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Topic: Tropic of Midnight

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  1. #1
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Tropic of Midnight

    ***Seasons Greetings!***

    I have spent a lot of time over the last few months, arranging and rendering a number of compositions by various of the Very Famous.
    After a while, I wanted to write more music myself and perhaps use some the the techniques I have learned from these exercises.
    To wit, I have written
    "Tropic of Midnight" and post it here for general listening. It is an energetic and determined piece of music with an oasis of near calm at the center.

    Best wishes,
    sd cisco

  2. #2

    Re: Tropic of Midnight

    It sounds like Danny Elfman's early works (Batman, Beetlejuice etc.).
    There is no spoon.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: Tropic of Midnight


    Danny Elfman!!?!

    .........and there I was, feeling guilty about ripping off Franz Liszt!!!

    thanks for listening.
    sd cisco

  4. #4

    Re: Tropic of Midnight

    Perhaps Danny Elfman ripped from Liszt as well?

    It's certainly energetic, cinematic, reminding of the Hollywood style pioneered by (amongst others) Elfman: the minimal patterns that define the rhythm under slow developing themes (did I hear a Dies Irae in the brass after the calm middle section?), brutal changes with heavy percussion, nice orchestration effects (e.g. I liked the dwindling effect at the end of the first section). The themes were quite expressive and recognizable, which glued everything together neatly, and the middle section was sweet. All in all well done, although no easy listening.

    Only one thing: easier on the harp next time
    Theo

  5. #5
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: Tropic of Midnight

    Theo;
    Thank you for listening and for your thoughtful comments! I can't think of how many times I have heard hints, variants and full scale iterations of the Dies Irae theme. I recently rendered Liszt's Totentanz, (orchestra and piano) which explores the Dies Irae theme extensively, but he also had the piano doing similar glissandi as to what I have the Harp doing here. And with the Brass after the calm middle and Dies Irae, I know my lines used same or similar notes and tempo and general mood of slow-rolling gloom and turbulent doom. In fact, even the main opening theme for Tropic of Midnight, is a sort of variant of the seemingly omnipresent Dies Irae, just sped up!
    Re. My Harp usage; When I found out how much fun it was to "gliss-up" the harp, I couldn't stop!! In fact I guess I inadvertently made the Harp the star of the show, Tropic of Midnight for Harp and Orchestra?

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  6. #6

    Re: Tropic of Midnight

    sd cisco,

    What excitement!

    I feel as if I am on the deck of a wave-beaten ship that finds momentary refuge in some tranquil Japanese harbor, only to be carried out again by a mighty current back into the clutches of that terrific storm.

    Your use of that infinitely beautiful Japanese In scale as well as your handling of changes of tempo make for a thrilling listening experience.

    Sean

  7. #7
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: Tropic of Midnight

    Sean;
    Thanks for listening and your positive comments! I had an old EP vinyl record once of Japanese Koto music. It gave me visions of a far away place of misty mountains and fragrant blossoms, floating down a gentle stream, as bamboo flutes conversed with brightly feathered birds.

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  8. #8

    Re: Tropic of Midnight

    Very well done SD, what a ride.
    Producer ~ Sound Engineer ~ Musician

    http://www.myspace.com/451525581

  9. #9
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: Tropic of Midnight

    Thanks Good Buddy!!
    - Hope it has been a Merry Christmas for you!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  10. #10
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Tropic of Midnight

    Hi SD,

    Yeah, you put me right in the middle of a movie with this piece! I'm going to go back even further than Elfman (as Boulifb and Theo pointed out) for an influence: Have you ever seen/heard the scores Bernard Herrmann did for 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, and Mysterious Island? If not, I think you would enjoy the music and hear the influence I'm hearing.

    As far as the harp goes, I didn't mind it at all ... I'll point you to yet another Herrmann score, arguably his most colorful orchestration-wise, "Beyong the 12 Mile Reef". He used seven harps, each simultaneously glissing on a different degree of the scale to produce a virtually pitch-less glissandi, REALLY nailing the sound of the sea ... it's quite impressive to hear (and how novel an idea was THAT to use the seven harps like that?)

    Your contrasting, transparent middle section was just what the doctor ordered for such an intense "A-Section". Really nice writing (and rendering) SD ... I enjoyed this!

    Regards,

    Frank

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