My names Andrew Foster im a musician and have been playing professionally for many years now as a songwriter www.andrewfostermusic.co.uk supporting many artists touring etc. Thats not a plug per say thats so you get some background, im a rock musician essentially i guess even though i am predominantly and acoustic player
Ive always had a vague interest in classical music and contempary classical composing for film etc I dont pretend to know anything im very much new to it all. Although i have worked in Goldcrest Post Production and studied it, i claim to be very much a newbie
I wondered if you would take a few mins to listen to the attached MP3 and let me know your thoughts on it. Id like to get into composing more
Many thanks Alain :-)
What a concise and informative critique! good man :-) this week im going to go round other members and have a nosey and ask advice etc from people like yourself
Ive a big gig with my band next weekend but after that im going to immerse myself in it for something different ....a new challange :-)
Thanks for your time Alain
I see what you did there- the idea of the theme repeated by deifferent instrumentations brings in mind Ravel's Bolero. Without the final "outburst" of course.
I like the theme, it's one of those ideas that have much into them -you can play with it in many ways. You chose the instrumentation way-mainly, but it can definately go further. Maybe an answer to that theme, a counter melody, that kind of stuff.
I did not like the string chords part-the sound of the strings was a bit "weak", and the passage from each chord to the next felt weird. I say work on the harmonizing of that part. If you haven't already, take a brief look at some 4 part harmony textbook/resource. Dont follow the rules as if it was gods law, but try to study what the "rules" say about movement of voices and use it in your work. And those chord choices could be a bit more varied.
I also didnt love those detuned bells you used in the start.
Overall? it has room for improvement, and more importantly, room for experimenting and exploring. Nothing better than a developable idea ;)
Tyler I just read your comment, I agree on everything.
And please, do not get us wrong. James you've been part of this community for a little over a month, I suppose Andrew is a member for less than that. You cannot possibly believe it is enough to judge all the members here, especially if you have not tried to interact with them. From my about-two-years in here I believe that nobody is a "snob" , but have a different will and ability to offer criticism or comments, something I respect. Personally I think a constructive comment is worth more than 30 "I like it " comments-unless of course you are trying to create an audience, which I'm sorry to inform you, you cannot do in here.
So come by the chat, say a hi, talk. This is a community, not an announcment board-people get to talk to each other. :D
Hehe....i wasnt implying anything my good man! I completly understand the interaction thing and ive said earlier im not here to boost my ego. I dont know what im doing and im here to listen to people to see what thier views are and to point me in the right direction. The people ive chatted to on here have been brilliant. So no matey, im not here for an audience!
Me saying "Ive had no comments but views" was a joke!
Yes thats been a common thing that i have no idea the structure of a real Orchestra.... im definitely blagging i!t...is there a good resource place or an idiots guide?...im just picking out instruments i think will sound good.
i love ravels bolaro....hehhehe ;-)
I will look into Harmonizing!!! So your saying the chords are too obvious and need to flow into each other more....i suppose its all about velocities aswell?
Rock musician bashing away at chords hehe
that was aimed more towards James-not in a bad way , and just to be a bit more clear, at least the way I see it. no hard fealings whatsoever :)
so. for orchestration, samuel adler;s book is what most recommend. I've had a look and it is very thorough.
If you want something lighter for starting, there was a forum that had turned Rimsky-Korshakov's(or was it someone else?) orchestration study to a series of posts with animated scores and comments on the original text. I cant remember the link, if someone else can paste it it would be helpfull. Do a litle search (searchbox) in here and you might find it. If you want some quick info there is always wikipedia, the syphonic orchestra article is very enlightening (but doesnt go very deep obviously).
For harmony now, I think google can help you with that. Others, more suited academicly could recomend you specific books. Do some search for 4 part harmony in google, see what comes up. I think there is some kind os subsection in the forum for theory and harmony matters, wouldnt hurt to ask there as well.
It's not only the chord choice or velocities, but mainly voicing. What do I mean by that.
I'm not sure, but if you play in a rock band I will assume you are familiar with chords on a guitar. On the acoustic guitar, most chords are played on a set position, and most of the time that stays the same. The thing is, when you write for 4 (3, 5, etc) voices, ie violins, cellos, violas and so on, each instrument is "voice", a melodic line that has to move smoothly. So you can have a C E G C, (played by cello viola violin I violin II respectivly) and a E C G C. Those have different textures, create different melody movements and eventually different harmonic movement. Now, writting G B D G and then C C E G is more smoth than writting G B D G and then C E G C (enter it in your DAW and see for yourself ;) ). The movement of B to C, of D to E and the keeping of G commont between the two is the resolution needed(one of them anyway) for the G chord to do it's thing-get you to the tonic of the scale (we are in C major, so the tonic is C major chord). With that in mind, you can even use 2 chords for some extended period of time (ie, C G C G ) but still manage to not make things boring.
If my assuming of acoustic/lead guitar experience is correct, you will have to remove any mental limits about "strange" chords, diminished, diminished 7ths, 9ths, chords that "are not supposed to be used here" (for example, be in C major and then go to another scale=modulate), or chords that do not belong to a specific kind at all (which just come out naturally out of the movement of your voices and strangly can sound very good).
The actual velocity of each note is not important, as long as one does not overwelm the other. Everything of course is related to the effect you want, the voice you want to be more clear and so on. Going into details here will propably confuse you more, we can go deeper into all this into a thread in the appropriate category, or in the chat (should you see me online ask anything ).
So, do a bit of homework on simple 4 part harmony, and for any question we are here, just ask :D
Andrew Foster said:
Andrew! So glad you've been getting some useful input, looks to be one of the most talked about threads :) Your site has great music on it too, are you signed to any music libraries / publishers?
Thanks man, yeah its really nice people interacting. :-)
My music has had a journey over the years ive had various things put it front of me but its always been a much safer option to do most of it myself as is a common thing nowadays for singer/songwriters. Its tough out there for touring musicians as im sure you appreciate and i get my fair share of opportunities but not quite to the point id like as yet. Ive built up some great contacts and done some great gigs. Nothings broke through as yet though james to a point were people go "youve made it" hehe. This is what i do, i write songs and live it whether it gets excepted or not, you keep on keeping on aye! :-) I want to pursue libraries and publishers actually its something i havent looked into much.
Its a weird thing this saturday im headlining a theatre with my band....next monday ill be back at my desk doing graphic design.....Im like Batman....but not as cool!!!
and Spirus.....! Mate thats a reply! thats going to take some time for my tiny mind to digest!..t after this gig ill be over it. Thank you ever so much for your time in writing out that lot for me!!! heheehe
I feel like i should do something for you?! ......eeer you want a cup of tea? or acoustic guitar part done? hehehe ;-)
Even then it would be by ear i wouldnt be able to dissect what i was doing like you just have!
See when i read things like that it scares me because i dont write like that it confuses me, i have had a certain amount of success in what im good at but when it comes to theory im terrible!
A certain amount of study is needed i think Spyros the Virus! in order for me to compose well :-)
hmmm - i would agree it has some good sections, good ideas and is very forthright in its sectional nature. I wasn't convinced the melody could carry it and I found the first minute lagged on. I think it would be better to shorten your 30 second intro to 15 seconds. The next passage also disappointed me as it was the first passage with some strings on which made me "see the sequence" somewhat. I liked the end but wondered if it had really earned such dramatic mopping up in a 2 minute piece. Hope this helps.
Cheers Jack :-)
Bit too dramatic for no reason.....sounds like me ;-) hehe
Im taking all this in good people of the board!