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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!