So I've gotten some feedback from a few people for the latest version of So You Would Come (v05).
Janson said he found the whole piece too monotonous, lacking dynamics and emotions. He said he couldn't feel where the song is at its highs and where the lows were. After a while he felt it just became like a background music droning on. However, he also said that the original track from Hillsong gave him the same feeling too. But I am sure my rendition of it was much more more lacking than the Hillsong one.
He also said he felt the same way about my cover version of How Am I Supposed to Live Without You. He basically felt that the pieces do not have enough dynamics.
Janson used to play the clarinet in a band. So he is probably better at understanding how a musician playing a piece should approach handling dynamics.
Since this was a piece to have vocals sung over the instruments, Janson suggested I should sing with my friends to find out where the more intense parts are, and then arrange for the dynamics to follow.
I shall ask him to give me some examples of pieces so I can see what he is talking about.
Now I am listening to it again, and I felt the strings has withdrawn quite a bit since my last version, and it has made the whole thing sound more laid back and distant, having less presence.
I think at this point I am still more focused on the musical side, and sort of neglected the performance (emotions / dynamics) and the mixing side. In Janson's analysis, getting the lines and chords are just the first step, the technical parts, like a musicians playing notes right, before internalising and thinking about how to play the parts right emotionally.
I've always been quite conservative with dynamics. Usually I work with progressively building up in the complexity of the notes. Maybe its too methodical and dead.
I may have to spend more time on these areas in my music.