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Silent Hill - Not Tomorrow


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Bringing this back from the dead for an updated version. After I submitted the original a while back I made some progress on the song before leaving it untouched for months. This version is a half a year old but before I go back into it I would like some feedback as to whether I should continue on with this one or just start all over.

Thanks!

Everything below this is from the original post on November 24, 2009.

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Just looking to get a little feedback on my version of Not Tomorrow 1 from Silent Hill. Here is the link.

Thanks!

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Not Tomorrow 1 has got to be one of my all-time favorite themes from not only the Silent Hill series, but from all video games. It was so fitting and the theme is entrancing. With this work, you seem to have intended to capture that rapturous nature.

The piano sample used here is idyllic for that purpose as it is one of the more realistic sounding samples, while still retaining a slight synthetic tone, which blends very well with the string pads that shortly follow. The overall timbre is clear and direct. I particularly liked the level of reverb used directly on the samples; the echo effect created by it gave off the notion that the song was intended to reverberate with the listener, emphasizing the sad and lonely mood.

The song quickly establishes the mood as somber and continues to retain that mood throughout the theme variations that follow. However, because the mood is so quickly established, the arrangement suffers heavily as a result, coming across as repetitive and invariant. It seems too greatly focused on the baseline of the song, overpowering and overcompensating for the subtlety of the flute theme/melody and string accompaniment. As such, the most noticeable aspect of the arrangement comes during the section beginning at 1:19, which substitutes the lyrical legato for a stuttering staccato.

However, that aspect of the arrangement is not the most lacking portion of this work. It is in fact the arrangement on the whole. Upon completing my third listen to this, I was continually put off by the general lack of variation on the whole. I realized that the overall structure was the problem.

You see, the song resembles almost exactly a rondo sonata, being that it is composed of two themes that alternate with variations in each passing. However, unlike a rondo, your work never seems to leave the first iteration of the theme. In fact, you overlay the variation onto the original theme midway through. So, while the structure of the song resembles a rondo: ABACBA (where

A = 0:00 - 0:56 Theme

B = 0:57 - 1:18 Melody Overlay

A' = 1:19 - 2:04 Theme Variation

C = A + A' = 2:05 - 2:48 Theme with Theme Variation Overlay

B = 2:49 - 3:11 Melody Overlay Reprise

A = 3:12 - 3:45 Theme Reprise

A" = 3:46 - 4:09 Theme Variant

as noted), the initial theme does not ever really stop, pause or even hesitate at any point throughout the work. This conservative structure in the arrangement creates the repetitive nature, which is very likely to warrant dismissal from the judges' panel. Therefore, it is my strongest suggestion to leave the comfort of the baseline as the source of variation in the work in favor of exploring some of the other aspects of the source, such as the melody portion and even the accompanying string/ambience portion, should you wish to retain the rondo sonata structure.

I'm warrant to cite Nay Tomorrow which chose to focus on the flute melody as the source of the arrangement and variation, adding a much needed human element, while not over-relying on it. (Remember: Silence is also a sound.) In other words, sometimes it's best not to hear one aspect of something in order to truly listen to it.

Additionally, the general EQ of the piece is also lacking, as the work feels too heavily concentrated panned in the center of the stereo field. I understand that the sound is intended to be focused in order to emphasize the mood and tone, but it seems as though the field is forced into such a state, sounding almost concave.

The work you've created is a very good tribute to the original, but overall, it lacks the arrangement level needed to be submitted to the main site. Hopefully, these notes will help you refine your ideas and strengthen your work.

Peace, Love and Good Luck!

Additional Note: Please remember that a rondo sonata form is not grounds to dismiss a submission, but that rondo sonata form is intended to emphasize an individual's solo performance, i.e. live performance. If that is not your intention, then it is suggested that you focus on a different song structure.

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Thanks ifirit for a great critique on the song. I got a lot of useful advice from it and was not expecting a lengthy post with all that feedback. Song structure is something I have not really got the hang of yet. But after I go back and work on it I will post it here and try and submit it to the judges. Thanks again!

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Just two points...

56 seconds of exactly the same thing, over and over. No progression. No growth. No development. I really think that's a bad idea. If it takes nearly a full minute to hear even one new element within a dozen repetitions of a 2-measure riff, they may not care to listen any further.

No use of dynamics. A common deliquency in sequenced pieces. When meshed with the rigid rhythm it makes the song very mechanical. If that's what you want, that's fine. But a song like this is about expression, and so I think it needs more of it.

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  • 1 year later...

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