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Topic: Piece for Movie challange

  1. #1

    Piece for Movie challange

    This is a piece I composed for the Movie Music Challange
    located here

    I have composed 3 pieces and this is one that will not be entered (I will enter only one piece in the contest).

    The contest is to compose a piece around 3 minutes that will either be a trailer or a theme or I don't really know. The movie will have a hero and a bad guy (don't they all?) that are both human andthe bad guy is a dark lord.

    Well, this one is more of an overture. I figured I would do bits and pieces to show what music might be in the movie and this could also be used in a trailer.

    I didn't spend a lot of time on it, just because I didn't really like the way it was headed, but its not too horrible. I guess I am saying that this was just for fun.

    here it is


    Hope someone likes it.


  2. #2

    Re: Piece for Movie challange


    Well, fun to write and fun to listen ... !

    There is so much going on in this - I really like your opening main theme. I could see that theme alone being expanded into a separate work...?? You have also captured a light fantasy type sound and used classic cinematic tension with the brass staccatos and instrument punctuations.

    Well done, I am sure more will enjoy as well!

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

  3. #3

    Re: Piece for Movie challange

    Hello Mr. Prolific Ron!

    Along the lines of Michael's comments, I want to encourage you to consider doing more with this beyond the context of why you wrote it.

    You said you weren't happy with where it was going - and I wonder why? That leads me to another question* - but I want to wait on that. First:

    The following I mean in the most positive way - It was amusing me to try and picture this as the sound track for a movie which has a scenario as given for the first Movie Challenge in the General Discussion Forum. That general plot description is for a very main stream, commercial movie aimed at a young audience - one of a very derivative nature. It seems to me that just as the narrow confines of that scenario dictates a number of visual displays - impressive CGI, over-the-top performances, hugely theatrical costuming etc - that it also dictates that the music be of a certain mold.

    It would be nice if new territory could be covered in such a movie project, but this scenario is squarely in the very commercial "Lord of the Rings" wannabe mold - and producers of such a hackneyed project would be very perplexed if you presented this music as a sound track idea. And in terms of how things work in show-biz, I think they'd be right. There just isn't much wiggle-room for creativity when a movie project is being conceived as a rubber stamp production from the get to.

    In a word, this is too inventive, too outside the box, too experimental and unfettered for it to fit this narrowly defined genre scenario. IMHO - And that is NO reflection on the music itself.

    So I would say, forget the starting point for your work here, and keep developing it beyond the confines of the movie music idea, and just develop it in purely musical terms.

    * the other question - From the way you said you abandoned this because you didn't like the way it was developing, that makes me think you were working on the entire arrangement at the same time that you were developing the composition. Is that correct? Do you always work that way?

    To me, trying to Do It All At Once is a temptation to not yield to. I think one is much better off to first develop a solid composition on a solo instrument - piano, and work with it until it stands on its own as music without the deepening of colors, moods, textures etc which instrumentation adds. For me, the discipline of writing a piece first keeps me focused on the actual foundation of a piece. Then when I move on to arranging a piece--it's so exciting, like I'm working on a whole new project. The times when I've tried to muddle through doing it All at once has never worked. I end up with wonderful orchestrated phrases that just don't add up.

    And so forth.

    I enjoyed this Ron. I hope you don't mind me saying that I think it says something very positive about your creativity, that you may not have come up with something appropriate for that run-of-the-mill movie story concept, but you sure came up with interesting music!

    Randy B.

  4. #4

    Re: Piece for Movie challange

    Thanks Michael

    This is the one that both of us decided was not as right as the other. I still agree and maybe in time might take it further as you suggest. I think there is a bit of it that can be worked with as you have said.


    I will admit that I have often wondered if I can compose in the mainstream ideas. I have never even tried, maybe because I am afraid to find out that I cannot think that way. The main reason I decided against this one though is for that reason. It just doesn't come close to what mainstream Hollywood sees as movie music.

    I compose in a variety of ways. Sometimes it all comes at once and I do 6-8 measures at a time that are complete and then work on the next etc.

    Sometimes I have a base idea in my mind that I work thru with 1-4 instruments and then come back later and fill in the color etc.

    When I work on an entire measure at once, it is not so much a decision to do so as something I have to do. I hear it all at once in my head and have to get it out. When I compose that way, I will write a 5-8 minute piece in a matter of hours. I would do it faster if I could, but putting notes on the staves takes time. Later I go back and fix any mistakes, sometimes adding or deleting instruments, add dynamics and any other stuff I might have missed.

    Some of my best pieces (in my mind) have been composed this way. I hope I am making myself clear. But in case not, I will try again.

    I open an old project of mine and delete all of the muisc, leaving me with a set of instruments. I start on one with something very simple for a measure or 2. I walk away for a few minutes, thinking about it and the entire piece forms in my mind. All of the melody, harmony, counterpoint, and instrumentation just comes together in my mind. Then I sit down and try to get it out. The problems I have are not so much getting things to come to me, but getting it to sound like it does in my head. Often times I will skip a section and continue on, knowing I have to come back and fix it.

