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Topic: The Last Stage - The Hobbit - 3rd piece

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  1. #1

    The Last Stage - The Hobbit - 3rd piece

    Hello again,

    This is my 3rd Hobbit soundtrack piece. The last chapter of the book.

    On his way home, Bilbo visits the elves in Rivendale, who sing on his arrival. Then they throw a big hootenanny and dance all night. Those elves know how to party. Soon Bilbo leaves, returns home, recalls his adventure, and is visited again by the dwarves. Fade to black...(seriously abridged version)

    http://alonetone.com/gplowman/tracks...age-the-hobbit

    All of the woodwinds except for the low whistle are GPO. The GPO winds always serve me well. The rest is a combination of East west, project Sam, and CineOrch.

    I hope you like it - I found this one tougher to compose than the previous two. There's more ideas on the cutting room floor for this one that the previous two combined.

    Regards
    Graham
    Website:
    www.grahamplowman.com
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  2. #2

    Re: The Last Stage - The Hobbit - 3rd piece

    I very much like the "hootenanny".
    The opening has.. harmonic and contrapuntal issues that make me uncomfortable. Without seeing the score, it's very hard to point to them and say "this or that".

    Again, in the male chorus part, there are some harmonic issues that bother me. (sounds like parallel 5ths and whatnot, that weaken the harmonic direction)

    all of my complaints aside, this is VERY cool stuff.

  3. #3

    Re: The Last Stage - The Hobbit - 3rd piece

    Thanks qcowboy,

    I'll try to weed those out. The problem for me is composing in a DAW and not finale, which I normally do.

    On the back or your comments I'm going to build up proper chord structures in finale and port them over. Glad you like the 'hootenanny' - that went through about 20 different variations of dumped material to get that final piece.

    Cheers
    Graham
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  4. #4

    Re: The Last Stage - The Hobbit - 3rd piece

    Hi again,

    I've addressed the issues with the chord structure on the beginning and the choral piece at the end by rebuilding those sections from the ground up. It was my own neglegence really due to spending a lot of time fluting around with the mid-section.

    I hope it sounds more natural now. I also removed the violin lead from the start, which was contributing to the bad chord structure, and just let the voice lead. Rebuilt the choral basses at the end in the same vein.

    Link is the same but here it is again
    http://alonetone.com/gplowman/tracks...age-the-hobbit

    Regards
    Graham
    Website:
    www.grahamplowman.com
    YouTube Music:
    My Channel
    Twitter:
    @GPComposer
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  5. #5

    Re: The Last Stage - The Hobbit - 3rd piece

    ok, I stopped the recording while listening.
    my issue is with the very first chord change.
    1st chord is D major, then it just slides up to E minor.
    I HATE that sound. it's parallel octaves and 5ths and 3rds.. it's basically a gigantic parallel structure.
    I see that it moves beautifully to C major (love those progressions in thirds) on the third chord.
    But there really needs to be something that goes between that first chord D major (tonic) and the second chord, E minor (which happens to be supertonic). The issue is that you stay put a tiny bit too long on the supertonic and it gives the progression a sense of wanting to stop there, which reinforces the entire "parallel" sound, which is very weak.

    Parallel movement between chords only works in very rare instances. For example, the subdominant generally prepares the dominant (IV - V), which in essence is parallel motion. Except within the context of the larger tonal harmony, the IV chord is relatively unstable in relation to the tonic, and WANTS to move to the dominant.

    Otherwise, when your harmony is constructed of larger chordal masses (such as Debussyan dominant 9th or 11th chords), the parallelism is lost due to the complexity of the harmonic mass.

    But in your piece, the chords are very triadic. Simple (in a good way, that's NOT a criticism), and direct. Particularly that you follow the supertonic by a VERY very "rich" harmonic movement by 3rd. It only helps to accentuate the relative blandness of the movement I - II.

    If you replaced that E minor chord with an A minor chord, for example, you could retain everything, including the movement to C major. However, the A minor chord would contribute largely to more richness by its non-parallel movement.

    Sorry for sounding so "professorish", but I really like the material you're using, and also the dramatic impetus of the music. It saddens me to hear a single out-of-place chord ruin an otherwise SO enjoyable piece.

  6. #6

    Re: The Last Stage - The Hobbit - 3rd piece

    Thanks for your comments again, first while I disagree that one chord progression at the start can ruin a 'whole' piece, I do see your point about that chord change.

    It's basically as you say, a step, D to Eminor. Within the limits of the narrow string band I've applied for the gentle starting of the piece, there is very little room for maneuver here without widening the octave span and changing the whole tone of the start.

    So I tried Aminor in place of Em, and it works because it naturally isn't the 'step' - still on the fence about the chord change, but I think I will go with it, it's growing on me already. In the choral section, the same step occurs around the middle, D to Em, shorter, and sets up the A/C# that follows, so that will remain.

    I totally agree there were obvious chord structure problems which I've looked at by viewing finale score instead of a DAW note editor.

    I've updated the link now with the Aminor. Thanks for that...sounds much better.
    Website:
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  7. #7

    Re: The Last Stage - The Hobbit - 3rd piece

    WOW!

    oh my god, that just grabbed my heart!
    it's silly sometimes how a single minor change can alter a music effect..

    this is REALLY gorgeous.


    just to mention, the "repeat" of the parallel chords later on doesn't have the same effect, as it isn't in the very initial statement of the thematic material. It's within the context of a more prolonged harmonic progression.

    And if you ask me, I'd listen to a whole film score by you

  8. #8

    Re: The Last Stage - The Hobbit - 3rd piece

    Phew!

    Well there ya go...that was my goal all along. We got there in the end.

    Thanks again for the great feedback.
    Website:
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  9. #9

    Re: The Last Stage - The Hobbit - 3rd piece

    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music
    http://www.miserymadebeautiful.com
    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music
    http://www.miserymadebeautiful.com

  10. #10

    Re: The Last Stage - The Hobbit - 3rd piece

    Hi Michael - thanks for your kind words. Yes it was great advice. He knows his progressions - and lot more besides for sure.

    A great improvement on a piece I spent a lot of time on.

    All of the woodwinds (mostly staccato work throughout the middle) is GPO (the low whistle is East West).

    The rest is a combination of East West, Project Sam and CineOrch. I love GPO, it does sound great, very functional, and works brilliantly with Finale. But I'm not sure I can achieve the quality or clarity of sound with GPO alone on these pieces. Same as I do not think I could achieve it with East west alone, or PS alone. All of my hobbit works use that combination. All of my earlier works are solely GPO. I think the difference in sound is quite noticable. With GPO, the strings in particular, I hear the flatness in them no matter what I do - this lead me to ask my friend could I borrow his ridiculously large sound library collection. If he's not using them, I might as well. I'm trying to negotiate a price for taking them off his hands, or transfer the loki key rights, or whatever is needed.

    I hope that as long as I continue to use GPO within my pieces I can post here. I prefer this listening room to the one 'outside' too. This forum is fantastic, full very knowledgeable composers. Who's going to buy the forum I wonders...
    Website:
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