official site of pZi / Pal Zoltan Illes composer, producer

Monday, March 16, 2015

Symphonic Tales of The Silmarillion - Fifth and Sixth Movement: Elbereth & Melkor - Compositional Diary

The portraits continued! First released Elbereth, also known as Varda, wife of Manwë. Then just yesterday Melkor's portray got ready to be rolled out! Hope you will like them!

Elbereth, Queen of the Stars

Melkor, The Dark Lord

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Symphonic Tales of The Silmarillion - Fourth Movement: Manwë, King Of The Valar - Compositional Diary

The fourth piece in the series is at last ready! 'Manwë, King Of The Valar'

The composition is parted into 3 important units. Starts out with a majestic minor scale chord progression and idea using choir and french horns as the main means for the melody. The strings are taking the chords on its back as it happens all through the piece. This part symbolizes the high ranked archangel's majestic nature. The music suddenly rolls into an agitated, action packed second part where the heavy staccato of the full strings ensemble is elevated by heavy brass melodies. Also a quickly rolling piccolo and solo violin staccato part is spicing up the inertia. After this part runs out, we get to the third one, the major scale theme of the Vala, where the ideas and chords is channeling the wise and positive nature of this archangel. It's rhythmical flow is helped by a synchronized, march like pattern of snare and different divisions of the orchestra. After this we get back to a repetition of the first part with new elements in the instrumentation, and then to a beefed upp and shuffled repetition of the second part, with an even heavier staccato of the string ensemble and heavier percussion entering. A final trailer like elevation of the harmonies gives the ending.

Hopefully you will enjoy the new piece, and find it appropriate to give the theme for this character of utter importance in the Tolkien universe.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Symphonic Tales of The Silmarillion - Third Movement: Ulmo, Lord of the Waters - Compositional Diary

Dear Fans and Friends,

I'm happy to report that after a longer period of silence, the third movement of the symphonic tales has been rolled out. The focus now has been shifted from the story telling of the Ainulindale to the portrayals of Valar derived from the Valaquenta of The Silmarillion.

The first in the portrayal series is the majestic, dreadful and all surround Lord of the Waters, Ulmo, the lonely divine figure of the mythology of Tolkien. Second in power to Manwe, most hated by Melkor, knowing of all news on Arda through all the waters flowing through and surrounding the landmass of the world.

"ULMO, Heru Rasa, or in English - Lord of the Seas, was second in power of the Valar only to Manwe. He was one of the nine Aratar, or those of chief power and reverence. He was a loner, the only one of the Valar to not have a wife (wife here is not in the common sense, but one who has similar interests and share deeds). He would never stay in one place for long, and took to resting anywhere he might be. He seldom came to the Councils of Mahanaxar, and only when in great need. He preferred to stay in Arda, not by walking on the land, as his form would fill man or elf with great dread. All waters were under his government; bays, rivers and even the waters under the earth. It is through these that he kept in touch with Arda, and thus knew more of the goings on with the children of Iluvatar than even Manwe."

The music is somewhat starting as an enervated and sad, musing part which shows the lonesome preference of this Vala, and also incorporates powerful and majestic parts which symbolizes his appearance before the mortal beings of Arda. The major part of the orchestral sections this time goes to the low and middle brass and also the contrabasoon and is accompanied by accentuated choral parts. Also touches some modern elements of compositional work with many less common harmonies and also random-like notes which depicts the watery, hard to glimpse nature of this divine figure. Strives for positive, uplifting images at times with some clearer, major chord resolutions, but also dwelling in strong, fast and agitated parts that outlines the unpredictable nature of the waters and the powers of this all-mighty Vala.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Symphonic Tales of The Silmarillion - Second Movement ready!

Happy to announce that the second title of the series is now finally available on SoundCloud for listening! :-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Symphonic Tales of The Silmarillion - II. Let These Things Be Part 1 - Diary #1

Movement II is on the verge of completion! Hopefully recovering from a heavier flu soon... in my non-fever filled hours where I could get some time I polished the movement furher and further... 8 minutes and 32 seconds it seems...
Let me get to the parts:
1. Appearance of the Ainur. Singing and music of the ainur on the bid of Eru Ilúvatar, in unison they experience the power of the unity Eru Ilúvatar bestowed upon them - a rework of the so called theme FLAME IMPERISHABLE
2. Melkor's derailed entry, in the futile attempt of overpowering the theme of Eru Ilúvatar. Yet gaining his first fallen minions for his plans of being a Lord - MELKOR'S FULLY DISSONANT THEME - no masking of the discord yet
3. Eru's second theme for the Ainur, Melkor awaiting his second overpowering of the archangels singing and music, with even more rage after being told all his deeds still are originating back to Eru, the source of the Flame Imperishable and all that was created. - a new theme I call the EASTERN WESTERN THEME joining in both poles of the existence with the power of choir and oriental resembling violin technique.
4. Melkor's second attempt of overpowering the choir of Ainur. All Ainur stop singing in the end - MELKOR'S FULLY DISSONANT THEME
5. Eru Ilúvatar shows a new theme that is yet unknown to the thoughts and ears of all Ainur: the theme of the First Born and After-Born (Elves and Humans) - THE THEME OF THE CHILDREN OF ILÚVATAR, ample, sorrowful, yet profound and somehow uplifting. Not an easy work, I grant you :)
6. Melkor is giving a race for the dominance again, -

7. Finally Eru Ilúvatar's rage and glory theme, silencing all with the mighties chord ever, uniting the highest and the lowest. - ERU'S RAGE AND THE MIGHTIEST CHORD

So these are the parts that I condensed into this 8 and a half minute. Hope you'll enjoy when I get there to publish. Possibly this week. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Symphonic Tales of The Silmarillion - Compositional Diary #2 - 'There was Eru, the One'

Heaven yeah, the first movement is ready :-) 'There was Eru, the One'

As I mentioned earlier it's titled 'There was Eru, the One'. I'll try to go into as much details about its composition as I remember.
First of all, I've started out with a pre-existing classical/electronica hybrid template I generally use for orchestral composition and production. It's, as always composed, mixed and processed in Cubase 7.5. I still use 7.5 tho I have 8.0 installed, but I have had some performance issues with my 80+ channel templates I created in 7.5.

