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The Great Escape -- action-like cue attempt

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Francesco Bortolussi, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. Hey all!
    Here's a piece I wrote a couple of months ago where I tried to emulate an "action-like" mood (the famous always-moving feeling that we get from great action cues). I tried to play in a mockup with a free-ish template, where the only commercial library is Adventure Brass; woodwinds are Alpine, the rest is the base Kontakt library.

    Comments on the compositional aspect: since I'm not expecting it to be played by a real orchestra, I didn't pay too much attention on how many timpanis I had, or how really playable the harp parts are (I might need 2 harps on the big crescendo). Since I wrote it in a couple of afternoons (and another full day for the notated score in Sibelius), I would rewrite some parts if I had time, because of tunnel vision and lack of revision afterwards (namely what happens around 0:29). It might sound trivial, but it really is difficult to write this kind of music, and I'm not in control of it just yet.

    The mockup doesn't sound great, and while it may be because of the libraries that I used, it might also be because of the overall balance and the lackluster performance on my part (not very dynamic). I also uploaded the Noteperformer 3 rendition, which is probably better sounding than my mockup.

    Here's the mockup:

    Here's the Noteperformer 3 version:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/tfu61ktc1wfkj1v/the great escape - noteperformer.wav?dl=0

    Here's the score, if anyone is interested:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/6f4ivljov85b61q/the great escape - Full Score.pdf?dl=0

    (Some things are lazily notated because of lack of time)

    Hope you enjoy it :) Seeking criticism
  2. Hey !

    Based off of one listen: The piece seems to be stronger than your orchestration.

    I think this is simply a matter of gaining a larger vocabulary for this style. Transcribe, and copy out scores by hand.

    You already know this.

    One thing I found interesting was your orchestration, and thus the piece, actually gets stronger as it goes on. @ 1:35 was not bad.

    However: I used to have an orchestration teacher who always told me to think of my pieces like flying an airplane. You know what two parts
    you have to get right ? The take off and the landing. In the middle you can stretch you legs, etc.

    I would re-visit the opening and think of the maxim: Anything worth doing....... is worth over-doing.

    I would hunt down some of the scores offered for free by Robin Hoffmann. (google it). Copy them out with pen/paper.
    He has this Williams chase vibe down cold, and would offer a nice addition to anything learned from "The Race"
    (which you should also get if you don't have already)


    PS. Any new thoughts on Waldstein ?
  3. Hey!

    Cool piece. On a first listen it's fun, but I feel like your orchestration is "strained" where it should be "fleeting". The climax could be a little bit stronger. Why not double the melody with horns at 55 and 56, then at 57 and 58 have the horns play what they're playing now and switch the doubling to.. trombones playing chords in the rhythm of the melody?

    I'd also follow the trumpet line with the violins as it comes in, instead of having them sustain the Ab and G.

    Just a thought.

    I'll listen again later and post more comments.

    Yeah, sorry to bring that to you :D Undoubtedly much better representation of your music, even though the performance with NP3 is somewhat rigid. But it's good that you're aware of it. You could look to NP for how your current orchestration should sound when balanced.
  4. Thank you so very much for the feedback, both criticism and compliments!

    Thanks, I could really use more transcription, my orchestral vocabulary is pretty restricted as of now.

    This is very interesting, I never thought of it this way, but it does make a lot of sense.

    I don't know the guy yet, but will do!

    I also had the same feeling, a lot of the changes feel more forced than natural. But I guess with more and more experience this would probably improve naturally over time.

    I'll try it out! I guess my thought process was that anymore than that would be overkill, since I've got some sections blaring already (I would be curious to hear the difference on a live performance!).

    Oh well :D I'm still not sure if it's mostly because of the libraries or my inability to punch the score in. The woodwinds always sound godawful, no matter how much post-processing/mod-wheel wizardry I try. I tried the Eastwest Hollywood woodwinds yesterday (composer's cloud deal) and they sound even worse :D


    Still a little bit too repetitive for my taste. But I'm sure that whenever I'll gain more wisdom, I'll change my mind soon enough.

    Still don't know why I chose that particular piece for my example, I loved it to the point of obsessing over it in my piano years! :)

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