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Old 08-05-2020, 04:34 AM   #201
Galadriel55
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Quick note:
- Credits with portraits sound like a nice option

- Good call saving the chords! That might have been a close call. For me it doesn't matter if they are on English or Russian lyrics, but that's another little side project. ^.^

- Don't change H and B! Lora uses H to indicate B natural, and B for B flat. She has both in the chords in one place or another. I am not actually sure what the rule is for H, but I figured out how she uses it. Doesn't mean both are needed, just so long as B□ (H) and Bb (B) stay different.
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:42 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
- Don't change H and B! Lora uses H to indicate B natural, and B for B flat. She has both in the chords in one place or another. I am not actually sure what the rule is for H, but I figured out how she uses it. Doesn't mean both are needed, just so long as B□ (H) and Bb (B) stay different.
Currently I'm changing both. Oh, all right, I'll switch them back. I've added a note to explain, too.

hS
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Old 08-05-2020, 05:04 AM   #203
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Currently I'm changing both. Oh, all right, I'll switch them back. I've added a note to explain, too.

hS
As long as they are somehow separate and recognizable, doesn't matter to me how they are written - just wanted to make sure they don't become the same chord!
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:14 PM   #204
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Duel: The dress rehearsal, or something. The (hopefully) second to last progress report.

I am not finished fleshing out the last part, but I made sure to put at least a sketch of the melody until the finish so that you have something to work with for timing and such while I finish up the details. A few things I wanted to ask about:

1. What do you think of Emo vs Rock God styles? I tried to preserve Emo's whispering on "that's fear that fills your heart" and "your words are dangerous", which I think sounds more threatening - but I'm not sure if it's doable. However, I like Rock God's shameless glee on "take warning and beware", so I stuffed him in right next to the whisper. But all of this is subject to change. Do you have any preference on Sauron?

2. I had Finrod bust a string or drop his harp or something after "your ending in its coldness" where his melody is abruptly cut off. Is it better with the blip, or with his part just ending in silence? Also, the blip is now in tune, but I can make it purposefully off tune, like if he headdesked the keyboard.

3. And right after the blip - "guilty is your soul etc" - to slow down or not to slow down? I cannot control the extent of the slowing, only the start and stop. I can't tell it to slow down gradually over the course of the stanza, unfortunately.

4. Still working on Sauron's final lines - I know they don't sound quite right, but not sure how so. I will listen to Rock God tomorrow to try and fix this, cause his melody is cleaner than Emo's.

5. Any points on rhythm? How do you sing things? Anything that needs shifting to make it more comfortable? Sauron's sections have become especially rhythmic, but easy to change if they feel uncomfortable.

6. As per usual - anything else?



I feel like recording these progresses has become less fun as the Duel got longer. Now it's more and more listening through old material for every precious second of new stuff. :/ I will be very happy when I am finally done this piece. It's a flippin SIX AND A HALF MINUTES!
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:32 AM   #205
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WOOOO! I get what you mean about listening to all the old parts again, but I've mostly listened to them with vocals over the top. I just listened to the whole thing unadorned, and it's really good! I should be able to record a copy tonight (maybe even at lunchtime; we'll see.)

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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
1. What do you think of Emo vs Rock God styles? ... Do you have any preference on Sauron?
I like him switching back and forth. This is Sauron, after all, whose overtures to Erebor were 'it would be so kind of you if you'd tell me about this Hobbit OR SUFFER'.

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2. I had Finrod bust a string or drop his harp or something after "your ending in its coldness" where his melody is abruptly cut off. Is it better with the blip, or with his part just ending in silence? Also, the blip is now in tune, but I can make it purposefully off tune, like if he headdesked the keyboard.
Hmm. I really like the fact that this is an unforced error by Finrod - in my head Sauron cuts him off, but he doesn't! Finrod just falters. I think either silence or an explicit dischord would work; but if you like the current blip, I can work with it (it would take an "--ah!" quite nicely).

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3. And right after the blip - "guilty is your soul etc" - to slow down or not to slow down?
I like the slowdown! Keep it.

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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
4. Still working on Sauron's final lines - I know they don't sound quite right, but not sure how so. I will listen to Rock God tomorrow to try and fix this, cause his melody is cleaner than Emo's.
I've had to go over that a few times to figure out where things fall, and I'm still not 100% on it, so this would be good.

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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
5. Any points on rhythm? How do you sing things? Anything that needs shifting to make it more comfortable? Sauron's sections have become especially rhythmic, but easy to change if they feel uncomfortable.

6. As per usual - anything else?
Nothing else! Sauron's accompaniment being aggressively rhythmic is perfect for his part in the Music, and it's not like it keeps me from adding twiddles to the vocals if they seem suitable.

This is really good. I can't wait to fit it all together and just sit back for nearly 7 minutes of Duel of Song.

EDIT:

A draft recording. There's a few lines I know I need to change, but I'm also not sure on the timing of the crossovers. 'Yes!' and 'Answer me first' seem to fall strangely; where should they go?

(I've also noticed an increased buzzing from the microphone; I should be able to filter that out.)

hS

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Old 08-06-2020, 05:18 PM   #206
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Hmm. I really like the fact that this is an unforced error by Finrod - in my head Sauron cuts him off, but he doesn't! Finrod just falters. I think either silence or an explicit dischord would work; but if you like the current blip, I can work with it (it would take an "--ah!" quite nicely).
Well, yes, and I had an internal debate about that. See, the chord technically belongs to Sauron. But then when I put the flute's note, it sounded a bit like a string snap, and musically it was appealing to make it so - but you're right, content-wise it doesn't make sense for Finrod to stumble, that's not the reason he loses. So The chord has to return to Sauron. I tried a few experimental cuts (copy pasted the "I don't accept you --> cowards in the dark" section and played with the chord). The volume of the tune got messed up in the pasting, don't mind that, but the chord in question is fine, which is what matters. In order, the versions are:

1. What I have now: high and loud
2. High and soft
3. Low and loud
4. Low and soft
5. Absent - Finrod just goes silent

I think I actually like #4 better (at 0:55 on the recording) - except that it insists on playing the tuba note twice, which it's not supposed to do, but I can't remove the glitch, so pretend it's just a single looong chord. It's threateningly quiet, and very clearly Sauron.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
Nothing else! Sauron's accompaniment being aggressively rhythmic is perfect for his part in the Music, and it's not like it keeps me from adding twiddles to the vocals if they seem suitable.

