Score Practice: Update 1

Having gotten some more time to work on some composing, I've got an update on the last warm-up exercise I've been performing for the past two weeks.  My intent was to take a YouTube video, put it on mute, and then write a soundtrack to it.  I chose my video and got to work.

So far I have not heard back from the owner of the video.  When I do, I hope to put the soundtrack in the background of the video so you can see how the two correlate to each other.

For now, here is what I have so far for my soundtrack:


The process of doing this has been very instructive.  A few of the considerations I've had to take into account for this exercise:
1) Matching the style of the video and the overall feeling in the soundtrack with what's happening in the background.
The video I chose has only one mood, which is nice for me to practice with.  I've felt that this video has a calm, serene, and even beatific quality to it, and that is what I've tried to make my composition feel like.  The video especially has a beautiful quality, and so I've also tried to match that up.

2) Matching up cut scenes with musical cues.
This has been tricky, especially working with Finale to make the recording.  Since I don't have the luxury of conducting an orchestra on where to come in, I have to adjust tempos to make sections fit within the correct scenes and to change scenes at the correct spots.  Gratefully, the scenes have had smooth and slower transitions that have allowed for some latitude in the musical cues.  I have noticed that when trying to match up the cues with quicker changes, it means a more precise placement of those cues.

3) Overall Form and Orchestration.
The final thing I have noticed during this exercise is the need to more rigidly define my overall form and specific orchestration.  The last four measures where going to be climactic originally with the violin being doubled at the octave in the flutes and with some neat percussion stuff going on.  However, as I watched the video with my soundtrack, two things came to mind.  First, though the section I was at could feel climactic if this were a stand alone piece, the movie was not at a climactic position and it made the soundtrack feel more out of place.  Second, I was only half-way through the video's full length, and to put a climax where I had it would mean I would need to figure out something for the rest of the movie.  I didn't want to add another climactic moment:  that didn't feel right for the serene feeling or the general nature of the video.  So, I decided to let it feel simply like the beginning of an idea I could expand as the video went on.

In the next few weeks, I anticipate hopefully having a little more time and a little more opportunity to compose, so pretty soon, I should be able to finish up this piece.  Hopefully, I will also have permission to post the video and maybe even have the original to put the new soundtrack to.  More updates on this soon.

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