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https://soundcloud.com/tdw-music/hometow...occupation

From the description: 

Quote:In the works on and off since July, I am very pleased to present to you "Hometown Under Occupation." The heroes, having returned to home after an arduous quest - intending to take a nice break - have discovered to their horror that the enemy's army has occupied it and indeed has occupied it for some time. The peaceful village is as at once familiar and unfamiliar, its peace marred by its occupiers, and yet... it remains home.
I hope no one minds me double-posting, but here's the history of the track...

Way back in July I resolved to start trying to write more original pieces of music on my own, with the eventual goal of completing one piece a month. I've scored a couple of indie films before, mind. I have a friend in Finland who posted on a voice acting forum I once frequented and he was looking for a composer. I inquired; in retrospect I wonder at how I could possibly have the hubris to have taken the project on when I knew so little. Thankfully, I will have an opportunity to rescore the whole film. It's a horror movie. I also scored his next project, a comedy-adventure. I rescored that one last year. I skipped the next film he did, another horror film, though it looks like I'll be writing up a soundtrack for it anyway. I am currently working on his fourth film, a kids' movie retelling of Dante's Inferno. He is an indie animator, writer, and director and often contributes his voice to minor roles and trailer voice-overs.

I digress. So in July I wrote a piano sketch for "Hometown Under Occupation." Certain features made it distinctive not only in comparison to standard musical tropes but to my own music: rather than an eight-bar structure, the piece overall has a six-bar structure. It is unique in my own music for its more colorful and chromatic harmonies, where generally I was (am?) a very tonal composer. The most chromatic I might get is a semitone drop or subtly adding or removing a flat from the key signature. Here there are suspensions and chromaticisms galore.

I began orchestrating it, - taking a break in August - coming up along the way with a cool "modulation". In the latter half of the music, after the chromatic "fanfare", there's a warmer melody for winds (and later horn), another six-bar structure. Initially this melody repeated as it was. But that never quite satisfied me, so I experimented and looked at what it sounded like if I changed the key signature to F-sharp minor - without transposing the melody but simply altering those notes that had to be altered (F, C, and G) to match the key signature. Elsewise the melody kept its notes as did the harmony. I really like this effect and I'm still very happy with it because the voice leading worked so well, the transition worked so well, it transforms that warm, if melancholic, melody into something heroic, and the darker harmony, created by the changed suspensions which now had a Lydian sound.

I have produced it entirely with Edirol Orchestral and tiny amounts of the Virtuoso 2000 - providing bass drum, snare, timpani, and harp. Initially I intended to use the Virtuoso much more, replacing areas where Edirol displeased me and layering where it could create a richer sound. (The brasses are notably weak with Edirol.) But ultimately this didn't quite pan out due to different mixing and spatial placement, and with the deadline approaching I was unwilling to try and mess with Proximity and figure it out in full. I may yet revise the virtual orchestration, as I have a fair few soundfonts. Initially I intended to use the SONiVOX strings, which work surprisingly well next to Edirol's other instruments, but they are an utter pain to use on this computer: only two instances can be loaded at a time before Reaper crashes. This leaves me needed to render part by part, which is a pain due to static noises and drop-outs. With that trouble, I abandoned the SONiVOX strings. If I had them in a more usable format, say a better designed VST, or a soundfont, I would love to use them as my standard strings because they have such a lovely, warm, ear-friendly tone. Oh well!

I am now presently working on Dataman's (my Finnish friend) next film. However, I have thoughts rumbling around already for another original piece independent of film.

I hope that you all enjoy and like "Hometown Under Occupation" as I am quite proud of it. I would love to hear your thoughts also on them.
Hi Terry, it took me a while to get to this one, but I do have some feedback.

I think the dissonant harmonies do a good job of capturing the feeling you're going for... sort of an exhausted-to-the-bone disappointment of returning to a violated home.

I found it curious that the piece fades out in the end; that's not usual for orchestral pieces.

I also wonder if you could get more depth by either adding reverb (or increasing if it is already present). Are you using an existing reverb plugin? Admittedly I tend to get reverb settings all wrong, but Mattias's articles about orchestral positioning are a good place to start if you're new to using reverb:

https://mattiaswestlund.net/?page_id=29


(09-22-2018, 02:46 PM)Terry93D Wrote: [ -> ]in retrospect I wonder at how I could possibly have the hubris to have taken the project on when I knew so little.
Well, experience is a great teacher.
(09-27-2018, 05:24 PM)Michael Willis Wrote: [ -> ]Hi Terry, it took me a while to get to this one, but I do have some feedback.

I think the dissonant harmonies do a good job of capturing the feeling you're going for...  sort of an exhausted-to-the-bone disappointment of returning to a violated home.

I found it curious that the piece fades out in the end; that's not usual for orchestral pieces.

It's intended as a piece of videogame music - it loops at the 2-minute mark, you may notice. My intention is to become a composer for media. 

By which I mean film, television, videogames (heck, YouTube series, podcasts, audio dramas if they'll have me) - I realized that "composer for media" may obfuscate more than it clarifies!

Quote:Michael Willis

I also wonder if you could get more depth by either adding reverb (or increasing if it is already present). Are you using an existing reverb plugin? Admittedly I tend to get reverb settings all wrong, but Mattias's articles about orchestral positioning are a good place to start if you're new to using reverb:

https://mattiaswestlund.net/?page_id=29

I'm using an instance of Hibiki Reverb. You are correct, I am indeed new to such. I plan eventually to put out a new version of the piece taking what Mattias' has written into account - part of the issue is that this was written without any template. But after two months on it, I wanted to get it finished... one day. I still need to create a template, actually. I just wish I had soundfonts for the SONiVOX strings instead of that horrible VST. Oh well. Make do with what one can and such.

Certainly when creating a template, Mattias is going to be something of a model for me to work off of (I hope he doesn't mind) - everything he's written makes a good deal of sense to me and he's the only composer I know of to have written so extensively about such things, particularly with regards to working off of a shoestring budget. (In my case, it's a shoestring budget, and someone else is wearing the shoe!)

Thank you so much for your thoughts! I appreciate them.