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Bitter-Sweet

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Doug Gibson, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. I was just working this morning on writing a piece that - maybe - conjures up mixed emotional reactions.

    Something pretty, but also a little melancholy. A little sweet, a little mysterious.

    I was not thinking of any particular character, but it's like "Iceman" in Batman, or some of the Avengers movies that
    have more complicated characters. Or... perhaps like my all time favorite reality TV show "Bad Girls Need Love Too" :D

    Your thoughts most welcome. It's just a daily writing for my journal, so fire away.

     
  2. 10 seconds in my first thought was that the harp is holding the tonal center with more power than might be reasonably expected. Very present and plucky in a way that tends to obfiscate that stuff.. I think you're expecting too much of it at that dynamic. I'd say if you switched the glock to rubber mallet, and dropped everything to mp you might have a better chance of making this actually sing, and giving a tonal backdrop to the harp wouldn't hurt (piano, ideally ppp strings or woods).
     
    Doug Gibson likes this.
  3. Thank you for your feedback. Those comments are great !

    I am eager to try them out later today, and I'll report back with the variations you suggested.

    Question: Do you have any experience with recording 2 harps. Would the extra resonance help hold the tonal center better ?
    (ie, dovetailing between the two while the other lets the string ring)

    Thanks again !!

    Doug
     
  4. PS.

    Here is the piano reduction: Just FYI anyone

     
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  5. I've used two harps several times, rarely doubling, but it's the midtone ringing in samples which is deceiving - it's really not that powerful. Works best in a solo or chamber group, where there is little to compete with. My general rule is the more I want the harp to do the less anybody else is doing, keep it mf or lower, and think about it conservatively - almost like pizz strings - in terms of ringing chords. That's an exaggeration but it helps me keep my expectations in check.
     
  6. Thanks again for your excellent advice. Is this on the right track with your suggestions ?

    I made the following adjustments:

    Added bass flute to double harp in opening and middle sections.
    Clarinets added to for harmonic back-drop
    Strings added in from measure 5

    viola added to double horn countermelody at bar 9

    Passed the melody around a little more than previous version.

    This is just Sibelius/Noteperformer playback. I hear you on the mallets, but nothing I can do now.
    I do have the Spitfire percussion library, and harp, so I might make a mix version with all percussion/harp Spitfire and Noteperformer with everything else.

    I can upload the score if you can be bothered to review.

    Thanks again !

     
  7. @Doug Gibson I thought the first version was good, but this new version is truly delicious! Awesome.
     
    Doug Gibson likes this.
  8. Hi Paul

    Thank you so much for the kind words. Coming from a composer with your deft skill, it means a lot.

    Made my day.

    Thanks !
     
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  9. I thought I would post this new short excerpt here since it is similar to the one above.

    Just been writing a bunch of openings/miniatures.
    One thing that seems to be emerging is I have issues with Tinker Bell, or that is what it sounds like
    to me.

    It must be from the Hermann Twilight Zone influence.

    All comments, sober or otherwise, are most welcome. (As are any orchestration punch-in-the-faces)

     
    Paul T McGraw and Aaron Venture like this.
  10. Pretty dark/depressive pieces there. I like.

    Tinkerbell is more mysterious and reminds me of Neptune a bit. I'm wondering why didn't you go off with the second part of the melody at 0:27, but rather repeated it?

    I keep hearing something like
    upload_2018-6-10_12-44-2.png
     
    Doug Gibson and Paul T McGraw like this.
  11. They are ? I can't tell. I often have prolonged periods of intense depression.... so that's just how I roll.
    These are just daily writing exercises.

    Maybe I can begin a new genre: Emo Karaoke.

    My first album could be called: I sing alone.....forever. :D

    I see your power is growing from all the transcribing. Nice !

    I would not have had the pleasure of reading your comment if I did not repeat it.

    In all seriousness you are correct in that a subtle variation to the repeat could be most useful. However, I would't stick around in the same tonal area like you have. I think then we both have the same risk of becoming predictable.

    Hmmmm......now I am a little curious. I might see if I can't expand on this work later today.

    Thanks for the inspiration !

     
    Aaron Venture likes this.
  12. Man, that must suck. Hey, you don't have to sing alone! I'll do the drums and bring a couple of Spaniards with me.

    :cool:
    I find the predictability good at times. And sometimes the only rope in a dark forest. Or, you know, a candy trail. The vibe was kind of "new" to me (not much face-time with that style), so I went for the tonal variation just to stay in a familiar area rather than venturing (heh) further into the madness :D
     

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