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The Elder Scrolls V: "Strings of Skyrim"

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Hi OCremix,

Here is a quintet arrangement of 'Dragonborn' from Skyrim for 3 violins and 2 violas. I decided to name it 'Strings of Skyrim' since it has a nice ring to it!

While this arrangement is quite conservative melody wise , I tried to emphasize and make each instrument's role in the mix unique. I also attempted to utilized some 'answer and call passages' and different string techniques.

It was great fun to play the game and then to make this track, so hope you guys enjoy =)

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Great job, Chris! I've always admired your violin playing. I hope to hear a lot more from you, so keep it up!

As for the song, I liked the quiet, intimate chamber atmosphere it's got. The Elder Scrolls theme at the beginning sounds a little bit like something musicians play at a wedding as the bride approaches the altar (like Pachelbel's Canon in D or Mendelssohn's Wedding March). =D

I also liked the way you panned all the different instrument tracks. It makes the entire arrangement sound very clear.

You said the arrangement was quite conservative as far as the melodies are concerned. I disagree, but then again I too tend to stay true to the original melodies in my arrangements. Anyway, I definitely wouldn't say this is conservative.

Really cool, thanks for sharing!

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Haha I just happened to be listening to this on Youtube as I logged on to the forums (Y) Anyway, on to my thoughts, and a little disclaimer that I'm not entirely certain of what I'm saying.

My main gripe with this is actually with the texture, because string sounds are so homogenous as it is already, so with 3 violins and 2 violas I feel it squeezes the register way too much. It doesn't seem to be much of a problem with your other arrangements be it because of a backing track or guitar or whatnot, but in this case after the opening I find the sounds blend in too much for my liking. Because of this, certain tracks seem to get exposed a little bit too much when they break from the overall texture while they aren't the melody (examples include the vibrato in the bottom left frame after 1:00 and then the top right, albeit marginally, and the tremolo later on at 1:54)

I'm also not too big a fan of the repeated note dotted rhythm, starting from the viola at 0:40, because like I said earlier it stands out too distinctly because the rest of the sound is comparatively more clumped together, and the only other track of interest is the melody since the long notes may not contribute as much as a potential (even if simple) counter melody. At times I think the rhythm works quite well though, in the bit past 2:10, because I think there's enough rhythmic and melodic interest in the bottom right viola track to carry it. I don't like the octave gap at 1:20 either, because the rest of the tracks aren't playing anything harmonically significant enough to support the open interval.

On to the more nitty-gritty, the rubato at 0:07 throws me off the measure ever so slightly (although it quickly gets better on repeated listenings, granted), so I'm not sure if you want to look into that a little. I can also definitely sympathise with the difficulty in synchronising 5 tracks with tempo changes and rubato, but I think you've done a pretty good job in most parts, so I can't fault you on any of that.

One area that people may potentially find fault with is the supposed climax of the piece, in which the supporting tracks focus more on rhythm than on depth so it doesn't have the same sort of impact as the original, although personally I think it works very well with your choice of instruments and an almost quasi-classical feel.

Anyway, bottom line of everything I've said above is don't leave certain tracks too isolated in terms of register or expression, and even the subtlest of counter melodies to spice up the rhythm can work wonders in such a confined range.

Everything after 2:00 (and it gets even better after 3:00) is especially brilliant though, and here the exposed octave at 3:23 works beautifully (I think it's because of the pedal chord, but I'm starting to think the reason I didn't like the previous octave was because of marginal tuning issues ><). Anyway, please don't take any criticism to heart, I really really love your works, and I think this mix is really enjoyable to listen to if I weren't trying to pick out any flaw my ear can hear. Great job, and great playing as well! :)

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Thanks for the response/feedback guys.

Thanks Archangel,it's flattering to draw comparisons to Pachelbel's Canon in D because I was going for a similar feel to the intro. It's also good to hear some positive feedback about the panning, since that's an issue a lot of people have been picking on.

And any feedback is good evory, even if you aren't entirely certain. I appreciate that not everyone will appreciate this style, since it is in the realms of a string quintet chamber piece. But I did play the beginning with that texture by purpose, although admittedly you don't hear it much these days outside of small chamber groups.

Thanks for the tip on adding a few more counter-melodies to the piece, but on the flip-side I think the melody line in itself is interesting enough to my ear with the quality of sound, phrasing and usage of vibrato, but that could be just me.

Anyway, yeah - it's good to get feedback like that, because it has been probably the most criticized track I've done before haha.

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First of all: this is beautiful. Fantastic playing and really enjoyable to listen to :)

I have to agree with evory about the counter melodies though. Although you have 5 instruments playing, most of the time it feels like several less than that. I think adding in some counter-melodies might help make the track more interesting (I think most of it is perfectly fine actually, but specifically 0:56 to 1:57 could use a bit more flair).

Overall though I think you did a great job!

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