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Topic: The Blue Forest

  1. #1

    The Blue Forest

    The Blue Forest - https://app.box.com/s/8ea3m90c4f82dg0yib2o8ickdnb39js3

    The Blue Forest Score - https://app.box.com/s/dbgaf7ogm68qhovfvvr70z66sdfkkc4d

    The Blue Forest

    Welcome to The Blue Forest.. No, it’s not sad. everything is just covered with a sheen of blue. Again, a lot of exploration, and re-doing of parts to make things ‘fit together’.. Once I got it to a certain state, I found it easier to delete a number of tracks, which really weren’t contributing much.. This still carries the essence of what I wanted to do. Actually better, because it is not so cluttered. It might seem strange, but I have been influenced a good amount by some of the postings here, because of the directness, and clarity and brevity of the musical statements. So although this piece apparently has nothing to do with ‘classical music’, I have gleaned some important lessons here.

    I was trying to create some ‘blue animal sounds’. but alas, ran out of patience, so we only have a few ‘bluebirds’ twittering here and there.. I replayed many of the tracks a few times. As I created more parts, I realized re-doing one of the earlier ones, ‘entertwined’. better.. Also a few times, I condensed 2 parts into 1 by just playing the important part of each.. A lot of thinning of sections, so that the desired motif at the moment wasn’t ‘fighting’ to be heard..

    I seem to have to create an atmosphere or territory, before I can get down to the real meat of writing the melodic motifs.. It will be a good lesson for me to do a future piece, with a couple of musical motifs in mind first, and then design and build a chord structure around it, or even just add counterpoint/harmonic lines. Then the chordal structure will become evident. What has been insightful for me, is that the way I make music is kind of the way I have lived my life.. Wandered a round a bit, before, I got real clear about what it is I wanted to do..

    I was recently in a ‘music workshop therapy group’. Instead of traditional psychiatric talking therapy.. we were a group of eight musicians. There were
    a large number of percussion instruments available, with some chromatic instruments, including individual pitched tuning fork type hand devices. The beauty of them were
    they all were notes of the Dorian mode.. (so you could do no harmonic damage). For almost all of us, percussion was not our instrument.. The moderator
    played guitar, and we were encouraged to use the percussion and our voices. We weren’t trying to create a performance, there was no melodic right of wrong,
    it was more about expressing emotion. It was very interesting and therapeutic. Being seasoned musicians (all in our 60’s or over). We did listen and respond to each other.
    I found it challenging to depend and co-operate with 7 other strangers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Canada,winter Mexico

    Re: The Blue Forest

    As a lover of classical, I have a lot to learn from you, admiring how your brain works, how you handle that many different sounds and end up with cohesion.


  3. #3

    Re: The Blue Forest

    Hi Mark,

    This is again a very nice example of a succeeded mix of instruments, synths and audio samples in a consistent soundscape. The ambience is delicate and so transparent. You've shown your mixing mastery again. I guess it's hard not to lose the oversight in such abondance of sonic bits and pieces. But you did well. It's really enjoyable.
    The only thing that I find strange (as a classical musician) is the instruments wandering about on the recording stage. That is not at all common in classical performances, but maybe the usual stuff in pop music. We think in terms of fixed orchestral seatings horizontally (L-R balance) and vertically (depth) as unchangeable. That's why I experience this as funny or at least unusual.
    But as a whole, a fine com-position of sonic joy! (Composition in its original meaning: bringing sounds together to build a musical whole).

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

  4. #4
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: The Blue Forest

    Another fun journey into your psychedelic smooth jazz world angelonyc.

    I’ve tried think of comparisons like the music of Frank Zappa or even Michael Nesmith but your music floats much more in the clouds like a dream sequence. It’s quite amazing how you manage put it all together. It seems to border on or even cross over to the avant garde.

    As usual the mix is superb.


  5. #5

    Re: The Blue Forest

    Breaking - and/or - making new rules.

