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Topic: "Resigned to Die" Nocturne in C# Minor Revised

  1. #1

    "Resigned to Die" Nocturne in C# Minor Revised


    First and formost, I would like to take the time to thank each and every one of you who have taken the time to listen to this composition. I am equally grateful those who have listened and commented, as I am to those who have listened only. There have been moments when I only wanted to listen and did not wish to comment. Listening is an unspoken comment.

    About "Nocturne in C Sharp Minor 'Resigned to Die'":
    This composition was inspired by Chapter Thirty-four of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The title of that chapter is "The Forest Again." This piece represents the inner struggles I fealt for what Harry Potter was experiencing, when reading the book. As he embraced whatever destiny had chosen for him, I embraced it with him. Since writing this piece I realized that everyone has the same kind of destiny, and like Harry choice is the key. It is what we choose that really makes the difference. At some point in each of our futures we will have to walk into the "Forbidden Forest of Death" and become resigned to die. It is not my desire to wax morbid in this post, but it is a direct reflection of the theme of the entire Harry Potter series. I am simply trying to give you the most accurate description of this composition.

    This is the final revision of this piece. Ultimately, I realized that I had to choose what would be the elements that make up this composition. I thought about J. K. Rowling and the fact that she had to choose who would live and who would die in her story. She had to choose the dialog for each character; and she had to choose the words to describe each event in the story. In an interview after the last book she was asked if there was anything she would change in any of the books. She said yes, and it would be to do a better job of editing "Order of the Phoenix." She said, "it was too long." As a fathful reader of this book series I did not find Order too long, and would not want her to change one word. There you have it, it is, in the final analysis, a matter of choice. The creator gets the final word.

    I have chosen each and every note, rest, rhythem, expression, dynamic and tempo. I chose them because I believe each is the correct one to convey the emotions I experienced while reading chapter thirty-four in Deathly Hallows. Are there things I would change, yes! However, it would only be made on the recording side.

    I have not taken much time to learn how to use Sonar. I only decided tonight to try for the fun of it. I admit that I still don't have a clue about the software at this time, nor do I have the time need to master Sonar. I've only just begun to live in the past fifteen months. Finale, GPO, Sonar and composition are in their infancy stage for me at this point. Try to imagine a fifteen month child just beginning to learn about his/her new world.

    My hope in sharing this composition is that it will inspire, entertain, and move you as it has me. If I allow myself to dewll on each and every tiny detail I feel that I would accompolish nothing but a mind full of philosophical/techno babble.

    It was composed using Finale 2008 and Garritan Personal Orchestra's Steinway Grand. I decided that I would also experiment with Sonor Home Studio 6 XL to see if I could produce a better quality recording of this piece. I think that it is greatly improved by Sonar. Finale is, first and formost an engraver quality notation software, and is esteeme by me to be the best of its kind that I have used. However, it is not, I have learned, capable of producing a studio quality sound recordings.

    Those of you that are members of the forum, who are far more experienced on the recording side of things, please feel free to share any information about Sonar and ambience that you think could imporve this recording. Remember you will be communicating your knowledge and expertise to a tyro.

    I have spent three to four hours trying to tweek this file in Finale and Sonar. Finally, I decided that I would revert back to my Finale only policy. I have removed the preset ambience and chosen a notation quality dryness. I have had to make a very important choice here. I have chosen not to take the path of a recording expert. I choose the path of a composer alone. If this modification is appreciated by just one then I have accomplished my goal. In time when I have reached a more masterful level of both composition and Finale, then perhaps I can look to other software possibilities. In the fullness of time when I have mastered all of the software at my disposal then perhaps I shall feel comfortable enough to post another of my compositions in the "Listening" Room.
    Last edited by Samantha Penigar; 08-12-2007 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Additions
    Samantha Penigar


    Dream it! Then Do it! Good things come to those who work while they wait. [COLOR=purple]Persistence[/COLO

  2. #2

    Re: "Resigned to Die" Nocturne in C# Minor Revised

    Hi Samantha

    This is indeed very emotional music. Very passionate! I too am a Harry Potter fan. I have the english book of Deathly Hallows but it is a little complicated for me, especially the different names. But I desperately wanted to know what is going to happen. I will just have to wait for the french version to come out on October 26.......so long to wait.... Your music has just increased my curiosity so much.

    I wanted to make one comment about the rendering, if I may. I would bring the Piano more to the front of the stage. It sounds to me a little too far away, so a lot of the little details go undetected.

    Beautiful piece. Thank you.
    Kind Regards

    Louis Dekker
    My Music Site

    Pour être grand, il faut avoir été petit.

  3. #3

    Re: "Resigned to Die" Nocturne in C# Minor Revised

    Your piece is nice and you are coming along as a composer, but this has a strange acoustic sound as though you are using nineteen times too much reverberation.II III can't quite explain what I mean. IIMaybe someone else can put it into more understandable terms.


    Larry G. Alexander

  4. #4

    Re: "Resigned to Die" Nocturne in C# Minor Revised

    Hello, Samantha

    This is such an exciting use of our virtual recital hall, The Listening Room, when works are posted in progression as the composer works on them. That's why I was really interested when I saw that you had returned with the results of your continued development of your Nocturne.