Musically the first that was born was the piccolo flute's rhythmical staccato, keeping its C pitch constantly in the center of the composition. Of course there came the chord progression built around the staccato flute, built with full ensemble instruments of EWQL Hollywood Orchestra and Symphonic Orchestra. The drawn line of the piccolo staccato was kept floating without deciding between a major and a minor key, and thus connecting the two parts that slowly emerged from the harmonically constructed context of C major of the first part and the c minor of the second epic part. Yeah, I know, I keep it simple and low profile with the keys, but this kind of topic didn't either need chromatic variation or a really mixed bunch of transitions. I was keeping it simple and clean as I feel the topic of Eru Ilúvatar demands a pure vision on the material.

So slowly the two parts, major and minor were done, and also (forgot to mention), the heavy Loom additive synthesizers were already added to symbolize the Void, the Mechanical magic of the Tolkien universe that is yet to be born through the will of Eru and also through the mightiest Ainur Melkor who turned bitter and evil soon later. (Yet this deep mesmerizing synthesizer is just a signal of what is yet to come in the complex history of Arda, Earth).

So then I felt the need to present Eru to the listener, and (no surprise) I took the means of fanfare. A quite simple, harmonically very clean and also very simple rhythmical structure, to represent the purest form of omnipotence.

Then when it was done came the job to build up the C Major harmonic and melodic build up. Quickly it was set up on the strings and then varied with the addition of brasses at some parts, then usage of woodwinds later and also finally the all soothing harp was woven in. The crescendo part was the last to be polished for proper sounding and greater variation.

Next came the details of the c minor part, addition of heavy, epic string legatos, going down with majesty, and meanwhile the horns, trumpets and trombone strengthened to an epic melody to be kept along the way of the journey towards the culmination of the track. When this was done it was clear that the epic part needs to reach its full potential with a big tempo jump and addition of heavy percussion. The latter was again achieved with the fantastic SD2 Godzilla Hits... A periodically sliding higher drum in 5/4 against the thump of the 4/4 main drum and an almost snare like hit in a syncope pattern. This gave the whole part a heavy, and strong sense of movement and power. The strings now dominated the harmonic context with the stagnant slowly changing choirs. The trumpets playing the main melody quickly jump to the fantastic sounds of the EWQL Gipsy solo violin that lasts till the end. The full strings ensemble was then going into an ever grinding staccato replacing the piccolo in the role, giving a really tense background to the mostly slow, and sometimes quickly jumping solo melody. The interlocked semi final crescendo was using the elements of the opening fanfare part of the movement, and the final crescendo is a variation of that with a heavy thumping ever louder orchestral beat till the final staccato note.

The C Major part is called 'Eru, The One', while the epic ending is called 'The Flame Imperishable'.

A bit of mixing Equalizer setting here and there and setting up the Oxygene 6 for the pseudo master was the last step, before unleashing the first movement onto you! I hope you enjoy the first fruit as much as I enjoyed creating (and listening and listening and listening till all errs was quenched from the final version :)). Thanks for your attention! Now till I'm busy with planning the next movement listen and enjoy, share, spread the word, give me feedback, comment...whatever: be happy my friends!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Symphonic Tales of The Silmarillion - Compositional Diary #1

"There Was Eru, The One"
- J.R.R Tolkien

I've been working for a few days now on the first title of the epic sized opus I'm trying to achieve. Symphonic music with some hybrid elements, telling one of the most compelling modern mythical tale ever conceived, The Silmarillion's uncountable tales and details poured into music in a yet unknown level of detail.

Regarding the first title, finally I've decided to "cut back" the scope of the first title, and instead of depicting the Ainulindalë I'll rather concentrate on Eru Iluvatar only. Giving a first long part to the Creator of the tolkienesque universe, I think I couldn't really go another way around. The conceiving one omnipotent mind of all the happenings of the world, deserves a whole title.

I'll tell you a little bit about how currently the composition is going. Opens with a slow musical scale intro and drives into a strong and clear fanfare part (as you could imagine). Then it turns to the Love Eru is showing in his mind for all the yet to be created beings and things in a more emotional part written in a major key (hopefully you won't feel it too happy, but rather as the strong emotional, spiritual and rational care and sign for all the yet to come). Then the music turns into an epic minor key, to put a sight on the Historical details that start to form in the all knowing mind, right before creating the Ainur from his thoughts to start forming reality.

So that's how this is going. Needs so much care, the bar is set so high. I can't tell you how hard it is to imagine that I can live up to these standards. But we will see. The first title's first public version is nearing steadily. :-) I wish I could show you something already, but I want it perfect, at least perfect for a first version (I'm sure it's going to change when the whole Symphonic Tale will get into further shape).