Thrilling (not epic) Orchestral

Discussion in 'Member's Compositions' started by Dear Villain, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. Lots of bold gestures, dramatic, punchy, and aggressive, this is an orchestral piece that I thought would work for closing credits of a thriller/suspense film (parts of it, anyway). Comments always welcome and thanks for listening :)

    4al.Coda, chrisphan, JBacal and 3 others like this.
  2. axb312

    axb312 Senior Member

    Jun 26, 2016
    My thoughts:

    1. Something is up with the EQ on those intro strings. Sounds like they have a pillow or something in front of them which doesn't need to be there.
    2. Dynamics data on trumpet at 0:12 could bear looking into....
    3. Bassoons (I think) at 0:25 are a bit loud..
    4. 2:21 - something is happening in the flutes - don't know if this is intended or not...
    5. Fadeout on synth seems too sudden at 2:46
    6. If I may suggest, adding a percussion bed, swelling throughout the piece and ending with a loud, bombastic drum kit at the end? If this is not the intent (James Bond(ish)), perhaps a glitchy/ distorted drum kit?

    All in all a strange, piece, I would have loved for some more sweet melodies to be juxtaposed in there with the atonality, but I take this piece as a lesson in coming up with something unique and interesting, yet strange...:)
    FourFour likes this.
  3. OP
    Dear Villain

    Dear Villain Active Member

    Thanks for the detailed reply, axb312...appreciate your insight! As for strange...what can I say? It is, and I am :) I have been known to write melodically at times, too. lol
  4. FourFour

    FourFour Music Producer

    Aug 29, 2018
    Cool stuff, reminds me of Mission Impossible.
    Definitely could do with some percs tho.
    Dear Villain likes this.
  5. OP
    Dear Villain

    Dear Villain Active Member

    Thanks FourFour. I'm guilty of not being overly reliant on percussion, coming from a Baroque/classical background. In this piece I was trying to create rhythmic interest with the strings (intense marcatos, pizz's, etc.) while avoiding a "groove" or fixed rhythm that would ultimately change the character and eliminate the unpredictability of the piece.

  6. Paul T McGraw

    Paul T McGraw Senior Member

    Feb 14, 2012
    I for one am happy to hear something that does not rely on percussion. I don't hear any of the problems mentioned by axb312 but perhaps my ears are too old. In any event, nothing interfered with my enjoyment of the track. Personally, I found this more similar to Bernard Herman than Lalo Schifrin. Great track Dave.
    TGV likes this.
  7. Alex Fraser

    Alex Fraser Senior Member

    Jun 21, 2017
    Just chiming in on the "does it need percussion?" issue.
    I would say....yes....but not anything approaching "epic" or constant thumping. Just some tasteful John Williams style stuff, accenting where required and brought in for a bit of extra drama where appropriate.

    I really liked it. Quite sophisticated and more complex than many VI controllers could pull off. I'm also impressed with how long you managed to keep it atonal. I can't keep it up for long, always falling back on melody.

    And props for the name.
    SimonCharlesHanna likes this.
  8. Patrick9152

    Patrick9152 Patrick from France

    Oct 23, 2017
    Beautiful and original piece of music !
    For once, it changes epic scores full of percussions and Effects
    I don't understand the thoughts of axb312 ?
    Patrick from France
  9. MOMA

    MOMA Member

    Apr 19, 2018
    Impressive dynamics - and I do agree with previous comments – its a relief to be spared the heavy percussion. This fine piece of yours shows that the punch and force is not in the drums, its in the contrasts. Top notch and bonus points for the delicate string runs as icing on the cake. Congrats to a great piece!

  10. OP
    Dear Villain

    Dear Villain Active Member

    Thanks, Paul. I don't hear those things either, because if I did, I would have addressed them prior to completing the track. That said, with my limited production skills (I definitely see myself as a musician that is trying to learn the tools, not the engineer trying to learn to compose) and my very low-end monitors/non-acoustically treated space, etc., it is entirely possible that those with nicer tools/experience can pick out things they don't particularly like in a given piece. Of course, much of this is subjective, so we're all entitled to our opinions.

  11. OP
    Dear Villain

    Dear Villain Active Member

    Thanks, Alex. For sure, the type of percussion you mentioned could enhance the production. Then again, percussion can be like almost always enhances in the right quantity, but can also overwhelm if overused. For this piece, I was purposely trying to create the energy without percussion, almost just to see what I could do. As for atonality, I go back and forth between my tonal/accessible style and a little more harmonic adventure/dissonance (but never a total breakdown of tonality)

    So glad you enjoyed it and thanks for taking the time to listen and offer your thoughts!

  12. Mads Skønberg

    Mads Skønberg Active Member

    Aug 18, 2017
    Wonderful piece. I agree about the strings in the start, but the rest of the piece is a masterpiece! Could have been used in any film/series with some tension.
  13. OP
    Dear Villain

    Dear Villain Active Member

    Thank you, Patrick! Music is very personal and we all have our influences and personal aesthetics. I'm sure axb312's "weird" is someone else's "boring" or "predictable". As for percussion/effects, I have very limited access to these to begin with, so I'll never be the guy bombarding a track with over the top percussion and effects. I'm much more interested in traditional writing: voice leading, harmonic progression, counterpoint, etc.

    All the best,
  14. OP
    Dear Villain

    Dear Villain Active Member

    Thanks so much, Moma. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I'm with you on the heavy percussion. It has its place when skillfully used, but I'm far from confident creating that more popular "epic" style that seems to rule the world right now.

  15. OP
    Dear Villain

    Dear Villain Active Member

    I appreciate your comments, Mads! I haven't worked in film/tv, but of course, like most on here, wouldn't shy away from an opportunity to do so.

    Mads Skønberg likes this.
  16. Thomas Kallweit

    Thomas Kallweit Member

    Jul 11, 2015
    To me this is really rhythm-orientated anyways - so therefore massive percussion over it could be thinkable in parts, but personally I did not miss it here. Plus: Percussion is already there, just not over emphasized and at places. Lots of things going on and it is pleasantly busy and dark. Great stuff!
    One personal impression: I would not have minded if the dynamics had more aggressive range between silent passages and loud ones - but that's nitpicking I guess.
  17. OP
    Dear Villain

    Dear Villain Active Member

    Thanks, Thomas,

    I'm glad to hear that others feel similar with regard to the less prominent role of percussion in this piece. I agree about dynamic contrast being important. It's always a balance between creating enough dynamic variation, and not forcing people to crank their volume knob up and down repeatedly! lol

  18. artomatic

    artomatic I Compose With My Ears

    Aug 27, 2016
    For closing credits? Outstanding!
  19. OP
    Dear Villain

    Dear Villain Active Member

    Thanks, artomatic. Now, all I need is a Hollywood contact. :) lol
    artomatic likes this.
  20. TGV

    TGV Senior Member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Nice work, and I didn't miss the percussion at all. It's indeed a bit in the style of Hermann-caught-stealing-from-Stravinsky, and that's good. You could add a bit of loudness, though. Perhaps that's what others were missing. Parallel compression with slightly aggressive settings caused most "why is it so loud" complaints on my old tracks, so that could do the trick here.

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