    MMmm, nice, there seems to be advancement throughout the entire piece. I recall some of the discussion on the first version you posted. The suden bursts of passages that were discussed last time are feeling more organically incorporated into the whole in your revision. Very nice development in that area.

    I also really enjoyed reading your introduction to the post. The details helped me get even more into the process, inspiration and mood in which you worked on this, thanks for that.

    For me, there's generally a greater musical cohesion throughout your dramatic piece which makes it even more compelling than the first version. I really admire what you've accomplished here.

    I see there has been feedback on the use of ambience in this recording - Yes, I understand where those reactions are coming from. If you can take an objective listen just to the over all sound of the recording, Samantha, can you hear how it sounds as if the pianist is a very long way from us, the listeners, as if the piano is way at the upstage (back) position in a Very large venue--one which is probably empty?

    The reverb is so "wet" that I can even feel like I'm over-hearing the recital from the lobby of a concert hall, not just the back row.

    Dialing back that reverb amount would move the soloist closer to us. If we could feel we're comfortably in the middle of the auditorium, in one of the expensive seats, it would be more realistic and would help support the beautiful music more successfully.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us what you've been working on, Samantha. Brava!

    Randy B.

  5. #5

    Re: "Resigned to Die" Nocturne in C# Minor Revised

    I like the lyrical expressiveness of this one. Also the continual inventiveness of the phrases, and yet all of it tied together by the accompaniment. It sounds very accomplished. I agree with the comments on the reverb. It does sound like listening to someone practicing from the back of an empty recital hall. There are two ways to adjust this in Sonar.

    Either experiment with changing the wet and dry sliders directly in Ambience:

    Or, as Randy explained to me the other day, you can alternatively leave the Ambience at its preset and just make a single adjustment to the bus send level in Sonar.

    This music is so attractive I think it's worth re-rendering with that small change.
    Vista / Sonar Home Studio 6 / GPO 2d edition / Melodyne Uno 1.8

  6. #6

    Re: "Resigned to Die" Nocturne in C# Minor Revised

    As a young child myself in the world of computer generated music, I applaud you . You are a bit older than me in that respect and I can see it in your usage of the products. The piece has a lot of emotion in it and a great feel. Well done! I enjoy Harry Potter, and have seen all the movies. I have only read the first one of her books and started the 2nd one before giving up, as I thought the books were a little too "young" for me, but i loved the movies.

  7. #7

    Re: "Resigned to Die" Nocturne in C# Minor Revised

    Samantha, you are using FInale, right?

    then might I suggest you create two Note Expressions:

    set each one to the font "hidden"

    and for playback make one "controller 64 - value 127"
    the other "controller 64 - value 0"

    the first one will be "pedal on"
    the second one will be "pedal off"

    (I actually use "ped" and "*" for my pedal expressions)

    I always make a quick key shortcut defined to press "Z" for pedal on, and "X" for pedal off when I'm writing for piano.

    you can play around with it and you'll get a feeling for where and when to put the pedal markings in.

    If you have this piece as a Finale file, send it to me and I can add a few in for you to get an idea of how it can work.

    Listening to it here my first impression is of a computer playing piano music. With the proper pedal expressions it could probably fool someone into thinking it was a live performance!

    I didn't want to listen to your piece too far, because I haven't started the final HP book yet (I am a MAJOR HP fan). I need to wait for it to come out in French for my husband to start reading it at the same time. I hate that I could finish it now and know the ending before he does.

    I only read the first page, with those two poems, and I had tears in my eyes. So I'm expecting a hard hit from reading this book.

    Meanwhile I will have to live with Paul Hindemith's arid, and at times seemingly pointless, "The Craft of Musical Composition".

    I AM looking forward to a calmer moment to listen to your Nocturne.

  8. #8

    Re: "Resigned to Die" Nocturne in C# Minor Revised

    Beautiful nocturne. That Chapter 34 is perhaps the greatest chapter in all the Harry Potter books, it is wonderful how you have captured the strong emotions of it.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Penfield (Rochester), NY

    Re: "Resigned to Die" Nocturne in C# Minor Revised


    What a lovely work your Nocturne is. Gentle and powerful all rolled into one! One serious work you have presented to us. A huge effort well done, a humbling experience to listen to it.

    I too am a Finale, notation only user, depending on the markins of the score to provide the interpretation of the music through the Human Playback feature expanded only with the Garritan Ambience.

    Thanks for sharing your works with the forum.



  10. #10

    Re: "Resigned to Die" Nocturne in C# Minor Revised

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHannifin
    Beautiful nocturne. That Chapter 34 is perhaps the greatest chapter in all the Harry Potter books, it is wonderful how you have captured the strong emotions of it.
    Sean, you are quite correct. Chapter 34 is the greatest of all the chapters in the series, but I think that the Epilogue is the most powerful and magical of all.

    By the way, I have started collecting wood and even purchased a small hand held cordless sander/drill for my newest hobby. I am making handmade wooden wands. Ultimately, I think I will drift into the conductors wands. The ones currently on the market are so impersonal. I think it would be wonderful if conductors had wands that are as personal to them as wands are to wizards. So far I made two. One for me and one for my brother's girlfriends daughter. She love it and carries around the house with her.

    I'm gladdened that you like my composition.
    Samantha Penigar


    Dream it! Then Do it! Good things come to those who work while they wait. [COLOR=purple]Persistence[/COLO

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