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Topic: DECK THE HALL: genesis of a Xmas project!

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  1. #1

    Lightbulb DECK THE HALL: genesis of a Xmas project!

    With a different entry (like the last year) I should avoid posting a preview, and let the "premiere" for Christmas (...or the CD...).

    But my little project need some comments and has a challenging trick inside, that I would like to share with you and receive your comments.

    The piece has born round 10 years ago as a Choral arrangement, for "a cappella" 4 voices SATB vocal ensamble. Because of the love I had for the piece, and some "madrigalistic" effect (the metaphoric relation between text and music) that an orchestral accompainement should enhance and complete, I decided to make it for the 2006 Xmas compilation (if it will be accepted...):

    - The first verses tell about happines and to deck: the text suggest the happy fanfare, with sparkling ornamentation of the lower voices in counterpoint with the main theme of the soprano.

    - the second section slow down to the "merry measures" and the mood of the warm and "blazing Yule". It is more omophonic, but effects follow every word (blazing chimes, striking harp, following chromatic countermelodies, etc.). To fill the slower melody predominance, a warm sophisticated harmony is made by muted lower voices "joining the Chorus".

    - The last section tells "the old year fast passing away", and the new to annunce: it's time for a fast fugue! When everybody is singing joyous in the "tutti" (all togethere) the final "stretto" of the short fugue makes in music the "wind and wether" to headless forget, and for the final entry of the main theme over the "pedale" bass, the "Coltrain ending" harmonies link back to the jazzy central section, as a tribute to the American tradition of this nice carol.

    But even if the Orchestra should work quite well thanks to GPO wellknown flexibility, what about the Choir?
    (Gary, just do it, we are all waiting... )

    I take my risk, and I know that expecting you all a fine ensamble singing what I described above, the real result may be really disappointing...sorry, I had not the ensamble. But I had a friend. And I had some libraries and some tools.

    Roberto Ferrari (aka "beach") did for me the basic rendering being the "bones" of my Choir rendition. Over the tracks, I mixed several other sources to try the caracterization of different vocal registers, and I did a deep editing with EQ and fade automation. The result is a "drunk frankenstein" Choir, I know, but it's the best I was able of producing without real singers: compared to real singing it's quite disappointing, but please think for a while that it's all made via MIDI!

    Now start your comments and let me know how BAD...or how good it is, and if English-speaking people will enjoy the music, or will be too irritated by the bad pronunciation of the lyrics...

    "Deck The Hall", a GPO Xmas carol
    with choir.

    Instrumental version (no choir)
    without choir

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Re: DECK THE HALL: genesis of a Xmas project!

    Hi Fabio,

    the intro is good though I would maybe liked to have 1 or 2 bars before the trumpets come in. I think they needed some more preparation. I also find them are too deep in the mix.

    1st verse - I liked it very much, it would be great in live performance. The modulation/mood change is very well done!

    2nd verse - Very good and interesting harmonies. Would like to hear more bass in the mix.

    3rd verse - Very good start of an fugue and it would sound very interesting in live performance, however the end was kind of let down. Don't know exactly if it was because the fugue was so short, Bach would maybe called it fughetto instead of fugue, or if it was just because the ending kind of left me hanging in the air.

    Overall, very good job on this and it would be very interesting to hear it performed live!

    Please use Piccolo trumpet instead of normal trumpet patch, picc. sounds so much more real than the normal patches IMHO.

    Thumbs up!
    Sincerely,
    Falcon1


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  3. #3

    Re: DECK THE HALL: genesis of a Xmas project!

    Fabio,
    I think the choir sounds pretty amazing not to be live. The articulation of syllables is good and it is quite enjoyable for an English speaking audience (if a Southerner from Georgia qualifies

  4. #4

    Smile Re: DECK THE HALL: genesis of a Xmas project!

    Quote Originally Posted by falcon1
    Hi Fabio,

    the intro is good though I would maybe liked to have 1 or 2 bars before the trumpets come in. I think they needed some more preparation. I also find them are too deep in the mix.

    ...

    3rd verse - Very good start of an fugue and it would sound very interesting in live performance, however the end was kind of let down. Don't know exactly if it was because the fugue was so short, Bach would maybe called it fughetto instead of fugue, or if it was just because the ending kind of left me hanging in the air.
    ...

    Please use Piccolo trumpet instead of normal trumpet patch, picc. sounds so much more real than the normal patches IMHO.

    Thumbs up!
    Yes, you are right on every point. The trumpets were back to let space to the sound of sopranos, but staying alone more power is possible.

    Yes, the fugue is a very condensed form, we can call fugato. But every requested section of a fuge are in the little final section:
    exposition, a divertimento, the stretto and a final short pedal

    Thanks for the kind comments.

  5. #5
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    Re: DECK THE HALL: genesis of a Xmas project!

    Fabio,

    Very nice setting of Deck The Halls. I enjoyed both the orchestra and the "choir" very much and the manner in which you put them both together. I think it would be great to have it performed with live musicians.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  6. #6

    Thumbs up Re: DECK THE HALL: genesis of a Xmas project!

    Hey, I really enjoyed this! And wow, not bad at all for a synthesized choir! My only wish was for a slightly different ending, something not quite so sudden.
    Great work!

    Jim

  7. #7

    Re: DECK THE HALL: genesis of a Xmas project!

    This is really good well done.

  8. #8

    Re: DECK THE HALL: genesis of a Xmas project!

    I think calling this an "arrangement" would fall far short
    of giving the writing credit, Fabio; this is marvelous...
    ingenious, well balanced, organic and flowing.

    Though I recognized the shortcomings of sampling
    technology, particularly with vocals, in my mind's ear,
    this is quite stunning in live performance.

    As I so often find myself saying when you pleasure us
    with your work:

    Bravo!

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  9. #9

    Red face Re: DECK THE HALL: genesis of a Xmas project!

    Thanks to everybody for kind words, it's important to me know about the effect of my rendition on people used to listen to the real carol.

    You are all fine musicians, and your comments about music stimulating the desire of a live performance make me quite happy: it's when a composition is reaching the target.

  10. #10
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: DECK THE HALL: genesis of a Xmas project!

    It sound very nice and human to me.

    After listening to the last part again I have a strong sense that there is more to the work and this is not the ending.

    Phil

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