This is really good. I can't wait to fit it all together and just sit back for nearly 7 minutes of Duel of Song.
This is one of the things that kind of scares me. Like, how dare I try to replicate a Song of Power, forget about a Song of (mal)Creation? (Feeble imitation of Creation's first design - how can such as you hope to transcribe a single line? Aaaaah!) So I am very glad you like it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
A draft recording. There's a few lines I know I need to change, but I'm also not sure on the timing of the crossovers. 'Yes!' and 'Answer me first' seem to fall strangely; where should they go?
Didn't see the edit when it came! But also probably wouldn't have been able to look at it anyways until now, today was a ridiculously busy day.

Your Sauron is really relishing the evil! ^.^ And when you get to the "guilty is your soul" stanza, it is downright scary. Holy smokes! And your timbre is perfect for Finrod. They are both very alive in my imagination as I am listening. I love it!

With regards to the timing:
- "Yes!" is exactly right. I thought I'd put the upgoing arpegio leading up to it as a cue after the slow-down. I guess it worked?
- "Only to destroy" is technically a smidge late but within the realm of artistic license - not sure if intentional
- "Answer me first": the way I hear it, it starts earlier and goes faster, so "first" falls on where you have "me". However, what you have sounds more deliberate, whereas my internal meter was more strictly rhythmic. I could actually slow down / drag out the notes to match your singing, because why not, we can do whatever to the music! "Why does your black etc" still starts on time, so it comes out to the same thing. The question is how fast / precise / rhythmic that phrase should go.


I don't think I have the energy today to revisit the ending, it will have to keep. Also, I am being distracted and wasting my remaining time by listening to "There is only one" onwards over and over again, it sounds amazing! (My new favourite sung line is now "that's fear that fills your heart". Perfect! )
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:38 PM   #207
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Very late, so very quick: please don't change 'answer me first'! I thought it should be quicker but couldn't see how; with that prompt I shall revisit.

Full reply tomorrow.

hS
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:06 PM   #208
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If it's any help, this is what I have up on the score right now (attached).


ETA: "...fear that's only felt by slaves and cowards in the dark!..." - it just gets better. Still going on repeat. ^.^
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Finrod Answer Me First.jpg (85.7 KB, 37 views)
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:38 PM   #209
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The (totally not) Last Chapter

I was gonna call this version final, but I think a more apt term is the Completed Version. It is still subject to edits - namely the finish and the "blip" chord, and anything else that comes up.

(Just to illustrate how ridiculous the length of this song is, I set it to record and went for a bathroom break. And a snack. Then cleaned the kitchen counters. Then did a mini-stretch. Then looked through a couple emails. And it was still going! I felt like I'm in that episode of Doctor Who where 11 tries to live Amy and Rory's normal life, gets bored out of his mind, and does a week's worth of chores in an hour...)

As it happens, all my roommates are out tonight, so I have the house to myself, which means singing galore! By the time it occurred to me to record I was nice and hoarse again. ^.^ I experimented with recording in Audacity, but I guess my computer has a bad microphone (which TBH I suspected before) - the quality is really awful. So it was back to the phone. I gave up trying to sing Finrod low, which means a lot of mouse-squeaking.

Singing the words from memory
Under the light of lamp and moon,
I sing the high-pitched melody
Raising a squeak to make the tune!


... It wasn't strength Finrod needed to raise, it was the high notes.


But singing this out loud brings another question. I re-accented Feanor to sound as FEY-a-nor. Should I do that with Sauron as well? In English I would also pronounce him with the stress on the first syllable.



NOW. I am REALLY excited about doing a different song next week - perhaps something slightly less existential for a change. So it's back to the question of what to do next. Was there anything you wanted to hear sung/played? Or anything you wanted to draw next? Or a character you wanted to reproduce in any form?

Here is what I will NOT do next.
- Anything with Sauron. Much as I'm tempted by Elves and Minions and Luthien, if I do him again without a break it won't go well.
- Prison Duet. I don't feel up to another existential crisis from Finrod quite yet.
- Meeting of Beren and Luthien. Long, and goes through a bunch of mood swings. Will save for later, when I restock my musical inspiration and energy a little. It will be super fun to sing when it gets done though!
- Luthien&Feanorians/Hatred, which kinda flows as one in my mind. Too long and too many characters involved. The next piece has to be something simpler. (Though on second thought if I do them separately they are both doable - and I can even hear what I want to do for Hatred when I get to that part).

Everything else is up for grabs! I have little inklings of ideas for a whole bunch of songs. Take your pick.




EDIT: also listened to Thingol and Melian again with computer speakers rather than earphones. Is it my speakers, or does my recording also go into the poor quality zone on all the higher notes? I don't think it sounded so bad with the earphones. Is the sound quality dirty on your end as well? That was recorded on my phone, in my car (the quietest place I could find where I also wouldn't be disturbing anyone). I could try some alternative arrangements, see if holding the phone differently or doing it indoors would help clean it up.
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Old 08-08-2020, 04:12 PM   #210
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Well, I spent most of the evening doing it, but I do have a video of The Complete Duel at last.

This gift was given you to free you from your chains...

