Winter Solstice

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malcolmb
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2010/12/12 05:14:21 (permalink)

Winter Solstice

This is the video of a piece I have just written for my Druid friends for the forthcoming Winter Solstice on 21 December. Orchestral Celtic with New Age undertones (what ever that means!).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AETkiZNlYgA

Not my usual Jazz style (!) and as always written and produced totally with soft synths in Staff View. Hope you enjoy.

Best Regards
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    morenoise
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/12 05:46:50 (permalink)
    Hi Malcolm, this is really impressive stuff!Very nice buildup throughout to keep it interesting.Excellent production with nice choice of instrumentation. Good job.

    Greetings , Morenoise
    #2
    malcolmb
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/12 06:18:50 (permalink)
    Hi Morenoise

    Sincere thanks. I wanted to try to portray the coming together through the winter landscape to arrive at the Henge for the Solstice. I also wanted a triumphant feeling as the Sun restarts its journey to Summer but with a sense of yearning for the Spring that is still a long way away. I suppose the yearning was also for the fact that standing on a hill in a Winter gale would make anyone wish to be home in front of a roaring fire!

    I must say I do love the sound of the Chinese Erhu and Dizi which add such atmosphere to music.

    Best Regards
    Malcolm


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    #3
    Slow Marching Band
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/13 17:02:48 (permalink)
    The ethnic/ambient music fit the vid perfectly IMO!

    I always enjoy a visual like this to accompany the soundscape.

    I'm a big fan of this genre of music and thought it well composed/played!

    Larry
    #4
    HeavyTRAFFIK
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/13 22:51:45 (permalink)
    Very moving piece.  I'm on my second listen already!  And the video slideshow is a very nice touch.  Great thoughtful arrangement throughout.  I know it's supposed to be subdued, but I guess I'd like to hear the overall mix just a TAD louder.  Some of the quieter parts may be a bit TOO quiet (?).  Just an observation.

    Great composition and presentation.  Thanks for sharing.
    #5
    malcolmb
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/14 06:59:05 (permalink)
    Hi Larry and HeavyTRAFFIK - Sincere thanks for watching and so pleased you like it. It took quite a while to scour the net to find photos that fitted and were also free to use. I am definitely indebted to the photographers who were so generous with their talents. Hopefully if they ever see the video, they will not be too disappointed. Hopefully!

    HeavyTRAFFIK - I think your observation is absolutely right. Same old problem I always have. I mix in HomeStudio and get the balance and level just as I want it (my Marian Marc 4 Midi soundcard does give me a wonderfully rich sound and my M-Audio Studiophile monitors are not bad at all for the price). I then publish the piece on the net and think that everyone is hearing what I hear. But of course they aren't. Last night I put the .wav file onto a CD in preparation for my annual gift CD to my Druid friends and then played it on my CD player. Dreadful! Oh well, looks like I have some work to do!

    Best Regards
    Malcolm


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    #6
    Guitarhacker
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/14 08:52:31 (permalink)
    For people to hear what you hear.... they must use the same speakers. Most people, unfortunately, are listening on cheap speakers with no bottom and to much mid.

    Nice song. Yeah, I'm listening on cheap speakers too.


    And a happy Saturnelia to you and yours. Just another week and the solstice heralding the return of the sun..... and warmer days.
    post edited by Guitarhacker - 2010/12/14 08:54:12

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    #7
    malcolmb
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/14 09:59:02 (permalink)
    Hi Guitarhacker - You are totally right. My speakers are also the cheap end of the market. My Bank Manager won't let me have anything else!
     
    And a very happy Saturnelia, Solstice, Yule, Christmas and every other festival of this time of the year to you. We Celts never miss a chance of a good party! The current weather forecast for my little Isle off the southern coast of England for the forthcoming week suggests I will need Snow Shoes to get up the hill to the celebrations. Bet I get down the hill a lot faster than I get up!

    Best Regards
    Malcolm


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    Alegria
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/19 13:38:37 (permalink)
    Very nice imagery. Just like my backyard in November.  No nits on the mix. Sounds great (speakers JBL LSR4326). Arrangement is engaging and very supportive of the imagery. I can hear the Celtic vibe. Very well done Malcolmb!
    #9
    thepogue
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/19 14:10:36 (permalink)
    lovely peice!....I could forgo the video and just close my eyes and the music painted an awesome picture!!

    +1 on the volume...

    great job!!!

    Merry Christmas!
    #10
    malcolmb
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/19 14:56:18 (permalink)
    Hi Alegria and thepogue

    Sincere thanks for listening and so pleased you like it.

