edit: wow, this got featured! Guess that was part of getting 3rd in the competition. As a thank you to newgrounds, I took down one of my AJ items so I could upload it to newgrounds instead: http://www.newgrounds.com /audio/listen/506956
This is my submission for the seventh RAC (Represent A Country) competition! Essentially, you choose a country, and try to represent it through music. I ended up choosing Sweden, my own country.
When planning this track, I wanted to write a polska to base it off. The polska is a dance common in Scandinavia (and to some extent, Finland) in 3/4 meter, with the 1st and 3rd beats usually being the strongest - the dance steps are also on these beats in most variants of the dance, while the turn is typically made with steps on all beats.
There are a multitude of variants of the polska, both the dance itself and the music accompying it. I chose to write a triolpolska ("tuplet polska"), which is very common in the region Jaemtland where I'm from - it's also common in Norway, which is right on the border of Jaemtland. As the name implies, the material is largely based around tuplets. Many triolpolskor also feature heavy syncopation, but the one in this track is pretty mild in that regard. Most polska are fairly simple in form, usually being made up of two 8-bar sections, which are both repeated. The whole form is then usually repeated again. The polska in this track is no exception in formwise simplicity, but a third part is added in at the end as the climax of the track. All this said, there are of course more advanced and longer polskas around than the one in this track!
A little further reading about the polska: http://en.wikipedia.org/w iki/Polska_%28dance%29
(sorry for the wiki article, but there's very few good sources online, especially in English!)
With the polska I aimed to capture the traditional Swedish music - but when integrating it with the orchestra, I also tried to capture the desolate, majestic and ancient feel of the Scandinavian mountains. I also envisioned the track as an ever-lasting crescendo, in order to give it a hypnotic, almost meditative feel, hopefully somewhat akin to dancing. My goal was to, through the means of ever-expanding orchestration and increasing harmonic rythm, gradually increase the intensity of the track, until finally the orchestra drops out at the very end, giving room for the solo violin and flute as sole melodic instruments to end the piece with a more traditional feel to it.
The title, "Fjaellpolska", simply means "Mountain polska" - the Scandinavian mountains being the theme of the track.
If you like it, feel free to vote and add to favorites - publicity for the track is part of how this years RAC is judged ;)