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The Composer's Thread

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Chris, I enjoy the "secret library" piece. This midi version sort of reminds me of "Legend of Zelda: the Minish Cap" music, which I am playing right now. I can imagine it with real instruments, too.

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The Minish cap is great. It has some nice innovations by Capcom (its released by Nintendo, but made by Capcom). I always liked that game company, especially their non-survival/horror and non-fighting games, like Megaman series, Ghouls and Ghosts, Strider, and Bionic Commando. Great pixel artists!

If I had the time, I'd try sequencing some of your library music for GPO and EWGold. But I'm working on that Contest music these days. If you give me your file, I can do the beginning at least.

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Was my stuff okay, or did you guys carefully avoid commenting on them cos they're bad? I am sort of in need of validation lately - being extremely scared about my uncertain career path. Any criticisms or comments on my work so that I can improve will be appreciated heaaps.

(An eclectic sampler list: http://www.brainsandbeauty.org/bowie/bowie.htm

"The Dour Bellringer": http://www.chrisafonso.de/music/bowie/Dani..._finaldraft.mp3)

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Hi guys. Sorry I haven't contributed to this thread yet, as it's one I'm very interested in. I haven't listened to your pieces yet but I will!

My "Over Land and Under Sea" for horn, euphoneum and piano was premiered at Bliss Hall, Youngstown last night. It went pretty well. The performers did a good job and it held together nicely, given that the piece is "quite a blow" for the brass players. One thing that was painfully obvious to me hearing the piece as an audience member for the first time was that the piece is too long! At present it runs at around 19 minutes. The quiet middle section is the prt I need to try and fix before it's next performance on April 1st (April Fool's day! How about that? :)) It's always a heartbreaking task having to take an axe to your own music and chp off the dead wood, but in this case the piece really needs to be about 3 minutes shorter! Anyone else had to deal with this problem?

PS Greta, thanks for your kind PM, I will reply asap.

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Nice piece Bowie! Your harmonic language is convincing and the melodic material works well within your style. I couldn't hear any Bartok however (?). Definitely some film-score inspirations, which is no bad thing. Especially in the large piano bookends. Also some lovely transitions. My only criticism is that you might develop (or rethink) your ideas a little more, especially in the middle sections. It seems that no sooner have we entered a new section then we are moving on again. I'm not talking about the melody here (which is developed nicely), but rather the backing styles. The oompah section around 2.30-3.30 doesn't seem to go anywhre and seems a little out of place. Immediately after this however there is a lovely harmonic transition back to the reappearance of the piano! From here to the end is gorgeous. Keep writing for heaven's sake!!! You don't need criticism or praise from others to hear the merits in your own music. Be confident!!!

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Thanks Smile

How is "Minsh Cap"? I'm a big fan of the Zelda series, but have never played it (not that I even own a GBA....)

Minish Cap is typical Zelda. That's great, of course, but let me stress the typical. In other words, it's getting a little old. The music is part reused, part new...pretty cool stuff, though Koji Kondo didn't write it.

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The Zelda main theme is classic...I played it on the piano in music class, and everyone was like, "ZELDA THEME!!!" I seriously think that theme is more well-known than Star Wars or Hedwig's Theme, at least among adolescents.

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Nice piece Bowie! Your harmonic language is convincing and the melodic material works well within your style. I couldn't hear any Bartok however (?). Definitely some film-score inspirations, which is no bad thing. Especially in the large piano bookends. Also some lovely transitions. My only criticism is that you might develop (or rethink) your ideas a little more, especially in the middle sections. It seems that no sooner have we entered a new section then we are moving on again. I'm not talking about the melody here (which is developed nicely), but rather the backing styles. The oompah section around 2.30-3.30 doesn't seem to go anywhre and seems a little out of place. Immediately after this however there is a lovely harmonic transition back to the reappearance of the piano! From here to the end is gorgeous. Keep writing for heaven's sake!!! You don't need criticism or praise from others to hear the merits in your own music. Be confident!!!
Well the piece is mostly in dorian mode, and with the bassoon playing the melody at the start, one of my teachers said it was similar to Bartok, and he is quite an influential composer... but yeah it's mostly Williams, but didn't steal anything. Actually, I developed a melody based around the "B theme" of E.T. and Me (where the harp/strings do that up-tempo dance bit), and the 3:30 section onwards has roots in Adventure on Earth. The oompah section was meant to be a surprise, sort of evolving quickly out of what happened before, depicting the insane, depressed Bellringer, but I guess it still shouldn't be too jarring.

