I have mentioned before that I don't have a 'compositional' bone in my body. I arrange things - not create them. Over about 15 years of dabbling with computer music, to my recollection, I have only made 1 original composition. Since this forum is 95% original works, I thought that I might give my "widow's mite".
This came about when my oldest daughter finished her course work to become a massage therapist. So I decided I would make an attempt at putting together some 'relaxation' music that she could use.
I had just gotten some vocal samples and thought that this would be a good medium to use. They had a selection of major and minor chords with the entire choir humming in harmony (not separate parts). So this would be in 'perfect' harmony, not in equal temperment - which, except for octaves, is "out of tune".
To make this piece for the forum, I decided to break up the vocal parts and double them (quietly) with GPO Lush Muted strings. (Afterall, posts are supposed to have some sort of Garritan library associated with them). Therefore, I needed to bring the 'inner parts' back into 'perfect' harmony (since the Soprano and Bass are octaves of each other). It turns out that the thirds are about 13 and 15 cents off, while the fifth is only about 2 cents off (I knew that the fifth was the closest interval in the equal temperment scale to being "in tune"). So I added the appropriate amount of pitch bend to each inner voice note to bring it into tune.
I'm not sure what happened, but it sounded terrible! I really didn't investigate it, but it sounded like the pitch bend range was an octave instead of 2 semi-tones. And, since I was using corrections on the order of 560 and 640 (out of 4096 per semi-tone - or so I thought), this should have made only a slight difference instead of what I think may have been around a semi-tone and a half. So I just used the equal temperment version. I don't think that most people would know the difference, anyway.
Here is a little more info about how I constructed the piece. It is 12:51 long. This corresponds to the length of time between 1/1/2000 and 12/21/2012 (at 12:21:12.21 - ha, ha), the end of the Mayan calendar. Each year (365 1/4 days) corresponds to 1 minute of music; hence, 12:51. Each chord change is about as long as one season. (Remember, this is meant as a relaxation tool, so the long 'metaphysical' nuances play into the whole scheme).
The name - Saturn-Enh: In my messing around with 3D sound presentation (like 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1, etc. - they are really 2D), I decided to do a bunch of tracks depicting the planets of the solar system circling the sun (the sun being the listener in the center of it all). I made a completely different set of sounds for each planet so that they could easily be distinguished from one another. With the surround panning in Sonar, I positioned each planet in its proper angular location on 1/1/2000, and programmed the correct angular velocity (as a track pan parameter) so that each planet would progress the actual distance around the sun for the period of time respresent by this piece (the same 1/1/2000 to 12/21/2012). Mercury was a combination of rhythmic patterns and made one revolution every minute (about). I used the piece posted below as the one for Saturn, since it is the slowest moving (takes the longest to circle the sun) of the planets visible to the naked eye (and ancient observers). "Enh" is for the fact that I "enhanced" the original version with the use of strings.
The first half is a simple downward, then upward chromatic scale. The first and last quarters of the piece are major chords, and the middle half is in minor. The first half and last 3 chords are close harmony and most of the last half is in open harmony. And, believe it or not, the last half IS a series of cadences (some are obscure).
The strings are just barely noticeable as the choir's hum is supposed to dominate. I reprogrammed the attack and decay of the choir to be 3.5 seconds, each. That is why the change in part notes seems to melt into one another and why there is such a seemingly long reverb (but it really isn't reverb). So at the change of notes, you can hear the strings a little more since their attack and decay are 'normal'.
Please don't get too bored with the first half. Remember - RELAXATION. It is intended to allow the tensions of the day to be supplanted by a VERY simple musical progression - no surprises or anything to 'catch' your attention; just to relax. Then, the last half (possibly) evokes a soothing response.
Maybe this is something that you can (should) play at the very end of your day (just before going to bed). (Maybe to judge it, you should play it while you are semi-conscious so that you won't be too harsh on me). After listening to this piece, you will understand why I don't do original pieces.
So, please, take it for what it was designed for and not as a "thunder and lightning" composition.
The choir sounds are from SpectraSonics' Symphony of Voices.