    But as I said, sometimes I also compose start to finish for only a few instruments and then come back and fill in. These pieces always take me longer to do and I find that they are usually not as good.

    The last way I compose is the way this one was done. I write down an idea and orchestrate it and then walk away and see what comes next, Put it on the staves and continue that way until I am finished. I don't like doing it this way because it doesn't seem to work as well for me. For example, in This one, I added measures 3-6 afterwards and I still do not like the way that it fits.

    When a piece works right for me, I just put down the notes that my muse has already put out in the ether for me to find. Then it is just a matter of putting things where they belong.

    Again, I will be honest and say that I am not convinced that anything I compose comes from my mind. Most of the time it feels like it was just put there, waiting for me to do something with it.

    Sorry, if none of this makes sense, but it doesn't to me either. I do Mathematics the same way. I read a little about it and walk away and then all of a sudden it starts to all fit together.

    I think the very atonal stuff I do (cats walking on the piano) is what my mind comes up with. The other stuff comes from somewhere else and surprises me more than anyone else.

    So I understand what you have said, have taken it in the spirit given, and agree with you completely. 10 paragraphs to say what I just said in a sentence. haha

    Thank you for the suggestion that I continue with this one in a different context and perhaps in time I will. School starts back up again on Monday, and I will once again be bogged down in my studies. Fun

    Thanks again


  5. #5

    Re: Piece for Movie challange

    Are we supposed to be airing our entries into the move challenge prior to voting? I always thought that challenges were posted as a ballot all together at the same time?

    I am still in the process of writing mine and do not really wish to get influenced by anothers presentation, so I will defer listening to this and commenting until after the competition deadline.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


  6. #6

    Re: Piece for Movie challange

    Quote Originally Posted by RichR
    Are we supposed to be airing our entries into the move challenge prior to voting? I always thought that challenges were posted as a ballot all together at the same time?

    I am still in the process of writing mine and do not really wish to get influenced by anothers presentation, so I will defer listening to this and commenting until after the competition deadline.


    This will be the first competition I have entered here. But This is not my entry. This is an idea I had for one, but didn't like it for the challenge.

    Sorry for the confusion.


  7. #7

    Re: Piece for Movie challange

    Thanks, I guess that I didn't read your message about the piece as carefully as I should have. I hope I haven't caused any bad feelings. I wasn't upset but I wondered about airing challenges and as you pointed out this is not in the challenge. Please forgive me for not reading carefully enough.


    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


  8. #8

    Re: Piece for Movie challange

    This is a very interesting work. I can see it as a piano concerto. You could certainly expand it in that direction for sure with the amount of material you have included in it! It has an early 20th century feel to it. Nice use of woodwinds and the orchestration is good for the context of the piece.

    Thanks for sharing and excuse me for missing the important word in your first post,
    this is one that will not be entered
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


  9. #9

    Re: Piece for Movie challange


    No hard feelings at all. Often times I read something and see what is not there or miss what is there. I'm sure it is something we all do and hate everytime we have to go back and reread something.

    Now that I am old enough for bifocals as well, it has made it even worse.

    I just didn't want anyone to think I was doing something shady or disapproved of.

    I never thought of this as a piano piece, but I might just do that. I think I might be able to develope the piano more and lean that way.

    Thanks for the suggestion.


    I just went back and reread your post and found something I missed. For me some of the greatest music was composed early 20th century. Prokofiev is my hero.
    Thanks again


  10. #10

    Re: Piece for Movie challange

    Hi Ron,

    Whoops! I missed this one! I've been wrapped up in a few different projects and I've had a pretty hard time keeping up, and I knew I had missed something of yours... but I found it!

    You are obviously continuing to hone your composing chops, Ron; I hear things thematically and harmonically in this that definitely indicate an even higher degree of cohesiveness in your technique. Just a short, effectively simple motif like those traded staccato eighths that recur a few times do wonders for "telling the story" and creating reference points for the mind and ears. They also sounded really cool!

    From the way you worded your post, I could tell you weren't all that thrilled with this; personally, I think it's on an equal with your best stuff... it's apparent you're developing a higher self-standard and your "filtering process" has become much more stringent. That's a good thing... to a point.

    It's natural, I think, to want to move on to completely new things once we've completed a piece or specific project. But I think it's also valuable to revisit pieces you've previously divorced and take a fresh look at their assets and further exploit them. I think this one could very well fall into that category for you.

    Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get involved with the whole movie challenge thing going on; sounds like fun! If it includes a "blind vote" process, there still would be no doubt which entry is yours. You've developed such a decisively unique style (in every positive sense) that there would be little or no doubt that it's a "Rolifer".

    It's exciting and just plain fun to experience your growth and development as a writer of very special music.


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