Thanks for taking the time to listen and grasp the piece... I know there are merits in my music, but I also know there are problems and it's hard to hear them if you don't know what you would hear as a pure listener. But I get disappointed when someone seems unsincerely all-praise (I know I've been uncruelly positive about someone else's mediocre or terrible work before, though noone in this thread, in fact, everyone else here has a shockingly better ability than me, especially in the more expressive, beautiful music), or of course when comments are brief and unhelpful.

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Zelda music is far from the best game music out there.

Lots of better game composers and NO I dont mean just Michael Giaccino.

Yasunori Mitsuda's music and Nobuo Uematsu's music for games is far better IMO.

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Thanks for taking the time to listen and grasp the piece... I know there are merits in my music, but I also know there are problems and it's hard to hear them if you don't know what you would hear as a pure listener. But I get disappointed when someone seems unsincerely all-praise (I know I've been uncruelly positive about someone else's mediocre or terrible work before, though noone in this thread, in fact, everyone else here has a shockingly better ability than me, especially in the more expressive, beautiful music), or of course when comments are brief and unhelpful.

What do you mean by "Everyone else here has a shockingly better ability than me"? Don't mistake having a nice set of playback sounds for ability! I've generally been impressed with all the music I've heard by composers at this site (especially Jeshop) and I find your own to be comparably impressive. Plus yours is a complete piece with a well-developed theme and a real sense of conclusion thanks to the well executed return of the opening material.

As for the Oompah section (! it now has an affectionate name! :() you could make this work by expanding it and maybe even making it grow to a huge OOMPAH section, full orchestral tutti! I can see you like it as a sudden change of direction in the music, and it certainly works at that. It just doesn't seem to become anything more than a momentary distraction from the rest of the great music. Have you ever heard Nocturnes (for orchestra) by Debussy? The second piece "Fetes" is very flighty and jolly. Suddenly about halfway through Debussy introduces a march of all things! It's very quiet to begin, but builds to a huge climax and it really works. Very striking, and unexpected. Then he returns to the opening material. That's kind of how I think your oompah bit could go. If you've never heard Nocturnes you're in for a real treat!

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Ack, trust me to miss a Zelda conversation! Minish Cap was brilliant (I finished it the other day). I just love how it indirectly ties in with the series - i.e. small references to other games, the theme of "wind" etc. Great music too.

Yasunori Mitsuda's music and Nobuo Uematsu's music for games is far better IMO.

They have orchestras at their disposal, do they not? Zelda is yet to convert to acoustics, but when it does (and from what I've heard it will be quite soon) it'll blow everyone's socks off.

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I can't wait for the new GC Zelda... the trailer last year looked awesome. Gee, I bought my GC just for Zelda LOL

Oh my, we're getting off topic...

Bowie, listened to all your pieces, really nice stuff in there! I liked that RotS Finale you wrote, though I find it a bit unfocused inplaces... perhaps that's just from subconsciously comparing it to Williams, who would've (or has ROTFLMAO) used a more streamlined style, especially regarding the themes. Did I hear right that you mutated ATS and Yoda's theme a bit into the Imp. March?

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Whoa, yeah, great RotS finale! I guess I'm biased to anything with SW themes in it, but nice, very nice! Here's a challenge: instead of using the end credits music from AotC, try orchestrating your own version of it. That's got to take a lot of musical prowess to figure out...

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Hey, thanks Chris ma man.

