Compo Status :: Round 87 Tracking :: Ending 2014-10-31 00:00:00 *CST () :: 1 Entry

Doing Life by tenfour

Round 27
Author tenfour
Title Doing Life
MP3 Link http://carl.ript.net/sdc27_tenfour-Doing Life.mp3
Module Link sdc27_tenfour-Doing_Life.zip
Filesize 996KB
Score 5, 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2Total Points: 37 (10 Votes)
1st Place Vote5 Points2nd Place Vote4 Points3rd Place Vote3 Points4th Place Vote2 Points5th Place Vote1 point

Authors' Notes

My first submission that doesn't have any "solo section" finally. I dismissed the idea of even entering this round because I've been really busy, but this weekend I found just enough time.

Comments

Comment by Cab on 2008-05-26 08:41:47

Oooo I really like this one. Very atmospheric, landscapish if you wil.l :)

Comment by nt on 2008-05-27 05:57:44

This is a bit beyond my native musical understanding, which is great. I'm not used to these kinds of progressions yet but it caught me so I heard it a several times until I finally got the whole structure. Now I actually enjoy ('dig' was the wrong word ealier) the art behind it. I started liking it rather the rational way than the natural way till I felt the whole song. Very impressive announcement of the melody beginning at 0:42. The ostinato-like melody during the whole song is innovative and interesting. Four minutes and not getting boring for a second. I think the intro strings could have a slower attack occasionally. But I love the transition to the beats at 1:24. Backing up the bassline with some higher notes in the mid range comes in very nice. The selfmade pitch-down effect is tracker-pro :) The variation of the melody at 3:12 gives me a very nice feeling. The strings played at the end could do better again - they sound almost like a big pipe organ but I see that the sample is octaved and considering that the current sample pack offered only a few melodic instruments, you did a great job creating the strings yourself. It's a nice idea to remind of the intro with the strings after all. All in all it's a great song!

Comment by keith303 on 2008-05-27 12:48:09

can only second nt here. the song has a very unique way of progression, which is very welcome. sonical timbre of the whole is highly pleasant and i really didn't expect somebody to get so well sounding strings out of the compo samples. the sustension from pattern 7 to 8 is absolutely gorgeous, but afterall, this applies to the entire song. i also love the quality of the mix - well balanced. all thumbs skywards, yummistuff!

Comment by directionless on 2008-05-28 03:48:14

OMG I love this SOOO much! Please do more atmospheric tunes. I'm in heaven over this somehow.

Comment by directionless on 2008-05-28 03:53:16

absolute fucking heaven!

Comment by nt on 2008-05-28 06:49:41

Woah, I just noted the bars starting irregulary. It's 4/4 but then it cuts. The tune is full of musical effects..awesome.

Comment by ambtax1 on 2008-05-28 12:19:40

My first listen to this tune made me think it was all a bit random. Subsequent listens have made me realise you actually have an excellent structure going on here (I love the string parts) and this has turned into one of my favourite tunes of the round! :):)

Comment by tenfour on 2008-05-28 16:51:44

flattering comments guys, thanks =) It's a real treat that you guys are listening so closely - what a great community this is! I am doing my best to return the favor I promise!

agree on the strings - the sound is full but the articulation sorta sucks. i originally felt that the sample pack sucked, but there are some gems in there like the "worm" sound makes a great bass that i couldn't pass up. in the end i'm quite happy with the samples given. these days in fact i'm using sdcompo sample packs for my own tunes.

admittedly this is not a very approachable song; it is a bit of an acquired taste i would predict.

My intention here was to create an atmospheric song because i didn't have a lot of time and i thought that would take less work than my other more jazzy stuff, and I think that's true. It's amazing how different the writing process is in this case though - whereas normally i might sit at the piano and plunk out an entire tune, here i basically plunked out just a chord progression, and worked it into being a self-sustaining (hopefully) song. instead of concentrating on melody i concentrated on simply pulling an idea along without losing momentum along the way.

the progression is weird indeed - one of the things i always try to avoid is falling into the sound of something we have all heard before. For example the cliché progression of Cminor -> Abmaj -> Cmin -> Abmaj -- this is so overplayed that if i put that in any song, I am afraid a listener would be reminded of "everything else" and not create a unique place for my song. Fortunately there is so much that can be done with harmony that I never need to do this. ESPECIALLY in this song where the progression is such a huge component of the song. So if the song has a hard time finding a comfortable niche in your ears, this may be the biggest reason. The progression I have is basically ||: Cm - Eb | Cm - Eb | Cm - Eb | Cm - Eb | Ab Gmaj7#5 | Ebm/Gb Ebmmaj7/Gb | Ebm7/Gb | Gbmaj7#11 | C#m7 F#7 | C#m7 F#7 :|| and repeat like 4 times.

it's mostly in 3/4 with some odd measures of 2/4. 3/4 has always been my favorite time signature. I feel that it has an innate tendency to groove - a free shot of push / pull that is harder to gain in a more symmetric base-2 time signature.

