Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

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PPH
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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by PPH »

SkyOne wrote:I like this one more than E.T.soundtrack.:smile:
I actually think this is one of the best compliments a composer could receive, especially if I think of the "Flying Theme".

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West
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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by West »

PPH wrote:Woah! This has changed a lot since last time I listened to it. It's turning out great! Orchestration is more complex, and I like the way you use the woodwinds. I find woodwinds are tricky. Many composers fail when using them and others don't even try. But you are using them well.
Thanks PPH!
PPH wrote:The beginning sounds strange to me. I liked it best when it started with a simple, straightforward chord followed by the main melody.
I had two reasons for changing the intro. Number one, I felt that the original version lacked motion. It didn't flow, it was just basic sustaining chords with a melody on top with no real sense of rhythm. Number two, following Tyler's completely valid remark that I was introducing too many new things in too short a time, I wanted to add something that appears later in the tune as well. That's why I made the violins play a variation on the same figure that is heard in several places throughout the piece (and yes, I'm aware that it's the same figure that appears in TKID). I figured I might as well let the violins play something more interesting while the choir provides the chords.
PPH wrote:-Somehow, when the melody comes, it feels wrong to my ears, as if it shouldn't come after the chords that come before. Now, this might be because I grew accustomed to the previous beginning. But maybe the harmony that comes before the melody is ambiguous? I'm not so learned in theory, but maybe my ears interpret the harmony in a way that makes the melody sound out of place, and you and other people don't because you expect what is coming? I don't know if what I'm saying makes sense, but I listen to it time and again, and it still feels strange. I asked my wife, and she also found it strange when the melody starts.
As mentioned, I'm planning to add a soft woodwind intro to the... uh, intro. So what you're hearing right before the main melody comes in is the last two bars of that part, sans woodwinds. I think that when the chord progression is in place it'll make a lot more sense. It doesn't sound wrong to me, but then I know what's supposed to happen there. The only issue I can hear is that when the violins fade in, the phrase sounds oddly accordion-like(!).
PPH wrote:-Near 1:00, the tempo variations to make the piece more expressive seem to be too much. But this may be totally subjective. However, I prefer to speak my mind. If you disagree, you should ignore my comment :D
I don't see a problem with it, honestly. As both piano and violins play repeating eighth note patterns, the tempo variations are necessary to make it sound less static and predictable. At least that's my totally subjective opinion :)

PPH wrote:I actually think this is one of the best compliments a composer could receive, especially if I think of the "Flying Theme".
Indeed it is, especially since I'm a huge fan of John Williams. TBH I think comparing my music to his is a bit like comparing a Big Mac to a three course dinner at a five star restaurant. But hey, as SkyOne said he likes my music better, I'm not going to go into that.

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SkyOne
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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by SkyOne »

West wrote:
PPH wrote: I actually think this is one of the best compliments a composer could receive, especially if I think of the "Flying Theme".
Indeed it is, especially since I'm a huge fan of John Williams. TBH I think comparing my music to his is a bit like comparing a Big Mac to a three course dinner at a five star restaurant. But hey, as SkyOne said he likes my music better, I'm not going to go into that.
When I listened "Silvan Sanctuary", I imagined E.T. soundtrack (Flying Theme?). And it includes the part that I like (it is probably Dm->A7->Dm->C in this music, instead of "A" at last one). Im->V7 sounds a bit sad, but if it goes Im->VI at the second time, it turns to perform "a hope after the hard time" as my feeling. So I personally really like this rotation, and it melts on "Silvan Sanctuary" as well. I have never researched E.T. soundtrack musically, but I think that it probably does not include that part. (doesn't have to though)

Actually, one of "The Exorcist soundtrack" does include the part, so I personally like it more than "E.T. soundtrack". "E.T. soundtrack" was not really fresh for me when it appeared (after Star Wars and Superman) although I cried on the movie when bikes flew.

Your music is not Big Mac, West, even comparing with the 18 times? grammy winner. At least, "Stake and Lobster" which is one of the best for me.:smile:
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PPH
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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by PPH »