Hehe, yeah I tried to achieve as many themes as I could in the one piece, including my own, which John would not do. Here's a rundown though of what goes on in the Revenge of the Sith piece:

0:00-0:29 = my own "Hopeless theme" for the unsettling quiet of the galaxy after all the murders etc, based on Darth Vader's theme (ie, three repeated notes, and the fragment at 0:21) as well as a hint of Yoda's Theme at 0:16;

0:29-0:54 = Han Solo and the Princess in the horns, over the top of a more fully harmonised progression of my Hopeless theme;

0:54-1:18 = piccolo mixes HS&P theme with Leia's original theme, ending with that Darth Vader fragment;

1:19-1:37 = quiet, again, as the desolate lower register of the flute plays the Hopeless theme, and it ends with a minor quote of Luke's theme in the violins;

1:37-1:52 = Duel of the Fates theme is built up to a march. I tried to aurally clarify the quasi-palindrome between Luke's and Duel's themes;

1:52-2:04 = The Rebel Fanfare (rhythm, contour) meets The Imperial March (modality, march, that three-note fragment at 1:55), resulting in a Luke's Theme fragment at 1:58, which is imitated by the strings and glock. Luke's Theme is built up to result in Across the Stars...

2:04-2:20 = Essentially the same section, with a more obvious Across the Stars addition, again resulting in Luke's Theme in minor;

2:20-2:28 = This is the C theme of Across the Stars (the one rehashed from A.I. and CMIYC), underneath woodwind quotes of the Duel theme fragment;

2:28-2:36 = The brass/horns emerge with the Across the Stars B theme (with the descending triplet added to the rhythm), canonically imitated by the strings with quotes of Luke's theme/Across the Stars, desperately reaching upwards. Note the introduction of the choir, and the Duel theme fragment takes over underneath on the woodblock;

2:36-2:50 = A transition section, with the trumpet further developing the Luke/AtS juxtaposition, against a rather lethargic, descending bass line. A mysterious quote of Darth Vader occurs in the island flutes. Mid-strings reprise the Rebel Fanfare/Imperial phrase from before;

2:50-3:03 = The Force theme is pronounced at a semitonal rise in key, and with developed rhythmic and melodic contour, essentially modifying the ends of phrases with the descending triplet motive of Luke/AtS/Duel themes (2:56-8). The second phrase (3:02) is accompanied by upper woodwinds contributing amalgamations of the Force theme, Duel and Luke's theme;

3:03-3:10 = The low/island flute from the beginning concludes the full Force theme statement in, again, a stripped down fashion depicting quiet and calm amid frenzy;

3:10-3:50 = It continues with the Force theme again, to which the horns/glock respond with three varied quotes and fragments of Luke's theme. The sentence ends with three Duel quotes, and two intertwined quotes of Across the Stars, and an accented descending triplet in the celli, depicting the succumbing to the dark side;

3:50-3:58 = The flute reminds us of the eery woodwind accompaniment to the Imperial March, dotted by a quote of the March in the bass. Similarities are drawn between this and the Hopeless theme to follow:

3:58-4:14 = The Hopeless theme has new string harmonisation.

4:14-4:30 = The above section is repeated, and Yoda's Theme - in the horn - fits snugly over the top, building to a crescendo, with two string tutti strokes of the major third Vader theme fragment.

4:30-4:47 = Yoda's Theme in the trumpet dances to the rhythm and contour of the Imperial March, which rumbles to a climax incorporating that Imperial March accompaniment figure.

4:48-5:06 = Solitude again, as the trumpet sort of wanders back into the shape of the Imperial March, no longer heroicly Yodaish. This is above a string rendition of Across the Stars. The Imperial March and Luke's Theme mingle with two soloists: flute and double bass.

5:06-end = The Emperor's Theme, slightly varied chord-progression-wise, and spotted with Imperial quotations. It ends with Yoda going into hybernation near the Magic Tree, so quotes represent this, solemnified by more Imperial quotes. A trumpet run leads into the End Credits themes... This, by the way, was written just before I learnt who actually is last seen walking off into the distance at the end of the film, ie, C3PO.

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Hmm...nice use of themes...maybe overuse, though? I mean, that's pretty much themes nonstop with no space for nonthematic music; I think the symbolism and stuff is a little over-the-top.