I am interested in similar self-commentaries about everyone else's songs - as I've said before, I know you have background info about your tune that helps understand it or approach it. SPEAK!

Comment by CAG on 2008-05-28 18:26:59

I would say that the progression seems odd because as a predominantly western-influenced culture, we've been raised on the circle of fifths whether we realize it or not. I'll personally argue that a i-VI-i-VI progression isn't cliche at all, but you know, I'm not raised on popular music (been doing classical music for a long time, believe it or not [excuse the roman numeral notation, I'm more used to it]).

so according to your own analysis, I think (may be wrong, doing this on the fly without examining the source :P) you have a...

c: i-III | i-III | i-III | i-III | VI - V7#5 | Gb: vi - vimM7 | vi7 | vi7#11 | C#: I7 - IV7 | I7 - IV7 |

OK, so, uh...
this progression really breaks quite a few conventions in western music, which may explain why it sounds "weird." the i - III transition is rare in classical western music (the i6 chord is more common there), and the III does not really 'resolve' to the i. strange, since the III | VI transition is relatively more 'smooth.' it modulates to the dominant major and back to the augmented tonic, and when it does modulate to the major, it's not to a secondary dominant, but rather the vi chord. you seem to like vi chords. :)
plus, the tonic seventh doesn't really harmonically function the same as the tonic chord, but you know, I love seventh chords too. :D

really, all this sort of analysis is in retrospect of the fact of the music.

Comment by tenfour on 2008-05-29 01:50:01

cool - some theory talk! a have a couple more comments after considering CAG's analysis:

the i-III could be argued to just be a i inversion, especially because it repeats over and over, like an auxilliary.

the transition from c to Gb i would say is more of a transition from c to eb minor - this is a deceptive cadence basically. instead of landing on the expected Eb major, it lands on eb minor.

the transition then to c# minor is similar. the previous chord is an Ab7 of sorts and would naturally go towards C#maj, but instead I did the exact same trick here and went to c# minor. Notice also the recurring relationship of the i7-IV7 - in eb minor, i am going from eb -> Ab7, then modulating down to c# -> F#7, then down again to c minor to repeat the progression.

but yea technical crap aside it's always "how it sounds" that matters most.

Comment by directionless on 2008-05-29 03:20:38

i feel like Steven Hawking just took over this thread.

seriously, i'm always astounded by people that know their theory. I believe, mostly, in the chicken and the egg concept of the egg coming first - in this case tribal bonfire rituals. Small minded people living the rhythm of life.

that being said, in my own way, i hope to sneak more theory into my music life. But after years of structured choir schooling, these days, i just can't be bothered to care if I'm doing anything right by established concept. a limitation i hope to turn into a strength, somehow.

i'll say this much, on the strength of your tracks, i'm a believer!! ;)

Comment by nt on 2008-05-29 17:24:17

Edit:

mreh, why am I asking stupid questions you have answered already..

Just one question remains: Do you have perfect pitch ears?

Comment by tenfour on 2008-05-30 02:03:36

hehe nope

Comment by aGIANTpupafish on 2008-05-30 11:14:04

ooh nice. loved the string sounds you got out of that. quite impressed. yes the chord progression does somehow sound strange, but somehow wonderfully wierd, if you know what i mean ;)
ah your beats are sooo crispy. almost felt like a bar of 4/4 then 2/4 not two bars of 3/4 somehow, but maybe that's just me. i liked how you had the odd added 2/4 bar, nice and unexpected. not sure the transition from section f -> g quite worked for me, but thats a personal thing.
good work man, keep it up!

Comment by andyray on 2008-05-30 15:47:16

one of the more interesting tracks this round.. lot's of small jolts and pokes throughout.. I'll refrain from trying to be technical since you've already covered that aspect of the track.
I like the smooth production and the chill feel.. the strings, as already stated, are swell... I haven't taken the time to listen to it as a backing track which is where it'll do most impact me thinks... just as a plain listen it's a bit tedious.. no offence... or is it my restlessnes....? well, good work nontheless... keep it up!

Comment by organic_io on 2008-05-31 01:13:54

I have to side with d-less and admit that I have no idea what the hell you guys were talking about with the theory above :)
I've been listening a couple times to come to grips with this track as well. I love the massiveness of the strings and the resolution at the end. The middle is a mellow journey through the depths of time. I must admit 10-4, I like your jazz stuff better, but I also like to see artists break their own box.. so -- huge respect for this fascinating & complicated piece!

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