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2nd JWFan Composition Contest


ChrisAfonso
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Which theme is the best?  

26 members have voted

  1. 1.

    • "Batman: A new Theme (for that caped guy wearing the blue stockings)"
      3
    • "Introduction & Superman Theme"
      5
    • "Superman"
      4
    • "The Punisher - Main Titles"
      6
    • "The Hulk (Transformation)"
      6
    • "Theme from X-Men"
      2
    • "X-Men"
      0


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So, finally after much confusion the contest is coming to its end, and it's time to judge and vote for the winner :|

The topic was: "Write a theme for a superhero of your choice".

-------Edit-----------------------------

For clarification, here the original criteria descriptions by StrongBad:

Write a THEME for any of the major superheroes listed below. This theme can be anything from a solo kazoo, to a full orchestra with chorus. Whatever your orchestration, the piece must embody a solid theme for the hero. Some examples of superhero themes are the themes to superman, batman, spiderman; by Williams, Elfman and Elfman. But, be careful not to write a piece for a superhero and have it sound like an already written theme (i.e. superman)

(Thanks to Forge for recovering those)

-----------------------------------------

Seven pieces were entered, here they are:

  • "Batman: A new Theme (for that caped guy wearing the blue stockings)"
  • "Introduction & Superman Theme"
  • "Superman"
  • "The Punisher - Main Titles"
  • "The Hulk (Transformation)"
  • "Theme from X-Men"
  • "X-Men"
      [Edit3:]One more thing: Please, before voting on a piece with better sound quality over one with lesser sound quality, consider if you really think it's musically better, or if it's just the sound quality. If it's the latter, think about your vote once more... Sadly no equivalence in sound quality is possible, so it would be a bit unfair if a piece gets disregarded only because of it's lower quality samples. If it's the former... move on :P.
      [/Edit3]
      Note: When voting, make sure not to confuse the two Superman or X-Men Themes! :)
      The vote will be open until the 24th of December, the piece that gets the most votes by that date will be proclaimed the winner of this contest.
      The contest will be anonymous in general, like the last one (I have also removed any composer info in the mp3 ID Tags). However, if a composer whishes to claim his piece here, feel free to do so.
      Many thanks to StrongBad, who started this contest, and to Forge, who recorded the entered Finale files with samples!
      -----------
      Edit:
      One more side note, base your vote for the best piece not solely on how much you like the piece, but on how fitting it is, in your opinion, for the depicted character.
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Also would like to say that the Punisher main titles are awesome as well. Just started listening to it. It's a tie between batman and punisher

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Sorry to write in AGAIN, but in that Punisher main titles, it almost sounds like it was a live recording, it most likely isn't but the sound from it is miles ahead of all the other candidates.

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I think its important to be reminded of what Strongbad posted in his original brief for the competition and people should judge whether the scores meet his initial criteria:

Write a THEME for any of the major superheroes listed below. This theme can be anything from a solo kazoo, to a full orchestra with chorus. Whatever your orchestration, the piece must embody a solid theme for the hero. Some examples of superhero themes are the themes to superman, batman, spiderman; by Williams, Elfman and Elfman. But, be careful not to write a piece for a superhero and have it sound like an already written theme (i.e. superman)

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I thought all were excellent, and even though, from a musical stanpoint, The Hulk was my favourite i cast my vote for The Punisher. It is professional and polished. I think it would fit in perfectly with the upcoming film...

BK

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hmmm.."Write a THEME for any of the major superheroes listed below. "......there was a theme in Batman, Hulk, and the last x-men mp3, but I couldn't pick out any really recognizable theme in the others, even tho they were pretty solid musically.

The Hulk piece was my favorite b/c it seemed to represent its character the best.....Hulking, smashing, lumbering about in a rage.

Good job to everyone involved, and thanks for submitting them...they were a lot of fun to listen to.

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The piece that best fit the character was definatly "The Hulk (Transformation)"

"Introduction & Superman Theme" also fit the character pretty good. In a cheesy way. ;)

"Theme from X-Men" I thought was the most unique approach although I couldn't really hear a theme....

Special note too "The Punisher - Main Titles" great synthes. Good orchestration the cue too.

Justin -Who voted for Hulk. :)

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Wow, I actually liked them all. For various reasons:

"Batman" - Whoever came up with this crazy name?!? I'm not going to type it all out. :sigh: Well, the theme is used all the time and keeps transforming until the climax. But the mixing is terribly,isn't it? Somebody tell the man how to mix properly.