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Whoa, yeah, great RotS finale! I guess I'm biased to anything with SW themes in it, but nice, very nice!

I'm glad you like the use of SW themes!

Hmm...nice use of themes...maybe overuse, though? I mean, that's pretty much themes nonstop with no space for nonthematic music; I think the symbolism and stuff is a little over-the-top.

I'm sorry you disliked the use of SW themes!

Bowie - who realises it was the same person :P I'm pretty much going to take both of them as compliments, Cerrabore. Ta. ROTFLMAO

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Um...yeah. LOL

What I meant was, the themes are great, but maybe too great...er...too plentiful...read my second post?

Anyway I liked the finale. ;)

EDIT: Wait, I know: Han Solo and the Princess. I cannot fathom what significance it has to Episode III...since it is 2/3's Han's theme, and Han doesn't exist yet, as far as we're concerned. Seems like you just got carried away with quoting Williams there.

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OK, I've finally decided to share my songs. All two of them. Before you listen, keep in mind that I had to use Finale PrintMusic sounds, which was limited on basically everything. And it's not a clean recording, because it was recorded with my friend's LEGO Studios camera. (Don't ask....) They're short songs, but I think they're alright. I'm very new at composing, and like William Hung said: "I've had no professional training". <<or something like that. Well, here they are:

http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?songs...s=349826&T=5632

:folder:

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Yay :folder: I finally recorded my song live! I was using a 32 piece high school orch with reduced strings for my recording so it is not that good. my mixing is a bit off /not good balance (i'll fix it over the week). but here's a demo of the song, Aurora. Tuning was...well...um, this is where i wish i had a 60 piece orchestra that was in tune. And i was stupid when i recorded the vox. I wanted to be professional so i stuck the mike from above, but it turns out that the mike was a condensor and basically, i picked up the sound off the floor instead of from the mouth, hence hte voice is super echo. oh well. enjoy.

http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?PID=507168&T=574

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^Tony, I added you to my Favorite Artists list at ACIDplanet. And I certainly understand problems with sound quality. (have you heard my songs? lol) But I like that song, echo or not! The 16th note strings are cool.

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I've finally finished my First Task track, but is it possible that someone could transform my crappy midi file into something half decent? I have no sample library, not as of yet anyway (I should really get a job...)

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Yay :folder: I finally recorded my song live! I was using a 32 piece high school orch with reduced strings for my recording so it is not that good. my mixing is a bit off /not good balance (i'll fix it over the week). but here's a demo of the song, Aurora. Tuning was...well...um, this is where i wish i had a 60 piece orchestra that was in tune. And i was stupid when i recorded the vox. I wanted to be professional so i stuck the mike from above, but it turns out that the mike was a condensor and basically, i picked up the sound off the floor instead of from the mouth, hence hte voice is super echo. oh well. enjoy.

http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?PID=507168&T=574

FANTASTIC COMPOSITION. The subtle way Williams has influenced you is clear to me - and it's great. Bit unfortunate about the tuning and inexperience of the instruments in the middle parts, but excellent climax!!! and gorgeous, "sweetest" melody :mrgreen:

Very appropriate for a musical, and I agree it's touching in a Lion King/Lil Mermaid way. Nice.

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Excellent composition. You've got some nice harmonies in there, real feeling. May I suggest if you have some software like sound forge applying normalisation to the piece. This should bring out the dynamic ranges in the music and make it more audible :folder:.

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As I've already said some time ago, I really enjoy that piece (and the film) :| BTW after listening to it for some time I found some details of the orchestration I really like :D (Like in measure 4 and 8 of the theme the loud low brass chord in the accompaniment followed by the cymbal crash :)

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For my first "task" in my composition course at uni this year, I have to listen to and analyse string quartets and ultimately have written one of my own by May-June.

Does anybody have any tips on string quartet-writing? My teacher's suggested I listen to Debussy, Ravel, Bartok (no.6), Shostakovich (no.8), and for additional historical perspective, anything by Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven (particularly Op.18). But do you have any specific tips you've picked up - what's the best way of achieving that sort of effortless four-part switching and swirling and development, etc, that I find fascinating and extremely hard to write myself.

