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  • Another Piece

    Hi guys,

    after getting so much helpfull feedback on my last song, I kind of got hungry for more.

    This time I got no special questions, but I hope U find a lot of bad stuff to help me improve my knowledge.

    Thanks a lot!

  • Pretty nice. Very John Barry like near the start .. only problem I heard was mainly with the trumpets which sounded a little reedy and dry next to the strings, I would suggest trying a performance legato of the solo trumpet for that part .. it might sound a little more resounding .. mind you this is just personal opinion.

    Perhaps the same with the horns. Otherwise a damned nice piece of writing and a very visual piece to listen to. Nicely done I say.

  • Felix, I definitely agree with Hetoreyn on the trumpets. The need to be wetter. Yes, also the horns, but they don't stick out quite as much. It felt more 'Terminator' to me than John Barry. Definitely film music - an intro to something dark.

    I like what I thought was a church bell early on. Perhaps you could use this more. The first part seemed very familiar, but I loved the chord progression at the end to the sharp resolution. To add some more texture and mood, consider adding a really deep timpani (you know the sort of thing - Mines of Moria, deep and sinister with bags of reverb) as an ominous thud at the beginning of every bar, or every other bar.

  • Those tipps were very helpful! I didnĀ“t realize the problem with the reverb until I heard the difference.

    Also the deep drum, I added, makes me like the piece more.

    So thanks a lot!

  • felix - i want to hear your writing in a little bit longer form. here and in the previous piece you posted, they both sound like very interesting introductions where the real meat of what you would be communicating would come after. in others words, what i'm getting here is, "okay folks, here it comes!!!!!!" ... then it ends just as i can tell you have something interesting to say (i hope this reads like the compliment it is).

    as far as this piece, the detached articulation of the trumpet at it's peak seemed melodramatic and almost humorous. but i think it pointed to something i heard in your previous piece that could be constructively addressed. when a (good) player hits a note, they will do something with it because music isn't about the notes. you're already very good with the actual dynamics of a line, yet because the notes are a little static, the line is not coming acrosss dynamically - meaning the actual volume levels are great, but the notes themselves could use a little shading. while this could mean more rhythmic variation in the line as we talked about before, that could change your composition style which might not be a good idea. perhaps just opening up the phrasing a little and using layers or filters to shade the individual notes as they are happening would help. just remember, if you're "just" hitting a note somewhere without doing anything with it, it will combine with other such notes in a cumulative effect and bleed some life from your music. the opposite will breathe life into it.

    i really enjoyed the tonal change similarly because it added interest. it kind of broke a rule that suggests not to introduce new ideas right at the end of a piece, so even as i didn't like how it resolved, looking at it as preparitory material for a longer piece seems fine, even refreshing. so if you're up for a little harmony excercise in a cinematic style, you might try something maybe over the course of a minute or two where the harmony is constantly changing but limited to movements of either a third, sixth or tritone. you don't need to read music to understand this so don't let it daunt you. just move the chords in either direction up or down a third (e.g. c to e; major third, or c to e flat; minor third), a sixth (e.g. c-a; major 6th, or c-a flat; minor 6th) or by tritone (e.g. c-f sharp). use any combination and the actual chords can be major or minor (like a c minor chord going to an e flat major chord, etc.). you might find yourself in some strange keys but that's just part of the fun because your ears will force you to make music out of it. the idea is to have a vehicle to move beyond a single tonality without bringing things to a cadence before you're ready. hope this helps.

  • Hi Martin,

    I do read that as a compliment. Since I still have to learn much about the basics of orchestral music, I thought it might be a good idea, to do some short tracks first and get some hints about basic mistakes, IĀ“m making. I think thereĀ“s a lot more to learn, when it gets to arrange a whole piece. But it might be easier for me, knowing the basics.

    Anyway! Thanks a lot for taking so much time to answer. Sounds very professional to me. Maybe too professional for me, leaving some questions:

    1. Does "using filters" mean

    a) using plugins like EQ, etc.
    b) filtered instruments like stopped horns or similar
    c) a filter like combining other instruments as one would for example combine flutes and strings to take a little of the strings sharpness?
    d) something else?

    2. Does "using layers" mean, combining other instruments?

    3. IĀ“m defintely gone try your harmony suggestions. Do U mean to do these changes in this Intro allready or after the climax, when the peace is supposed to go on?

  • P.S.:

    Just took some minutes to try your chord suggestions in general. They sound great. So do U have a suggestion on a good book about cinematic chords?

  • hi felix - by filters and layers, i meant to suggest patches whose tone can be changed over time with a controller. in the filter scenario, the controller adjusts the frequency of a low pass filter simulating the change in brightness as it plays louder or softer. this can also be done with layers where the controller crossfades a different dynamic level of samples for the instrument. the idea pertains to each individual instrument so that it evolves as it plays.

    the harmony suggestions were not meant for this piece. just an exercise to help you move towards longer ideas and make some observations about cinematic style without getting stuck at cadences. the style is 19th century wagnerian but i heard it simlified like this by scott smalley so i don't know of any books written exactly for this circumstance. there's not a lot more to the idea than outlined, but lots of possibilities should become apparent as you experiment. the underlying theory is that cadences bring music to a stop where film needs music that propels the picture (i.e., doesn't stop). moving harmonically by 3rds, etc. avoids the V-I (g-c) cadence as well as a very strong emphasis on any key. this allows composers to keep spinning material that can emphasis hit points in the picture and stop quickly at almost any point without sounding unnatural. because if it's nubulous tonality, it also helps the music "lay back" in the picture and nurture rather than take over more important aspects of the film.

    as far as cinematic chords, they are simple triads, major and minor (it is how they move in relation to each other that makes them cinematic). but it recalls another comment of scott's on how to treat dissonance and color notes (9ths, 11ths, 13ths, etc), by enclosing them in other triads polytonally (e.g. c minor in the strings and e flat major in the brass to enclose the b flat or 7th).

  • Now I got it. IĀ“m gone try that.

    ItĀ“s really intresting trying out new chords and I often get to points, where I think "I know this from a movie..."

    Your suggestions have sealed my decission to make an internship at any movie composer. If a forum helps me so good to improve, an internship might even do wonders. I hope, itĀ“s not so hard to find a good composer, who is employing trainees.

    Anyway, thanks for the tipps!

  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on