Community Composer Challenge – SPITFIRE’S GREAT MUNICIPAL BAND! – May ‘22



  • Londoneye330
    edited May 2022

    Thanks @KeithCocker123 & @Retroblueman for your comments!

    The middle part did seem a bit more simple now that I listened to it again. I started composing the ostinatos and that chord progression is the only one I thought of. Force of habit I guess 😅

    Yeah, it is definitely something to keep in mind, it's not that the chord progression is bad, it is simply just considering the context of the piece, it would certainly be much more interesting if I did a less common chord progression - since dreams don't always follow the norm! - so I will remember that.

    One thing I might add - Valhalla supermassive did such a nice reverb work on the LABS electric pianos, it made that very ethereal feel, I am certainly loving it.

    Thanks again for the comments from everyone.

  • Edward
    edited May 2022

    Wow! some great contributions!

    Here's a couple of mine from last year. I'll get on it and crank a few new ones w/ Spitfire instruments in a few weeks when things calm down.

    They are both from my album Clockwork Shadows, which started off as an attempt to "sweat out" Philip Glass but then evolved. I'm influenced by Minimalism but don't like songs that go on for hours. Maybe I just like the textures and relative consonance.

    These two are centered on the Latin phrase "sine sole sileo" (without the sun, I'm silent) which appears on sundials commonly. Symphonic Strings on both. LCO and Orchestral Grand in the 2nd one.

    Sine Sole -

    Sileo -

  • Yup, the end is a stroke of genius!😄

    Though the rattling return was more like a semi-conscious out of body experience ending, haha, but dang.... loved that part!

    The cheesy chord progression in the middle also did rub me the wrong way, truly. Add to that the very stumbling spiccatos along with the uneasy guitar replication and I'd almost edit that entire section out. A great moment of agile splendor instead could work beautifully. No need to abandon more intricate progressions for them either. Maybe even a reason to become more adventurous still.

    Overall, though, wonderful idea and the epiano worked really well together with the sweet composition around it and the great feel of alpha states, rising into dreams. 👍️

  • Hey @Edward - very nice pieces indeed (outstanding production work)- thanks for joining us!

  • Huh, wow, this forum has me a little confused. Somehow I totally missed Edward's submissions!? Strange...

    @Edward Wow, how flipping wonderful! Listening to Sine Solo right now and it not only starts out strong it becomes just gorgeous. So much so, that I ended up avoiding to watch the video to not let it distract me from your completely delightful composition. Absolutely love the choirs, too, especially the almost ethnic feeling sections with a soul-soothing percussion. If this was a challenge with rating, you'd have definitely all of my stars, hahaha! 🤩🤗

    On to Sileo... yeah, that's the spitfire spirit right away, hehe. Carrying one on a warm carpet of strings, taking your time. No rush. Almost motherly or a very gentle father. Again, I'm trying to avoid watching the video. There's a slightly ominous hint in there, like there was a dark side to this.

    In both of them I love the mix for its subtle nature, careful, precise and with some humility, not boasting, but being natural, clear and open. Even the deeply drenched piano in Sileo is there for a reason and adds to the beauty exactly what it wants to.

    Just great and inspiring stuff! I'm also very happy you've joined in! Most excellent! 😃🍻

  • Thanks. I feel a little touched. Most people just talk tech, not emotion. So I really appreciate your words. Also I just checked out your Soundcloud page - tons of cool stuff to listen to there.

    I love Asking Morpheus!

  • Thanks, Edward! There's plenty of time to talk tech and I'm sure it'll happen to us, too, hehe, but what's music first and foremost, if it's done for the right reason.

    Whether or not we know it, we share a piece of our journey into ourselves, especially when we're allowing ourselves to explore. A challenge like this one should be the perfect trigger to let this happen.

    Really doing orchestral experiments as intensely as I have now only started less than a year ago, even if I did some of it off and on over the last 20+ years. Most of what you'll find on my soundcloud account is synth based, but all of it is from the heart, whether it's for musical reasons or merely technical explorations.

    Really, thanks for having a listen. I've never tried to get my music out there other than for those, who may stumble across it or as part of our One Synth Challenge on KVR. That's why it makes me extra happy to have wonderful musicians like you stop by! 🤗

  • "Whether or not we know it, we share a piece of our journey into ourselves, especially when we're allowing ourselves to explore. A challenge like this one should be the perfect trigger to let this happen."

    @taron - superbly well said (this is going on the June thread starting post)!

