In preparation for composing a score for the film Homeland Insecurity, I composed six style samples of modern Middle-Eastern music. Most of these pieces use one of several variants of a Middle-Eastern scale. This, plus the special ethnic instruments, give the music its Middle-Eastern flavor.
The first cue (Hybrid Electronic/Ethnic #1) utilizes three VST instruments. The percussion is from an East-West Stormdrum 1 Loop, titled Ethnic Chase Instruments. The tonal rhythmic section is a preset from the Elysion VST library titled Terra Doomed. The wind instrument is from the East-West “Ra” library. The instrument is a Tenor Dukduk. It sounds a bit like a saxophone, but it is capable of the most wonderful inflections that give the instrument a beautiful Middle-Eastern feeling.
The second cue (Hybrid Electronic/Ethnic #2) utilizes almost the same three VST instruments as the first cue. Instead of Terra Doomed, it uses a rhythmic preset titled Mars Pulses 8ths 02. But in addition, the second half of the cue uses a Middle-Eastern string section, The unique aspect of these strings are the strong portamentos–pitched slides that provide a nice ethnic flavor.
The third cue (Ethnic Instrumental #1) offers a plucked instrument called the Santoor. It is used initially to double the Middle-Eastern strings, and later it is used simply as a percussive effect to emphasize certain beats. The fourth cue (Ethnic Instrumental #2) is simpler, as it is just a duet between a percussion section and a tenor dukduk.
The fifth cue (Ethnic Percussion) is another duet between a percussion section and a santoor. Finally, the sixth cue (Ethnic Atmospheric) adds a tremolo mandolin and a string pad from the Arkhis VST instrument.
These were all a lot of fun to compose. I sent these cues to the film director, to allow her to choose which styles she favors for the action in the film. Soon the film edit should be finished, and I can begin to extend a few of these examples and setting them into the film.