Out in the Country

I wanted to write a majestic piece of music influenced by the country and bluegrass I am rehearsing with my partner in the Fabulous Gary and Kelly Duo. Frankly I am a big fan of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and it was Keith Emerson who first inspired me to start writing music like this. They famously covered Hoedown by Aaron Copland so I am definitely influenced by musicians who are eclectic, experimental and are innovative. Since I was studying reels, pentatonic scales, mandolin technique, country guitar solos and banjo rolls at the time it was fun to put together a piece of music that reflected those efforts. It was definitely fun to see if I could put together a majestic piece based on those elements.

Out in the Country is in the Key of D, tempo is 85 and I used 34 tracks. This included server different type of violin articulations from the PreSonus Presence Software Synthesizer, a banjo synth as well as banjo samples, Sample Tank penny whistle, various type of drums, Modo Bass, and BBC Symphony Orchestra from Spitfire Audio. I also used some ambient samples to includes sounds that you would expect to hear out in the country. Out in the Country was the working title and I almost changed it until I realized that out and in were opposites and it seemed pretty funny to use the two together like that so it stayed. The DAW I used was Studio One 5 pro, my Cyberpower AMD Ryzen 5 gaming machine and my recently acquired Gibson Les Paul Slash model - which is truly an amazing guitar.


I like the diverse instrumentation in here and the funny animal sounds, it makes things interesting. The parrallel intervals with the brass is cool but maybe you could experiment with adding some contrary motion at the tail end of the phrase or interspersed instead of keeping it all parallel (just my taste). I thought it was interesting how the flute was playing a hard swing feel but then it moves to a slightly more straight feel. I think you could vary the articulations (more slurs and subtle articulations) more especially with the flute so it doesn’t sound too “toungy”.

Thanks for your feedback, really appreciate it. Great observations. I will have some feedback for you too.

Man, a banjo and pizzicato strings playing together, followed by a harmonica! This piece just made me smile the whole time. I love the blending of different styles, worlds, instruments, and animals. Very unique piece!

Thanks, I really appreciate it and feedback like that really makes the whole effort worth doing.

Some creative ideas here. Not sure I understand the mix of genres presented but it is something fresh to my ears. So congrats on presenting something new sounding.

A lot of my compositions are influenced by bands like Emerson and Palmer, the Nice, Yes, Jethro Tull etc. The challenge to me was how to get country/bluegrass music to sound majestic because on it’s own I would not call it a majestic genre. So the idea was to take some of the pentatonic major ideas and use them with orchestral instrumentals and the intersperse that with folk instruments. A pretty ambitious project and if I had more time might have listened more to Keith Emerson, Aaron Copland and some other composers that used folk music themes. I’ve always wanted to be innovative and play stuff new ways, I’ve been like this since I picked up classical guitar at age 10 or 11 and started trying to write my own stuff. My first public performance at age 12 in 1967 was a fusion of rock and classical. So that’s just my personality. At this stage in my life it is too late to change! Thanks for your review, very helpful.

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Hey Gary. Very enjoyable song. Huge banjo and guitar :raised_hands:
Personally I can’t see any majestic evocation in it. :man_shrugging:
But I had a great time listening and imagine that you did composing it.

Well I do run my compositions past a friend who has been a musician since the 1960’s, a professional musician too, has a degree in music from San Jose State College, an assistant professor at Foothill College in Los Altos California, probably one of the two best Junior Colleges in the state, an authority on many forms of music and an accomplished composer herself and she had no problems seeing how it fit the criteria of Majestic Music. I did have fun putting it together and thank you for the compliment on the guitar and banjo. Thank you for your feedback. I do like things that are different, innovative and off the beaten path so that’s the risk I run in a competition like this is that my music might have limited appeal. I think that will correct itself as time goes on and I get more experience as I am really new to this, have only been doing this type of music for maybe three or four months now. Thanks for your feedback, it is extremely valuable. Good luck to you! I hope you do well.

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I’ll definitely want your feedback for my next entry! Promise me you will review, maybe even ahead of the deadline! Thanks

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In the last months I had the policy of listening to all the entries in a row, after the deadline, because I tought it would be the fairest way to evaluate them with justice. But, when the Morricone contest were in progress I realize that giving tips before, would give the contestants the possibility to upgrade their entries. Maybe not everybody have the time or the interest to apply the tips, but I did it and it worked for me. So then, I decided to write my feedbacks before the deadline. Simply, this last month I’ve been too busy for different reasons, but now my intention is to review the entries as soon as they are uploaded, when I find the time.

Thanks! I’ll review yours also. Look forward to hearing your next composition.