    I had the thought that your point is true whether one's composing style is utterly faithful to the idea that one's "heart" gives in the first place, or whether one's composing style is one where the brain steps in and consciously finesses the process. In either case, what the final music represents is the sum of countless "decisions" (whether from the heart or the head), and all those decisions could (probably) only have been made (in that order) by the composer in question (and so they, in that sense, will always, if indirectly, reveal that composer's journey).

    Where my brain steps out and has to have a lie down is when you start to ask whether those decisions were taken through free will or not and whether that makes one a better or worse composer - e.g. is the composer who cynically decides that an octatonic scale is the place to go for the next 16 bars better or worse than the composer who feels in his or her bones that I-vi-IV-V is the only place to go for the next 16 bars... (and does it make a difference if the cynical composer "felt" that the octatonic scale was right, but then intellectually justified it after the fact)?

    Sorry for the meandering - this is all at the front of my mind at the moment because I have a 22-month-old who will happily sit at the piano and bang away to her heart's content - I sometimes wonder whether, when I teach her C major, am I going to be adding to her freedom, or taking some away? (the only hope I have for the teaching thing is that she sings in key so has to have some internal sense of tonality).

  • Here's a call for a tangent! 😄

    "Free will" is virtually always misunderstood, if only by a margin. It means you are not bound to the decisions of your body. You may choose to accept- "as is"- what your statistical analysis provides (brains) or just use it to guide your higher decisions more or less, which are informed by impulses outside the confines of this world. The moment you rely completely on analysis, you have essentially used your free will to distance yourself from it, haha. But the experience you will gain from anything you choose will always become part of any future decision of yours.

    That means, if you teach your toddler anything, you won't take anything away from her, as long as you don't enforce any restriction. Give her guidance and it will only ever help her. However, be aware that she still has somewhat of a blank slate regarding the goings-on of this world. Whatever you teach her, she may not have much or anything to hold against it or compare to, you know. And have faith in one curious fact that parents rarely are aware of: She has chosen you for who you are! That means, she has chosen you for what your heart tells you. Always have faith in that! But also know that whatever this makes you want to learn, you should! 😊

  • Gigabang
    edited May 2022

    "DnBEAST" (May)

    Time has been getting away from me this month so writing something specifically for this challenge hasn't been possible. Thinking about the theme 'free' led me onto LABS and some of the challenges I used to give myself to write using exclusively LABS instruments. One track, fittingly written in May (albeit 2020) never saw the light of day, so I thought I'd grab the final export and upload it as this month's submission.

    It may divide opinion as it's not orchestral. Half my time 'producing' is spent making electronic music, the other more orchestral-based. This is a wandering into Drum'n'Bass territory, all written using #LABS instruments, with a smattering of creative processing. All processing is live, no resampling. Not necessarily indicative of what I'm up to currently and the mix is questionable but weren't a lot of things back in May 2020.

  • This is very cool! What's that percussion at the beginning? This sounds very creative!

    If you ever decide to combine this style with orchestral music, be sure to ping me! I personally really like when composers do that, kind of like the combination of orchestral + synth + drum & bass style. I still remember listening to some of the soundtracks by Bear McCreary, he did that often.

  • Thanks. The perc is from the London Atmos LABS with transient shapers to make shorten everything.

    Will have a listen to Bear McCreary, nice reccomendation. The closest I've gotten to Orchestral & DnB is this bodacious effort, which drifts further into combinations by welding in metal:

  • Well guys - we made the big time- we are now more viewed than the Appassionata Wallpapers thread😎 This idea is officially getting a second month!

    @Gigabang thanks so much for sharing your DnB piece - very cool! - I love how diverse this thread is getting - I want to hear your other bodacious piece as soon as I have proper listening gear (will plug the sennheisers in later when the family are in bed) Whereabouts in Wales do you hale from (am from Neath... ish)?

    Need a few more beers before I reply to @taron's thoughs on free will: )

  • @Taron

    And it's interesting that what starts off a technical exploration becomes something beautiful and or different than what you intended. And it can work the other way too - you start off all poetry and end up in analysis.

  • @Edward oh, absolutely! Especially for the OSC I so often just start of exploring the synth, see what sounds it lets me create and then it's as if the machine inspires the music. Confirming what you're saying, it happens fairly often, that my composition leads me into logical chord investigation and reasoned voicing, leading yet again to different discoveries. Music is a wonderful swaying between intuition and reason, melting heart and mind.

    @Gigabang DANG, what a fun trip with LABS, haha. Playing with the global tune also massively expands what one can get from those. The growl had me giggle, too, heheehhe... feels a little brave, but ends up working still! 👍️

  • Here's something I wrote using Paul's Christmas Hamper (hence the title) way back during the Winter 2019 sale. I believe that collection included Alternative Solo Strings, Glass & Steel, Ricotti Mallets, and Andy Findon Kit Bag. I also used the OPW library on this. If I have time, whenever there's a unique collection being offered, I like to try to write something using those libraries. Haven't touched it since the initial writing session, but I think it holds up pretty well some two and a half year later.

