I wanted to share one of my more serious compositions. This is from my first album. The composition is over ten minutes in length. I created this back in 2008 where I began to pick up on my composing. I created this piece with the memory of the victims who perished in the Holocaust. I am currently recomposing The Dramatic War with the new skills I have gained since.
Instrument Libraries Used:
Dimension Pro - Garritan Pocket Orchestra (Solo Violin from GPO) - This is used in the main theme to the composition.
Dimension Pro (Majority)
It's an effectively somber piece, sururick. Your talent always shines through in the music you share with us, and while this is inspired by one of the most tragic of all chapters in history, it has your trademarked feel, not totally outside of the grand pieces you create for the fantasy games.
The sound in the recording is also very effective. I want to add, with the exception of the brief violin solo - I can hear that you wanted it definitely up front and in the lead, but it's so dry in comparison with the rest, and probably a bit louder than it needs to be - the result is it feels disembodied from the rest of the orchestra. A good experiment would be to move the violin a bit to the left, give it more reverb, and take the volume down some - all to help it sit in the mix better.
At this length, modulating into new keys, and developing an additional section would help sustain the length. I feel it could be a more solid piece as is if it was maybe 1/2 the length or less. If you want to sustain the mood for this long length, it would help to keep the listener's interest if more variety was used, building, saying more than one thing. Like I said, key modulations, an additional section, something like that.
I'm not sure if I've ever commented on the title of a piece before, but that's something else I want to give feedback on. Having "War" in the title works for me, but "the Dramatic"-- that doesn't feel right. Your composition was inspired by real events which are dramatic by their very nature - I feel that using "dramatic" in the title doesn't jibe with something done in memory of The Holocaust. That word, Dramatic seems theatrical, and ironically un-real sounding when used like this. -- Hmmm, not sure I've expressed exactly what I mean - I just feel it lessens, maybe even cheapens what you're doing here - We can hear for ourselves that the music is dramatic, we know WWII was full of horrific drama --Anyway, I think you could arrive at a more evocative title.
Thanks for listening to me rap a bit - I only go on when something grabs me, even if I have suggestions for what I think could be improvements.
I agree the composition should be shortened and the violin is too loud and dry and not in the proper position. I think you mentioned this before but I was bit excited and listened to the track several times and the music kind of just sits in your head. Unfortunately, I skipped the mastering process and just placed it into the album as it was. After not listening to it it for a while, I then realized all of the mistakes LOL.The title of the composition is actually the name of my albums. TDW - Fallen Hero, TDW - Divine Sadness, etc... While composing the composition, The Dramatic War, it was the memories of the Holocaust and the victims that imaged through my mind while creating this. When I listen to it, all those images kind of pass through my mind. I wanted this composition to be the lead song to my albums which is why I named it after the title of the albums. It's hard to explain. I'm sorry if I don't make any sense, lol. However, as for the composition itself, I am in the works of recreating it starting with the main theme to the piece which is the part where the solo violin comes in. I am going to fix up these errors I skipped and I really really agree... it has to be shortened. So, I am goign to have to change some passages in the composition. Thanks again Randy!
I agree the composition should be shortened and the violin is too loud and dry and not in the proper position. I think you mentioned this before but I was bit excited and listened to the track several times and the music kind of just sits in your head...
Hi, Richard - Thanks for letting me know my feedback was received so graciously. There's always something to work on with anything we do, and nothing is actually ever as "finished" as we'd like it to be. I just am glad to hear that my points were well taken.
AND, I'm glad you caught Frank's fantastic virtual orchestra version of a big Broadway style overture. That's a spectacular demonstration of what can be done - and all with Garritan instruments!
Now that you're such a regular here, I think it'd be great if you started listening and responding to more of the posts here in our Listening Room. I'm constantly impressed with the wide variety of work gathered together here, and just like you, the people posting have so much of themselves invested in their work. I know they'd appreciate hearing from you.
Keep coming back, Richard, I always look forward to your posts.
All the basics are here for a fine piece -- strong thematic material, effective orchestration, and, overall, it's well formed.
With Randy, I absolutely do feel that this needs to modulate more. The length isn't the problem -- the problem is it never develops sustainable contrast and tension. Those two things, contrast and harmonic tension, are what give a piece its momentum.
I'd like you to do an experiment, if you're up for it. This not to say it's the way to "fix" this piece -- but I think you might learn something by it. First, at periodic points of pause, simply transpose the whole subsequent work up a half step. (This is a little weak, strictly speaking, as a compositional device -- but it usually does work.) Try doing this in two or three successive places in the progress of the piece.
Then, also, across the whole length of the piece -- try very gradually increasing the tempo. (Again, this is something of a backyard mechanic's approach, but usually effective.)
You've already proven that you've got a strong hand at rendering, and I'm certain you already know the shortcomings, there; so I won't really comment on that beyond recommending Randy's notes.
You're doing some fine work, Richard. If we can get you thinking more in terms of larger structures and what it takes to support them, I know, though, that we'll be hearing exceptional work, not merely competence.
Thanks for the feedback. I think it would be cool take on the task with this version of the composition. It would be interesting to apply the ideas you mentioned. I will try and get this done in the next few weeks. Perhaps if it turns out well, I won't have to recompose the piece from scratch.