"Introduction and Superman theme" has a really groovy sound. Reminds me of an organ player going wild! I love that! It also features a beautiful theme, nice orchestrations, great harmonic progressions but I felt it was a tiny bit repetitive just before the end. Perfect fit for that hero! I would love to hear that one recorded.

"Superman" has an even better theme. Really long and interesting. Very good orchestrations and a totally held-back approach. I liked that but personally I couldnt see how such a tender theme would fit a superhero like Superman. This piece could be an excerpt from a symphony, actually. It's all there: orchestration, an interesting melody and nice working with it.

"The Punisher" is, of course, the most polished and professional sounding one. It's also the first piece of music form that composer than doesnt' only impress technically or sound-wise. Finally he wrote some real music and stopped throwing orchestral effects at the audience (which can be fun for a while, but since everybody is doing that nowadays, it's becoming cliché very fast). I liked the Elfman-like no-melody approach, just like he did in Hulk and all his newer scores. Instead I found the repeating descending 4-note figure and the 3-chord progressions in the end very good. The best thing: the composer managed to resist the urge to be loud all the time! Very well done.

"The Hulk" was also very fitting. Great idea to base it on that Goldsmith-like grinding ostinato figure! The theme was very good, although I would have loved more variation in it. The potential is there. Also it gets a little bit repetitive, since the composer decided to leave out Woodwinds. I craved for some crazy Woodwind figures to augment the theme in the repetition or some irregular measures breaking the ostinato, but that's just my personal taste. The ending was great!

"Theme from X-Men" suffers from heavy clipping and it's shortness. But I liked the idea of hearing this deep clarinet ostinato with the choir! Brilliant idea, but sadly too undeveloped. This piece has much potential and reminds me more of what the original series did than what the films are like. It also would sound good in a real recording.

"X-Men" is also a good one, but it also is too short. The small orchestra approach is a good idea and a fresh sound, but this piece (although it has great potential) ends too abrupt. I would love to hear more of it someday. The theme is nice and hummable.

My oh my...... which one to choose... I'm desperate..

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What a response!!

I have to agree with musicpete - there are good things in all of them:

Batman

Definitely one of the top contenders I think. Interesting start, the composer creates and builds an atmosphere to start before introducing the theme. Throughout the piece the theme reappears in different forms and moods echoing, I think, the different aspects of the chosen character. I especially like the way that the earlier quiet reflective form of the theme is drawn together with the more sinister version to create a ?semi-heroic? passage nearer the end. But it is long, very long. I felt there were some passages that nearly lost the plot. This entry has some epic qualities that, if scored for full orchestra, would be outstanding.

Introduction and Superman Theme

A very strong drone accompaniment feature at the beginning and the strong bass immediately after caught my attention. The ideas for the theme are also very strong especially with the chosen sound, but I?m not sure about some of the chromatics. It did seem a little too busy in places, the overactive triangle for example, I found very distracting. At a slower tempo and with more sweeping strings and woodwind it could be promising.

Superman

The choice and use of instruments at the beginning gives this an interesting ?mystical? quality. Whilst the theme is strong, the first section did not do it justice. The composer has tried to be so rhythmically clever at the start that it is easy to lose track of the melodic line. I liked the driving ostinato patterns and the interesting use of the flute, but the string passages felt ponderous instead of sweeping. A real effort has been made to use the theme in different ways, but for me it doesn?t quite hang together.

The Punisher

This had an atmospheric beginning. Excellent orchestration and use of effects. The two full orchestra sections (near the beginning and the end) are stunning, although very short. I hear recognisable motifs, but am struggling to call any a ?theme?. I felt there were too many changes and not enough development. It would be well suited to the title sequence of a film, following a character?s actions, but does not establish a theme to associate with the chosen character.

The Hulk

My other main contender. Another an atmospheric start, interesting, and effective, choice of piano. The subtle use of tremelo and ?growls? from the low strings add to the brooding feel. I like the way it builds up to, I imagine, the character?s transformation in to the Hulk, and the use of a 3 beat ostinato against the 4 beat time signature. The full orchestral sections, especially with the addition of the choir, are very effective, but the lack of woodwind at times makes it a little ponderous in the middle. An interesting ending - the music leaving the impression that although the character has transformed back, the monster is still a part of him.

Theme from X-Men

Interesting choice of instruments and pitch at the beginning, very atmospheric. The repeating pattern in the clarinet is recognisable and would serve well as incidental music during a film, but cannot really be called a theme.