  • Really nice! Thanks for airing that :) I really dig the percussion

  • @Retroblueman

    Watched two of your vids on YouTube just now. "Angelum" and "Noir". Really well done.

    Like Taron above - I found myself just listening to the music sans video, it feels like it's telling a story. I love the sensation that something mysterious is just around the corner....

  • @Edward - many thanks for listening - it's funny you say that- was thinking earlier about this (mainly to try and have something intelligent to say in response to you and @taron 🙂) and I think I always have a little "story" I tell myself about the piece I am writing (even if it is EDM) - and the story influences the music as much as the music influences the story - so the "noir" piece was (in my mind) literally just the story of a lonely drunk walking home alone from a night where he has felt very happy in the pub - but I try and play to the core emotions of the story more than the "events" - so you have in there the sort of "swagger" you'd get as leaving the pub, the sidechaining represents the intoxication, then there is growing isolation and eventual paranoia and then the sort of relief/euphoria of finally walking onto the street where you live (then lastly the loneliness when the front door closes behind you).

    Hopefully that range of emotions then lends a universality to the music that goes beyond my particular story. I think that is the main driver for my musical writing. Discovered "sounds" inspire musical ideas/themes and musical ideas inspire me to refine sounds, and both inspire the story, but once I get my story locked, everything sort of becomes subservient to it.

    I'd be interested how you and other people approach the construction of tracks, particularly longer ones...

    @KrisKrause - I am between listening devices at the moment - really looking forward to listening to your piece tomorrow though!

  • Awesome work Kris! Great tension building and percussion work! I used to love the Michael Nyman band and think Andy Findon was in that - must look into that library one day.

    I had the thought that it was a bit static harmonically and that maybe you could, e.g., have moved things up a minor third to C minor (at perhaps 1.40 or 2.00) but wasn't sure... (sometimes staying still builds tension better than moving).

  • @KrisKrause hey, great, more diversity coming in! Clearly revolving around rhythm, but also featuring some really beautiful acoustic arrangement around it. Musically it almost feels as if you were worried to expose any flaws in the libraries used, if you were to introduce complexity, hehehe... but this may be a matter of higher-dimensional bravery and something I'm looking forward to hearing from you, hoping you'll also stick around for the coming rounds! 😁

  • Hi and thnx for this initiative @Retroblueman . This is my first track posted on this forum. I made this in last couple evenings. Every feedback are welcome.

    Used stuff:

    • Pianobook - Dictaphone Loop Synth, Electric Sparkles.
    • LABS:  Frozen Strings: Violin, Harmonic Flight Pad.
    • and some other stuff ;)

  • Amazing work @mrIncognitos - what a spectacular way to finish off the first month! Thanks very much indeed for sharing - will be giving that more listens later!

    All - I think that brings proceedings on this thread to a magnificent close - will post a new thread for June tomorrow (possibly midnight tonight depending on how organised I am today) with our theme for the second month... (I also have a cracker of a theme in mind for July - will explain soon!).

    Many thanks to all who have shared their wonderful music with us this month (it has been a total privilege to have heard it all)- I hope there's lots more to come😀

  • Howdy all

    Am fairly certain I posted a new thread for June this morning but it seems to have got stuck somewhere - will give it a couple days to work through (I note you can't delete threads on the forum so don't want to double post).

    Anyway, just in case anyone wants to get cracking, the (CPU friendly) theme for June (chosen by virtue of being the only suggestion) is “QUINTET(five voices only):

    I thought about being mean and stipulating that you were only allowed to use five voices with one note at a time per voice, but that would probably make this way too hard (certainly for me)! So I think we can allow five “instruments” (or fewer), and a "voice" could be, for example, a patch with lots of the same instrument (e.g. “Violins I” or “Horns A4” from BBCSO). I think some gentle divisi is allowed, I would count a Drum Kit as one instrument (because a jazz quintet would be cool!), but would probably frown on your using 5 ensemble patches from Albion 1, unless your piece is awesome😉 If you want to try and score a video (e.g. from using your quintet then you are very welcome to do so.



  • ps - here's a little piece of mine to (hopefully) get the juices flowing for June:

    The Inebriate’s Waltz (for every clown a tragedy)

    Once you listen the title should be self-explanatory(ish - never like to over-explain my underlying "story"). I used the strings from BBCSO Core (so my five voices are Violins I, Violins II, Violas, Celli and Double Basses). I have been trying to work on my string writing lately – the thought being that cracking that is probably also going to crack the lion’s share of being able to orchestrate well. There’s some divisi here and there (and possibly everywhere: ) but no more than two notes per voice at any one point.

