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The Deep Ocean


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Posted (edited)

This is a piece I wrote earlier this year.
Hopefully it's a bit more interesting than the unfinished piece I posted in this section last week.
It does have more variety, and thematic development.

I'm not sure the two main themes fit together very well: so interested to know what others think.
Is it a Frankenstein's monster of a piece, where I've sewn together parts that don't belong; or does it somehow work?

Edited by Alex Weidmann
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Kickstarter Project for Music Jotter begins May 10th. Write music on the web or desktop computer.
Has Midi Scrubbing & Easy Tuplet Entry.
Get BIG discount as a Kickstarter supporter. No monthly subscription fees. Follow the campaign today!

Listening to it right now, so:
– From 0:00 to 0:22 it doesn't convince me at all.
– From 0:22 to 0:48 it does sound nice in my opinion.
– From 0:49 to 1:02, hmm not gonna say I don't like the kind of clarinet you introduced. Probably it's good but the sound chosen displeases my brain or something, it's like it sometimes hits the notes while sometimes caresses them without any sense or logic behind why or when that's done. By the way? Do you have a pdf?
– From 1:03 to 2:01, nice, very nice, the only thing I think it lacks is the passage itself to be more legato, however this is probably because of the own software limitations. Or is it your choice?
– From 2:01 to 3:08, yeah nothing more to remark I th...Gong, lol. Ah, that's the B theme I suppose.
– From 3:09 to 4:04, what about some more rhythm here using Timpani? I believe it would be sick!
– From 4:05 to 4:26, now an organ, and it does sound good.
– From 4:26 to 4:53, do you have a good reason in your mind to suddenly drop the organ playing? I suppose you did for the later question-answer structure but it does not last long...
– From 4:54 to 5:31, yeah that's it. I didn't like that part too much but seems you're building up something.
– From 5:31 to 6:13 oh it ended with another gong. I missed the organ though in that passage.
– From 6:14 to the end. I like the chorus and all, but I have mixed feelings with the end.

Well, I think it's good but you have room for improvement. I haven't listened to your other piece but this one does have variety and I would not say it's a Frankenstein of a piece, more like something between a solid, well-structured piece, and the Frankenstein you mentioned. In my opinion, it would be nice if you played with it for some more time, but anyway I'm just another mere mortal giving you my subjective feedback :B.

In any case, keep composing and sharing your work, It was a pleasure to go through it! Sorry if I've been too dense by the way.
Kind regards.
 

 

 

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I guess the main theme you have kind of works for being an oceanic-themed piece.  As a mild criticism though it usually is not a good idea to write a melody that's a continuous onslaught of quarter-notes.  Just in terms of creating rhythmic interest it's usually good to mix it up a bit.  But you do somehow manage to make it work and there is an occasional relief from the quarter notes with a pause or a pair of 8th notes here and there - so overall it works.

The theme that comes in (in the trombones?) at 3:10 which I guess is your 2nd theme, has a slight resemblance to Beethoven's 5th Symphony played slowly.  It doesn't really strike me as a copy though and you do manage to distinguish it from that piece.

The orchestration throughout is pretty appropriate for an oceanic piece.  Your rendition is pretty good.  What programs/libraries do you use to create these pieces?

The different parts of the piece fit pretty well together with your chosen theme so I don't think it's a Frankenstein of a piece either.  Great job and thanks for sharing!

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Thanks so much for listening!

I think adding timpani is a great idea: will definitely try that!

I agree the clarinet is jarring, especially when it first comes in.
It sounds clumsy and too much in your face.
I've tried taking down the velocity; but it doesn't help.
Probably need to use a better instrument library.

I could certainly make the woodwind more legato; though I think I already tried that, and didn't like the result.

The second theme is in tenor trombone, accompanied by horns.

The sudden removal of the church organ was designed to create a dialogue between instruments, as you correctly guessed.
Maybe it didn't work so well.
Could certainly try adding more organ underneath the chorus.

The tubular bells are supposed to represent ship's bells, or the bells attached to buoys bobbing up and down on the ocean.

The lack of rhythmic variety has been mentioned to me before: so I agree that's something I need to work on!

Have created all my music so far with Music Studio for iPad (developed by Alexander Gross).
I find it really easy and intuitive to use.
Some of the virtual instruments are from the Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra library.

Am trying to learn Reaper; but I find all the technical stuff about ports and channel routing quite hard to grasp.
Also downloaded VSL at the weekend; but have not been able to wrap my tiny brain around it!
It looks like it can be used a stand-alone music production suite: so I'm not sure why I would want to load it as a plugin through Reaper? 
That seems to add an extra layer of complexity, and would probably be more draining on my CPU.
 

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Posted (edited)

I quite liked it - almost a chorale opening. 

Yes, there's room for improvement - dynamics, variation of legato against portato. You need to vary the note durations too. It's as if you're using minims - 1/2 notes or 1/4 notes throughout. However, it does have a bit of a deep ocean feel about it, the sonorities. The instrumental balance (mixing) is good. You're well on your way so I reckon you're looking for refinement rather than re-structuring anything. Perhaps it could be a tad shorter but...well, it's your work and you are the arbiter. If you like it as it is, that's fine/ 

The organ at around 4'15" worked very well - gave the piece some real substance. I'd hoped to hear more of that. 

So...great. 

On 5/9/2022 at 6:59 PM, Alex Weidmann said:

Am trying to learn Reaper; but I find all the technical stuff about ports and channel routing quite hard to grasp.

Ha! You and me both. I've used Reaper since 2012 and there's still much I have yet to learn. I like Reaper as I can have one midi editor/sequencer per project, just selecting an instrument as I go along, for editing. The ability to splice in extra bars over the entire score then eventually glue the bits is a boon!

I know very little about channels and ports, except what I learned from why channels existed when midi was used to control multiple real instruments and that. 

On 5/9/2022 at 6:59 PM, Alex Weidmann said:

Also downloaded VSL at the weekend; but have not been able to wrap my tiny brain around it!
It looks like it can be used a stand-alone music production suite: so I'm not sure why I would want to load it as a plugin through Reaper?

You've given yourself a right lot of work. At least you've started with the ilok version. I'm a fan of the VI series. I did the eLicenser to ilok conversion recently - took about 18 hours to redownload all the sample content. The Vienna Assistant looks quite good. But it's taken time to get something like good out of VSL - I mean, I'm the limiting factor. VSL is excellent.

However, not all went well with the conversion to ilok and I'm now stalled awaiting support.

I always use Vienna Ensemble as an FX plug-in in Reaper so I can copy a composition draft into the midi editor, set the keyswitches, do the pan spread and fine adjustment to a patch's volume - and on and on. It really is a powerful player.

All good luck with it .

 

Edited by Quinn
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