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Topic: A couple of pieces from my musical world....

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  1. #1

    A couple of pieces from my musical world....

    Hi there fellow NS folk,

    I've been a member here for nearly two years now, and realised I've never really posted any of my own music here. Here are a couple of pieces.........

    If you are feeling angry..........

    http://www.stephenreesaudio.com/Bust..._Jazz_Town.mp3

    If you are feeling happy..........

    http://www.stephenreesaudio.com/El_Vaquero.mp3

    Libraries used are EWQLSO, White Grand, Backbeat through Stylus RMX, and there's a single sample from 'Heart of Africa' in there somewhere too.

    Any comments / words of encouragement / words of disparagement appreciated, although if you only have time to take a quick listen that's cool too.

    Good luck with your own music.

    Steve

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
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    311

    Re: A couple of pieces from my musical world....

    listened to both and enjoyed them. keep going straight ahead.

    jamiha

  3. #3

    Re: A couple of pieces from my musical world....

    Steve Rees you're by far one of the best composers I've ever heard.

    I hope that you're aggressively pursuing music in England as I see you as one of the really, really good English composers on par with Trevor Jones and dare I say Malcom Arnold(he is English right?)

    Do you know Trevor? You should meet him if you don't.

    My personal preference for string writing is to write individual moving parts rather than in chordal (choral) style in the strings. You know parts that work horizontally and vertically rather than just vertically like in your second piece. It just sounds more lyrical in my ears. But that's just me. Counterpoint nut that I am.

    Good show mate! Keep 'em coming 'ol boy.

    Cheers,

    Jose

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2003
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    Budleigh Salterton
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    1,477

    Re: A couple of pieces from my musical world....

    Yes, very nice. I especially enjoyed the second one. I like Western style music a lot.

    The first one reminded of Predator by Alan Silvestri in some ways, which is no bad thing. It's actually a mix of Silvestri and Goldsmith on third listening.

    The only thing worth adding maybe is, the horn sections are very tidy in the 'midi' sense. Too tidy probably.

    Very good and well worth listening to.

  5. #5

    Re: A couple of pieces from my musical world....

    Hi Steve

    To my ear i loved the fusion of ideas of the first one, its nice to hear someone being more inventive with genres

  6. #6

    Re: A couple of pieces from my musical world....

    Jamiha, Jose, Paul and Charles,

    Thanks for taking the time to listen and post, and for the positive comments on improvements. Much appreciated!

    I don't know Trevor Jones as it happens, and suspect he might have one or two slightly more pressing engagements in his social diary than meeting me ha ha.

    It's funny you should mention Jerry Goldsmith Paul. He's without doubt my favourite composer full stop, and I've been listening to his music for years. Perhaps all that listening has affected the way I write and think about music a little. I hope so! If people think they can hear a little Jerry Goldsmith in what I do, I'd take that as a huge compliment.

    Thanks again for the comments,

    All the best,

    Steve

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Thumbs up Re: A couple of pieces from my musical world....

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rees

    It's funny you should mention Jerry Goldsmith Paul. He's without doubt my favourite composer full stop, and I've been listening to his music for years. Perhaps all that listening has affected the way I write and think about music a little. I hope so! If people think they can hear a little Jerry Goldsmith in what I do, I'd take that as a huge compliment.

    Steve
    Anyone with a TV/Filmscore attitude to writing, in general, will write derivative music, either consciously or unconsciously. Mozart did, Beethoven did and so on, right on up to the present day. That is an entirely different issue to being a plagiarist of course and in no way comparable.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong in writing in the style of someone like Jerry Goldsmith, because he would have been doing the same thing also, and he was a great writer.

    To wish to write music for film, images etc and at the same be totally original, I would suggest is a complete waste of your time and mine and everybody else. Simpy because - have you actually heard something completely and totally original lately? No, of course not. The only time one thinks they are hearing something really new is generally when it's so completely atonal, it's almost painful to listen to. And then, you can bet your life it's been already done. Or, worse, they have no real knowledge.

    So yes, getting back to your work, anyone who may mention Goldsmith in the context of what you're doing can be taken as a compliment. There again, I could have said it reminds me of Fred Bloggs of 23, Arcatia Avenue, Worksop of whom you've never heard of. And yet, he may well be BETTER than Goldsmith. One simply uses names that one and all is familiar with.

    A lot of people take exception to being reminded that they have borrowed a style and then grafted that to their own ideas. Never can understand that - referring back to what I suggested earlier. Your work is very good and thats all that matters. I would like to hear something slightly more contrapuntal, but that's just for my own selfish listening interest and is of no matter.