Unfortunately I think the visuals have a half-second slip in the middle section ; I shall fix it in the morning.

But! It's done! And it looks like I wanted it to and sounds even better!

I think my favourite instrumental line, at least of the newer bits, is 'That gift was granted you' etc. It's just played so perfectly.

Sadly I've discovered that fuzzy vocals are pretty impossible to fix. I don't think there's anything too offensive in either song, so.

For the next song... dare I suggest 'something with female vocals'? Galadriel's first song I know has a relatively simple structure, as does the Tonguelashing Aria. Or there's either of Amarie's, but Heart may be a bit too Finrod-existential for you if played as a duet. Probably avoid the Epilogue, since it does its best to be all the songs.

hS
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Old 08-08-2020, 06:04 PM   #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
Well, I spent most of the evening doing it, but I do have a video of The Complete Duel at last.

This gift was given you to free you from your chains...

Unfortunately I think the visuals have a half-second slip in the middle section ; I shall fix it in the morning.

But! It's done! And it looks like I wanted it to and sounds even better!
That is fantastic! Sauron is really creepy in the end. It's brilliant. I love that Valinor disappears for good not with Sauron's pushing, but with Finrod's admission of guilt - or failure to maintain its presence. And then the light passing from one to the other as they snatch the music away from each other.

I showed the video to my neighbour, who I am trying to convince to read Tolkien. She really liked it, and said the graphic were really cool. Do you think it's possible to do subtitles? I think it's easier to follow that way for people who haven't learned the lyrics by heart yet. :P

I am so happy this piece is actually done!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
For the next song... dare I suggest 'something with female vocals'? Galadriel's first song I know has a relatively simple structure, as does the Tonguelashing Aria. Or there's either of Amarie's, but Heart may be a bit too Finrod-existential for you if played as a duet. Probably avoid the Epilogue, since it does its best to be all the songs.
Galadriel and Melian are both very doable. And those songs have a male part in them as well, so we both would get to participate. If you don't have a preference between the two, I might just flip a coin.


In related news, I've been updating the first post with the important links for easy reference. It's been getting harder for me to find the right links in the thread, and it would be pretty much impossible for new people viewing the thread without digging through 6 pages of editing. I figured we need a table of contents of sorts.



EDIT: just noticed the portraits / credits at the end. I really like the costumes!!! They should absolutely be included!!!
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:17 PM   #212
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Final-final version (for now). I've finally managed to synch the timings up correctly on the animations, and have added the full English subtitles. The previous version is obsolete and, in fact, deleted. (And yes, this means your table of contents needs updating...!)

At some point I'll put up a 'final' version of Thingol and Melian's duet, with its own credits card (and possibly slightly more graphics). Then I can clear up all the partial videos and add both of them to the Libretto.

I'm really pleased with how this turned out! I'm still in awe of your accompaniment-writing abilities; it sounds incredible.

A note on "only to destroy" - I went back and rerecorded it while putting the video together, but, er... it synched up perfectly with the version I already had. ^_^; Clearly Fate wants me to sing it that way. (I did fix "Answer me first", though, which makes me feel much better.)

I will leave the choice between Galadriel and Melian up to you. Either sounds fun from my end, and you're the one doing the bulk of the work...!

hS
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:58 PM   #213
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Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
Final-final version (for now). I've finally managed to synch the timings up correctly on the animations, and have added the full English subtitles. The previous version is obsolete and, in fact, deleted. (And yes, this means your table of contents needs updating...!)
Updated! Happy to update as many times as needed. That's what it's for.

Also, "final", "final 1", "really final", "I swear this time for real final" are all acceptable in this kind of work. :P


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
I'm really pleased with how this turned out! I'm still in awe of your accompaniment-writing abilities; it sounds incredible.
Heh, thanks. Who knew that my for-pleasure-and-enrichment-only keyboard lessons and a couple years of school band would actually come in handy years later?

Reflecting on the process, though, I feel like I spend a lot of time perfecting small details which aren't even heard very well with the singing over top. I keep forgetting that the singing is supposed to be the pinnacle of the piece, and what I hear on the instrumental is not the perfect and completed music, it's just supposed to be the background to the main thing. Maybe I should start doing things in broader strokes and rely more on the singing to get the subtleties across. Dunno. Will see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
A note on "only to destroy" - I went back and rerecorded it while putting the video together, but, er... it synched up perfectly with the version I already had. ^_^; Clearly Fate wants me to sing it that way. (I did fix "Answer me first", though, which makes me feel much better.)
I like it! It flows very naturally. Would you like me to change the music to match? I think it sounds just fine as it is, but it's a quick change to make if you prefer them to synch up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
I will leave the choice between Galadriel and Melian up to you. Either sounds fun from my end, and you're the one doing the bulk of the work...!
Hey! I like to think of it as a shared investment.

My friend (the one cheering us on from the stands - and btw who volunteered to try some of the female parts as well. I should get her to pick a Tolkien nick so I can refer to her by name here...) sent me a link today of the metal version of Lament with the voices very quiet, so it's almost like an instrumental. She says it's not ideal, but good to practice with. I took that as fate's cue to start working on Galadriel.

(Here is the link: https://inkompmusic.ru/?song=%D0%A4%...29+%28minus%29)


It is my plan, however, to eventually get all of the songs done. Even if it takes me a year. (3 weeks max ◊ 20 something songs... yeah...). Unless I actually get someone to help me out with the music.
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Old 08-09-2020, 01:40 PM   #214
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Updated!
Duet of Thingol and Melian, mediofinal version. With snazzed-up graphics, as promised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
Heh, thanks. Who knew that my for-pleasure-and-enrichment-only keyboard lessons and a couple years of school band would actually come in handy years later?

