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Topic: New Demo - choir piece

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  1. #1

    New Demo - choir piece

    Hey all,

    I had been commissioned to write this Hymn for the ‘Bahia Blanca -Argentine Mission’ (for the LDS Church), with hopes it will also be performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra as well.

    I have it most of the way there (compositionally) but haven’t really done anything special on the mix or mastering (straight from GS to SX). The purpose of this mix is to provide a demo so their Music Director can hear it. Of course, even though it is just a demo I’d like to put my best foot forward so if you have any suggestions...

    My only direction was to write a “march” that was full of “positive, resolute energy”.

    It will be sung by 150 missionary young men and about 40 young women missionaries. Please forgive this demo’s ‘choir’ – it is me singing each part four times (as differently as I can muster so not to ‘phase cancel’ too much). I had my wife do the same for the sop/alto parts. Should sound tons better with the 190 voices that are planned. Of course, this will be sung in Spanish(in Argentina).

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have.


    www.robelliottmusic.com

    (go to) music/Religious/The Master’s Might


    Rob

  2. #2

    Re: New Demo - choir piece

    sweeeet!
    I say keep layering. You\'re already 1/20th of the way there. [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]
    Other than...\"very nice\"... I have no comments.
    I think the Mormans will be pleased.

    christianb

  3. #3

    Re: New Demo - choir piece

    Hi Rob,

    After this and Foundation, I think I could pick your voice out anywhere.

    This piece has very nice vocal harmonies. Is this from an existing work lyrics wise?

    Although struggled to find constructive critique-

    At :57 you might experiment with less/lower volume instrumental and more female vocal to better balance the male intro. With the male solo and female solo followed by a male/female choir duo at 1:14, it seems both male and female intro solos should be exactly the same with respect to volume/fullness. Not sure with 150 men and only 40 women how you meet the challenge of the listener inherently wanting equal balance between the two. Maybe it\'s as simple as easing way up on background instrumentals when the women sing.

    Then from 1:14 to 1:49 female vocals need either to be louder or fuller to balance out the male counterpart.

    Same suggestion at 1:58 , male vocals are overbearing female.

    At 2:14 music steps on the vocals trailing off.

    But at 2:17 - you have a good balance of female and male….wouldn’t change anything there.

    You really had to reach on the singing at the end there…which is what makes your voice great. Lots of heart….

    Congratulations on the project.

  4. #4

    Re: New Demo - choir piece

    Hi, Rob. I enjoyed listening to your piece. I think the real performance of it will be a grand experience. Good luck with that!!

    I know this is all subjective but here\'s my take on the piece. All my comments are just about the compositional aspect of the piece.

    1) The big intro doesn\'t quite make sense to my ears. But perhaps it\'s Heaven\'s gates opening up leading to the celestial choir and if that\'s the case it could be fine. If you do keep it, I\'d just suggest letting the intro fade down a whole bar of rest before the men come in. The men\'s entrance seems abrupt after the intro.

    2) The choir a cappella sounds nice but I think you can add some form of rhythm beneath it to keep the soldiers marching onward...which the voices alone don\'t accomplish well after a few stanzas. Perhaps just a snare ostinato at a dynamic of mp. I kept hearing bell or chimes during certain parts of the a cappella areas, too.
    I also think adding some slight instrumentation beneath the a cappella parts will help to transition into the grandiose sections better.

    3) About from mid-song where winds and piano are playing and the women and men are singing very gently (I really like this part)...the voice parts seem to beg a contrapuntal round with the woodwinds to make tension for the upcoming grandiosity.

    Well, that\'s what I think. I hope my opinions don\'t offend you or hurt you in any way. Your music sounds almost there (as the previous poster said as well).

    Congratualtions on this opportunity!!! I hope it breeds numerous more musical endeavors for you.
    [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Re: New Demo - choir piece

    Many thanks Christian, Joanne and Marty,

    Thanks for taking some of your Sunday evening to spend time helping me \'look at this project\' from a different perspective.

    christianb: Thanks for your comments - nothing would give me a bigger thrill than to listen to this great choir perform this.


