Fantasy Composition: The White Shores

This piece is written in a style of a Scottish march. My inspiration is the words of Tolkien; “The Return of the King”, page 1007:

"And the ship ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.”*


Very nice composition. I think the thematic material could have been a bit more compelling with maybe some more tension and chromaticism. Love the orchestration and instrumentation. I am studying stable and unstable tones and the skilled use of that can really make a composition stand out. The sound effects were perfect and mixed extremely well. Overall a real nice piece of work but for me could have been more dramatic in places and maybe more serene in contrasting sections. Congrats on your first entry and I am hoping you will be a regular!

Very beautifull soundtrack!
It seams to me a gentle irish ballade, ideal for fantasy music!!

The effect in the middle end of the music is to loud for me, I think I faed in and out also, but beautiful music.

Thank you. I will try a remix today.

I agree the tune could be more interesting musically, but then it wouldn’t be as authentic as a Scottish traditional style, which was my intention. I am going to explore more chromatic harmonies in the future, I’m going to continue my advanced musical theory course and continue to work on jazz and complex harmonies and how to use them. There isn’t much drama in the piece, that was all happening outside of the studio in the form of an evacuation from a deadly wildfire and loss of power for most of a week. I’m looking forward to more stability in the studio so I can add more intensity and drama to the music. LOL.

Huge entry. Very Nightnoise flavour. I’m not really sure that more tension is needed as @DJFretburner said. It could be good for the song but could pull it out from the required emotions asked in the contest target.
One thing: I see that you are a flute player, so I hoped that your performance could be more expressive. I mean, It is good, but a little “computer”. Are you using any controller to play directly on your flute? Adding notes on a keyboard or manually is always hard to reach an organic woodwind sound. Also, recording and mixing real audio tracks could result amazing in your case.
Congratulations for your beautiful piece. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Thank you. You are correct that flute is not real, it is a computer. I’ve been under the weather with a cold and asthma, so I played the flute part on this recording. I don’t believe any string or woodwind sounds done via computer by way of a keyboard ever sound “real” myself. Next time I will try to record myself on something other than piano.

I love the melody and composition, Suzanne. As I’m a a big folk fan it’s always nice to hear something ‘folky’ around. :slight_smile:

But still I have some constructive criticism if you don’t mind:

  • The trombone (or horn?) coming in at 0:33 sounds a little too close to the mic. I would give it some more room, maybe with a little reverb and also played a little more dynamic.
  • I’m feeling that there’s a little too much vibrato on the flutes, especially on the short notes but as a flute player you should better than me about the ideal amount of vibrato on flutes. :sweat_smile:

I really don’t want to discourage you because I think the arrangement and idea is really nice! :slight_smile: It really takes me back to the beautiful time I had in my vacations in Scotland and Ireland. :heart:

Real nice piece Suzanne! I think you hit the right feel and sound, a calm but fantasy adventure spirit. I love Celtic music and it always has that fantasy vibe to it. Wonder why that is?

My critique, as others have pointed out (and I always have the same problem :grin:) is to make sure to add modulation (dynamics) to the parts to give it a more realistic ebbing/peaking flow and a bit more reverb to create more space. Other than that, as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, I think a more ambient, meandering structure is good for this style–more of a “watch the scenery unfold as you walk down the forest path” and you did that well.

Hope all is well and to hear more of your music in the future!

Thank you! I wasn’t quite finished with my work when I submitted it. I lost over a week of time to complete my detailing because a horrific wildfire that burned a third of our town forced me out if my home and upon return I had no power for several days. I will continue to work on this tune, though and appreciate the insights.

Thank you!
Your insights are helpful.
The instruments I used are all samples and I would have made other choices had I more time to work out details. I lost over a week of precious time just before I needed to submit the work, so it is a WIP in my mind. I certainly don’t like that flute sound! Thank you, your suggestions will help me to take this tune over the finish line now!

Really nice and I like the instrumentation. Very beautiful.

Sorry to hear about the wildfire. I live in western Nevada and there have been so many wildfires this year. I hope your home stayed safe.

My only critique which was already mentioned was the trombone. I like the melody it plays, but the sound of it contrasted with the sound of the other instruments. Might help to soften it with some reverb, but I think a different trombone sample that sounds both softer and “brassy-er” would be best.

Thank you, Mike!
This tune is just a WIP, I ran out of time to do what I would have liked. The brass is a French horn not a trombone, but it needs some EQ attention and perhaps a bit more reverb. EQ would help the sound settle into the mix better.
You must live near me, I live right on the border of W. Nevada in the East Sierra. Too many wildfires here…
Stay safe and best of luck with your music!
Suzanne W

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Ah, I thought it sounded like it “wanted” to be a french horn, but the instrument sample seemed to have more of a trombone quality.

Yes indeed and exactly why it needed a bit of EQ treatment. I am continuing to work on it, though.