Reflecting on the process, though, I feel like I spend a lot of time perfecting small details which aren't even heard very well with the singing over top. I keep forgetting that the singing is supposed to be the pinnacle of the piece, and what I hear on the instrumental is not the perfect and completed music, it's just supposed to be the background to the main thing. Maybe I should start doing things in broader strokes and rely more on the singing to get the subtleties across. Dunno. Will see.
I've been facing the same question on the graphics, specifically the backdrops. I'm sure I could draw a better Doriath, but... well, it's background, and the graphics are only there to give the song something to be over anyway.

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I like it! It flows very naturally. Would you like me to change the music to match? I think it sounds just fine as it is, but it's a quick change to make if you prefer them to synch up.
Well, I was singing to what felt right over the music, so probably best to leave it (lest I get really confused).

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My friend (the one cheering us on from the stands - and btw who volunteered to try some of the female parts as well. I should get her to pick a Tolkien nick so I can refer to her by name here...)
It's so nice to know someone else is listening. ^_^ Speaking of names, I finally got around to asking my wife which name I should use, and we're going with Celebestel. (Three female vocalists... gracious, that's practically a full cast!)

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It is my plan, however, to eventually get all of the songs done. Even if it takes me a year. (3 weeks max ◊ 20 something songs... yeah...). Unless I actually get someone to help me out with the music.
We'll make it! And by 'we' I mean 'you'll sweat over the songs and I'll muck about in Paint Shop'. ^_~

hS
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Old 08-09-2020, 05:28 PM   #215
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Duet of Thingol and Melian, mediofinal version. With snazzed-up graphics, as promised.
Link updated. I like the stars-and-flowers, it's a lovely design. Gives Doriath a magical feel. Melian lights up the place with her magical fairy-lights. ^.^

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I've been facing the same question on the graphics, specifically the backdrops. I'm sure I could draw a better Doriath, but... well, it's background, and the graphics are only there to give the song something to be over anyway.
Well - I'm not sure I completely agree. After all, this is a rock opera, not a choir. It implies a visual component. Originally that would be the acting and stage set up etc, but in the online medium, that's the graphics. I wouldn't discount the visual effects so much, they have a pretty important role in making things "sound right".

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It's so nice to know someone else is listening. ^_^ Speaking of names, I finally got around to asking my wife which name I should use, and we're going with Celebestel. (Three female vocalists... gracious, that's practically a full cast!)
That's a very graceful name! Maybe the next song should be Amarie so that she can get to use it.

Yeah, for a musical with NO overlapping female parts and TONS of overlapping male parts we have the perfect voice range ratio... Maybe for some of Beren/Finrod's duets I'll take one of them. After all, I don't think all of Finrod's songs are in a weird range for me.

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We'll make it! And by 'we' I mean 'you'll sweat over the songs and I'll muck about in Paint Shop'. ^_~
We all muck about in our own media... Now, gotta get mucking about with the Lament if I want to get anywhere.
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:26 PM   #216
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Link updated. I like the stars-and-flowers, it's a lovely design. Gives Doriath a magical feel. Melian lights up the place with her magical fairy-lights. ^.^
I tried not to make them too covered-in-glittery; the fact that you saw flowers says I pulled it off.

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That's a very graceful name! Maybe the next song should be Amarie so that she can get to use it.
She's had it for many years, but it's been a long time since I've had opportunity to write it.

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Yeah, for a musical with NO overlapping female parts and TONS of overlapping male parts we have the perfect voice range ratio... Maybe for some of Beren/Finrod's duets I'll take one of them. After all, I don't think all of Finrod's songs are in a weird range for me.
Hmm... if you were able to sing Beren, and your friend did Luthien, we'd actually have a viable cast for everything except the Brothers Feanorion. (Of course, we can also sing it with whoever we want, then go hunting for other singers for a Consistent Version.)

Off to ponder backdrops.

hS
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:28 AM   #217
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My initial plan was to be finished the Lament tonight, but call shifts got in the way. I would say I am over half wah through. I'm doing it out of order and have patches of music here and there, so it's hard to tell. Should still be done by the end of the week.

Also, two weeks into my formal surgery rotation, I finally met a CelNCurlike surgeon.
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:57 AM   #218
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I'm at about the same point: I have a coloured but not shaded backdrop, and a sketched Galadriel I want to replace. Other than that I think everything is ready, but nothing put together.

Looking forward to this one!

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Old 08-13-2020, 05:55 AM   #219
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The primary backdrop for the Lament (well... sort of). Galadriel is standing on the Blue Mountains, looking out over Beleriand. I've also got a Galadriel sketch I'm happy with, so we're well on our way.

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Old 08-13-2020, 10:53 AM   #220
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I sm behind schedule. I have the first two stanzas and "chorus", Seashore is mostly done, Glory needs to be redone/finished, half of Loyalty, and most of Death. And an intro, a heavily abbreviated version of V1. Bad news is I will not be able to work on it today, so that's another delay in the process.


I like the sunset in your picture. Very thematic.
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:28 PM   #221
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Progress Report

Today I set my goal to fill in the gaps in the music so that it's not a snatch here and a snatch there, and I'd be able to give you something to work with that way. Here is is: Lament up until the Death stanza. Looks like it's gonna be another 7 minuter. This one is my fault though, for including a 1:40 long intro - and that was abbreviated from what it could have been had I stuck to V1's beginning faithfully! Is this masochism? Maybe. But actually I really enjoyed doing the extra stuff, and the song itself is easier than the Duel. It doesn't have to be existentially earth-rendering, just pretty and only slightly thematic. So, that's the basics. Loyalty and Death both need to be reinforced a little, but the structure is there.

Points to discuss:
1. Should Galadriel sing low, as in V1, or high, as in V2? (sorry about the super bad quality!) I imagine LOTR Galadriel with a lower voice. However, if I am to be the one doing the singing, I feel more comfortable with the higher octave (as evidenced by my repeated failure to land the melody in the low version), and as a result I think it sounds better. But with practice I can get the lower octave to work as well.

