Hi there everyone.
I'm relatively new to the forums; only been here for just over a week now, but I wanted to provide a little background to some of my music, hence the post here.
Around this time last year, I was contracted to write some music for the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses Concert. I managed this by contacting the Producers and showing them what I could provide by creating a piece of music which I had written solely for this purpose. The piece in question is a Symphonic Poem for a full Orchestra, entitled "The Creation of Hyrule". It is based upon the music and Soundtracks of several games in the Legend of Zelda Series, and was inspired, in part, by the music of the Symphony of the Goddesses Concert which I had already seen a few times, and I wanted to make some commentary here on how it was constructed.
A Symphonic Poem (or Tone Poem) is, by definition, a piece of Orchestral music, usually in a single continuous movement, which illustrates or evokes the content of a poem, short story, novel, painting, landscape, or other (non-musical) source. While many Symphonic Poems may compare in size and scale to symphonic movements (or even reach the length of an entire Symphony), they're unlike traditional Classical Symphonic Movements in that their music is intended to inspire listeners to imagine or consider scenes, images, specific ideas or moods, and not (necessarily) to focus on following traditional patterns of Musical Form. In short, the composition tells a story through the music. Naturally, the focus being the Legend of Zelda, there was plenty of story to work with! The work itself is half Composition, half Arrangement. It contains original work of my own, as well as numerous themes from many different games in the Legend of Zelda series; some pretty much as they are in the game, others were slightly altered, or in some cases, only the melody/rhythm used, mostly to be combined with work of my own to provide a contrapuntal counterpart.
I began by considering a storyline. This would narrow down the number of themes and songs in the many soundtracks at my disposal, which I would be able to use; this would save me from wasting time at the beginning by transcribing only the music I know I would include in the piece. I settled for this storyline: In the beginning, there was nothing. Out of the nothingness comes the Creation, as portrayed in Ocarina of Time. As the Sun rises on the first day, the entirety of Hyrule, in all its splendor can be seen. Then, into this idyllic world come the Gerudos, headed by Ganondorf, who usurp the land. Link, the hero of the story, hears about Hyrule's plight and sets off on a journey to vanquish Ganondorf. Coming across the Gerudo Fortress, he attempts to break in, but his assault is stopped by Ganondorf, who leaves him helpless. Zelda comes across Link, and heals him of his wounds, taking him to the Great Fairy to strengthen him, and to turn him into the Hero he was destined for. Finally, after taking hold of The Master Sword, he storms Hyrule Castle, encounters Ganondorf again, and after an epic struggle, defeats Ganondorf, and uses the Triforce to restore Hyrule back to its former glory.
Once a storyline had been established, I set to work on which themes and songs I would use. Some melodies, I simply had to use, like the Main LoZ Theme, Zelda's Lullaby, Ganondorf's Theme, etc. From what I heard at the Symphony of the Goddesses Concert, and from my own experience in playing many of the games in the series, I knew some that I wanted to include, and could, given the limits of the storyline. A little trawling of the soundtrack playlists on Youtube offered me several more that I could use. When I had decided on what I wanted to use, I then set to work transcribing all the music I wanted to use. Transcribing is the practise of writing down music as you hear it, a little like taking dictations from a lecture but instead of writing down what someone says, you write down the notes played. Some pieces were relatively straightforward. Others took ages to get just right. For this, one needs to have a good ear and be able to attune it to the different sounds played so as to determine what instruments are playing, and what notes. It's a painstaking procedure, but once that was done, I then had to develop the transcriptions so they could accommodate the Orchestral forces the Poem is scored for; "beef them up" in a sense, so they would have more impact. Some did need this, others didn't. It was a question of 'feel' - whether I thought their place in the story and the score required it.
When this was all done, I then started to write the Poem proper. In some cases, I wrote my own music, and in other cases, melodies from the game were included, e.g: the very opening of the Poem has the Strings playing in D octaves stretching from the bottom of the Double Basses to the highest harmonics in the Violins, and the Cellos play the Song of Time, punctuated by some quiet chords in the higher Woodwind instruments. By this point, I had pretty much decided on what is going where, and wrote in the filler material. Some of the transitions proved relatively simple, others more challenging, but I tried to keep the music from the games in their original keys. A couple may have been transposed a semitone up or down, but they stayed the same. I also constructed re-orchestrated variants on some of the themes, such as the Great Fairy's Fountain; and in some cases, interwove only the melody from the soundtracks into the music, sometimes two or three, or in the case just before Hyrule Castle's music is played, five.
After this point, I went over the score, putting in any phrases, ornamentations or attacks, and developing the percussion and overall orchestration to make it coherent and to provide ultimate effect on the listener. The piece was constructed with Sibelius 7, and then had NotePerformer run through it to give the piece a more realistic sound (I've yet to purchase a Sample Library)
The piece lasts a total of 55 minutes (I initially intended it to be 25-30!) and contains music from a total of eight games in the series:
The Legend of Zelda
A Link to the Past
A Link between Worlds
Ocarina of Time
Breath of the Wild
I do hope you enjoy it - I have posted the music up on the OCR Forums as well: Please follow the link here -> http://ocremix.org/community/topic/46718-legend-of-zelda-a-symphonic-poem-the-creation-of-hyrule/
This is my second post in this particular forum. Owing to the sheer size of this piece and the number of soundtracks and tunes used in it, I very much doubt this piece will ever be considered for use in OCR by the Judges if submitted, but I wanted to post it here and tell you a little about it.
