Mare in the Moon

June 27, 2011 7:36 AM

A fantasy for synthesizers and percussion.

...well, it's a bit hard to describe! I hope this is a fun listen and also interesting enough to reward repeated listening. The whole thing derives from a single two measure theme (which is deliberately borrowed, and you may recognize it), and I originally sketched it out as about two dozen bars of continuously developing music, with no repeats, returns, or structure of any sort except ongoing variation. Much later I came back to it, chose voices, worked out a larger structure, adapted the part-writing and filled the necessary additional material including the drums.

It was tricky to figure out how to end this one, but I think I wound up with something pretty satisfactory. There's a little bit of harmonic dislocation right in the last few bars which reminds me of Prokofiev. Any comments at all on the writing or the mix would be most gratefully welcomed!

posted by Wolfdog (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

This sounds great. I like all that portamento stuff, and the variety you got out of a relatively limited palette.

My favorite moments:
The stuff coming in at 0:16
That one brief voice at 1:37
Solo bells at 1:49
The swoopiness at 2:41

I don't recognize the source -- I thought I had it for a second but it went away. What is it?
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:19 AM on July 1, 2011

Thanks! Hee. It's so gratifying hearing which bits people find interesting. My own favorite bits are the beginning of that low bass groove at 3:12, and the one beat of rest at 4:14 where there's just a little reverb tail from the bell hanging out into the open space, and it sets up the ending.

I set this up as if I were writing for a small chamber group. Besides the drums there are eight tracks, no patch changes. The main players are a pair of bells, a pair of somewhat stringlike sawtoothed voices that are responsible for the portamento sounds and mostly play in the bass-baritone range, and a fatter but less agile bass voice which isn't heard carrying an independent part very often, mostly just octave doubling or doing something mindless like pumping out a pedal tone. Then there's a pair of tracks with a kind of generic "keyboard" sound (that could really have been reduced to one track) and there's one other voice that only ever shows up with a pattern gate on it in the very densest sections. I think the only modifications to the voices are dynamics, low-pass filter, and adjustments to the amp release time. The variety comes from different combinations of those and giving things enough of a break that they can sound fresh when they re-enter.

As for the source of the theme: here you go. It's embellished a bit, but that's it.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:10 AM on July 1, 2011

(It occurred to me that if I were going to rescore this for traditional instruments, it would most likely become music for strings, percussion, and celesta.)
posted by Wolfdog at 9:16 AM on July 1, 2011

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