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Topic: Advice requested on a 'work in progress'

  1. #1

    Advice requested on a 'work in progress'

    I started this tune last summer using only electronic sounds. After getting GPO I decided rework it in orchestral fashion and develop it into something longer. So I worked on it fairly intensely for about 8 days by which time I was sick of hearing it and totally out of ideas... that was a about a month ago, so now I'm thinking I'd like to finish it. I'm not exactly sure what it's supposed to be yet so maybe that's why I don't know how to finish it, I'd love to get some opinions on where it sits right now and suggestions on what I could do to finish it (and make it better).


    Addiontal info: This tune was originally inspired by a Phillip Glass piece in the film Powaqatsi, perhaps the time signature is the only thing left that remains similar however.

    All sounds are from GPO except the string arpeggio line which is from GOS Lite and the choral pad and tribal drums which are from UVI plugsound modules.

  2. #2

    Re: Advice requested on a 'work in progress'

    Okay, here's my review--please take it for what it's worth and do not take anything personally.

    Overall I enjoyed the piece. It had a very modern feel to it that most "amateur" listeners could appreciate, although "professional" musicians in the collegiate/educational field might scoff at its innocent/sincere harmonic structure.
    • Section 1 (00:00 - 00:47)
      • Though it has a very short introduction, this section has a very solid harmonic structure. You might want to consider more middle voices (i.e. french horn and/or middle woodwinds).
      • The piano at 00:17 seems hesitant and sporadic as if you weren't sure what to write for it. I think the orchestration choice for piano here is brilliant, but it perhaps could be spiced up with grace notes and the occasional chord.
    • Section 2 (00:47 - 02:17)
      • This is the section I think most listeners will appreciate. It has an almost St. Elmo's Fire sort of feeling to it with the arpeggiated string part.
      • I felt the percussion at 01:17 could use something more resonate. It sounded a little "dead."
      • Although I enjoyed the rythm at 01:47, I felt the side drum used stood out a tad to much. Consider replacing it with congo drum instead?
    • Section 3 (02:17 - 03:39)
      • Very nice and smooth transition into a minor mode. Bravo! Since this section feels "softer" than the last, maybe you could shift the percussion subtlely also into something softer: like marimba?
      • I very much enjoyed the brass doubling at 02:57. Lengthen this section. It verges on heroic, but gives way too quickly for the listener to truly appreciate it.
      • Beginning at 03:07 the music sounds like modern background music at church. Basic I-IV-V chords. Not a critique, just an observation.
    • Section 4 (03:39 - 04:31)
      • Here you slid easily into a variation of the "Section 3" theme. Very nicely done.
      • I really enjoyed the percussive buildup at 04:07.
    • Section 5 (04:31 - 05:47)
      • Nice orchestration in this section.
      • Like previosuly mentioned, the side drum stands out a lot here. Although instead of using conga here, maybe you could double the side drum with the timpani and downbeat bass drum.
    • Section 5 (05:47 - 06:45)
      • Although not a failing by any means, this section does feel rather lost and wandering.
      • To give the section more solidity you might consider using the french horns at 06:04 to double the strings with a fanfare-like line.
      • I honestly felt 06:43 was abrupt. You can ease into it by imitating the moving parts of of this section during the last long note in the flute or oboe, fading the imitation out until we have just that last dramatic note.
    Well, I hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
    C. Foster Payne
    Amateur Composer/Orchestrator

  3. #3

    Re: Advice requested on a 'work in progress'


    Thank you very much for your detailed review and suggestions. It's obvious you really listened closely to this tune and took a great deal of time to reply, so I really appreciate it.

    I hear what you're saying about the piano at :17, I'm not a strong piano player so I tend to make parts that are very simple; I'll try to spice this up as you recommended.

    I agree the 'tribal drum' at 1:17 is a bit dead sounding, it's not exactly what I want but it's the best I could find. I heard somebody else's demo a few weeks ago that had exactly the sound I want, I should go back and find out what library that is.

    Regarding the side snare drum, I'm torn, because I really like that sound; if two more people think it feels wrong I'll scrap it.

    Thanks for mentioning the ending, this is where I simply ran out of creative steam last month, I'll give your idea a try.

    Thanks again for the honest opinions and the words of encouragement.


  4. #4

    Re: Advice requested on a 'work in progress'

    Hi Looper

    Looking forward to hearing your piece - but link appears to be broken?

  5. #5

    Re: Advice requested on a 'work in progress'

    Quote Originally Posted by L0W
    Hi Looper

    Looking forward to hearing your piece - but link appears to be broken?
    LOW, Thanks for letting me know. Not only is that mp3 gone but so is my whole website. I have no idea how to fix it so I'll contact the host and my friend who setup the site for me.

    Sorry about that, I'll post again when things are back online.

    Thanks again.


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