    Hope you enjoy!

    @Taron - you tend to need a heads up to come listen to stuff - think this one is not too shabby - what do you think?

  • Yeah, well, the moment I realized I was the most active member here, I got worried about my own "hovering" here, hahahaha! 🤣 ....simmer down! 🤐

    What a fun piece! And, oh yes, it very quickly makes sense, hehehe! 😂👍️

    Until 1:12ish it is very easy to listen to, but then you somehow let those violins hang there, which really detach from the waltz. Resuming a tiny bit from 1:17 to like 1:23, but then it's like it was hanging notes, still trying to catch back up a few seconds later, but they're no longer really properly attached, I find. Kind of odd. I wonder, if you could sort of hand those notes around to different sections (various woodwinds, possibly even horns for a moment, maybe hand some over to harps to let it drop away). Then later at 1:53 you can have the strings come back and do their thing again. Maybe a bit more timid, more swells with the waltz in them before they fall into the coming drama?! Which is beautiful, by the way!

    At around 2:39ish you seem to hit the celli higher and higher, really revealing the weak points of those sustains, I take it? They begin to sound badly synthetic there. While you sort of catch it a tiny bit toward the 3min mark, it's now impossible to get the synthetic feel out of those. Just replace the whole shabango with trombones and/or trumpets. Celli only if you can squeeze a nice legato out of them and avoid the swish swish swish swish notes. Musically it's so beautiful. Would be a shame to harm the beauty with those unfortunate sounds.

    Dang, that was a sad drinking night, hmmm... such drama. But really, gorgeous composition, very filmic with plenty of stuff to enjoy. I hope, you don't mind my unfiltered reactions there. It's how I am to myself and I can't tell, if I'm doing myself any favors that way either, HAHAHA...🙃

    Just yesterday I finally made a bit of music again. I'm so busy programming, can't allow myself to stray from it right now. But then, I did. Just in the morning, after many, many days of this odd tinnitus I'm having for some reason. So I made a little piece that felt harmonic to it, HAHA, which really sort of works. At first I strayed from Spitfire, too, with it, using some other stuff for ethnic instruments. But then I added the BCCSO strings, horns and some flutes to it...sheeeeeeesh... very beautiful instruments, really. Couldn't believe how friendly they blended in there. Ah well, maybe I'll share that stuff later, too.

    THANKS for getting me back here, @Retroblueman , really! 🤗

  • Hahaha you sound like a great dad, I have 2 little ones and they both love to hit the keys, I always change the sound so they are like ooooohhh something new and hammer away again hehe! I sometimes join them and press random keys to have fun too hehe!

    Also this has been alot of fun and I have took something from this competition, it's a great way for us all to share out work and to meet new people.

  • This was beautiful, you truly have great talent, keep up the good work!

    GigabangMay 22, 2022

    "DnBEAST" (May)

    Time has been getting away from me this month so writing something specifically for this challenge hasn't been possible. Thinking about the theme 'free' led me onto LABS and some of the challenges I used to give myself to write using exclusively LABS instruments. One track, fittingly written in May (albeit 2020) never saw the light of day, so I thought I'd grab the final export and upload it as this month's submission.

    It may divide opinion as it's not orchestral. Half my time 'producing' is spent making electronic music, the other more orchestral-based. This is a wandering into Drum'n'Bass territory, all written using #LABS instruments, with a smattering of creative processing. All processing is live, no resampling. Not necessarily indicative of what I'm up to currently and the mix is questionable but weren't a lot of things back in May 2020.

    This was awesome, I loved the dark synth vibes, I loved the ending how it blurs but you end it beautifully!

    Keep up the great work!

    Londoneye330May 17, 2022

    Alright here is what I got for this month.

    I had the chance to play around with the idea of free, and I decided to make a piece about dreams: the land where everything and nothing exists at the same time. Where chaos meets order. Dreams are a place where strange things can happen, but suddenly jump to somewhere. It can evolve, it can build up (or not), it can turn happy, it can turn sad. you can jump onto the moon, maybe fly above the clouds, it can go so well until something can feel a little out of place...

    Then your dreams can jump again, to a place where there's just simple emptiness going down...

    And you woke up.

    • LABS Electric Piano
    • Aperture the Stack (Free version)
    • OT Helix
    • OT Strand
    • Kia Instrument
    • Evolution Devastator Warzone

    By the way, all of the instruments mentioned above are free!

    Hope y'all like it!

    That was absolute heaven I really did enjoy this!