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Topic: "Oy, to ne vecher" - traditional Russian folk song

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  1. #1

    "Oy, to ne vecher" - traditional Russian folk song


    "Oy, to ne vecher"
    (Oh yes not the night)
    --click the picture for music--


    As a holiday gift for my new Russian colleagues who are currently working on my musical "Dorian" in Moscow, I arranged and performed a traditional Russian folk song.

    The recording features Garritan instruments, including the not-often-heard Accordion from JABB, as well as a set of ethnic sound fonts I bought from Digital Sound Factory.

    For the MP3, Click the church's picture I took during one of my morning strolls through Moscow last month.

    ---and thus I break a very long period of silence in The Listening Room. After I posted the last section of "Dorian" in January (?) and then later, the cast album MP3s, the show kept me running all year long. There was also a period of time when I was arranging the music for "Pope Joan," a musical opening in Hollywood in January.

    Greetings to all!
    Randy Bowser

  2. #2

    Re: "Oy, to ne vecher" - traditional Russian folk song

    I like that a lot Randy.
    Producer ~ Sound Engineer ~ Musician

    http://www.myspace.com/451525581

  3. #3
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: "Oy, to ne vecher" - traditional Russian folk song

    Excellent arrangement and production Randy.

    It sounds steeped in russian tradition.

    Was that the Strad at the end?



    Phil

  4. #4

    Re: "Oy, to ne vecher" - traditional Russian folk song

    Great to see you back in the Listening Room, Randy!

    And, as always, with knock-out great work. The
    nuances and finesse in this... Randy Bowser at his
    best. By damn, I'd swear you were fooling with our
    heads and this was live... lol!

    Bravo!

    My best,


    David
    -----
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

  5. #5

    Re: "Oy, to ne vecher" - traditional Russian folk song

    Randy,


    Well, you have certainly got the 'bug' of the
    Russian Ethnic Virus...

    Excellent build up of the diverse sounds
    from start to finish!

    Great performance as well!

    Could you, please, detail the sounds you used?

    I would really like to expand my existing library
    with some special sounds.

    Good to see you back here and posting.


    Yudit

  6. #6

    Re: "Oy, to ne vecher" - traditional Russian folk song

    Hello RBowser. Nice to "meet" you musicwise. What an extremely nice tune!! It kind of reminds me of Norwegian folk music as well, in a manner. (much more ethnic of course), but the strad in the end is really Norwegian-folky. I loved when the whole song just takes off at 1:30.Really inspiring indeed

    -Ari Berle

  7. #7

    Re: "Oy, to ne vecher" - traditional Russian folk song

    Hello, everyone! I'm glad this little offering of mine is being enjoyed.

    Hippie--I think this is the first thing I've put up since you joined the Forum. Glad I finally had something for you to hear, and that you dug it!

    Fastlane Phil--! I myself got steeped in the Russian milieu while I was there, so this project was something I wanted to work on as soon as I could.

    The Strad is actually used throughout the tune, not just at the end. It comes in doing harmony licks on the second verse, then takes the lead for the third verse, and actually stays there as co-lead with the Balalaikas for the rest of the track.

    And David Et Lux--Great to see that in my absence you've retained your characteristic flair for warm, encouraging feedback. Thank you so much for your comments. "...By damn, I'd swear you were fooling with our heads and this was live.." Nice--I like that a lot, thanks. I kept editing to a minimum in hoping to keep as much of a rough-edged "live" sound as possible, inspired by the Russian folk audio/video references I listened to at You Tube. Glad that approach seems to have yielded what I wanted!

    Yudit--this is great that you found the track interesting. A detailing of the instruments? Look up the Digital Sound Factory. They have a lot of top quality instruments available for a very reasonable price. For $20 I bought their set of Russian folk instruments, and those are featured in this track. There's a lot of subtle variation in this sound font set, so you can mount your tracks with a good degree of natural variation. I used several of the straight Balalaika fonts throughout, alternating with the "tremolo" Balalaikas which are actually the characteristic fast picking style which we associate most with the instrument.

    The Prima Dona is the Banjo-like instrument towards the right, supporting the Balalaikas with arpeggiated chords.

    There was also an interesting bass Balalaika sound which plays a 5th in conjunction with the main tone.

    From the Garritan group I used The Strad, The Gofriller Cello and the JABB Accordion.