West wrote:
PPH wrote:Woah! This has changed a lot since last time I listened to it. It's turning out great! Orchestration is more complex, and I like the way you use the woodwinds. I find woodwinds are tricky. Many composers fail when using them and others don't even try. But you are using them well.
Thanks PPH!
PPH wrote:The beginning sounds strange to me. I liked it best when it started with a simple, straightforward chord followed by the main melody.
I had two reasons for changing the intro. Number one, I felt that the original version lacked motion. It didn't flow, it was just basic sustaining chords with a melody on top with no real sense of rhythm. Number two, following Tyler's completely valid remark that I was introducing too many new things in too short a time, I wanted to add something that appears later in the tune as well. That's why I made the violins play a variation on the same figure that is heard in several places throughout the piece (and yes, I'm aware that it's the same figure that appears in TKID). I figured I might as well let the violins play something more interesting while the choir provides the chords.
PPH wrote:-Somehow, when the melody comes, it feels wrong to my ears, as if it shouldn't come after the chords that come before. Now, this might be because I grew accustomed to the previous beginning. But maybe the harmony that comes before the melody is ambiguous? I'm not so learned in theory, but maybe my ears interpret the harmony in a way that makes the melody sound out of place, and you and other people don't because you expect what is coming? I don't know if what I'm saying makes sense, but I listen to it time and again, and it still feels strange. I asked my wife, and she also found it strange when the melody starts.
As mentioned, I'm planning to add a soft woodwind intro to the... uh, intro. So what you're hearing right before the main melody comes in is the last two bars of that part, sans woodwinds. I think that when the chord progression is in place it'll make a lot more sense. It doesn't sound wrong to me, but then I know what's supposed to happen there. The only issue I can hear is that when the violins fade in, the phrase sounds oddly accordion-like(!).
PPH wrote:-Near 1:00, the tempo variations to make the piece more expressive seem to be too much. But this may be totally subjective. However, I prefer to speak my mind. If you disagree, you should ignore my comment :D
I don't see a problem with it, honestly. As both piano and violins play repeating eighth note patterns, the tempo variations are necessary to make it sound less static and predictable. At least that's my totally subjective opinion :)

PPH wrote:I actually think this is one of the best compliments a composer could receive, especially if I think of the "Flying Theme".
Indeed it is, especially since I'm a huge fan of John Williams. TBH I think comparing my music to his is a bit like comparing a Big Mac to a three course dinner at a five star restaurant. But hey, as SkyOne said he likes my music better, I'm not going to go into that.
What you say about the beginning makes sense, and also that maybe you don't perceive the same I do because you know how it will sound later. On the expressiveness, like you said, it's subjective. It doesn't bother me, although I would have made it less pronounced, but I guess it's a matter of personal taste.

By the way, I think you have solved Tyler's objection. I noticed that you used variations of the main melody here and there, and that adds consistency to the track. I find this type of consistency in structure is one of the most important things in a piece of music (and I suspect Tyler does too). I totally agree with what he says about exploting the themes you have.

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West
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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by West »

I haven't touched this tune for some time now, so I felt it was time to make an effort to finish it. So, an update. Still no intro, still extremely sketchy at the end, but I'm getting there.

Edit: the reverb is a bit wonky in this version (hey, it sounded good in the cans at 2am), please disregard.

PPH
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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by PPH »

It's very good. I think this is very close to a final version (I wouldn't even complain if you said it is ready). I didn't like the choirs at first (not realistic), but when listening to it again, I though they were ok. They might sound a little artificial in the high notices, but if anything, it's barely noticeable, and it doesn't sound bad. Great work, West.

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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by West »

Almost there. The woodwind intro is turning out kind of lame and nothing like I imagined it, so it needs some more polishing. Also, there's a gap in the final part as I really don't know exactly where I'm going with it. I don't think I've ever written anything in G# major before, it feels like an awkward key but hey, at least I get to practice my keyboard skillz :P

Next version will hopefully be the last.
PPH wrote:It's very good. I think this is very close to a final version (I wouldn't even complain if you said it is ready). I didn't like the choirs at first (not realistic), but when listening to it again, I though they were ok. They might sound a little artificial in the high notices, but if anything, it's barely noticeable, and it doesn't sound bad. Great work, West.
Thanks PPH. I know what you're saying about the choir, it doesn't sound wholly convincing. Actually it *is* a fairly good and realistic female choir, but placed off in the distance and laden with reverb, it ends up sounding a bit synthetic. But I can live with it (and have to, as I don't have anything better).

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CheeseLord
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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by CheeseLord »

Hi there West!!
Since this piece is nearing completion, I think I'm going to let loose with nitpicks :p

A very nice intro with the woodwind bringing that sense of elvishness and mystical feeling :) However, the chord at around 0:30 with the woodwinds seems to suffer from that "CD looping" effect, when the samples just loops in that really synthetic. the reason it sounds a little lame is because, IMHO, to be quite frank, it sounds a little amateurish to everything else. It 's probably due to the fact that although you've got awesome harmonies going on, there's just too few things happening. You probably need some more texture instead of different chords playing one by one - like a higher flute line sweeping around in quavers, or maybe a few more instruments like a french horn or something. I dunno - I'm just throwing out suggestions :)

Then it sweeps into the piece with those brilliant strings - excellent work!! And there's the section where there is nothing to comment on, but wow wow wow!!! :D I really love the inclusion of TKID motif and the piano.

After 2:43, I assume that most of it is WIP, but I feel that the grand strings there seem to be cut off a little abruptly as you go through different chords and notes.

