+1 tag for Google Plus

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Dawn Procession

Hear this on SoundCloud.com

My newest piece is entitled: The Dawn Procession

Some quick information about this piece:
start date: 26 jan 2013
complete date: 25 march 2013
DAW software: FL Studio 10.0.9

This piece consists of 18 tracks (18 parts). Instruments used:
Albion 1 and 2 (mainly for percussion)
Albion 3 (for the low / hi brass and cellos)
VSL Special Edition instruments (for all other melodic elements, including harps, timpani, strings, woodwinds, horns and a celesta)

All 18 parts and their note data in dots and dashes
in the step-sequencer window in FL Studio
In this song I take my newly acquired Vienna Symphonic Library Special Edition and Spitfire Albion 3 Iceni for a spin.

With these 2 libraries as the main instruments. I tried to explore a greater range of expressiveness in terms of tempo, volume and spacing in the piece.

The very dramatic feature in this piece is the abrupt change in tempo and mood at the exact middle portion of the piece. Many times when writing I find myself unable to break out of a certain groove the music is carving out, and I was unable to break out of it. So here I challenged myself to break out with this huge increase in the speed as well as from an orderly harmonically sensible flow, to a fast, chaotic and tense mood. I do hope I did it in a tasteful manner.

I also tried to explore the use of atonal intervals and groups of chords to try and portray chaos and tension in  certain parts. At the beginning, there were some portions where I felt was quite forced and awkward. However, when I progressively work on a piece for close to 3 months, strange things happen to my perception of those dissonant lines and chords after a while. They became acceptable to the point where they now lead 'naturally' to those notes in my head when I play the piece through in my head.

This can be due to the 'tunnel vision' composers tend to get when they become too focused on their music. So I took some time off (like a week or two, while working on other ideas for other pieces) before I came back to this. Somehow I found it to be acceptable still.

Coming from a pop, rock and ballad background, I did not use to accept things like that (I used to be turned off by classical music, especially the dissonant and atonal kinds). Am I gradually loosening my perceived rules of music, or am I actually deviating from widely accepted norms of harmony? Will this be a passing phase for me as I try to discover how far I can go with this, or will this stick to my writing from now on?

A full view of the piece in FL Studio's playlist window.
Looks very much like mountains, terrain and clouds doesnt it?
To bring the piece to a symmetrical ending in terms of speed and key signature, I slowed down the tempo over 4 bars (hope you did not find it to be too abrupt). This is something that I've never done before. Harmony-wise, I went through a couple of strange chord progressions to land me back in the initial key, ending it off with a familiar chord progression from the beginning.

I can hear quite a few parts that sound similar to my previous writings. I need to broaden my vocabulary and listen to more works from other composers.

This journey of music is bringing me somewhere, and it is not over yet.