This piece has so many layers that it takes several passes to appreciate them all -- and yet they blend perfectly so it does not feel at all cluttered or distracting.
The horns, and the carefully-applied SFX, make this piece absolutely sparkle.
Those who have not heard this piece in the context of the overall Rathunas work may not appreciate just how magnificently Chris has blended this piece alongside not only his own other Rathunas tracks, but also those of collaborating composer Pedro Almeida. The piece stands on its own as a beautiful artistic work, and yet it clearly joins its siblings within the fabric of the overall artistic vision.
What a wonderful piece. I hesitate to label it "epic", although it certainly is that, because I fear overusing the word with your work.
The first few bars, for some reason, feel Romanesque to me, which I find really works well here. I listened to the piece three times, and each time noticed further subtleties I had not detected before.
The final crescendo was done in a way that otherwise might have seemed unsupported, coming out of nowhere, but there is something about the cadence with which you deliver it here that makes it not only work, but work extremely well.
Once again, you demonstrate your depth as a composer with this intricate work. The Russian Choir piece from HFRO is one of my favorite cinematic melodies, and you have produced here a worthy companion.
My only (very small) critique is that the first minute felt a little bit compressed to me in dynamic range. I don't know if you were holding back to allow more building, but the level seems to be very steady until that first transitions at about 0:45 and 1:05. There is plenty of room at the lower levels to give it more dynamics without encroaching into the crescendo spaces. I think this would not have been my observation except for the fact that the remaining 2/3 of the piece is so wonderfully dynamic.
One aspect I find admirable here is that the middle section is thematically consistent and yet not repetitious. I have found in some classical works a tendency to begin well and end well, and to leave the middle as just the "potatoes" on the musical plate. Instead of bland potatoes, you have given us a seasoned helping of wild rice in the middle! It is unusual for me to say this, but I find the middle section actually to be my favorite part after several play-throughs.
Again, a wonderful work, and I commend you on a most worthy achievment that can stand alongside the piece that inspired it!
Thanks a lot scott for another nice review :) Well maybe the first minute with the choir standing on its own may sound a little bit more compressed because i had to push it a little bit in volume because otherwise the piece would have had too much dynamic range from pppp to ffff :D Even i personally dont have a problem with that many people out there hate it to have to turn down and up the volume while listening. So i raised the choir part in volume and also slightly compressed the track.
I am glad you noticed that i always try not to be repetitive. In many cases a repetition would be the easier way and sometimes i guess any composer just wanted to make a faster progress while composing. Well - i always try to resist this impulse and find a way for a musical evolvement of the track. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesnt :D
Thank you very much scott for leaving your thoughts here. Highly appreciated!
So, I was listening to this and thinking, "Wow...another magnificent work from SoundChris, a superbly orchestrated version of one of my favorite carols." Then I reached the transition at about 2:00, and you launched it into artistic orbit! And *THEN* I read the dedication. I am touched beyond words, Chris. Thank you so very much!
Seriously, the interlude beginning at around 2:00 is stunning, and I found that theme so artistically interesting that I think you should consider taking that theme on its own and making an orchestral piece around it. There is a second theme a little later that also departs from the original carol's melody and is equally interesting. You could have two additional compositions drawing inspiration from those themes if you wish.
It is a worthy achievement to create a quality performance of a traditional melody. To blend it gracefully into something that is truly your own is even better. Well done, sir!
Thank you very much scott :) I am glad you enjoyed it, especially because you are such a big fan of medieval music and culture. You are a good friend and a great person, good sir! Merry christmas to you and a happy and healthy new year 2016.
All the best
Very nice work. This would probably loop well for an exploration track in a game, too.
Thanks, Scott! Yeah, I could see that happening, that's a good idea. I think it would fit well in an exploratory mood.
Very pretty, although as you say a test and not a fully-developed composition. The character of each instrument comes through clearly, and they are well balanced. Thanks for sharing!
Hey, thanks Scott! Nice to hear from you; we should talk some time. :)
This starts out wonderful and gets better! The dynamics are rich and layered, and I think you've blended the instruments in perfect proportions. Well done, sir!
Thank you Scott - you are too kind :)
This was from SoundChris, so of course instead of listening through my laptop speakers, I took the time to put on my Sennheiser headpones. :-)
I loved the dynamic adherence to theme, as if one partner was walking in a straight line and another was circling and cavorting around the first. And the theme is very true to vintage cinema, although I felt there were elements harking back to the days of silent films (a good thing, not a problem!).
ZipZipper's comments about some of the attack/decay envelope of the strings are similar to my own observations. At about :40 there was a moment where synthesis showed through. But, I also agree with ZipZipper that this is an extremely minor nit in a work that is a wonderful overall experience.
Is it my imagination, or was there a bit of Halloween fun in the melodic theme? :-)
This is quite tasty, Chris, and you can be very proud of your work here! I have shared the link with my wife and my boss, both of whom are going to adore this. :-)
I listened to this track several times, and you are absolutely right about needing headphones or very good speakers. My first pass it was utterly lost on my laptop's built-in speakers, but my Sennheiser phones bring out the details!
My second favorite passage is the toccata section, and like others I appreciate its Bach-ian influence. My favorite part, though, is the last 20 seconds or so -- your finish here is exquisitely handled, smooth and polished.
Hello there Scott, thanks a lot for your kind review! Glad that you enjoy your sennheiser that much - always happy if i can give recommendations that in the end made people comfortable :)
I had 8 hours to write this track which was very extreme. Thank god i stil made it in time! Thanks a lot for leaving your thoughs here and all the very best,
Thanks so much for sharing!
Under Creative Commons, I used this as the audio track for a fun (and slightly educational) beekeeping video:
My video is also released under CC. :-)
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