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Topic: Broken Swords

  1. #1

    Broken Swords

    I have so many demos to catch up on...

    But I hope you don't mind if I share a piece I finished yesterday called "Broken Swords". It's nothing too fancy; it stays in F minor the entire time and has a distinct ABCBA structure. I had to get the melodies out of my head so I have room for more... (Hmmm, that's a corny way to put it, no?)

    Hope you enjoy!


    And for a visual experience: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-NiKTYrYcY
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  2. #2
    Senior Member rayzalaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: Broken Swords

    Hi Sean,

    Another in your castles and ogres series.
    I like it very much, the changes in signature etc.
    Although you have used dynamics well in the horn sections, I think your string chords need worked on. You need to ride that fader on them and use more legato. A more flowing presentation of them would make this piece very, very good.

    My Best


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    Re: Broken Swords

    Hi Sean. I just watched your latest demo – yes I decided to go for the more visual experience. Very lovely theme and some very nice orchestrations. This is very cinematic. I like your ending credits.

    You brought up the one the one thing that would make it better – in a few places modulating to a nearly related key would help. As a film soundtrack it doesn’t have to, nor if you want to sound like Manheim Steamroller, but as a concert piece it should. Before I started seriously studying music my brother asked me why all of my music sounded like Ravel’s Bolero……

    Anyway, as I said before, very lovely tune and some great orchestration.

    Thinking of orchestrations, I want to say how impressed I was with your Challenge 12 entry. I know in a lot of ways that is very different than what you normally do, but it came out great.
    Trent P. McDonald

  4. #4

    Re: Broken Swords

    this piece had some lovely movements and memorable parts - the place every composer shoots for. i thought the section with the low flute and harp was incredibly done (the harp line especially). then the part after with the oboe - was there some pizzicato to back up the harp? i felt like there should have been to separate it from the flute section, and it sort of sounded like there was at an extremely low velocity.

    the other high point of the piece in my opinion was the percussion. it was simple but went perfectly with the epic sounding strings. then, was that a trombone near the end or a french horn? i think, and this is only my humble opinion, that if you added a french horn in the background to play parts of the line a second after the first brass instrument it would have a enormous sound - but like i said, that is only my humble opinion.

    all in all i thought it was an awesome piece. it had that adventure feel, and sounded as if it was telling a very epic and important story. great job on this one.
    -Keith Fuller

    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  5. #5

    Re: Broken Swords

    Hi, Sean

    What a treat to hear some music from you!

    I've just now had a great time listening to the MP3--Now I'm wanting to do the visual experience thing, using your other link. I wanted to focus on the music itself first.

    I think there is excellent craftsmanship in your controlled, elegant arrangement. What you've done outlines, supports, fleshes out and conveys the melodies themselves exactly as it seems they should be.

    Deeply impressed, Sean. Thanks for the Medieval atmosphere you've piped into my studio this morning!

    Randy B.

  6. #6

    Re: Broken Swords

    Hi Sean,

    a very nice composition and arrangement with much feeling inside, I like it!

    I agree with Ray,
    Quote Originally Posted by rayzalaf
    ....I think your string chords need worked on. You need to ride that fader on them and use more legato. A more flowing presentation of them would make this piece very, very good.
    My tip: Look first at the note lengths .... .

    Best whishes my friend

    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  7. #7
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: Broken Swords


    You have showed many times in other posts that you can write the swashbuckling/climax building score - it's really nice to hear the more lyrical side of your thinking. This builds beautifully, but it starts with beautiful material. I think I like this the best of all things of your's I have heard (hope you take that as a compliment!).

    Yes, perhaps the strings could use some attention - for me it was their opening note that seemed too strongly accented. One small thought - what if they came in before the previous phrase finished; just a few beats, but it would cover the "joint" so to speak. Just a small suggestion, as this is some very lovely writing.

    I know you said you wanted to make room for other ideas, but don't abandon this one too quickly - it's a winner.

    All the best,
    Ron Pearl





  8. #8

    Re: Broken Swords

    What a delightful arrangement!

    You're the master of memorable melodies!

    You also have a keen awareness of building upon a theme and maintaining interest!

    I also enjoyed the visual.. what a treat!... a nice creative change from the typical score notation. how was it done?.. there must be a program that can translate notes into visuals ( I couldn't imagine the effort to manually create this!)

    Although I noticed the audio quality of the U-tube visual is dramatically poorer than your mp3.

    Terrific work, Sean!


  9. #9

    Re: Broken Swords

    Hi Sean -
    I didn't watch the vid because I wanted to paint my own pictures just by listening... lovely stuff. I got a feeling of tremendous space, wide-open plains, galloping horses and all that... good job I'm not agoraphobic. I love F minor and I'm going to have the main melody on my brain all night now. Addictive ! Thank you.

  10. #10

    Re: Broken Swords

    Nice tune here Sean! Harp + Oboe was made for things like the first section. Weary warrior's lament and all that. Like a few others who commented, I can really appreciate how the writing remains strongly melodic and yet still interesting, which is something that I struggle with in my own compositions.

    Yeah note lengths could use some tweaking, but it's a great song nonetheless so that's not too big of a deal.

    There is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Therefore there must be a God. You either get this one or you don't - Kreeft & Tacelli
    The will to achieve is not sufficient. Some things should not be achieved. - Rimsky-Korsakov
    Musicians are just these guys that want to make music. Okay, they want to have a wonderful lifestyle, but the majority just want to make really great music. - Jon Anderson

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