There Can Be Only One!

Good news everyone! The results have come in for The Second Challenge in the Facebook group Composer Competitions and Tim Girard had a convincing win for his submission Jungle Jeep Chase. Tim is a fellow WordPress blogger, so make sure to check out his site HERE.

Tim is an American Composer, residing in Colorado and has completed his M.M in Composition from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music(2013).

The guidelines for The Second Challenge were set up by the winner of the last round, Ted Kocher (TKO).

A Jeep chase through the jungle, enemies starting close behind you, then falling out of sight. Just when you think you are safe, the enemy approaches you from a place you didn’t expect! The ending should tell us the story of how the chase ends!

KEY: G (minor or major..or both!)
TEMPO: 150bpm

Tim’s composition captured all of these elements perfectly and told a story with a high level of detail and finesse. He lets the listener imagine a situation where there is a great foe, chasing the jeep and I personally imagined a King Kong scenario, largely due to the shining brass playing perfect intervals. The piece starts with exciting strings, scrubbing furious rhythms in the 7/4 time signature, a motif that builds in intensity for the first 50 seconds and is accompanied by syncopated brass rhythms and conga drums. The exotic sound of the congas are one of the key factors in giving Jungle Jeep Chase the correct feel for the location (the jungle!) and also work to add impetus and drive. This could be classed as the “escape theme”.

After the initial build up we arrive at the 50 second mark, where the music is stripped back to the percussion section, tympani and congas hold the interest here and make us feel that we have avoided the initial threat. The percussion still keeps us on edge though, hinting that we are not “out of the woods” just yet and just after the one-minute mark, Tim lets us know that the enemy is back, this feels like the first time we see our foe in plain sight. There are orchestral stabs and Tim briefly changes time signature, to two bars of 4/4 then a bar of 6/4. This time signature change is a point of interest and creates the base for the enemy’s motif to shine through, with bold, perfect intervals moving in parallel, played by the brass section. This brass motif could be classed as the “enemy theme”

After we have seen the enemy for the first time, there is an interplay between the escape theme and the enemy theme that builds up to a grand finale ending with the brass triumphantly ringing out. This brass finale signals that the enemy is still alive and is a real threat, the jeep is now safe and speeds off into the distance, looking back, they see a massive beast, the King of the Jungle.


Tim has created a story and worked within the guidelines very successfully, he has composed with direction and with the inspiration provided by Ted Kocher, has created a piece that may never have existed otherwise. For winning the comp, he has set the guidelines for the next round and if you would like to join in a have a go, then just CLICK THIS LINK. The competitions are hosted by fellow composer Cody Tedrick and new participants are always welcome! The guidelines for the next round are as follows;

Tim Girard’s challenge:

A final boss battle between a hero/heroine and his/her polar opposite (think Link vs. Dark/Shadow Link, Flash vs. Reverse Flash/Zoom, Spider-Man vs. Venom, etc.). The villain’s theme should be recognizable as a twisted, “dark mirror” version of the hero’s/heroine’s theme.

TIME: 2 minutes


I came second in The Second Challenge, for my entry Panthera Tigris.

Thanks for reading and stay creative!

Published by

Sam McLean

Australian Composer and Audio Engineer.

5 thoughts on “There Can Be Only One!”

    1. Thanks for your comment MidiMike! These competitions are a lot of fun and everyone who enters improves from the experience. The next one is due on the 4th of December, so hopefully my entry will get to first place this time!

      Liked by 1 person

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