Task at hand: Creating menu music for the horror game "Miss Eyesore 1964" that fits the setting of an old Soviet prison. The game had to be developed in ten weeks, from idea to expo, so from song idea to deadline, I had about 6 weeks.
Solution: I let myself be inspired by Schnittke's choral music (mainly the piece linked below) and wanted to record a male choir. I deemed finding a choir in the limited time impossible, but I could find a group of people. Six singers were recruited for the project choir. I tested their voices to find a good key for the right timbre. I chose to use sampled choir sounds for the deep bass parts and recorded voices for the two "brighter" parts. A game writer, Ronny Korpela, wrote a few drafts for the lyrics, and after a joint decision on lyrics, Daria Romanova translated the lyrics to Russian. Composing the piece took parts of two days. We rehearsed three times and had two recording sessions. I recorded one part at a time, and all singers who could sing the part participated. From the recordings I chose two for each part and put them together, resulting in a choir consisting of about 24 voices. For the right timbre, I lowered the recording half a key. Editing and mixing took a few days.
Learnings: Have a lot of time to setup the recording studio. If the recording computer doesn't work (which it didn't), have a backup... Yes, this was recorded on in-built ZOOM microphones... Also, don't try to be the recording technician at the same time as being the conductor.

Link to the game: snostormstudio.itch.io/miss-eyesore-1964
Link to Schnittke's "Adam sat weeping at the gates of Paradise": youtube.com/watch?v=BMBAGSWjXQo

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