Ashokan Farewell

 I don't know what to say about this. It's what happens when I'm in the house because of the COVID-19 virus and need something to pass the time.

My violin practice turned into a mini movie about the US civil war.  I am not a civil war buff. I do feel I have close ties to it in indirect ways. Presently I live very close to Gettysburg where one of the largest battles of the war was fought. Once when taking a tour there on the battlefield all of our fresh camera batteries were immediately drained. It is said the place is haunted. We seen little round balls called orbs there.

I grew up in the south and my sister is buried in a cemetery that has confederate graves in it.

I learned the song Ashokan Farewell ( or attempted to) before I ever knew how it was used. The song wasn't originally intended for that purpose. It pairs well with the solemn feel of that time in my opinion.

So here it is, the ramblings of a beginning film maker.

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  • D'you know what, Tim?

    That was very nice. It has a soulful feel about it as a movie, an impression. Can I presume it was you playing? If not you were miming well because the player was actually playing the tune it seemed.

    What was also good was the music wasn't over-produced. It had a freshness, an intimate contact with the subject matter. You also have a knack for good editing, the timing and duration of the shots/clips. 

    Well done!

  • Thanks Dane. Yes that was me playing. As you are a strings player you might have noticed it was a little rough around the edges.

    I took the original movie of me playing, added reverb to the violin track, then added drums, the other sound effects and the video pics. In hindsight I should have maybe played my harmonica as a part of it since it was a common instrument at the time. 

    Thanks for comments!, especially noticing that I went for a sparse music impression to match the times and using the round porthole as if peering into a time capsule and seeing back in time. The other thing was taking the color out of my video. I wanted to blur the edges of the porthole. Couldn't figure out how to do it.

  • Tim I like the concept of this but I don't think the cutting back and forth between you and the old pictures is effective. I think your playing fits well but if you keep the visual focus on the agony and angst of the period, possible pacing the editing more closely with the music I would like this better. Those old pictures have so much to say you can dwell on each of them for long periods without losing the thread. Maybe soft fades rather than sharp cuts. Maybe add an even more somber intro., you definitely have the feel of the music right.  Possibly some other instruments but the sound effects are redundant, this is a poem not a documentary. Just my opinion of course, I feel you are on to something here though.

  • The fiddle is one of those instruments that soldiers may have carried with them. I get images of them sitting around the camp fire and one playing this tune, half of them getting teary-eyed because of memories of home.


  • Tim this was very nice, Thank You.

  • Very nice and beautiful concept. Nothing above a live performance, and mainly  in this context.

    Thanks for sharing,


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