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On this piece I started with a rather long complex key shifting chord progression.. I created clarinet melody first.  Because the chord progression was so complex, I cut and pasted two sections to repeat, to add continuity to the piece.  In the repeat sections, I replayed some instruments, so you wouldn’t notice that it was a cut and paste job. I started with playing improvisations for the length of the piece. I eventually keep carving the improvisation lines into smaller sections. Replacing with other instruments and motifs. After a while I totaled removed the blocked piano chords I started with. 

I focused on finding interesting sounds (to me anyways), and worked out parts for them.  As many keyboardists discover; when they come across an interesting patch on a synth keyboard, it inspires them to write a song using that patch.  I searched thru my Kontakt  and UVI libraries, found some unique  sounds, and used them for individual parts.  The bass part actually consists of three instruments.  I found this wonderful contra Balaika library, and made it share bass duties with an electric bass, and an acoustic staccato Double Bass. 

Since the bulk of sounds are ‘imaginary instruments’.. I am struggle with the layout of them in the orchestral score.  Melodies it seems obvious should be first, Then supporting lines, with bass and percussion parts at the bottom. To add to the confusion, I often kept the name of the patch, rather than try to categorize it to a traditional instrument name.. So to others, the terms of instruments are not very helpful I’m afraid. All the one stave instruments don’t have well defined pitch centers, many of these are more like sound design effects, rather than an instrument. (and also couldn’t fit all on page, with regular clef. 

Since the chord progression is constantly transposing, The Key Signature changes, but I don’t have the patience to analyze that. I wanted the chord progression to be kind of changing, striving to find something, hence changing it’s mind. At first it was just too wandering, the brain couldn’t find enough coherency in it to stay interested.  So I copied a large section (rewriting individual parts, so not so noticeable),  then here and there I copied/pasted a few chunks to bring it closer to (not so far out. I did make use of the same melodic curve (motif) with some climbing variations of later notes, a recognizable pattern (to give continuity,) and a sense of stability (not just mindless wandering).  The last track added was the mute trumpet solo, which I am very surprised and pleased with, in one take. I did a quick edit to remove note smudges. 

Edited by markstyles
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Very cool!!! Nice pointillistic textures and very nice mixing :) I enjoyed very much how I was always immersed in an ever-changing forest of sounds, never knewing where I was going as the things in front of me seemed to playfully trick me and yet I always felt where my feet where standing. How did you went about to create the opening swarm of timbres and effects? I want to learn to write music like this as well, what tools do you use to craft sounds?


Edited by Pedron Queiroz
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Thanx guys..   I don’t really ‘hear parts’ in my head as some claim to do.. Not at first anyways.. Lately I start with a chord progression/structure,  I work that out, then lay that down in Logic Pro as legato blocked chords.   After that I start to improvise on it, until I find something decent, then proceed to make that the melody, laying it in here, and there, sliding it around, and modifying notes to fit the current chords or mode.  

I usually don’t compose in a linear fashion..    That is I might have a melody interweaved thru piece. but then I just explore, Often the sound of the patch I am using inspires me to play for that. Or I realize this particular patch has qualities, I like and I write using that patch..  I often add small things here and there.  Then listen to it repeatedly, and then I grasp what I was ‘subconsciously’ trying to do and I consciously go in, and add, modify, correct things. 

Often I will just put Logic on record/mute/loop. and do several takes.. If I start to get a good idea, I try to perfect it in the next pass.  Often my improvisations take place at the end of the session. And I’ll just record a bunch of them fast. Next day, I listen more objective, cut out the garbage, and message the good  parts into something. Often I seem find a good riff, but play it in the wrong place. Later on I slide it to the right place, sometimes correcting notes, other times not. letting them be a bit ‘blue’.. But I do seem to getting a feel for the ‘sound quality’ of the patch..

So for me, creating is like first walking around the garden in a fog.. I start to find the boundaries of the garden, I keep walking as I keep walking, (playing, listening) the fog starts to lift, then it becomes pretty apparent what I need to do next..  This process has slowly ‘come to the surface’ in the last 4 or so years..  I find now, I can edit or add notes with either the score or piano roll editor, and don’t have to constantly check that is right..  It seems my eyes are starting to know where the notes belong..  Logic displays midi notes on the score page.  But for some instruments, I make custom staffs, so that low or high octave notes, (which trigger articulations) are not displayed.  or sometimes I make a ‘dummy track’ for display only. to make the score more readable.. If I assigned it to a virtual instrument, it would sound wrong.  I think the orchestral score is a piece of art in itself.  As I work on getting the piece to display properly, I get very concise new ideas from hearing the audio and reading the score; for additional instruments, and what I have to cut out to let these new instruments play.. 

Regarding the beginning of the piece.  I use UVI Falcon, and have almost all their libraries. They are very good and Falcon is an amazing Synth/sample player.  It is really a synthesizer module, you can add oscillators, samples, LFO's, ADSR's etc. Much more powerful than Kontakt.  A lot of their libraries are synth flavored, and and already manipulatedl. If you want real sounding instruments, Kontakt is still the way to go with the huge amount of 3rd party libraries. 

The sounds at the beginning are from different UVI libraries, some Virtual Instruments, LOOM by Air Music Technology, U-he stuff, Diva, Zebra, ACE. I had bought an expensive Ircam ‘prepared piano’ instrument, I used that also at the beginning. 

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