    Joanne: Some great suggestions. For me this was the biggest challenge of how to \'balance 150 young men with 40 young women.\' I am gald you noticed this in mix because I tried to mix it like it would sound using these numbers. Having said that, if this get pick up by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir - your balance suggestions are right on!

    I have heard my music sung by large choirs and there is NO doubling I can do to get even close to \'that sound\'. Something about all those different voices blending together - ever so slightly out of tune with each other ... The fact is, I love writing for choral but hate singing, but thanks for \'lots of heart\' comment.

    I do think I am going to do as you suggest and balance these parts as if they are done by an equally numbered sectioned choir - again, some great suggestions.


    Marty: I really like many of your ideas as well (this is what makes this forum so wonderful - I have never studied music formally and really do most learning by listening and reading comments here.)

    You are right on with the big opening - the Director wanted this intro leading into an a cappella \'men\'s chorus\' sound (because most of the missionaries are young men). Having said than I think I will look at some slight instrumentation beneath the first verse. Bring the big intro down one bar early is also a good suggestions - I will give that a try.

    I too like the \'woodwinds section\' (the VSL legato is sooooo fun). This idea will take me more effort to get the vision of. I wanted the pizz strings to provide the \'interplay\' I think you are talking about but I will also give this a voice counter a try.

    Again thanks to all three the suggestions.

    Rob


    Thanks again/

  6. #6

    Re: New Demo - choir piece

    Hi Rob,

    After a few more listens, I need to back off somewhat from my first impressions. Try first simply increasing female vocal levels a bit at :57 while easing up on the background instrumental, and leaving the rest as it is. I think this will make a big difference, and better slowly prepare the listener for the male/female ratio difference. You are presenting to an expert in vocals who understands that live voices present differently, and I don\'t know if I would change much.

    Good luck.

    Joanne

  7. #7

    Re: New Demo - choir piece

    Hi Rob!

    This is some great sounding music! It must be a great experience composing for such an event. I hope you have the opportunity to record the choir along with the orchestra, that surely would be interesting...

    I agree with Marty the transition from the \"intro\" to the men\'s a capella is a bit fast, tho I think the intro idea is not misplaced. I\'d not begin the piece with a \"fade-in\", as the crescendo will also arise after the men\'s a capella. I\'d give it a try to have that \"rhythm\" driven by some slight glock over the men\'s voice, perhaps combined with harp? I\'m not an expert in this, but I think that might be better than a \'dark\' snare as you want to crate a more \'happy\' sound. To me the organ later on should supply the voices a bit more on very low notes sustains. But - I\'m not aware of how the choir will sound, so you might want to cancel the organ at all?

    Hope this is of some use for you.
    Hansi

  8. #8

    Re: New Demo - choir piece

    Originally posted by PolarBear:
    Hi Rob!

    This is some great sounding music! It must be a great experience composing for such an event. I hope you have the opportunity to record the choir along with the orchestra, that surely would be interesting...

    I\'d not begin the piece with a \"fade-in\", as the crescendo will also arise after the men\'s a capella. I\'d give it a try to have that \"rhythm\" driven by some slight glock over the men\'s voice, perhaps combined with harp? I\'m not an expert in this, but I think that might be better than a \'dark\' snare as you want to crate a more \'happy\' sound.
    Hansi
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Hi Hansi,

    I hadn\'t even thought of using \'higher freq\' instruments (glock and Harp) on the 1st verse \'a capella\' section - that just might be the ticket! Thanks for the suggestion.

    Rob

  9. #9

    Re: New Demo - choir piece

    I have nothing to add, just wanted to say that I liked this piece a lot. Good work. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Re: New Demo - choir piece

    Thanks Judas Cloud for the nice comments. I had to jump to another piece for a couple days but I can\'t wait to implement some of these outstanding ideas. Thanks again.

    Rob

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