LostSamurai

Collection of Pieces

3 posts in this topic

Hey guys, so I just wanted to do a topic with a collection of uploads I've brought to the site; older pieces that didn't get enough reviews so I could get a timely sense in which direction I am or could be going. Of course, some of you may have heard these already but for the newer members and current members, I would love insight. 

Hope guys enjoy them. I still have much to learn but I would've never have gotten this far were it not for everyone here.

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I have listened to most of them and I can tell you that you have a firm grasp on the Dramatic and the Grand Gesture. Keep that arrow in your quiver. I think you need to work on writing melodies that people will remember, imo. Only you know where you want to go, but let's say that you want to go anywhere, everywhere. Then you need to work on melody more. You are avoiding diatonic language in favor of minor tinged modality, which pretty much guarantees a half baked melody, a la Batman movies. I understand that this is intentional, and cinematic, and I respect that. But these are only fads, of course. I hope you know that.

I think you are doing great. Just keep at it!

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Hey there Samurai, it's been a while since I've had time to listen to your works - I'm glad you posted several of them in once place. Easier for me to listen and review this way :)

1) Inception of the Ominous. Definitely a character piece, but could use a defining "hook" to carry the listener through. Whether that's a harmonic twist or melodic movement or whatever doesn't matter so much, just think like a story... what will draw the listener in and convince them to commit beyond the first chapter?

2) Narcissistic King... Really cool piano stuff! It's a nice element to what you have going here. I can't tell if it's the sound sample or the melody itself, but something about what the violin is doing is unsettling to my ear... Could be the interesting harmonic shifting, could be resolutions, it's hard for me to tell for certain. I can hear ideas waiting to shine, when in doubt, revise revise revise!

3) Insignia. Ah yes, I remember this one! As before, it's compelling, driving us forward at a good pace. It's lost its momentum by the end, though :( The electronic things are super interesting, would love to hear them with less clashing and with more prominence! Can you hear the places where the momentum slows?

4) Another insignia...! Sustained harmonic textures, often slow moving lower tones. Consistent pacing in the moving voices, I'm starting to notice trends now in your writing. It's good work - where do you turn for inspiration? Your profile says you're a parent, yes? I often turn to my students (I don't yet have children of my own) and try to saddle their imaginations to push me when I'm stuck in a stylistic rut. Let something push you to try something new, even if it's as simple as writing in 6-8 with a bombastic melody in the bass voices. I don't know, go big! Don't be afraid to strike out :)

5) Insignia Again........! The details are the hooking part for me, they're tasty little bits of goodness. Each thing is good in its time and place - the sustained things and the moving things. Find ways to clear the air for each to have its stage time, like making room on stage in a musical or an opera.

6) Holy insignias, Batman! Here is one that kept me listening intently even through the sustained beginning. Just enough of each thing to keep me going, not to give anything away. This one is well done on all accounts, perhaps work on a slight variation in the transitional sounds. Like in jazz, never play the same solo twice in one night - try not to repeat something as memorable as a transition in the cymbals twice without a small change, unless you have a reason for doing so.

7) Element Zero. I think I watched/listened to this one before as well. It's good theatrical music in terms of composition, it highlights what it needs to. One thing I notice about your sounds, especially your string synthesizers, they're a little "attack" heavy. Is there a setting you could tweak to connect them more? Check out live orchestra stuff and really great sound tracks and study just their sounds. I have no idea what you'd do to emulate that, but it's worth having the tool in your toolkit to be able to do both kinds of sound - it gives you more control and more options.

8) Devil's gate. This is one of my favorites from you, it shows a lot of thought and care going into the construction. Even the transitions transition with PURPOSE and with a destination. Very well done. :)

9) Song from the Ancients. A good work, less compelling than the other. What was different about your process for that one? Understanding the way you work will give you huge insight and make you uber-effective.

10) Delusional Dukes! Very cool, love the shredding string work in the middle. You write well when you go aggressively for something, whether that something is BIG or (small), when you really go for it and commit to that being the thing and to making it work, it really sparkles for you. Sparkles is a weird word to use, I hope you follow...?

*whew*

Thanks for posting, a pleasure to listen and hope all is well!

Gustav Johnson

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