A few little slip-ups happen in harmonies here and there, but they are easily fixed. Overall, I'd have liked to have seen that section dragged out a little though, so you can really experience the grandeur of the forest :)

Take these suggestions with a pinch of salt though, after all, I'm still a noob commenting on a pro's work :mrgreen:
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West
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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by West »

Thanks for your comments CheeseLord!

I know what you're saying about the woodwinds in the intro, like I said it turned out kind of lame and I might have to rethink it. Not sure what to do though and I really feel that this piece needs to be wrapped up pretty soon or I'll never finish it. I'm at the point where I've heard it so many times that it's sort of fixed in my mind, and after that it usually gets harder and harder to really come up with new things.

As for slip-ups in the harmonies, please be more specific.
CheeseLord wrote:Take these suggestions with a pinch of salt though, after all, I'm still a noob commenting on a pro's work :mrgreen:
Hey, I'm not a pro. If I were, it wouldn't take me six months to write a 3 minute piece :)

Edit: post #1000! Yay!

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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by StandYourGround »

To be totally honest, I don't really feel worthy to comment on these music submissions. While I am a classical pianist (and I love the piano in this, btw), I'm not much of a composer. The most I've done are a few arrangements of church hymns and one ragtime piece. After reading CheeseLord's comment about the harmony, I did a careful re-listening of the music. I could not for the life of me find anything that actually sounded out of harmony. I play a lot of Chopin and some Grieg, so I've heard a lot of unusual harmonies. These piece had a very clean harmonic feel, and I enjoyed it a lot. As for the intro, I have to agree it could use something a little better. In my arrangements, I like to come up with an intro that has only small hint of the main melody of the song (such as a chord progression that harmonizes with and leads up to the main theme), so that entering the music doesn't feel like a repetition of the intro. For this, it might be interesting to have the intro similar to the end of the song, with some light chimes and strings, or something.

Now as my signature says, I'll just go back into the woodwork and keep quiet now. :D
I will now resume lurking silently.

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CheeseLord
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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by CheeseLord »

Hehe... it's only one point that are up for debate, of which after listening again, aren't actually related to harmony :roll: .

The moment at 2:55 jarred me a little. TBH, after further listening, it isn't actually harmonically incorrect. In fact, I'm not even sure there's anything wrong with it. On the initial listen, it just seemed a little odd that you'd change the bass note at that point, and not continue with the same note as before to achieve that sense of continuity. It seemed a little... clumsy to me.

And for the initial woodwind, maybe you could consider having a buildup, so start the first phrase with woodwind, then insert some pizz. and staccato, then add in some soft horns blowing :) Maybe, maybe not...

Look forward to seeing it's completion!!!

Oh and BTW, StandYourGround, you can play Grieg?? THen you're better than I am, because I sure can't :P
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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by West »

CheeseLord wrote:The moment at 2:55 jarred me a little. TBH, after further listening, it isn't actually harmonically incorrect. In fact, I'm not even sure there's anything wrong with it. On the initial listen, it just seemed a little odd that you'd change the bass note at that point, and not continue with the same note as before to achieve that sense of continuity. It seemed a little... clumsy to me.
Oooh, that. Well like I said, G# major is an awkward key for me. And the final part is still very much unfinished.

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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by PPH »

West wrote: Thanks PPH. I know what you're saying about the choir, it doesn't sound wholly convincing. Actually it *is* a fairly good and realistic female choir, but placed off in the distance and laden with reverb, it ends up sounding a bit synthetic. But I can live with it (and have to, as I don't have anything better).
Yeah, that's what I meant: I think we can all live with that choir. As soon as I have listened to the new version, I'll comment on it.

EDIT: I listened to it now. Honestly, I don't like the intro at all. It sounds totally out of place. The rest doesn't seem to have changed much, and is still great. I think it would be better without the woodwind intro. The part that follows, which I said some time that seemed as if one was expecting a key and another came, doesn't give me that impression anymore, but maybe it's because I got used to it. An alternative, I think, it's to start with the main melody directly, don't you think?

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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by Spi »

Truly impressive. 8)
As already mentioned in the thread: sounds and feels like professionally written music. And professionals don't have to be fast to merit the title :lol2:

et if if may insert my two cents in here, it does seem like you change themes several times during the composition (i unfortunately cannot re-listen to it until tomorrow to provide you with the time details but I'm sure you know them); it is almost as if you start another piece, but not quite...I am not sure If this was intended or not...

In any case, another great piece in the making!

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Re: Silvan Sanctuary (possible replacement for "Elf land")

Post by EvilEarl »

Just listened to it and I think it might be able to replace Elf Land, although I see it more as a cutscene music. It just almost seems like several pieces linked together. It's good to have an opening slightly different from the rest of the song, but yours seems to have several "parts" that don't fit into the same setting.

If I was using this in campaign development, I would probably crop spots off to use separately as these (in my opinion) don't fit with the same settings.

It's a good piece, just needs refinement.
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