    A very important album for me was Neil Young's - 'After the Goldrush' that came out in the early 70's.. He moved away a from his previous rock'n'roll format. by introducing some songs with a solo classical instrument that was definitely out of place in the rock world.. It was something the Beatles had been doing for quite a while. But George Martin's expertise, blended it into the music more smoothly.. Neil Young's music made this solo classical instrument, stick right in your face. Definitely bold, but it make you pay more attention to the song.

    The real kicker for me, was the sparse reverb on the band as a whole and a were a couple of songs that used absolutely no reverb or effect. I loved the psychological impact of it.. In one way, it sounded like you were sitting next to the band as they recorded, in your living room. It positively blew me away.. cause it made the music, particularly Neil Young's vocals, very 'vulnerable'.. There was no hiding of his 'micro waverings and odd artifacts' of his vocals..

    but it also sounded so strange, because one was so used to vocals floating, sometimes drowning in reverb.

    This brought me to the concept of finding techniques, to not create a realistic acoustic setting.. I think also The Beatles 'Eleanor Rigby' strings, very dry, and mike placing right on the strings, to bring that 'scratchiness' to the sound, not to my knowledge done before.. It certainly created an urgency, and also triggered an emotional response, because listeners had never heard strings that sounded like this before.. So I go for that..

    And yes, I may have gotten too carried away with instruments wandering.. I dramatically thinned out the original recording, so when a part was playing a motif, I deleted any instrument that might be competing for your attention..
    While at first I liked the thick accompaniment, I found it refreshing to strip out all external parts, thus the mixing was much easier than one might expect, because there wasn't too many instances where a few instruments were demanding your attention.. I guess the 'wandering' of some riffs.. was my way of 'keeping interest' because of a lack of supporting instruments under the riff'.. So it's a learning process for me. Yes, pondering it, I really can't recollect any commercial recordings with so much 'instruments moving around'.. I'll try to refine that more in next projects..

    In classical music 'in my observation' the composer will feature one instrument playing the motif, and the other instruments, playing basically fairly simple parts, so as not to be so 'demanding'.. I did the same, as I added additional parts with little riffs and motifs, I often went back and simplified what other instruments were playing, so they were definitely 'background parts'.. This is a new point of view for me, (something I picked up here, listening to other's posts.)

    In regards to the mixing.. I often go back and 'revise' previously recorded parts, with a different library, or patch, So that instruments with the same 'color' are not competing with each other.. Something a good composer/arranger does, with his choice of instrumentation in a piece.

    So I'm trying to find the boundary of 'wow that's something new', and 'that sounds wrong' to me. I appreciate anyone's posts pointing out such issues.. I certainly won't become a 'classical composer' at this late stage in the game. But I appreciate the 'refinement' and 'class' of classical recordings.. I sometimes chuckle at current recordings. Most of this 'music' are breaking all kinds of rules.. but the problem is, (to my mind), is they wouldn't bother to take the time to learn technique, and then be aware of breaking rules.. But of course that is part of the beauty of music too.. One person's approach might be so radical to traditional engineering/audio/musical rules, that they do create something new.

    A pet peeve of mine, is the for quite a while, these new R'n'B artists (which was nothing like 70's R'n'B) was the practicing of just using 4, 8 bars, repeated continuously, with no traditional bridge or chorus chords.. But that's what makes the music 'their's'.. breaking all former rules of music making.

    Thanx for your feedback.. I do appreciate it.

  6. #6

    Re: The Blue Forest

    Dreamlike is the adjective that comes to mind as I listen to your fascinating work! Elements that might otherwise be incongruous sing harmoniously in your beautiful music! Additionally, I do enjoy following along by use of your score! Well Done!

  7. #7

    Re: The Blue Forest

    Ingenious and exciting experimental music. It is certainly impressive how you manage to preserve continuity while so many remarkable and beautiful events appear. And for sure you depict the forest, the title guides the listener towards the proper path.
    Great work, Mark!


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