    Filling things out, I used Session Drummer 2 from Sonar, as well as the new Electric Bass from the Studio Instruments VSTs put out by Sonar.

    Towards the end, a Sitar like drone comes in, a pad from Sonar's Dimension soft synth.

    I searched for Russian vocal samples, hoping to find clips featuring a folk keening/chant style sometimes used in Russia, very similar to Middle Eastern styles. I couldn't find any, so used solo chanting voices from India, keeping them low in the mix so that my Russian friends won't be Too startled to hear something other than Russian in the track.

    And finally, Ari Airmail--Thank you so much for saying you found the track inspiring. There are many similarities to various European folk styles, so I understand your reference to Norwegian.

    Something striking about the Russian variety of folk songs is that they are invariably in minor keys. At a birthday party I attended there, people were very demonstratively emotional as they joined in singing a minor key folk song with one of the party's entertainers. Very "florid," and they sing with great gusto.

    There's a weather-worn toughness mixed with great sentimentality that characterizes the people as well as their music. Think about the incredibly tough history these people have been through for so many centuries. Their history has left its mark in their culture, their spirits, their faces.

    I'm really looking forward to my next trip to Moscow in a few months, when I'll again be there for about three weeks, helping them prepare their version of "Dorian" for the big opening.

    Thank you one and all!
    Randy B.

  8. #8

    Re: "Oy, to ne vecher" - traditional Russian folk song

    Randy

    You said you arranged and performed this piece. Will you expound on that a little? (The performing, not the arranging)

    Did you play the mp3 for them or are you playing some instrument in this?

    For an inexpensive library, Digital Sound Factory sounds pretty good. I know that a lot of that comes from your expertice with Sonar.

    Or, as David said, are you fooling us? JK of course. I am very familiar with your skills.

    Well done

    Ron
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

    http://composersforum.ning.com/profile/RonaldFerguson

  9. #9

    Re: "Oy, to ne vecher" - traditional Russian folk song

    Howdy, Ron--Long time no see!
    "...You said you arranged and performed this piece. Will you expound on that a little? (The performing, not the arranging) Did you play the mp3 for them or are you playing some instrument in this?..."

    Interesting!--and I'm glad you asked. Working backwards through your quote, what I did was record the project when I was back here at home. then I sent the MP3 to the theatre's office so it can be sent to everyone in the company. It's intended as their holiday gift from me.

    Was I playing an instrument? yeah!--the keyboard!

    In a general sense, I tend to think of putting together audio projects as capturing a performance. It's really rare for me to input any notes with a mouse. This particular track is an example of even more live keyboard playing than most of my projects. I played the various instruments several times, improvising over the simple melody of the song, then kept what worked best. As I said earlier, I kept editing to a minimum so that that a live looseness would still be in the finished project. If a given note was just too far out of the pocket, I'd adjust it, but no quantizing tool was used.

    When working with Garritan instruments, to me it's also a performance when I make a second pass through a track to record the cc1 mod volume data, and also when I go through again to add vibrato. Even though no one instrument's track is ever generated all at once, I think of each time through working with a track as a performance which is being captured by the computer.

    So, that's what I mean - I perform sometimes in very small bits, but generally the track for each instrument begins with playing a line on my MIDI keys, then part two of the project is honing the produced material until it's making for an acceptable recording.

    It's because of this way I work that working with notation first just doesn't do it for me. I know one can record in real time in Sibelius, but it's a fairly clumsy process. I struggled through Sibelius when I scored "Pope Joan" which is opening in 2009 in Hollywood, but I felt like I was in a strait jacket, compared to the relative freedom I usually enjoy in the Sonar environment.

    Thanks for listening, Ron, and for your good questions.

    Randy

  10. #10

    Re: "Oy, to ne vecher" - traditional Russian folk song

    Randy

    I had a feeling that is what you meant by performance, but wanted to be sure.

    I haven't even opened Sibelius in months. I work exclusively in Sonar (8 Pro now) and do most of the inputting of notes thru my keyboard as you do. I do add some notes in the Piano roll (with lots of editing) and do all of the cc work in the Piano roll.

    I am getting better at it all, but it does take time.

    Thanks for the answers

    Ron
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

    http://composersforum.ning.com/profile/RonaldFerguson

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