Piano arpeggios
Spitfire Labs for some of the voices
Spitfire BBCSO for brass
Loom II for sound effects

Tempo is 96, 114 and back 96
This is pretty much in the key of C throughout with some jazz type substitutions along the way.


Hi Gary,

Overall, your piece is very well structured with clear sections and chord choices. The transitions between them work very well. The melody is absolutely hope giving and at the same time bringing that to fall. Its like a rollercoaster in life, and if I understood your storybook correctly this is exact what you wanted to trasmit. Well done on that. What really impresses me, is that you played the guitar by yourself, that also fits excellent in the whole story of the track. The harp at the beginning might be a tad to loud, so with the beautiful melody it disturbes this a bit.
From a music listeners point of view, I want to share a thought about the dog bark with you. There are 2 points of view. (I learned that in the action music contest) If you use sound effects you always need a context in which you post your track (this is given here, so its okay). But if you like to hear music (maybe in your sparetime or in the car) soundeffects could feel very distracting. So use them carefully.
Thank you so much for submitting,

Hey Gary. It is a huge work. Very eclectic. Many things in coherence with the awesome story.
I agree with @Seven_Tears, I think that the harp, and other sounds substract some value because they are not correctly chosen or manipulated to fit well on the recipe.
Your guitar solo is brilliant :guitar::clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: I hope you keep on adding more solos in future projects.

1 Like

A lot of things going on here, and I love the hilarious vocals and dog barking. If anything, it gets a bit overwhelming at times, mostly due to levels and reverbs being a bit unmatched, and the percussion could have used a library with some round-robins and variation for a more natural sound. The guitar is brilliant, though, both sound and playing! On the composition side, I like the “wandering,” flowing melody lines with various instruments interacting in a somewhat chaotic manner.