2. Not sure I like the obnoxiously military trumpet just after "why was so appealing your prize". The Glory stanza might have to be updated.

3. I was gonna keep the refrains the same. But I couldn't have Finrod sing to trumpet just after it was accompanying Glory. So Finrod's lines were re-done and ended up quite "full" and elaborate. But I kept Galadriel's part unchanged - does it sound bare in comparison?

4. A question for the future: I like whichever version has Finrod and Galadriel sing the last part "But at the end of loss etc" together, rather than Galadriel alone. What do you think?


Seems like my computer was having none of it today. It kept recording its own notifications!


PS: I first saw your picture while at work, very briefly, and the details must not have registered. It only stuck me now that this is Finrod's Tol Sirion and Minas Tirith - or perhaps Tol-in-Gaurhoth! I would facepalm at myself if I wasn't so excited about all the little details pieced together.
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Old 08-15-2020, 05:36 AM   #222
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Oh, lovely! I think you've done a great job here.

1/ I would go with 'whatever you can sing'. If you can hit the low version, great; if not, the high sounds fine to me.

2/ I see what you mean, but I Am Not A Music; do what you think best.

3/ I don't think so, no. But again, IANAM.

4/ YES YES DUET PLEASE. Ahem. Sorry, but I vastly prefer that version. ^_^ I've got the pictures all ready for it and all.

I've thrown together a first pass of the graphics; because I'm splicing a music+vocals to a music-alone, the sound is a little jagged in places; when it's all finished I know you'll send a bare vocals, so this is just a 'progress problem'. (Having this will make it much easier to synch the vocals up, so it's also a Progress Solution!) I managed to get rid of one of the Windows pings, but the other was on a key beat so I had to leave it.

A couple of the transitions in the video are a bit off; I'll fix them on the final version, fear not.

The intro is currently mostly just a static slide. My plan is to run through all of the primary backgrounds for the later songs, as I've done with the Dungeon and Doriath. By the time you finish up the music & vocals I should hopefully have three more (I'm using very similar arches for the Ballad to Amarie and the two halves of Heart, and have them sketched already), so I can fill it out to look 'sparse but decent'. Then when the likes of Nargothrond, Tol Sirion, and Amarie's forest are done, I'll add them in.

On which one question: my thought is to add them in reverse, so it's sort of like we're rewinding through the story. I could also run them forwards instead; any preference?

hS
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Old 08-15-2020, 08:38 AM   #223
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4/ YES YES DUET PLEASE. Ahem. Sorry, but I vastly prefer that version. ^_^ I've got the pictures all ready for it and all.
Seems like we like the same things. I just don't like how Galadriel sings in that one. She ad a clear and beautiful voice - maybe not how I imagine Galadriel, but still very beautiful - but she sings so robotically, like one of those robot book-reading programs. I am not sure if you can tell without knowing what she is singing in Russian, but that's what it sounds like. I was actually basing a lot of the music off her, but went with the blonde Galadriel for style. Anyways - DUET IT IS! :-D That's how I imagine the ending done too.

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I've thrown together a first pass of the graphics; because I'm splicing a music+vocals to a music-alone, the sound is a little jagged in places; when it's all finished I know you'll send a bare vocals, so this is just a 'progress problem'. (Having this will make it much easier to synch the vocals up, so it's also a Progress Solution!) I managed to get rid of one of the Windows pings, but the other was on a key beat so I had to leave it.
That looks absolutely amazing!!! Seriously. It is so good. I love the gradual apparitions.

The splicing actually might be a nice solution actually. I should do a "full piece plus bare vocals" for the future too, maybe. Also probably easier with Galadriel because her "Tell" always falls on the downbeat, no shifts or delays or fancy stuff on the first beat.

The Windows pings will go away when I finish the music and record the final thing. I will make sure my computer doesn't interrupt.

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Originally Posted by Hui
The intro is currently mostly just a static slide. My plan is to run through all of the primary backgrounds for the later songs, as I've done with the Dungeon and Doriath. By the time you finish up the music & vocals I should hopefully have three more (I'm using very similar arches for the Ballad to Amarie and the two halves of Heart, and have them sketched already), so I can fill it out to look 'sparse but decent'. Then when the likes of Nargothrond, Tol Sirion, and Amarie's forest are done, I'll add them in.

On which one question: my thought is to add them in reverse, so it's sort of like we're rewinding through the story. I could also run them forwards instead; any preference?
I like in reverse! Keep it. I love the idea of running through backgrounds for the intro. It's very fitting.

One point though - in the last stanzas, the devices end up blocking the appearance of Sirion and Tol Sirion. I am not sure how to fix the Loyalty stanza, but what if for Death, which has a longer and dark-ish interlude, Tol Sirion with its shadow would appear before the stanza starts? And Sauron completes the picture when the words begin? On the flip hand, though, it would lose the appearance on "shadows"...
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Old 08-16-2020, 08:33 PM   #224
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Still not a final report. But the best I could do for now, and it gives you the time frame to work with for the rest of the melody. I need to make a few tweaks and finish a denouement of sorts - won't be as long as the intro. Should finish early next week.

I have two versions of "But at the end of loss etc", a normal one (first) and one with a slow down (wait a few seconds, it will come). Do you prefer either one? I think I like a slight slow down, but this seems too much. I will try experimenting to see if I can somehow reduce the effect, but as before I can only control when it starts and ends, not the degree to which it slows down. But if that is not feasible - which take do you like best?

