After hearing honest and supportive feedback on my latest track, I spent some time this morning on revisions. I was given a treasure trove of ideas for developing the song and more specifically the various motifs present within it. I took it to heart and got to work on editing.
Embellish, retrograde, and break down orchestration. These are the primary things that I focused on while editing. J. Michael St. Clair suggested a much longer list, but I didn’t want to overdo it and end up tripping over my own ambition.
Embellish. In the original version, easily heard from yesterday’s post, the violin’s motif repeats from beginning to end with only a brief mid-song pause. All pretty vernacular aside, this is boring. Mike posed the question nicer than “this is boring”, but his question led me down this path. It is boring, after all. His question was “what has developed?” He spoke to another instrument, but it stands for every instrument that simply repeats. The violin is, to me, the most obvious culprit.
Retrograde. This one is harder to explain. Essentially, don’t hate me all you educated musicians out there, you take the beginning and swap it with the end. There are several variations that one can use, rhythm, pitch, both and more. I used pitch retrograde in the violin. I didn’t do a perfect note for note retrograde, but used the general idea to shape the variation on the motif. Again, I did this in the violin.
Breaking Down Orchestration. My music is epic. Almost everyone who has heard my music uses this word to define it at some point. Large orchestration, huge builds, multiple parts. I’m lucky that I can do it as naturally as I do, but, it is not always appropriate. I completely removed the violin ensemble, and the contrabass. They added too little musically and too much in scale. I worked on expression, mostly making instruments quieter, to make the piece feel more balance. I gave instruments already playing more interesting parts instead of adding more instruments on top of what was already happening.
There was more. I hacked it up a lot. And the resulting changes are solid. I’m happy with them. I still don’t think that it is finished, and more edits will certainly be applied. Most of these edits were in the second half of the track, leaving the first half virtually untouched. It makes me think. Real creation doesn’t begin until the rewriting stage anyway.
For today, I’m done. I hope you like it.