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Topic: Love and Strife

  1. #1

    Love and Strife

    Greatings listeningroomers.

    Was wondering if you could help me with this. Usually I post here just because I wonder what people think of the music. But this time, I really am after a bunch of feedback if you have the time.

    To give some background to the piece here is something I wrote about it on my blog

    "(the music I prefer to write) uses some techniques and instruments from classical music, and combines them with electronic music making and a pop sensibility. I call it classical fusion."

    You can read the background at my blog where there is an excerpt of the music:link

    or download the full piece here: link to old music
    edit! updating the piece, new mix is here: link to new music

    In this piece I combine GPO instruments with drum machine and samples of metal, clay and glass. I certainly use a pop sensibility but try to retain the polyphony of classical music. In any case was seeking feedback on a few things. My impressions are:
    - I could use a lot less density in the music at first? building up the polyphony more gradually. The development in this piece is all about the polyphony, not so much the melody or themes.
    - Are the strings mixed too high?
    - I spent ages mastering, there were so many instruments I wanted them all to be heard clearly. However, maybe somethings really should go in the background more. Also, I think maybe I compressed too much?

    ta in advance
    Last edited by WJ Kington; 01-19-2008 at 08:14 AM. Reason: update music link

  2. #2

    Re: Love and Strife

    Hey WJ,

    What an interesting and intriguing post.
    Overall, I think you have successfully merged the two worlds of pop and classical writing.

    - I think the strings could be set back a bit more but not too much.

    - I believe your gradual complexity and control over textures is well arranged and rendered. No complaints there.

    My ears keep bouncing back and forth to all the different timbres of instruments.
    Also great use of more calmer interludes with the soft brass lines. A very needed element for this type of writing.

    Great job and very unique!


    PS, How does the duality of your title translate and describe this work other than the obvious blending of musical styles?
    - just curious.

    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music

  3. #3

    Re: Love and Strife

    I took some of my own advice in my previous post and remixed and remastered a little. The new piece is here: link to new music
    I have mixed down the strings and taken the edge of the compression, it sounds much better on the ears to me, but to others the differences might be subtle.

    To answer your question Michael, the full title is "the love and strife of Empedocles"

    On my blog I write

    "The philosopher Empedocles was credited with describing the four classical elements earth, air, fire and water. He placed them within the continuum of love and strife, forces that allow the elements to take up form. I guess a more contemporary explanation is that matter is the substance of the universe, but matter would be featureless if not for the forces of attraction and separation that act upon it. Attraction (love) and separation (strife) are opposite ends of a great polarity that drives the billowing of form; and the affairs of humans "

    I like to think you can hear the forces of love and strife in the musical parts as they at once intermingle and seperate. Also, I used samples of metal, glass and clay as a nod toward the elements. But I wouldn't read too much into the name, ultimately it was just something to call the piece.

    With regard to classical fusion, I've had an interest in music that is accessible yet with a richness of clasical orchestration for some time. As I go more into it, I see myself soon combining classical ochestration with more ambitious drum machine rythms and various sampled noises.

  4. #4

    Re: Love and Strife

    Interesting in context and ideas. For me polyphony is all about singable melodies in which by offset and contrast form a coherant harmonic motion with surprises in rhythmic development. Just a thought.

  5. #5

    Re: Love and Strife


    Nice colors in your music.

    When I first introduce an instrument, I like the dynamics to be strong enough that it stands out, then I reduce the volume and the ear will keep that sound in its awareness. You seem to introduce a new instrument and then keep the volume static which forces you to be always adding volume on each new addition.

    Still a well done piece.


  6. #6

    Re: Love and Strife

    Hi, W J!

    I think this work is fascinating! What a unique blend of instruments and ideas. Surely you must be rather pleased with your results.

    We all tend to especially enjoy things which seem to come from a perspective which we share with a creator. The books we like best are full of ideas we agree with, for instance. And so it is with the sensibility that comes through your complex piece - though it's actually unlike anything I've ever written, for some reason I felt myself thinking, "YEs, I get this - I like it so much I wish I'd written it!"

    Thanks - Enjoy this hugely!

    Randy B.

  7. #7
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: Love and Strife

    I like this a lot. I'm also a believer in mixing different genres for a different sound and experience. It's very liberating to not have to try and emulate traditional instrument formations.

    I'm not sure if I like the word fusion because it's a term from the sixties jazz- pop- rock era along with the funky trappings.

    One thing I thought about was maybe trying some different panning as it seemed a little heavy to the right. You can even try moving the instruments around a little as the music changes. Maybe spread the strings out a little more.


  8. #8

    Re: Love and Strife

    This is truly amazing music. I'm afraid I won't be able to give you any advice here, just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your mix of sounds. Thank you.
    Kind Regards

    Louis Dekker
    My Music Site

    Pour être grand, il faut avoir été petit.

  9. #9

    Re: Love and Strife

    This sure was interesting and very pleasant to listen to. Listened to it twice and as you know this is not a very short piece. Nice to hear a bit of a blend these days. I liked the harmonies here and there.

    In terms of the mix, I would prefer more dynamics or contrast especially when there is more percussion/drums. More big room reverb and volume would help them jump out in places.

    Having said that I certainly don't want to suggest how to compose this as you obviously had a certain theme and feel in mind.

    Don't know if I liked the ending or if it fit the rest of the piece.

    Lots of work and effort here. Really nice job and hope to hear a lot more from you.

    Music happens to be an art form that transcends language. - Herbie Hancock


  10. #10

    Re: Love and Strife

    A very successful hybridizaton of various styles, WJ;
    and a wonderful choice of soundscape tools with the
    unusual "instruments"... it creates a pleasing, consistent,
    and familiar-while-intriguing environment.

    Much enjoyed!

    My best,


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