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Amicus717

The Soldier's Hornpipe - Symphonic March

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Hi folks,

This project happened rather suddenly, by my standards. I really enjoyed my New Year's Eve experiment of creating a piece of music fast and without thinking too much about it. So, I tried a similar thing on Sunday evening -- just sat down and wrote something, not stopping until I had something basically complete. And "The Soldier's Hornpipe" is the result. I just had a fragment of melody that I fleshed out and then created the basic sketch, which evoked for me the image of Colonial-era soldiers on the march.

The basic foundation of the track took four hours on Sunday, and I revisited it both last night and tonight in order to give it more polish. In total, about 6 hours of work - so far. More work is needed, as I consider this a preliminary sketch, and I actually intend to expand the music, as well as improve and add more detail. I must admit, I am surprised at how much I am enjoying writing stuff using this damn the torpedoes sort of approach. I tend to be my own worst critic, and sometimes do a great job derailing my creative impulses. Kind of nice to just get stuff down, and not worry about whether it's good until the dust settles.

Anyway, I'd be very curious to hear any feedback on this one, if folks are so inclined:

Libraries used...

Strings: Albion ONE and 8Dio Anthology

Brass: EastWest Hollywood Brass

Woodwinds: Vienna Symphonic Library

Percussion: Native Instruments Symphony Series, Vienna Symphonic Library, EastWest Hollywood Percussion

Ethnic/World: Era II Soprano Recorder

Thanks a lot folks!

Rob

PS: I am interested in hearing about things in the music that people both like and dislike. Any critical points or comments are greatly appreciated. I've already noticed a couple of points that somehow escaped my notice when I exported the audio - a glitchy recorder note in the final section, and a discordant note when the recorder and (I think) a tamtam strike interfere with each other at the key change modulation.

 

 

Edited by Amicus717
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It's an impressive piece of music Rob.  I could easily imagine this opening a colonial war movie.

I like all of the various parts and how they transition.

The "damn the torpedoes" approach seems to have worked.

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Rob, I'm totally blown away with this piece. There's something to be said for acting on inspiration and doing it right now before it fades away. The only minor thing I didn't like as much (can't say I disliked it) were the drum exclamation points at the end of some phrases, eg 0:09  and  0:14. Maybe too many of them, not sure, and probably just a matter of taste.
Really nice job on this.

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@Noel, Starise, ZincT, bjorndx: Greatly appreciate you folks taking the time to listen to my music, and many thanks for the kind words :)

@bjorn, always glad for any commentary and criticism. I had another listen to the music, noting the moments you cited, and I'm wondering if maybe  the bass drum is a bit too heavy in that section. I will experiment!

As for acting on inspiration -- yeah, I'm actually quite taken aback by how nicely this one turned out (happily so). I have the awful habit of second guessing myself, or getting part way into a piece and then deciding its not working and is terrible, etc. The last piece I did in this general scope and style took me weeks to create and didn't sound half as good. :)

Rob

 

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Very nice ideas! Jumping on the colonial aspect I would take things a bit further still. I would take out the bigger orchestral instruments out of the beginning and focus on the woodwinds and percussion. Bring in the piccolo flute, I was waiting for that. And make the beginning a bit more subdued so that when the orchestra comes in you get a real burst of energy. (Dynamics, again :D) Also the middle part could be a bit quieter with the flute in the foreground and the strings down to a shimmer. And let them rise slowly towards the end of the middle part.

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Tapsa's got the right idea if you want to build this out as a complete piece, start to finish. There is no shame in writing whatever moves you and deciding later whether it is a verse, chorus or needs to be broken down further. These sorts of happy accidents really are gifts and are a ton of fun to work with.

Really great start here!

Dan

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@Tapsa, Dan and InstrEd: Thanks for listening and the kind words, greatly appreciated! Dan, you are totally correct about this being a happy accident. I get a lot of enjoyment out of making music (as we all do), but working on this piece in particular is easily the most fun I've had in a while. :)

And Tapsa: as always, really appreciate the ideas and suggestions. I think they are spot-on, as usual.  I had actually pondered starting with piccolo flute and snare -- pretty much giving it the proper fife-and-drum treatment. I think your idea of opening with just woodwinds and perc, and then hitting listeners with the full orchestra thunder will be really effective. As for the middle section, yeah I was thinking of both extending it out a bit, and reducing the strings -- and was wondering if giving it a bit more structure might help a lot, too. Right now, it's really just a bridge to the key change, and while I like the vibe I achieved and the progression, it is a bit too shapeless for my liking, at the moment.

Rob

 

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Loved it!! I read The Golden Sea a while back. This would fit in perfectly with a film version.

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On 1/10/2019 at 7:27 AM, Amicus717 said:

Hi folks,

This project happened rather suddenly, by my standards. I really enjoyed my New Year's Eve experiment of creating a piece of music fast and without thinking too much about it. So, I tried a similar thing on Sunday evening -- just sat down and wrote something, not stopping until I had something basically complete. And "The Soldier's Hornpipe" is the result. I just had a fragment of melody that I fleshed out and then created the basic sketch, which evoked for me the image of Colonial-era soldiers on the march.

The basic foundation of the track took four hours on Sunday, and I revisited it both last night and tonight in order to give it more polish. In total, about 6 hours of work - so far. More work is needed, as I consider this a preliminary sketch, and I actually intend to expand the music, as well as improve and add more detail. I must admit, I am surprised at how much I am enjoying writing stuff using this damn the torpedoes sort of approach. I tend to be my own worst critic, and sometimes do a great job derailing my creative impulses. Kind of nice to just get stuff down, and not worry about whether it's good until the dust settles.

Anyway, I'd be very curious to hear any feedback on this one, if folks are so inclined:

Libraries used...

Strings: Albion ONE and 8Dio Anthology

Brass: EastWest Hollywood Brass

Woodwinds: Vienna Symphonic Library

Percussion: Native Instruments Symphony Series, Vienna Symphonic Library, EastWest Hollywood Percussion

Ethnic/World: Era II Soprano Recorder

Thanks a lot folks!

Rob

PS: I am interested in hearing about things in the music that people both like and dislike. Any critical points or comments are greatly appreciated. I've already noticed a couple of points that somehow escaped my notice when I exported the audio - a glitchy recorder note in the final section, and a discordant note when the recorder and (I think) a tamtam strike interfere with each other at the key change modulation.

 

 

It sounds great! Congratulations!

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On 1/13/2019 at 8:34 PM, Will said:

Loved it!! I read The Golden Sea a while back. This would fit in perfectly with a film version.

Thanks, Will! Appreciate the kinds words :)

13 hours ago, Alex H. said:

It sounds great! Congratulations!

Thanks, Alex! 

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On 1/15/2019 at 9:34 AM, daryl1968 said:

nothing else to add - great stuff.

I particularly like all the counter-melodies going on

Thanks, Daryl.  Appreciate the kind words.

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