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Topic: 33 Seconds of Sorrow

  1. #1

    33 Seconds of Sorrow


    This is a practice composition I did with only a solo viola and solo violin in a dry atmosphere. I wanted to create something without cords this time, I wanted to try out some of the advice I have gotten. I did this completely by ear per instrument.

    Libraries uses:
    Vienna SE Solo Strings (Legato and Portamento Patches)



  2. #2

    Re: 33 Seconds of Sorrow

    I get a the sense of sorrow from this. Doing this by ear is a great way to express emotions in music. I do not miss the chords at all. A nice post. Thanks. Jay

  3. #3

    Re: 33 Seconds of Sorrow

    This sounds crazy, but you know what would probably sound cool? If you could find some free samples of musicians taking breaths and incorporate those in your composition. I could totally hear this in my mind. In one of my published works for cello you can hear the cellist breathed when he "was getting his emotions in it." (I hoped I used "breath" and "breathed" LOL.)

  4. #4

    Re: 33 Seconds of Sorrow

    Of course you do not need chords in this.... you just discovered counterpoint!
    You wrote a two voices counterpoint. Beautiful, innit?
    There are chords in it... it just happens that you do not "think this way", but they are "suggested" by the movement of the two voices.

    This sounds so "right" and interesting... that I pulled out its score to understand what you did.
    Here it is:

    And actually it is now clear why it sounds so right. The two voices move perfectly, always in contrary motion and almost always in consonances. When they are not in consonance they approach one and resolve in a pretty stable way. The little piece is almost "melody-less" in the first bars that act as a intro, then the counterpoint begins to be richer in bar 4, the melody reaches the climax in bar 5 where you also change the melodic rhythm and the piece begins to flow nicely towards the end, where you reach the tonic chord of Gbminor.

    33 seconds, but very well done and interesting.
    I begin to like the fact that you put out so many sketches, we get quick pics of your ideas and of the moods you are VERY good in creating when you make music.



    EDIT: almost forgetting.... AND those solos from VSL sound gorgeous. I do not recall having ever heard VSL solo strings playing in such a low dynamic, and I really liked them. Usually they seem more shrill, edgy... but this is just perfect. I am pretty sure it also the way you mix them....

  5. #5

    Re: 33 Seconds of Sorrow

    Thanks for the listen guys!

    Thanks Jay. This was quite an interesting test. 98% of the time I never compose in a near complete dry environment, and this is new to me not working with bass or chords first, glad you enjoyed the composition.

    Thanks Rod for the feedback. You have any suggestions for free samples, or even where to purchase those kind of sounds? I could also see them working in this kind of work. Thanks for the listen!

    Thanks for the feedback bro! Also, amazing on the pulling the composition and putting it into notation, although I can't read it LOL, perhaps some day I may be able too. One little thing though, the tempo was 65 hehehe! :P Pretty dang good though... I would have never been able to do this. It was really weird composing this, because I did one instrument at a time and then played the next to revolve around it, but I knew what feeling I wanted. I can always sense the feeling of the music and visualize it to how I want it to sound. Thanks for the comment about mood based music. It is what I am able to do best. I can make an instance of heroism, drama, sorrow, tragedy, happiness, but I have to still have to practice more on the beginning, the middle, and the ending. I do have complete compositions, but most the time my mind is happy with the segment of the mood and then I am done the composition lol! This is why I am good at scoring game music. I finally got the beginning, middle, and end in the final version to LOE's Theme the other day. Anyways, thanks for being a good pal, and all the help you have given me so far, greatly appreciated!

    The Vienna solo strings can be quite aggressive at first! It took time to practice them, but I think I found my way . The dynamics are indeed lower than the default setting which is kind of loud and harsh... So I lowered the velocity which effects dynamics, but they are still not ready yet! Well, not for the best... they are still pretty great at low dynamics, but the real key is in the editing. What I did was added attack to it, rather than a fast legato transition. I also reduced the frequency with the Vienna built in filter controller. Cutting out the high frequency got rid of a lot unwanted stuff, and it made it more classical sounding IMO. With the portamento patches it just added THAT MUCH more emotion IMO. Portamento is emotion to me LOL! That bending of notes in a natural form is soooooo expressive. I swear by Portamento!!! But again it is my ears that like Portamento. However, the Vienna Solos can be really great when worked with properly. I spent hours and hours just messing around with settings for the last while. Vienna is great, just like Garritan. Both have that nice Dry Quality! Only thing I wish that Garritan had was the true Portamento. Other than that, GPO can have some serious mood based instruments like the CELLO 2. That cello is sooooooooo effective. IMO and out of all the libraries I own, GPO cello 2 is the best cello for sorrow. I could only imagine how powerful it would be with true portamento.



