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First forum post! - short orchestral 'Dante's Inferno' concept album

Hey guys, 

 

This is my first forum post and I'm excited to have a look round and check everyone's stuff out, but I thought I'd share some of my own work as well for you to hear.

I recently wrote a short orchestral concept album based on the literature from Dante Alighieri's 'Divine Comedy', specifically the first part 'Inferno', which depicts Dante's journey through Hell.

 

If you have a spare 15 minutes please download it (for free) and give it a listen, I'd love to hear what people think. Please be as honest as possible, i don't mind some constructive criticism, even brutal feedback is good, but I hope you like it and have some positives too :) 

You can find the link to download 'Inferno' at http://alexlamy.bandcamp.com

 

If you like that you can find more examples on my websitesoundcloud and youtube pages, please subscribe if you like, that way I can find you and check your stuff out even easier as well. 

 

Thanks guys, I'm eager to hear your thoughts :)

 

Alex

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I listened to "inferno" - thought it was great! very cool! loved the chord change a 0:49, really set the mood for the rest of the piece. also, the part at 2:30 - 2:47, great orchestration and progression, really epic. The weakest part in the song would have to be the start, up to 0.49. It definitely wasn't bad, just could have been.........hm,.not sure myself =). The string melody could have been played a little bit tighter. There was just something uneasy about it ( I guess a journey through hell is rather uneasy, but this was sort of in the wrong way)

 

Anywho, great stuff!

Thanks for listening, I'm glad you liked most of that track, and yeah I do agree about the start of the track, I think it's partly to do with the limitations of the string samples though. If you get time, take a listen to the other 5 tracks, and download it if you haven't already :) If I had to recommend any to listen to straight away it'd be tracks 3 and 6.

 

For you and anybody else who wants to take a listen, I'll write a brief description of what each track is trying to convey.

Track 1 - The Birth of the Inferno: This track depicts Lucifer, but before he becomes 'Satan', as an angel in heaven. He is god's greatest creation but gets poisoned with idea that he can usurp God and deserves more power. He attempts this and is crushed by God, who then casts him out of heaven. Lucifer falls to Earth and creates Hell with his impact.

 

Track 2 - The Shores of the Acheron: This is Dante's travel through the Vestibule of Hell (before he enters), where souls that have done neither good or bad in life reside (called the uncommitted), and are pursued by wasps and flies. He then moves across the river Acheron and into the first level of Hell (which has 9 levels). This is Limbo, where virtuous but unbaptised souls reside. 

 

Track 3 - Self Indulgence and The Furies: This track describes the first four punishment levels of Hell, Lust, Gluttony, Greed and Wrath. Each punishment is 'contrapasso', ironic of the crime. Souls punished for lust are blown around by an unceasing storm, gluttons are forced to lie in a vile slush, the avaricious lose their identities and the wrathful fight each other in the river Styx for eternity. At the end of the track, we hear Dante's meeting with The Furies, three harpies that try to stop him continuing through Hell, but an angel sent from Heaven come to aid Dante and his guide to let them pass.

 

Track 4 - Violence and Understanding: Dante moves through levels 6 and 7 here, the violent sins of 'heresy and violence'. The music describes what Dante learns in these places. In the 6th tier he learns that the souls in Hell can only see the future and not the present on Earth, so they make prophecies for Dante. In the 7th he finds his old mentor who is condemned for sodomy, and realises that even the best of men can be guilty of their own private sins.

 

Track 5 - Malice and Silence: This describes a quick decent through the steep terrain of the 8th level and levels out in the 9th, where treacherous souls are punished (those who willingly sinned). Bodies are submerged in ice, and get deeper as Dante nears the centre of Hell, where the ultimate sinners reside. This level is unlike the previous ones, as it is sparsely populated and Dante has nobody to talk to.

 

Track 6 - The Perverted Trinity: This track describes Satan, at the centre of Hell, who is half submerged in ice and unable to escape. He is the ultimate sinner for personal treachery against God, and is seen as his opposite: Impotent, Ignorant and full of Hate as opposed to God's all loving, all knowing and omnipresent nature. Dante actually ends up empathising with Satan, and understands what it truly means to be punished for sin. He then leaves through the centre of the Earth and emerges under a starlit sky just before dawn.

 

Hopefully that helps you make sense of the tracks, Thanks!

 

Alex

I had a listen, although I was not paying much attention through the whole thing. I liked it, the first track I listened to with my full attention, later I was distracted, but I still remember I liked what I was listening. 

I have not read dante's inferno (and as more and more pieces based on it arise I'm getting curious about it :)), but under the new light of your description I'll give it another go.

 

Thanks Alex.  I listened to the last track, very beautiful and cinematic.  Then I went back to listen to the first track.  I will go back and listen to them in order.  I wonder what software did you use?
Thanks for listening Ann, I used EastWest Symphonic Orchestra inside Logic Pro.

Hi, I listened all the tracks and mostly good film music, congratulations. Only, I dont like the beginning of "The Birth.." is an old romantic music - to simple, to lyric, I think have to be something as music at 3`27 - misteriously, cosmik, unexpected... And its better then in the beginning we have to find some elements of 6-th track, this one I like very much.  As film tracks  its good work but as an orchestral music each track are to short - you start with interesting theme but after do not develop it enough as instrumental moving.

Finally - with good pictures have to be somthing interesting!

Good luck!

Hey Vlad, thanks for listening, I generally agree with you feedback but there are reasons behind the music. I did it as University coursework for my final year, and it specified only 15 minutes of music (even though it's still over 17). I did think of it as 'film music without the film' when I did it, and there's a video version on my youtube account with lots of images based on the literature alongside the music. I would have liked to develop the themes more but the time restraint didn't really allow me. If I had my way I would have written 45 minutes :P 

As for the start of the first track, I was trying to paint a picture of 'Lucifer the Angel', so I wanted it to feel more classical, definitely like romantic music. The idea was that it 'degraded' into a darker piece to resemble Lucifer being poisoned with the idea to usurp God. I think all of this would come across better if the whole album was longer, but as it was coursework I just had to do the best I could with the time limit. I did get a good grade though and got a first for my degree, so I guess it did it's job :P

Thanks for the feedback, it definitely will come in handy for future work. 

Alex

I understood the logic behind the first movement, but the beginning still felt awkward. Maybe it's a production thing.

 

Overall I liked it all, even though it's not, like, "wrapped up". Would definitely benefit from being at least a bit longer, especially the last part.

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