    Alegria - This thread was at the bottom of page two of this forum; so additional sincere thanks for finding it - you have really cheered up a very grey, boring Sunday for me! If your yard is like the imagery in November, you must have icebergs in your pond by January. You really must live in the Frozen North! Hey, you're not Santa Claus, are you?!

    thepogue - so pleased you could see the picture I was trying to create through the music. I often try to do this with very varying degrees of success. Clearly this was one of my better attempts! For the CD, I did adjust the volume slightly up. Which immediately threw out the balance on the drums, flute and erhu! Isn't mixing fun?!

    A very Merry Christmas to you both.

    Best Regards
    Malcolm




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    Wookiee
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/19 15:49:21 (permalink)
    Nothing wrong here (Event 20/20s) nice spread across the spectrum.  The drum throbs wonderfully.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Wookiee-4077 and The Wookiee
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    Bub
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/19 21:39:48 (permalink)
    Great song Malcolm. I had a slideshow going of pictures I took of the blizzard of 09' were I live. Fit perfectly.

    "I pulled the head off Elvis, filled Fred up to his pelvis, yaba daba do, the King is gone, and so are you."
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    Scottytunes
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/19 22:10:16 (permalink)
    This is amazingly perfect. Great job with the textures. Your timing is impaccable too.

    String Jammer
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    malcolmb
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/20 04:37:06 (permalink)
    Hi Wookiee, Bub and Scottytunes

    Sincere thanks for watching and truly pleased you like it. We 'never' get snow on my little Isle off the south coast of England in December. So my video was really wishful thinking. But I then published the video on YouTube. And then it snowed. And snowed! I am beginning to wonder if all the snow chaos in the country is really my fault! Please don't tell anyone!

    Best Regards
    Malcolm


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    mgh
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/20 05:07:47 (permalink)
    hey malcolm
    excellent tune dude, as a fan of black/pagan metal, i hear a lot of this type of music on interludes, i wish it was all as good as this though! the tune is recognisably celtic but in almost a RVW way, so it has a more romantic chord base. excellent stuff. as far as the volume goes, once your mix is as you want it, export, then reimport the stereo file to a new project and use eq/compression/limiter to increase the volume as you want. if you have a good Christmas/SOlstice present, and have a bit of cash, the new Steven Slate limiter http://www.slatedigital.com/fgx.php is supposed to be one of the best at increasing volume transparently, which may be just what you need for orchestral music.
    however, on a tighter budget http://www.jeroenbreebaart.com/ are free!
    #16
    malcolmb
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/20 06:19:16 (permalink)
    Hey mgh

    Sincere thanks. A lifelong fan of RVW, I am sure there is an influence. But I think it will take me a dozen lifetimes to even get close to writing a single piece of that quality! Sincere thanks also for the advice and suggestions for limiters. I really do appreciate it. Now all I have to do is catch my Bank Manager on a day when he is feeling generous. Perhaps I should ask the three Spirits of Christmas to visit him. But I suspect even they may give him up as a lost cause! Humbug!

    Best Regards
    Malcolm


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    #17
    Janet
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/20 23:03:51 (permalink)
    Wow...this is very nice.  The pictures are beautiful, but like others have said, the music paints a great picture too.  :-) 
    #18
    malcolmb
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/21 04:57:28 (permalink)
    Hello Janet

    Sincere thanks for watching and so very pleased you like the piece. I have just returned from the Winter Solstice celebration high on a hill on my little Isle off the south coast of England. At the top of the hill is the Longstone (a Standing Stone which is all that now remains of a neolithic burial chamber). A small crowd was there to welcome the Sun. Unfortunately, I think the Sun took one look at the weather and went off to warmer climes! It was freezing! A bitter North Easterly wind which easily cut through six layers of clothing! But I suppose we were better off than those who in ancient times stood at the same spot in nothing more than a few scraps of animal skins!

    Best Regards
    Malcolm
     

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    mikeinFL
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/28 16:32:56 (permalink)
    that was nice! I was mesmerized watching the video, music fit perfectly!  6 layers of clothes and it was still cold? Had to be a fun trip anyway.  Thanks for comments on "Abandoned Orphanage"!  mike

    http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?songs=218528&T=5445
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    malcolmb
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2010/12/31 04:42:27 (permalink)
    Hi Mike - Sincere thanks for watching and so pleased you liked the piece and video. I suspect it took me longer to find the copyright-free photos and put the video together than it did to write the music. I would have taken my own pictures but it is a bit difficult to hold the camera steady when you are shivering in a blizzard! Yes, not even six layers of clothes were enough!