  6. #6

    Re: 33 Seconds of Sorrow

    To echo Fab, counterpoint (the way two or more melodies can combine and work together to make a cohesive whole) is indeed a valuable skill to learn, and one that is close to my heart. From listening to this example, sounds like you have a natural sense for it. Look forward to more developments on that front!

    __________________________________________________ _________________
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  7. #7

    Re: 33 Seconds of Sorrow

    60...65... let me make my own interpretation!
    Well, I did the score mostly for me, I wanted to understand how cool this was... because it sounded cool. Since I did it, I though it was funny to show you how your music "looked like". Even if you do not read it, I remember that.

    Yes, Richard, that's exactly how counterpoint works: you use one "fixed voice" and build the other one (or the other ones) around it.
    I also do understand what you say about mood-based music. Complex structures are organized works that involve several sections with specific roles and order. They require technique, patience, "strategy"... but, often, 33 seconds are enough for music to speak to our hearts. And larger compositions are basically a sequence of several "33 seconds moods".

    I knew you tricked out those VSL strings to sound so nice! I also use a lot of low pass filtering on my custom patches to reproduce the character of low dynamics. It is a rather efficient tool that gives impressive results.

    While.. portamento is mostly your thing. I like it, but with measure. A note every now and then.


  8. #8

    Re: 33 Seconds of Sorrow

    You definitely do melancholy well, Richard, as we can hear again in this and your other current post. And this has become such an interesting thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by composingatnight View Post
    This sounds crazy, but you know what would probably sound cool? If you could find some free samples of musicians taking breaths and incorporate those in your composition...
    You don't have JABB, do you Richard? Breaths are part of that Library, along with excellent soloists that I know you would get good use out of. Maybe on down the line you can get that.

    Fab notated it for you! What a great thing!

    Quote Originally Posted by sec2 View Post
    ...I did the score mostly for me, I wanted to understand how cool this was... because it sounded cool. Since I did it, I thought it was funny to show you how your music "looked like". Even if you do not read it, I remember that...
    His notes on counterpoint, and how there are chords in this even though you didn't play them in keyboard-block style as usual - You've broken them up, which is one of the basic and essential tools in arranging. Especially since the score he's made for you is so simple and spare, since what you recorded is that, you can get a sense just from looking at it how your instruments are working together, even though you don't read music. Really, this is one of the coolest things I've seen someone do in a thread!
    Quote Originally Posted by sec2 View Post
    ...larger compositions are basically a sequence of several "33 seconds moods"...
    Excellent thing to point out. I continue to encourage you to reach out and start expanding your work, Richard. What Fab is saying can help you avoid the problem of thinking of such a larger project as one Big Thing. It can be overwhelming, thinking of any task as one giant thing to grasp all at once. Break it down, realize that more developed work is really just a string of smaller bits. I'm glad to see him encourage you this way along those lines. I would suggest perhaps less rush to produce sketches and ideas, and just putting that aside for awhile so you can focus on writing more complete works.

    Quote Originally Posted by sec2 View Post
    ...portamento is mostly your thing. I like it, but with measure. A note every now and then...
    I thought someone else would have mentioned this element before this - I'm glad Fab gently brought it up. In both this and your newest addition to your Tara tributes, you have a lot of deep poramento, and to me, it's just too much. It's sounding overly maudlin, "soupy"--I know it probably feels good to let the strings slide around so often like that, but in my opinion, it cheapens what you're doing. More restraint with that would add some dignity, and I think the result would be even more emotional because the mood won't have been over-stated.

    But it's a sweet fragment, Richard - Thanks once again for posting and sharing.


  9. #9

    Re: 33 Seconds of Sorrow

    A very successful and impactful conveyance of emotion, Richard.

    Again, though, I think I'd use the portamento much more sparingly -- when taken too extremely it tends to detract rather than add to the beauty of the lines.

    All the best,

    David Sosnowski

  10. #10

    Re: 33 Seconds of Sorrow

    In the most sober way, two instruments communicate as people would do, alternating, discording, according, disagreeing, agreeing. A very interesting little experiment with a deep level of emotion. The master proves himself in the minimal.

    Thanks for sharing,


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