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~SW~ Astral Nation ~SW~ Astral Nation

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

It was all in all a very well done piece. It was very clearly stated; specific about what was being said and where.

I feel you have a leg-up in this competition over a lot of people, so good luck in that.

Now, you were very specific in your description about the story that goes along with this. So if it was your intention not to dilute the imagination of the listener, I think that backfired because of the very detailed time-stamp you have there. It's like an MMO, say, WoW, which puts you into a world, tells you what's going on and where, but in the end is a theme park game where you're on a set path, instead of a sandbox game where you can do just about whatever you please.

So you might want to consider nixing the time-stamped description, or making it even more generalized.

Sincerely, I did enjoy this piece. It was exciting at times, and the variety of instruments used and the specific times they were used at made this what it is. You achieved your goal to a certain extent. So in that, very well done (and be proud)!

This section here is why I say you met your goal to a "certain extent":
2:38 ==> Dawn of Technology
3:18 ==> Inventing New Realities

At the beginning of Dawn of Technology, there isn't much of a dawn. The bagpipe enters, and we get a nice headbobbing rhythm, but our new-age sounds don't enter until after you say this section is over.

There are some great examples of music that use the industrial age of man literally. Hammers banging, machines turning, screws being spun in - all of these things can be used rhythmically, and even melodically if you're careful, to represent an amazing sound of technology that the audience can really connect with. Personally I think this section would be all about the rhythm of, say, working on an assembly line for machine parts. That rhythm of workers monotony moving the industry along.

Lastly, "Deep into the void" comes along, and that ambient sound you have is a great finish for the song.

On a side note, since no one in humanity has ever experienced this (and lived or returned to tell about it), this is solely subjective input.

I think if I were being launched into space, or envisioning being a particle of two colliding and making a miniature black hole (Large Hadron Collider), or even dying and traveling off to where ever it is we go, there would be more awe involved.

Much more sense of being dumbstruck with excitement, adrenaline, perhaps even a sense of fear. I wouldn't imagine it as an ambient flowing sound unless you take being in a space suit out for a space walk literally. If that's what you meant to do, great job! If not, I think the final section could use some revisiting.

SkyeWint responds:

Wow, this is a large review. Incredibly detailed and surprisingly not very technical. I'll respond to it section-by-section, I guess.

"It was all in all a very well done piece"
Thank you!

"if it was your intention not to dilute the imagination of the listener, I think that backfired because of the very detailed time-stamp you have there."
Hm, I think I'll have to disagree with you there - while they certainly do give some hoops for the stories to go through, they are by no means constricting... besides, people don't necessarily have to follow them. It's music - anyone can interpret it however they want to.

"very well done (and be proud)!"
Thanks again! I certainly am, if only because I feel I really nailed the mixing on this.

"At the beginning of Dawn of Technology, there isn't much of a dawn."
Ah, I should probably explain that - it's more the "rising up" at that point, focusing more on the dawn than technology. Toward the end the technology part comes in, as you noticed.

"That rhythm of workers monotony moving the industry along."
I'm sorry, this was more of a personal thing for me - I REALLY dislike monotonous, repetitive music. Since that seems to be what you're suggesting to depict the modern age, I have to disagree wholeheartedly. Besides which, the modern age is also about discovery and invention, hence a few of the things such as the arpeggio effects at 3:45 and 3:53.

"this is solely subjective input."
I'd like to note something here - Since this is a subjective topic, it is necessarily my interpretation of it. I chose to interpret it this way. Other people may choose to interpret it another way. Funnily enough, I did have some inspiration from the Large Hadron Collider in the "Preparing for Launch" section - that's actually why the "LHC" is also there.

I find space to be a peaceful place, overall. Even with the technical speeds that everything is going at, it's actually really slow compared to the speeds. Also, there are several accounts of people who have been to space that are about how viewing the universe from there, seeing the earth from there, has been an extremely philosophical and calming experience.

Thanks for your review overall, it gives me a perspective that other people haven't said.

I would ask though, since you only gave it 3.5/5, I'd love to know more about why than "I didn't like how you titled the sections" (since that is essentially what all the negative points are about) - I'd assume there are some more technical reasons you didn't like it, and I'd love to hear those as well.

Zel - Forte of Darkness Zel - Forte of Darkness

Rated 4 / 5 stars

This is a very fun piece! I feel like it's a story of someone whom loathes being lazy or procrastinating, and loves having fun with the hard work they do.

There's something special about this piece beyond the variety of instruments, and it's that it is neither overly repetitive, nor does it stray from its intended feeling. It's just a downright fun listen!

Within the shell that this piece was crafted in, it doesn't need to be changed. Fun pieces like this make it easy to get away with just about anything!

If I would make any critique at all, it would be one that I find very common among composers on Newgrounds, and that is that the volume of the piece is very, very loud. I was forced to listen to this (albeit with my headphones on) at 17% volume! Turning down the volume of the audio before exportation would help.

The reason I give 4/5 stars instead of a solid 5 is because although it is a fun-loving piece, it doesn't really have much depth to it. That isn't something all music needs (though pop culture music could use way, way more of that), but you could try expanding into more rhythmic variety to change this. Maintaining one portion of this piece and changing something else would maintain the feeling, but increase the depth. Changing the rhythm but not the melody for example.

Well done, Zelazon! I really enjoyed that

Good luck in that competition!

-The Journey Home- -The Journey Home-

Rated 3 / 5 stars

Firstly I want to ask: What feeling/emotion/story/thing were you specifically trying to portray? There is what I'm about to write about, and then there is your original intention. I'd like to know the latter before I actually vote on this piece. (As it turns out I can't not vote, but that doesn't really matter in the end, does it?)
Secondly, I liked it. It was very well thought out and detailed. There wasn't an instrument or not unnecessarily used. That is a hard thing to accomplish. What this means is that it's very well polished, and for all intents and purposes in this composition you've submitted it to, that's also a very well earned thing since there was a time limit.

Now, what I felt:
This song was very contemporary; very pop-like. I feel a -sense- of standing alone, but the reality being that the character described is the type of person who in reality doesn't realize they aren't alone. People are there for them.

The song progression I think is that realization. Less specifically, in a universal sense, a coming-of-age epiphany about one's real surroundings.

The first impression with music is unlike the first impression between people.

Listening the first time around, I felt that the chord progression took a little too long to begin advancing, but as I write this review I'm listening again. Now I think maybe that was an intentional thing. This just proves my point, the more you listen to a piece, the more you understand it; something that is harder to do with people, especially during poor first impressions.

It's short and sweet. I feel that's a benefit and a downfall. This doesn't seem like the type of song that could be preceded or precede something. Standing alone it is nice, and intense at some times during the epiphany stage. But I still am left with a feeling of lacking. Something is missing.

Now, remember, I don't know your original intentions (and it might not be your intention to reveal those intentions ever). So you might have purposefully made the ending that way.

It's good, it isn't great, and I think why that is might be because, especially for this competition you're in, humans have more than one emotion (duh!). This couldn't really be a part of a multi-movement piece. It could be a single piece of an album style set up though.

I think if you build up more pieces, in this style which you say is unusual for you, in different emotions, that feeling that something is lacking will be filled.

Again, I don't know your intentions, so this might all be on purpose. If so, bravo, you met your goal and that is the most important thing!

Back-From-Purgatory responds:

I am very much intrigued by your interpretation.

As for what I was trying to portray... It's complicated, not really something I can put into words.

Regardless... as with all my other music, it is completely open to interpretation, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!