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First post, first composition

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Zach Charlton, May 7, 2018.

  1. Hi all,

    I thought I’d post my first piece of music that I’ve composed in this style and would love your feedback as I’ve never composed anything with orchestral elements before.

    If you want the story behind the piece, read on, but if you just want to have a nosey at it, go ahead and listen :)

    and here's the video for context:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/26z7iohufrpqnbv/Resurgence Movie v1.4 H.264.mov?dl=0

    The piece is called ‘Resurgence’ and it’s specifically created to go along side a video about my wife’s journey over the last year. Just over a year ago, her dance school premises (home to over 250 students) was brought down by a huge gas explosion from the building below it, also taking my entire studio and it’s contents out too - It was covered on English news. Luckily there were no fatalities as the building was empty, but some injuries to people walking by - thankfully all recovered.

    This happened 3 weeks before their annual show, which left them with a huge decision to make regarding continuing with their show. Due to their resilience, determination and the sense of family that her school has, they battled on and pulled it off, despite losing all of their costumes in the blast - It’s amazing how people from all over pulled together to help out.

    A year on, they have been struggling to find premises in the local vicinity to house them, but recently they found somewhere and wanted to announce it at their show this year; using this opportunity to surprise the kids, families and friends with a reveal video (accompanied by my music) which shows their journey.

    I’m hoping I’ve captured this journey in the music with the feeling of looking back at what was, going into the start of the fight back and then into what the future holds. I feel like I have, but then I’m so close to it, I probably will feel like that.

    If you’ve got this far - thanks for reading :) I’d love some feedback regardless of how critical as it will help me grow as a musician & composer. I've no doubt there are many areas of this piece that could be improved as I too improve, but hopefully I captured the emotion and story behind it.

    Hope you enjoy and thanks for taking time to read/listen.
  2. Hi !

    Welcome, and thanks for posting a piece of your own as a first post. Takes some guts..... I like it.

    I try and comment on many pieces around here, so I just thought I would let you know I had a listen.

    While I did not watch the video I did read about the story behind the music.

    I don't know........ can't offer much commentary of help I am sorry to say.
    It all sounds nice and everything, but too familiar for my tastes.

    From 1:00 onwards it just sound like music for a corporate video to be honest.
    That's an aesthetic issue. I am sure you can find music libraries to sell this track on.

    I could give you my thoughts on the strings voicings and so on, but that is not this style.

    I would just say; I hope you can sell it widely.

    If you are looking to take people on a more personal journey than I think you need to write in a more personal way.
    It's too "by the book" for me to connect with it emotionally.

    Hope you will post again in the future
    Zach Charlton likes this.
  3. Thanks for the feedback Doug, I appreciate you taking the time to read the story and listen to the track.

    I must admit, I did wonder about it being my first post, but I figured there's only a positive outcome I can achieve and that's feedback - good or bad. Either way I win :)

    I never had any intentions of selling this track on to be honest, I just wrote it with the video in mind and the announcement of the new studios, but I get what you mean by the 'corporate' comment, that makes sense.

    I had a short amount of time to fit the 3 chapters to the story in and probably reached for the predictable structure/progression to A) try and get people there as quickly as possible, and B) because my limited experience of other ways of achieving this at the moment. Hopefully this is something I will improve on through time, trial and error.

    The video did get shown at the theatre and between it and the music, it did reduce people to tears, but then they had an emotional connection anyway due to the situation, so that was probably a big head start.

    I have a lot of work to do, but at least I've got the first post out of the way :eek: I look forward to posting more.

    Thanks again.
  4. Great job.

    If you were going for that style like Doug mentioned a "Corporate video" or I always refer to is as "Library Music" you nailed it. I also don't mean this in a negative way at all. It's basically as Mike always preaches; Are you in it for the long game or the moment. In this case I imagine you served the film perfectly but I just won't ever remember the music you presented as it doesn't stick, but it doesn't mean it didn't work because it does work.

    Compositionally, the only thing I thought you should've held back on til a later point is your triplet figure with the strings. You should bring that figure in at 2 mins instead of 1:44. I believe that little change will also help give it a more gradual climax to the end instead of just a repeat. You could even have prepared the triplet figure at 1:44 with a fragmented rhythm or augmented version. Either way I personally wouldn't fix this piece and just remember my advice for a future piece if you wish to use it.
  5. Thanks Dillon...listening again now, I think you're right with the triplet string part, I should have introduced that later instead of a straight repeat. I'm not revisiting the piece as its served it's purpose and like you say, the advice I'm receiving now is what I can take forward with me on the next piece.

    I'm thinking perhaps I should try and submit the track for Library music now, since it seems to fit.

    Thanks again for taking time to listen and feed back :)
    Dillon DeRosa likes this.
  6. Your music supported the video and provided the right emotional impact, and what a great story.
    Your wife is lucky to have. All the best with the new studio.
    Zach Charlton likes this.
  7. #7 Zach Charlton, May 7, 2018
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
    Thanks Wayne...appreciate the you taking time out to listen and feedback.
  8. I cut my teeth writing for the original "library" service: Muzak. I remember being told that the ideal quality for music to have was that it didn't draw attention to itself. It was to be pleasant and enjoyable, and invisible. I think the consensus here is right that this is a right-down-the-middle library track. I'm not sure it needed to be more.

    That said, of course there was a much more leading and storytelling way to approach this, and this might've been welcome to help offset some of the shortcomings in the editing. If we break down any edit or film into its dramatic sections, we should be able to be clear on what the central dramatic device is at all times. Then we ask ourselves what is the harmonic or motivic idea which embodies that concept. So if the drama is: slowly, the community begins to come together, the description alone gives us a template for expressing musically. Slowly, but gathering momentum. Converging/coming together - perhaps contrary motion, or dissonances resolving towards greater consonances. Buried within the drama are all the clues we need to serve it.

    I think what you've done has done its job, AND I think there are many levels it could/can go!
    Dillon DeRosa and Zach Charlton like this.
  9. Thanks for the detailed response Mike...much to think about and hopefully incorporate in my music moving forward.

    Being my first attempt at something like this (having come from a pop background) I'm glad I seemed to have achieved the required result, but have no doubt in my mind that I have much to learn and that it could have been much better. I've just started on your lessons which are really switching lot's of lights on in my head, so thank you! I'm sure I'll be watching them many times over to really drill the message in!

    Ultimately, I would like to become more refined in my compositions and not just get stuck in the library music philosophy, not that I'm turning my nose up at it!

    Thanks again for stopping by to listen and comment...I can really see this community being a useful place for me to learn and grow! :)
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  11. Was that one of yours Doug ? it’s one of my favourites...... the ukulele in that track doubled with the didgeridoo was simply inspired....

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