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Topic: Mental Preperations for War

  1. #1

    Mental Preparations for War

    Sorry I haven't been around lately but I had some health issues to take care of, (I am finally feeling better) and am back at my computer for more than just a few minutes at a time.

    Normally, I compose a piece at least once a week but the one I am working on now I started over a month ago and it is barely up to 2 minutes in length.

    This piece is part of my Lewis Carrol pieces, but I redid it for a competition at CGEmpire.com. Of course as usual I did not win, but I like the piece a lot.

    The competition was to compose a piece based on making preparations for war. I went the Mental way (in more ways than one) and came up with this.

    Here it is


    The piece uses GPO, JABB and a couple of other libraries and was sequenced thru Sonar 8 Producer

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


  2. #2
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Central Illinois

    Re: Mental Preperations for War

    Welcome back Ron, Glad you are feeling better. This piece certainly has the sense of being about war. The ominous martial drums, the brass and then the quieter sections seem to fit the theme as well. I can imagine someone thinking deeply about what may be coming. You did a great job on this one, IMHO, I think you wuz robbed! John

  3. #3

    Re: Mental Preperations for War

    Nice job Ron. I can hear protagonist and antagonist themes very clearly. Good orchestration that presents your ideas clearly.

    I'm sorry to hear about your health issues, but I'm glad you're feeling better. Hope you can keep writing. Whether you won a competition or not certainly doesn't detract from the wonderful piece you've written.

    Steve Winkler

  4. #4
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: Mental Preperations for War


    Sorry to hear you haven't been well; glad you're back in the saddle. Also sorry you didn't win - but by the quality of this piece, the winner must have been spectacular. This is really nice, although "nice" is perhaps the wrong word for the opening; very strong and foreboding. The gentler section that comes later is
    very effective and beautiful.

    Your rendering skills are well on display here, as well. You are getting a greater depth of sound, and a richness which makes a great showcase for these libraries. Well done all around.

    Here's to good health!
    Ron Pearl





  5. #5

    Re: Mental Preperations for War

    I was wondering where you got off to lately, Ron... pleased
    to hear that you're feeling better, my friend.

    This one gets a Bravo!

    You're very much hitting your stride in this Lewis Carroll
    series... a well balanced color-and-scene piece, this one,
    that genuinely held my interest. While I might wish for
    a little more harmonic adventure in the cental section where
    material repeats at some length; it nonetheless works quite
    well, without losing momentum. More a rendering issue,
    I think; but in performance, I believe a conductor might take
    more liberty and sweep with dynamics, as well.

    Looking forward to more in this Lewis Carroll series!

    My best,

    David Sosnowski

  6. #6
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: Mental Preperations for War

    I see that it's a game development site.

    I don't know much about that genre but maybe your music is just too tasteful and understated.

    I sure liked it!


  7. #7

    Re: Mental Preperations for War

    Last night, just before going to bed, I took a good 20 minutes and replied to all that have commented on this one.

    Just as I was finishing up, I hit some wrong key and everything disappeared. I hate computers!!!

    Second try


    It is difficult to win in these competitions. Many of those there are using top of the line libraries with all of the bells and whistles. There are also a number of pros there that really know their stuff. If I went in hoping to win, I would be a very disappointed individual. I do them just for fun, so I win everytime.


    I tried to get these themes with some variations into them which is a bit of a different approach than most of the other entries. The others relied heavily on special effects and production tools with lots of percussion. More of the same standard Hollywood generic instrumentation, which is why they win.


    I love the quieter section in this piece. I think it is some of my best composing. It's funny that David (etlux) thinks it wasn't varied enough, but that's how it goes sometimes.


    I spent hours and hours working on the dynamics in this and probably just got too frustrated to finally get it right. I think I used too many gradual increases which can be too subtle, instead of the broad strokes you mentioned.


    I also know little about games and such. The last game I played with any frequency would have been Pac-man and I wasn't much of a fan nor a very good player. But I look at games as just miniature movies and approach them in that manner and hope for the best.

    Thanks guys.

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


  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Vancouver, BC

    Re: Mental Preperations for War


    I think I have heard an early version of this. But this version is much improved. There is now a greater clarity in the orchestration. I thought the rendering was quite good.

    I have a question about the structure. The opening 0:29 are loud and aggressive and then the tone becomes quieter. Then the mood changes again at about 1:14. I wonder if the effect wouldn't be better if the opening section was moved to come in after the section that ends at 1:14 so the piece would not start with so much violence - the theme is "preparations for war" and not war. And then there would be a buildup to a contrasting loud section between two softer sections. Just an idea.

    The above comment aside, it is a very enjoyable and entertaining piece. I like the theme - the piece works for me.

    Glad to see you back,

  9. #9

    Re: Mental Preperations for War


    You did hear an earlier version and I am happy that the hours I spent trying to clean it up was worth it.

    This piece will fit in nicely with the Lewis Carrol pieces and I think viewed it that context, the structure works better as is. I agree that in a war prep context you might be right in your assessment of what order the music is structured in.


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


  10. #10

    Re: Mental Preperations for War

    There's Ronald! - Interesting thread, and the story of how the effect laden Hollywood style generic tracks win those contests. Fine, let them have at it. Who wants to do That crap?

    MEANwhile, your music is much more interesting. I marvel at the productions you come up with now--wow--And the adrenalin powered sense of anticipation in this track, as in your title--you've captured that perfectly.

    Very impressive.


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