ADAM Audio are running a competition where you have to compose a piece of music (that's a maximum 30 seconds long) given a particular photo.

This is just my attempt at it (despite my lack of experience with composing soundtracks!)

I envisioned that the people in the photo are on a stakeout (e.g. because they're detectives) and are waiting for something to unfold. I was inclined to think this given the serious look and what looks like a coffee/noodle cup that she's holding.

I also imagined that something does end up happening towards the end — perhaps a heist involving a remote hacker unlocking a door for a thief inside the bank. Or maybe someone gets run over as they're running away or towards something?

Given what I imagined, I used mainly minor and augmented chords to give it a floaty, uncertain vibe. I also imagined that this was taking place in Berlin (for some reason), so I used house bass plucks as pitched percussion elements.

Also, I used a few oneshot samples (from Splice), but I didn't use any loops except for a shaker loop.

Hope this this tutorial/breakdown is useful :)

You can also listen to the audio on Soundcloud.


Photo by Tobias Zielony, The Opening, 2005