    Abandoned Orphanage is the music I want to write. All I need is your skill. I might get there. One day. Perhaps!

    Best Regards
    Malcolm


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    rdotson
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2011/01/01 19:41:04 (permalink)
    Very nice Malcolm, it really is a just a lean back and close your eyes piece! May I ask what Soft Synths you are using? And by the way I tried it both ways, headphones and speakers, still sounded GREAT!

    Rick
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    malcolmb
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2011/01/02 06:07:03 (permalink)
    Hi Rick - Very many thanks and so pleased you like this piece. In answer to your question, I used the following synths:

    Winter wind - Dimension LE1 - Hypnotica + Triangle (although not seperately audible, I also added Dyad DXi1 with Layer A - Ghostwhisper and Layer B - Ghostpad to add some depth to the sound).

    Erhu and Bass Dizi (Chinese violin and flute) - these are free cut-down versions of the full VSTs from Kong Audio. If you are interested, just Goggle "Mini Erhu" and you will find the links.

    Solo Alto Flute, Violins, Violas, Cellos - Garritan Personal Orchestra (Second Edition).

    Drums and Wind Chimes - free .wav files I found on the web (after much searching - not sure where I found them!).

    Best Regards
    Malcolm
     

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    geeare1
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2011/01/02 13:54:48 (permalink)
    This is outstanding, Malcolm. I love the way it flows and builds.

    The pictures are nice but I get cold just looking at them.

    The music, however, is perfect.

    -gr

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    #24
    malcolmb
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2011/01/02 15:13:34 (permalink)
    Hi geeare1 - Very many thanks and so pleased you like it. I do agree about the pictures. When I was making the video, I kept on feeling the need for hot coffee and a thick overcoat! The thought that we still have to get through January and February before there will be any sign of the temperature rising makes me want to emigrate to a tropical island. But only if it has an internet connection!

    Best Regards
    Malcolm


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    rdotson
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2011/01/04 19:53:17 (permalink)
    Thanks for the Soft Snyth info Malcolm, I have had a tune haunting my brain for a while and it get's a bit out of wack when you load a Snyth and it has 150 not usefull to start with presets, and six that have potential. Thanks again for sharing!

    Rick
    #26
    darylcrowley
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2011/01/05 08:24:34 (permalink)
    This the polar opposite of Gary's tourist season!  Being from Michigan and it being January I would have been more in the mood for some summer music!

    This has nice soundtrack quality.  I like the blend of wind and music and they seem to really compliment each other.
     
    This is an excellent written piece and very pleasing.
     
    Daryl

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    #27
    malcolmb
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2011/01/05 09:10:31 (permalink)
    Hi Daryl - Very many thanks for listening and so pleased you liked it. Michigan? January? Shiver! I have a Jazz singer friend who lives in Michigan so I do know exactly what you mean. Perhaps you might want to watch / listen to my Summer Solstice piece to warm you up (the music has just been used as background for a local environmental charity video)! The only problem with the Solstices is that with one you are looking forward to Spring but shivering and the other enjoying the Summer but knowing winter is not far away! Oh for that tropical island! I see you have just posted a new piece. Must now dash to listen.

    Rick - I know exactly what you mean. Wading through all those odd sounds and by the time you have found one that is faintly usable you have forgotten why you were searching! You might also want to try Roland Groovesynth Fantasia, Psycho Pad and Crystal. I use these quite a lot for backing.

    Best Regards
    Malcolm




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    #28
    vechung
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2011/01/05 13:40:29 (permalink)
    Very nice!  Really like the way this song builds up.  Kind of mix of Irish, some American Indian and some Chinese.  I bet your druid friends were really happy.
    #29
    malcolmb
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    Re:Winter Solstice 2011/01/05 14:42:49 (permalink)
    Vechung - Sincere thanks and so pleased you like this piece. Your mix description is exact and reflects I suppose the coming together of much of the music I was writing in 2010. Certainly the Irish / Celtic / Druid and Native American reflects a Handfasting I wrote the music for (which also had to include Hare Krishna!) as well as the similarity of beliefs of the two Cultures. As for the Chinese, I love the emotion of the erhu and dizi and just could not resist including them. Fortunately my Druid friends did like it and have asked for more. There are eight Celtic festivals to the Druid Year so it looks like there could be a Suite coming on!

    Best Regards
    Malcolm


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