Fantasy Music: Once Upon A Day

Greetings my fellow composers!

Dry season?
Oh boy, now I understand what it means. Been struggling for the past months to create basically anything new. Luckily we have these contests over here to help on these issues :slight_smile: Not really sure how this turned out but I’ll let you decide it on my behalf.

Let’s talk about the entry / song:

My vision and aim was to present one full day (24h) in some imaginary / fantasy village like Shire, Woodshroom, Hawksmoor or Ballycommon by using the presented keywords: Soft & Dreamy, Smooth & Beautiful, Enchanting & Magical in some of the context.

Song is starting with a very simple intro which leads the listener to the 4/4 triplet feel where the whole song pretty much sits. The actual theme starts from Night section presenting the Enchanting & Magical. Night turns to Morning where the Soft & Dreamy kicks in. Day brings on the table something playful until Evening starts leading into Night. The day finally ends to Night.

Well… structure and melodies were the easy part. I’ve never struggled with mixing this much. I lost the direction and balance countless of times. Still, once again, very good learning session although very painful.

Thanks for listening and feel free to drop any kind of feedback!



Magical feeling Riku. It would sound perfect in a short film :+1: :+1:
Only one thing. The computer sound (like a harp) around 2:00 , in my opinion breaks the folky mood created by the other instruments.
I love the final voices. Beautiful :clap: :clap:

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Hi Vicente,

Thanks for the kind words and honest feedback as usual!

That “computer” sound is a short SID run. The part is kinda playful so I thought that I could add a little bit more spice and interest with an unorthodox sound / effect. Eager to hear what others think. Hit or Miss?


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I imagine that for other person, that could be the sparkling moment. :wink:

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Really beautiful.

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Riku - wow, lot’s of creativity here! Well done. I like the smooth and dreamy bits the most. The computer bits add to the fun of the folksy instruments and rhythms.


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I find that I really am impressed by your use of orchestration, that was an incredibly lush arrangement. However I am not feeling any hooks here, nothing in particular grabs my interest. You listen to Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and one of all my all time favorites Gentle Giant especially and they had hooks all over the place. Sometimes you have to listen more complex pieces like yours repeatedly to find the hooks but in a contest you have to get the listeners interest now. I had a brilliant musician/vocalist/composer/director/producer explain show tunes to me: You only get one chance (usually) to have the song played in the musical so it has to have a hook that grabs your attention right away and keeps it, this is more than background music or ambient, it is an important part of the show and has meaningful lyrics. I think that is true of just about any piece of music, it has to explain to listeners why this piece of music is important, memorable and worth listening to. I would advise everyone to spend the vast majority of their time working on the thematic material to make it as interesting as possible. Try this - figure out which track should have focus and solo it. Does it stand out by itself? Frankly I think the reason why Eric Clapton got to be such a great soloist is that I read he practiced a lot by himself without a backup band or backing tracks. His ideas had to stand up by themselves without benefit of drums or bass. That’s what I am shooting for anyway.

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This 24-Hour-Thing is a very nice Idea and I think you really nailed it! :slight_smile:

Btw: I like that run @VSHDEL mentioned, it adds some unexpected spice to the song… But as somebody who grew up to the sound of C64 games it triggers some kind of sentimental feeling. :smiley:

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Very beautiful! I like the way the music changes, becomes more upbeat during the day and slows down for night. The synthetic sound at 2:00 sounds just fine to me.

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Hi Gary!

This was really good feedback IF I understood it correctly. Well, whether I understood it correctly or not, it really made me to do a kind of self-reflection on my compositions so far.

I’ve already mentioned somewhere that I really like hooks or catchy simple melodies and I was in an assumption that I’ve got something in here. Not the best ones but clearly some. What I noticed that if I do sketching with a keyboard type of instrument, I tend to focus too much on chord progressions which leads to that there are lot of different parts but those are not really flowing from one to another too smoothly. At the same time as I want to keep the song fresh with changes, there’s really no room or time to introduce any hooks or lead melodies properly. On the contrary, if I use guitar as a sketching tool, my songs tend to be more “in line” or simple with different parts and it seems easier to introduce some melodies (not even close to artists that you mentioned but on my personal scale). These thoughts led to another and so on… I could continue but it’s really hard to nail all the thoughts exactly in English.

Thanks for the feedback! I know it was about hooks but it gave me much more than that!

@Fish @brandowalk Thanks for the kind words and listening the tune!

@Robin @Chris_Fassl Nice to hear that you could connect the ideas to the song itself. Thanks for listening!

You probably noticed I voted for you. Obviously when I revisited the entries I definitely feel was one of the top five and others agreed too! Congrats.