This work is a Symphonic Poem for a full Orchestra, entitled "The Creation of Hyrule". It is based upon the music and Soundtracks of several games in the Legend of Zelda Series, and was inspired, in part, by the music of the Symphony of the Goddesses Concert.
In May 2013, I attended the Symphony of the Goddesses Concert in London. The performance was by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Eimear Noone. The event had a huge impact on me; it really opened my eyes up to how powerful the score of a Videogame Soundtrack can be, and how an Orchestral force can truly magnify the music that an 8, 16 or even 32-bit systems can only hint at. Later on, as Technology developed, music seemed to be taking a more prominent place in the Videogame industry when an increasing number of series employed Orchestral recordings as their soundtracks. The music really takes a listener on an amazing journey through Hyrule with Link, and was a roller-coaster of emotions for me. After attending the Concert for the third time in April 2016, I decided with complete conviction, while standing outside the SSE Arena in London (where the event took place) that I wanted to be involved in such a wonderful and incredible venture, and thus decided to write a work of my own. I was trained in Composition, Orchestration and Conducting at University, and I felt that this was the perfect opportunity to put my skills to use, to show the Producers and musicians involved what I could do, as well as what I could potentially provide them.
I hit upon the idea of writing a Symphonic Poem. A Symphonic Poem (or Tone Poem) is, by definition, a piece of Orchestral music, usually in a single continuous movement, which illustrates or evokes the content of a poem, short story, novel, painting, landscape, or other (non-musical) source. While many Symphonic Poems may compare in size and scale to symphonic movements (or even reach the length of an entire Symphony), they are unlike traditional Classical Symphonic Movements in that their music is intended to inspire listeners to imagine or consider scenes, images, specific ideas or moods, and not (necessarily) to focus on following traditional patterns of Musical Form. In short, the composition tells a story through the music. I chose the name "The Creation of Hyrule" as the structure and scope of the piece was inspired by the Symphonic works of the composer Gustav Mahler, who equated his Symphonies as "Symphonic Universes", where each Symphony simulated the construction of a World. I attempted, out of my love for this ideal, to replicate this in the music.
I initially set out to write a 25-30 minute long composition, which I estimated would take 6 to 7 months to complete. It ended up being double that length, taking just under fifteen months. I simply hadn't realised just how much music there was in the Legend of Zelda Series!
The work itself is half Composition, half Arrangement. It contains original work of my own, as well as numerous themes from many different games in the Legend of Zelda series; some as they are in the game, others slightly altered, or even simply the melody/rhythm used, sometimes combined with work of my own to provide a contrapuntal counterpart. But for the sake of the Disclaimer, I am attributing the work to Kondo Koji and Wakai Hajime Senseis, who composed the majority, if not all, of the themes included in this work.
It is also my wish to offer my deepest and most heartfelt thanks to those whose talents and actions have inspired and motivated me to create this piece, and for bringing the already magnificent music of the Legend of Zelda to the World in such a way. Without doing what they have done in becoming part of this amazing Concert series, I would never have been inspired to write this work. I really owe them so much in the way of thanks and hope that this work upon which I have laboured out of love for over a year can go some way in expressing that thanks.
Hey folks, I'm kinda new to this kind of stuff. After I saw this post I've searched the Wikipedia article about SoundFont, but even reading it I feel to not be able to grasp it yet.
So... what's a SoundFont?
About the Aquatic Ambience track: Jesus, 9:36 is a hella long track, but here we go =)
I loved the glissandi of the first 2 min of the piece. It was unexpected and pleasant, and reminded me Leandro Abreu's remix of another DK number titled "Sinfonia del Sabio".
The water sounds on the first minute sound somewhat contrasting with the other materials because of the quality of the samples. For what I know of OCR style, if this is not a fully integrated aspect to the song as a whole they (judges) tend to not like it. I don't know about the politeness of suggesting a solution, but if I was with you in person I would say it anyway: maybe apliyng a filter to the other materials of this section to make they sound more chiptune-y like the water sounds, and making an automation for the intensity of this filter to fade off slowly up to the 1:30 of the song. But it's just an idea XD
I liked the bass section that enters around 1:40. Maybe a little muddy in equalization, but not to the point of being a problem but reinforcing the "aquatic" nature of the piece
You do a seamless work to present the main material at 2:15. The timbre choice of the lead melody blends very well with the rest.
The thinning of texture at 3:07 is great to prevents boredom. Very good. Oh, the water sounds again. But they don't are long exposed to conflict again.
Very nice solo-variation of the source main countermelody in around 3:36. It ends at 4:24 and don't feel long. Oh, and monkey sounds ^^
From this point there's a timbral shift to a more open sound, and in 4:50 the arpeggios get to my face and say "listen to me, I'll take you upstream!", and that's another big vibe-y section that's very pleasant.
At 5:41 I feel the transition from the previous to the next section is sounding a little beyond the intention, but maybe it's just me.
Repetiton of the main material. Repetition, identifiable recurrent materials: that's what musical form is about. If this section was not present it would certainly be missed.
6:33, one more variation begins. It sounds a little boring until around 6:56 when it begins to get more syncopated, a new resource.
This lasts until 7:25, when not so seamlessly the piece seems to begin reaching for its conclusion. Its "conclusiveness" fills my heart at 8:01, and everything past there sound to me as an extension of some kind. Sure, there are materials (the monkey and water samples) that deserve to be reprised, but I believe they can be more effectively done more as a ~20s last breath than a 1min30s outroduction in a already long piece.
Thus, overall, very good work, Glejs I liked very much your work and, even though I just created my account last week (despite being a OCR user since around 2005), I am looking forward to see this one making it. Keep it up and show us more beautiful things with the other tracks o/