Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Selling It

For Elveteka, I wrote music for an elfish fortress defiled by orcs.

Artwork by Santiago Iborra

There is craft in the piano reduction: the counterpoint works, there is a gradual rising and falling line that delineates registral space, a balanced melody, a sense of structure coming from the time signature change in the second half, a shifting of which voice carries the melody, appropriate sonorities, and so on.

It's easy to teach pitch and rhythm, but if that's all you know, you've been robbed. Music needs to capture your imagination. Ask, would you buy this?

Of course not! It sounds just like any other piano reduction.

We need color. The basic idea is an almost regal fanfare beset by eerie harmonies. Here's an early draft of the composition that I submitted to my team.

It's not bad, but did I sell it? I would say no. It sounds too polite, too nice. I needed more light coming through the windows and a sense of dark power underneath. Let me add some sustained strings in the upper register to represent the light, and a dark synth in the bass to represent the foreboding power. While I'm at it, I'll make sure the staccato strings are crisper and more defined - more aristocratic, if you will. I'll even add in a chromatic, arabesque harp line in the second half to signify a sort of dark aristocracy. Here you go:

The feeling is there. Time for a reality check. Did I evoke a world? Did I really do it? Prince, master of intangibles, says naw.

Whose fantasy is more vivid? Whose frame is stronger? Who better evokes aristocracy?

Prince, of course. Always trust the greats.

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