My idea is to do the following, to show my frustration at the two "polar opposites" of the orchestral music world, and how I'm drawn to one but not the other (though I will try to write both to the best of my ability to see which one "wins", fairly):

String Quartet 1 ? ?Film Music Versus Concert Hall?

I ? Dual Prologue

II ? Action Sequence

III ? Quiet Character

IV ? Climax & Revelation

I was thinking about actually temp-tracking them like four film cues, cutting up and alternating between a film score and string quartet, and using them for structural inspiration, but refining the use of themes to suit. I will need to come up with a theme that is both film-score thematic conforming to quasi-structureless hypothetical imagery, and also introspective and abstract, conforming to and unto itself. The revelation I guess would be where these ideas merge and there is no winner...?

What you think?

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For thoughs that are interested here is the soundtrack I wrote for a student film called Warriors of Destiny:

Link

This is better than anything I remember from the entire The Two Towers. In fact, it's extremely inspiring. Thanks.

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Have you checked out the corresponding film by Forge's brother? If not, click the link in his signature. I find the movie entertaining and well-made in repsect the the available means :| And the scoring is spot-on (like the timpani roll when the wizard's staff pounds the ground in close-up :D)

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Hi everybody!

It is great to be able to hear your great pieces!

I have a little problem. Everytime I try to attach a midi, rar og zip file it tells me that the maximum filesize has been reached. I find that a little strange since the file I am trying to post is around 8-18 kb in size....

What can I do?

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I just finished some action music to accompany Marian's space game. It's recorded with EWQL Silver (not perfect, but it works ;)). You can listen to it here:

MaxFighter - The Asteroid Belt

/edit: If someone did download it before this edit, please reload :) I've done lots of tinkering the past few hours, including some rerecording of instruments, and done a proper stereo mix (with the orchestra panned out more realistically).

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Is someone readily available RIGHT NOW to just pop a simple 4:00 string quartet sibelius file into their garritan p.o. or whatever excellent sample system they've got set up, record it and send it to me back at bowiescores@hotmail.com?????

I'd love to hear whether what I've written works with "realer" instruments :(

If anyone can do this in the next hour or two, please let me know asap, here, and i'll send the file wherever!

Thanks in advance Mysterious Stranger.

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Did nobody listen to my "Asteroid Belt" piece? :P I'm really curious what you think about it! (Even if you bash it - as long as it's constructive criticism ;))

Obviously Star Wars was one inspiration to me (hence the title of the cue - although the game setting practically asks for it ;)), but I tried not to carbon copy anything, just create orchestral action that is engaging and diverse enough not to fall onto the players nerves too soon (as it's looped in the game).

I appreciate any comments :D

-Chris, now busy coming up with a main title

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A friend of mine tested Max Fighter today... first thing he said was he doesn't think we'll have the right to use that music; he actually did believe it to be The Asteroid Field at first (he's a bit of a JW fan himself).

He kept playing the game for a while and said the music is *really* good.

Marian - :P

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Did nobody listen to my "Asteroid Belt" piece? :joy: I'm really curious what you think about it! (Even if you bash it - as long as it's constructive criticism 8O)

Obviously Star Wars was one inspiration to me (hence the title of the cue - although the game setting practically asks for it ;)), but I tried not to carbon copy anything, just create orchestral action that is engaging and diverse enough not to fall onto the players nerves too soon (as it's looped in the game).  

I appreciate any comments :D

-Chris, now busy coming up with a main title

I personally haven't had time. Been busy with uni and composing. It's perfect. Again, the instrument samples don't do it justice, but the composition itself is fine and definitely sound suitable to a computer game, and presumably Max Fighter is as such.

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Hey Guys! :D I've just purchased Opus 1 (Vienna Symphonic Library) and I'll be getting a new computer soon, so I'll be composing lots!! :joy:

I look forward to posting some stuff here 8O

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