X-Men

Atmospheric at the start and a strong memorable theme (too memorable!!). An interesting combination of ostinati on bassoon and snare creating drive and I liked the prominence of the strings towards the end. It was, however, very short. I thought this had great potential and would benefit from using a much wider range of the orchestra.

OK, I know there?s a lot to read here, but I?m entitled to justify my choice. For me it was a two horse race - Batman and the Hulk. My vote goes to the Hulk. It is not necessarily a ?nice? piece to listen to, but it invokes the character most effectively and shows development of a main theme. Above all, the music creates as unsettling a feeling as the character does - nice one! :baaa:

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I like the "Introduction & Superman" the most, the sound quality is not comparible with for example The punisher.

But after the first "wow" for the really realistic hearing music program i realized that what really matters with this contest is the composer that gives input to the program.

So the midi quality can be bad, the composition of the "Introductio & theme of superman" is really the best of all.

also nice to listen:

Batman from 2:14.

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I am the composer of the "Superman" theme. To clear up some confusion on my composition here are a few things...It is really "Love theme/Main theme" and the beginning is supposed to be a lot slower...the Main theme is supposed to be faster, thus the sweeping string part shouldn't be ponderous, but sweeping and the main theme should fit Superman more. I hope this clears things up for those yet to vote, if the read this before they vote.

Thanks,

Leigh Gulick :mrgreen:

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, the contest is over, and we have not one, but two winners :)

Congratulations to Chris Hesketh for "The Hulk (Transformation)" and Simon Ravn for "The Punisher - Main Titles"! :wave:

Applause!

:)

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I would like to thank everybody for listening to my piece (the theme for the caped guy) and send special thanks to those who commented positively on it.

Congratulations to the winners! But I also applaud all the others for creating such great music. :nono:

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I as well like to congratulate the winners and want to thank everybody who voted for my submission: "Introduction & Superman Theme". Next time I hope to participate again...with better sound quality ;)

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I'll regard that as a compliment... ;)

BTW is that you in your atavar...!?

Umm. :oops: Is there something you would like to do to me, brave man?

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Umm.  :oops: Is there something you would like to do to me, brave man?

Let me think... :wave: No, just would like to compliment your nice atavar :spiny:

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  • 3 weeks later...

This might be a stupid question and I know it's a bit late, but... what happened to my entry? I know it was received, and I got a few emails about it. Not that it would've stood a chance against the winners! Congrats Chris & Simon!

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Really? If it got lost, that's a pity :/

I received some of the files Strongbad still had on his computer, and we asked for resubmission of everything else for some time, before the contest closed (finally).

Hopefully next time we get everything organized better.

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Hey Chris! Everything alright with you?

Idea for the next competition: write a theme for any Harry Potter character!

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Ok then we could start our third composition contest. The description will be:

"Write a theme for any Harry Potter related character, already having appeared in one the movies or just inspired by the books. Your choise of style and orchestration is up to you, as long as the theme fits the character. You may take Williams' music as inspiration but your theme must be original."

I don't know if Chris Afonso and Forge have time to do another contest? I myself will probably compete as well and don't have any equipement for recording with samples and so. Chris? Forge?

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Harry Potter sounds like a fun assignment! I'd prefer if the assignment was to write a theme for a character which isn't already done by Williams. I don't know the Potter books at all, but I guess there are some new characters in books 3, 4 and hmm 5? to choose from.

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Idea for the next competition: write a theme for any Harry Potter character!

Hmm, interesting, I am not sure whether I could work up any enthusiasm for writing a Potter theme myself. But if we get a broad consensus of interest in doing a theme for Harry Potter, then I don?t mind helping out like last time. Me and Chris were debating whether the next competition should be to write a love theme for an Adventure/Action film e.g. Indiana Jones. Chris suggested that to even the playing field all the scores should be a piano piece.

On a side note I?d like to thank everyone who voted for my Hulk piece in the last competition (HULK SMASH). He is not my favourite comic book character, but I felt that unlike some of the other choices in the list, no composer has yet written a definitive Hulk theme.

All the pieces submitted to the competition were excellent :) , its just a shame that more people didn?t vote.

:sigh:

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Harry Potter sounds like a fun assignment! I'd prefer if the assignment was to write a theme for a character which isn't already done by Williams. I don't know the Potter books at all, but I guess there are some new characters in books 3, 4 and hmm 5? to choose from.

But if we let people choose maybe there will be some nice Harry's Themes!

Piano submissions this time maybe are a good consideration. I think it's a fair way. Or maybe people could submit a piano version as well as an orchestrated version, but the piece will be judged from the piano reduction.

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