Also, are F&G singing the repeat "the joining of our hands", or is it just music echoing them?
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:58 PM   #225
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I have two versions of "But at the end of loss etc", a normal one (first) and one with a slow down (wait a few seconds, it will come). Do you prefer either one? I think I like a slight slow down, but this seems too much. I will try experimenting to see if I can somehow reduce the effect, but as before I can only control when it starts and ends, not the degree to which it slows down. But if that is not feasible - which take do you like best?
I'm going to be honest: I'm not sure I can tell the difference. I thought the first version sounded good, though.

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Also, are F&G singing the repeat "the joining of our hands", or is it just music echoing them?
Up to you! Or it could even just be Galadriel; if we did it that way I'd fade Finrod's picture out during it.

EDIT: Speaking of Finrod, and to show I'm still doing something, I've got what I think is a finish backdrop for... several later songs, actually.

Is this not the wonderous Nargothrond...?



hS

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Old 08-17-2020, 06:32 PM   #226
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The More Or Less Final Version

Tada!!!

I fixed the annoying trumpet, and the volume balance, and the slow-down, and a couple other minor things here and there. And finished the fade-out. I kinda like the bagpipe effect there and at the start - not that I imagine Galadriel with bagpipes, but it sounds cool. I think my favourite stanza overall is Death, it turned out quite well.

I haven't been able to do a test sing-through of the last part to see if anything needs adjusting. So I may change some notes if they feel weird, but it wouldn't affect the length of the piece, so any recordings and visuals won't be affected. Is there any part of the piece that sticks out to you as needing adjustment, or doesn't sit the way you imagined, or anything?

Don't know when I'll be able to do the recording. But at least I have this done so it's not keeping you hanging!


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Up to you! Or it could even just be Galadriel; if we did it that way I'd fade Finrod's picture out during it.
That's an idea! I like that. I'll try it out when I get to recording.

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EDIT: Speaking of Finrod, and to show I'm still doing something, I've got what I think is a finish backdrop for... several later songs, actually.
The backdrop looks fantastic! Or, should I say, wonderous?

I just feel bad that I keep holding us behind. What are you gonna draw when we get to the Nargothrond songs? You'll probably finish the entire art selection before I get a third of the way through. But there is no way I can think of to go faster without either losing the quality of the music or losing the remainder of my already sparse sleep.


Speaking of holding us back - I am afraid there is more of that to come. I have an exam coming up, so I decided to restrict myself in what I will commit to in the next couple weeks. I figured doing a plain repetitive solo is the best way to go, to keep the momentum going but at the same time not take too much time or brainpower so I won't have an excuse to avoid studying. So - should it be FINROD'S BALLAD TO AMARIE, or WIND? Both are viable options, and I can "hear" both of them nicely with a fairly simple instrument array. And after the exam I hope to open up the floor again to a wider selection.
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Old 08-18-2020, 09:02 AM   #227
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I fixed the annoying trumpet, and the volume balance, and the slow-down, and a couple other minor things here and there. And finished the fade-out. I kinda like the bagpipe effect there and at the start - not that I imagine Galadriel with bagpipes, but it sounds cool. I think my favourite stanza overall is Death, it turned out quite well.
I listened and like it! I didn't catch anything that needed changing, though see previous comments on me and music.

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I just feel bad that I keep holding us behind. What are you gonna draw when we get to the Nargothrond songs? You'll probably finish the entire art selection before I get a third of the way through. But there is no way I can think of to go faster without either losing the quality of the music or losing the remainder of my already sparse sleep.
Tchah, none of that! You're doing the hard part, the part that requires focus; I can make sketches at work, it's totally different.

As for Nargothrond specifically: I'll still have all the characters to do, and want to redraw Finrod at some point. Plus the arch design is deliberately to allow me to use them as 'windows', so there's backgrounds to draw there. Plus all the timing on the video, which winds up being the last step of all. Lots to do, I'm just rattling out some of the easy bits.

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Speaking of holding us back - I am afraid there is more of that to come. I have an exam coming up, so I decided to restrict myself in what I will commit to in the next couple weeks. I figured doing a plain repetitive solo is the best way to go, to keep the momentum going but at the same time not take too much time or brainpower so I won't have an excuse to avoid studying. So - should it be FINROD'S BALLAD TO AMARIE, or WIND? Both are viable options, and I can "hear" both of them nicely with a fairly simple instrument array. And after the exam I hope to open up the floor again to a wider selection.
Please don't mess up your exam on account of the musical! It's not like the songs are going to run away.

As ever, you should go with your preference of the songs; but if it's literally a coin toss, I think it would be nice to get our third vocalist into play with Wind. (For which I will have to draw Valinorean landscapes... that should be an interesting challenge. Not sure how I'll do it yet.)

hS
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Old 08-18-2020, 03:41 PM   #228
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I listened and like it! I didn't catch anything that needed changing, though see previous comments on me and music.
Well, I'm not looking for anything like "the D# in bar 78 is out of place" either. Just a general impression, anything that doesn't feel right. If you're happy with how it sounds, that's good enough for me!


Quote:
Tchah, none of that! You're doing the hard part, the part that requires focus; I can make sketches at work, it's totally different.
More like requires time and the use of my computer. I would do it at work if I could.


Quote:
Please don't mess up the musical on account of the exam! It's not like you're gonna fail anyway.
^ Fixed that for you. ^.^ Priorities! But with restrictions.