    So yes, you can't go wrong with Jerry Goldsmith as a stylistic example. For your interest, my favourite film writer is well known by now - Bernard Herrmann. Technically head and shoulders above all the others, whether one actually likes listening to his work or not. That is an indisputable fact of life. Haha! And all the others - Goldsmith, Bernstein, Barry, North, Moross etc - knew it.

    Have you made a study of Herrmann whilst at Guildford? I used to go down to Guildford when I was at college in London to visit friends that were at university there - Waterloo to Guildford I think it was - can't remember to well now. In those days, they would NEVER even mention writers like Herrmann or Goldsmth. They were regarded as second and third rate. I think that TV programme on Herrmann lately put paid to all that, don't you?

    I believe more and more nowadays, that anyone wishing to make filmscoring their career, is wasting a lot of their time studying the likes of Beethoven and Mozart. An entirely different discipline in my view.

    Anyway, unusually long post from me this time Steve, but I think your writing and influences deserve talking about.

    PR

  8. #8

    Re: A couple of pieces from my musical world....

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the long and informative post. I think you are quite right to divide up music we write between out and out 'pastiche', and those where we write our own thing, but have no doubt been influenced by other music that we have heard.

    From a personal perspective, I have my own version of the ubiquitous 'Hans Zimmer - Media Ventures' type one on my site, but in the context of posting music here, I didn't think that would be very interesting for anyone on NS to hear. After all, Hans Zimmer does is rather well already doesn't he I find I write that kind of thing more from the perspective of 'I wonder if I could produce a piece of music that sounds like that, both in terms of composition and production' rather than from any personal sense of connection with the music. You could argue that doing that sort of thing is 99% of what being a media composer is about.

    The two pieces I posted are more 'me writing for me' without an eye on media buyers, film music, demos and such like, and the results when I do that always seem to be that I write my best music (a lesson I have to keep reminding myself every time I decide I should write more like John Williams or something!).

    Bernard Hermann of course! He's another favourite and I thoroughly enjoy his music. I have a much closer affinity with Jerry Goldsmith I think because I've grown up with Jerry Goldsmith's music as a living growing body of work. Back to say 'Star Trek - The Motion Picture' I've been to see the films and collected the scores as they have been written. It was a real shock to me when he died last year. No more new Jerry Goldsmith music. I couldn't believe it. It really felt like a close friend had died. In contrast, Bernard Hermann had already passed away when I started to become interested in his music, so there was this finite 'body of work' waiting to be discovered and somehow that's created a different sense of connection to his music than I have with Jerry Goldsmith's.

    I probably didn't make the most of my composing time at Guildford. I was far more interested in pursuing a career as a pianist at the time, and it was only towards the end of my final year that a reptitive stress injury took hold and I had to really rethink things. I always made it clear that my interest lay in film music at university as far as composing goes, and did get a variety of responses from 'huh?', and 'why?', to 'you should listen to Bernard Hermann, his Fahrenheit 451 score is fantastic'.

    As far as studying the great masters goes, I've always found Beethoven far more interesting and relevant to film music than Mozart. I've performed a lot more Beethoven too, and just connect to what he's trying to do more readily than Mozart. Having said that, if you asked why I'm interested in music at all today, I could probably trace it all back to Jerry Goldsmith's 'Poltergeist', John Williams' 'The Empire Strikes Back', and James Horner's 'Krull'.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write you thoughts. It's always interesting and helpful to hear what others have to say.

    All the best,

    Steve

  9. #9

    Re: A couple of pieces from my musical world....

    Steve,

    Great work, you second composition is my favorite, since I am a melody person. Your mockup sounds incredible, the sustained strings could use a bit of work. But the staccato strings sound great aswell as everything else.

    Keep em coming man, you're very gifted.
    Adam Frechette
    Alternate Future Productions, LLC. CEO
    Composition | Web Design
    - www.morningswrath.com
    - www.etherealdarkness.com
    - www.audiostreet.net/adamfrechette

  10. #10

    Re: A couple of pieces from my musical world....

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Frechette
    Steve,

    Great work, you second composition is my favorite, since I am a melody person. Your mockup sounds incredible, the sustained strings could use a bit of work. But the staccato strings sound great aswell as everything else.

    Keep em coming man, you're very gifted.
    Cheers Adam!

    Thanks for the compliment about the mockup. EWQLSO is a bit of a wonder. It makes me sound like I have mixing skills that I don't really have. It's all there 'out of the box' as they say. I've had it for 18 months now and I'm still finding new and better ways to use it, or articulations that I never really realized I had.

    You're right about the sustained strings. It's a weakness of mine and something I'm working on to improve.

    Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks again.

    Steve

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