I will start Wind in the next couple days, but in terms of the timeline I would give it probably 2 weeks. If I don't finish it by then, I will in my post-exam party day. I am actually looking forward a lot to hearing it. As I told you before, I am not a fan of the Russian version for a number of reasons, but I really like the translated version, and it grew on me. I am excited to hear it in English!
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Old 08-19-2020, 05:42 AM   #229
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Can I ask you a favour? For some reason the Russian Libretto site doesn't open on the wifi at the place I'm staying now. I have been relying on your archive for the chords. But Wind is a link to a different section of the site. Could you copy paste the chords here? I can't really start without them.
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:21 AM   #230
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Can I ask you a favour? For some reason the Russian Libretto site doesn't open on the wifi at the place I'm staying now. I have been relying on your archive for the chords. But Wind is a link to a different section of the site. Could you copy paste the chords here? I can't really start without them.
Huh, how odd. No problem, here you go:



(Pictures is easier than keeping their formatting.)

hS
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Old 08-19-2020, 10:31 AM   #231
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Thank you muchly! I will start on that soonish, and hopefully send a recording of the Lament in the next couple days as well.
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:49 PM   #232
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I did several takes of Galadriel, and none of them I am perfectly happy with. I kept either losing the melody or forgetting the words. But here is one that is mostly ok: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jW6...w?usp=drivesdk

I notice when I listen to myself that I tend to swallow syllables when I sing ("your", "but", etc), which I don't hear as I am doing it. In a perfect world I would be taking singing lessons or something to set that straight. Realistically, one day when I have nothing better to do I will dedicate a couple hours a day to singing practice and revising this with a more perfected version - wait, did I say realistically? Never mind.
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Old 08-21-2020, 05:10 PM   #233
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Yay! It sounds absolutely lovely. ^_^

And! After probably a couple of hours poking, I finally have the video ready!

Finrod-Zong: Galadriel's Lament

With subtitles and all!

Featuring a preview of Amarie's forest from Wind, though I did put it in the wrong place (it should be the first 'opening credits image', but wound up the last). I'll fix that when I add more.

There's still a 46-second static screen, but each new backdrop chops 10 seconds off that, so I only need 4 more. Amarie's arches, Luthien's battleground, something for the Sons of Feanor, and... not sure, maybe whatever Truth winds up in front of?

I also have, but have not incorporated, a new sketch of Finrod, which I think comes closer to his appearance. I'll retcon him into the videos at some point (after I've coloured him and so forth).

I really like this song. ^_^ I think my absolute favourite lines are the 'Tell me, Death' verse, because there's some lovely imagery in there that fits beautifully with the music.

hS
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Old 08-21-2020, 05:53 PM   #234
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Squeeeeeee!


It's is amazing. I think it is my favourite song so far, for both the music and imagery and incorporation of everything with the lyrics. And it was a good call to duet the last refrain. It sounds very nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
I really like this song. ^_^ I think my absolute favourite lines are the 'Tell me, Death' verse, because there's some lovely imagery in there that fits beautifully with the music.
Yes, I like that part the best as well. The falling shadow is a nice touch, and I like the music in that verse best. It all fits together very well.

By the way, for future reference, does it help to mark a count of four before the start of a new part to help line up the recording? I meant to make a mention of that in the previous post but it slipped my mind.

Another question for future reference - is there a way to change the volume individually on the pieces of music you gather together? I feel that whenever I record the instrumentals, they sound very quiet, and I always have to up the volume on my computer to listen to it properly. And every time I don't really notice it until the voice then comes along quite louder than expected for the volume of music. It might be a fault in my computer, because the music is quiet even without the added voice, I just compensate for it better. Is there any way to make it louder on my end, do you think? I tried recording with a different volume output set on my computer, but it made no difference.


I am struggling a bit with getting Wind's melody right, but I'll get there eventually. I'll send you the sketch once I get it straight, before I start prettying it up.
ETA: Ha! Spotted the key change. That explains things. I should have looked closer at the chords from the beginning. Well, that cleaned up about 3/4 of the melody. Just a few bars left of those that still aren't fitting even when the key change is accounted for.
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Old 08-21-2020, 09:29 PM   #235
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Ok, finished a rough sketch. Figuring out the key change really helped. I am not sure about the fast notes in the refrain, but fortunately those can be sung and not played, so I might avoid making a mess of them.

The other thing throwing me off was that Amarie sings low, and this is quite a bit higher. But I am fairly confident that the melody doesn't really sit half an octave lower with the chords as written - I tried that and couldn't make it work out. On the flip side, if I go a full octave lower, it gets really low. I am not going to make the mistake I did with the previous songs, so I will pause for a pitch test. It would be easy for me to shift everything down now, before I begin the real thing, to match Amarie's pitch. Can you please ask Celebestel how far she would like the shift to go so that she is in a comfortable range? As in, this is "just right, no shift needed" or "a bit high" or "super high" or "singing an octave lower is just a bit low, shift up" or "make it match whatever Amarie has"? I know this is really vague... But what I can also do is make a bunch of copies and she can pick whichever range suits her best, and I will work with that one.
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Old 08-22-2020, 12:54 PM   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
By the way, for future reference, does it help to mark a count of four before the start of a new part to help line up the recording? I meant to make a mention of that in the previous post but it slipped my mind.
In this case I lined you up on the strong beats in... somewhere around 'brother tall', I think? It really stood out, so it was easy to synch. The trouble with Melian was that she's so relaxed about everything that there are no big strong notes to synch with.

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Another question for future reference - is there a way to change the volume individually on the pieces of music you gather together? I feel that whenever I record the instrumentals, they sound very quiet, and I always have to up the volume on my computer to listen to it properly. And every time I don't really notice it until the voice then comes along quite louder than expected for the volume of music. It might be a fault in my computer, because the music is quiet even without the added voice, I just compensate for it better. Is there any way to make it louder on my end, do you think? I tried recording with a different volume output set on my computer, but it made no difference.
Uh-oh. So yes, I have arbitrary levels of control over the volume of each part, and indeed each part of a part. I routinely drop the vocals by 3 decibels, to keep them from pushing too high. I do try to get them balanced properly... apparently I'm not doing a great job of that.

Okay, this is Audacity's plot of the lament instrumental (top 2 lines) and your vocals (third line). My vocals are of similar volume to yours (you can spot my lines by the gaps). Vertical scale is volume, set to the version on Youtube. Probably the easiest way to sort this is: which part of the instrumental did you intend to be at equal volume to the vocals?

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Ok, finished a rough sketch. Figuring out the key change really helped. I am not sure about the fast notes in the refrain, but fortunately those can be sung and not played, so I might avoid making a mess of them.
Hurrah! I can sing all of this except the first line (and a half, I guess) of the chorus, which are the lines that don't match up with the Russian version anyway. ^_^

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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
I will pause for a pitch test. It would be easy for me to shift everything down now, before I begin the real thing, to match Amarie's pitch. Can you please ask Celebestel how far she would like the shift to go so that she is in a comfortable range?
She tells me it would be most comfortable pushed a tone(/step) or two higher.

hS
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Old 08-22-2020, 01:56 PM   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
In this case I lined you up on the strong beats in... somewhere around 'brother tall', I think? It really stood out, so it was easy to synch. The trouble with Melian was that she's so relaxed about everything that there are no big strong notes to synch with.
Yeah, that's very true. Galadriel synched up perfectly though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
Uh-oh. So yes, I have arbitrary levels of control over the volume of each part, and indeed each part of a part. I routinely drop the vocals by 3 decibels, to keep them from pushing too high. I do try to get them balanced properly... apparently I'm not doing a great job of that.
No, no! I think it's just that I have an idea of what it should sound like in my head, but I don't even know if it's feasible or not, because hearing the music in the earphones as I'm singing creates a weird effect, and my computer speakers suck so even at max volume it is too quiet when I sing along... And as I said the recordings are always super quiet, so even when I put a fff it sounds like a half-hearted mf on the record - for all of the songs. I am not sure what is it with my computer and volume settings.

Listening to it again, I can hear everything that needs hearing in the music (unlike in Duel, where I did the stupid thing and put the pretty bits right in the spots with the loudest vocals, but I learned my lesson). In my head it was louder - but now I am debating whether it is because I didn't balance the volume of the instruments properly, or the quietness of the recording in general. I am not sure if there is any part that needs to be as loud as the vocals (maybe the loud low brass in the intro, at ~1:10 in the video, but not sure). I think it won't hurt from being a tad louder overall. But nothing critical is lost.

I am still getting used to the idea of writing accompaniments, where there is also a line of vocals. I think I am getting better at it. There is a lot to get used to, and this is just one of the things. The lesson from Duel was that if you want a musical line heard, put it in between voice phrases and not during. The lesson from this one is that maybe anything that needs to stand out should be artificially a bit loud, to compensate for the extra volume I don't hear while composing. It's a skill under development.

And Galadriel and Finrod are balanced perfectly. So I think it's not the balancing on your end but maybe the quiet recording on my end that is messing with my perception, and it's just one more thing I need to get used to and account for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
Hurrah! I can sing all of this except the first line (and a half, I guess) of the chorus, which are the lines that don't match up with the Russian version anyway. ^_^
Yeah, I was following the Russian for the sketch - but I will match the real thing to the English. That's what I've been doing so far: listen --> sketch --> adapt...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
She tells me it would be most comfortable pushed a tone(/step) or two higher.
How is this? Bumped up by a minor thrid.
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Old 08-23-2020, 03:05 PM   #238
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
No, no! [&c]
I'm not the world's greatest at filtering background from spoken words, so I may well be pushing the vocals louder than they ought to be. Celebestel has also pointed out the obvious fact that I can adjust individual bits of the vocals... I think I need to quieten my first two parts, and then see about dropping the whole lyric line together. We'll see how (and when) it goes.

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How is this? Bumped up by a minor third.
She says that's fine and comfortable.

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Old 08-29-2020, 07:56 PM   #239
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I expected to be posting the final version by now, but I have to disappoint - I have been slacking, and my post-exam Zong party was to finish the first verse rather the whole song. I just found a really addictive book - a fanfic that allegedly inspired the Zong in the first place - that I thought would be good pre-exam destresser, but it turned out to be a lot longer that I expected, and I do admit it's been taking plenty of time away from Zonging. I wish this book existed in English so I could discuss it here, it has some very interesting ideas. And no, I will not translate it, it's gotta be longer than LOTR based on how long it's taking me to read...

Anyways - will try to slack less and actually do this song properly...
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Old 09-01-2020, 06:50 PM   #240
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Aaaaand it's done!

I am still a bit lost with the music in this one. I wrote the melody/harmony to the refrain three times and it came out slightly different every time. And there are other places that may be shaky. If anything feels odd, tell me which spot and I'll fix it. I did a test run - I am having trouble holding the melody on "let my words flow out between us" for some reason, and the first of "it was just the wind". If there is any trouble like that, I can change the cues and harmony a bit to help line up the melody.

I also found that in the final refrain I am very tempted to drop two of the words, "[the] mist lies thick] and "[Lord], have you truly". The first one is easy, not a big difference either way. For the second one, if the line is sung slow without the Lord it is easier to sing, but it also loses the pairing with "Lord, is all this world a lie". I would probably keep it if it's comfortable enough to sing.

I actually like how it turned out overall though. Finishing that fanfic actually made it better, I think. Initially I was looking at it as a song centered around Amarie and seeing the events through her eyes, and I wasn't getting far in trying to make it more Amarie-like. But after the fanfic, which gives Finrod a lot more significance in the Leithian story than The Sil does, I saw it differently - the whole of creation lamenting Finrod's death, but the words are shaped by his beloved... And that perspective got me to the different shades of the different stanzas. (Which makes me shake my head at myself - every time I think I can just copy/paste a repetitive music it doesn't work the way I plan; every time I feel I can't do that because the stanzas have a different feel. What was the point of picking a repetitive song? )

I am so excited to hear this! It's a very expressive song, and I can hear it done in so many variations and styles! I am looking forward to the final result!
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