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Esperanza de la Vega

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Credits & Info

Oct 2, 2013 | 4:48 PM EDT
File Info
9.4 MB
4 min 6 sec
4.48 / 5.00

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Licensing Terms

You may not use this work for commercial purposes without making specific arrangements with the artist UNLESS your work is a web-based game or animation, in which case you may use this freely.

Rated 4.48 / 5 stars
Plays & Downloads:
3,992 Plays | 233 Downloads
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Author Comments

NGADM 13 - Round 4 (Quarter-Finals): SoundChris vs. johnfn

Hey there people, this is my round four submission for the NGADM´13 - contest. After i had composed several pieces with lots of instruments i wanted to try out some solo instrument piece. I am a big fan of spanish culture and musics, so i decided to compose some flamenco-style piece for classical guitar (I am not a guitar player so this is my first real journey into the world of guitar music and i think it wont be the last time because this piece was so extremely fun to make!). I wanted the sound to be as realistic as possible. Thats why i composed without following the DWAs grid but composed everything just by ear.

The piece is inspired by the Zorro - novels. Esperanza de la Vega was the wife of Diego de la Vega, who was a spanish nobleman who lived in his mansion on the countryside of California in the middle of the 19th century. He was known as a very careful and shy man, but by night he turned into Zorro - the avenger of the poor and dispossessed - and fought for the californian people. The song shell embody the beauty and wildness of his wife Esperanza (she is the woman who hums in the beginning of the piece).

I have just used a Flamenco Guitar and Dancer Steps and just very few castanet sounds to create the sound - so overall its a solo instrument piece.

I hope you guys will like it!

-Z- for Zorro ;D



Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Soo, yeah, this is the most overdue review in the world. I think that I was at least partially running into the same problem that Step had, where I was having trouble even dissecting the piece because the structure is very hard to follow. Especially on my first few listens, I remember wondering what on earth was going on, but then things started to click into place.

I'm slightly more familiar with listening to piano pieces off the grid - those are usually a little easier for me to follow because I'm anchored by a prominent bass. In this song there is no real bass at all. That's obviously because it's a solo instrument piece on an instrument that has no bass range, and you're doing your best by hitting the lowest notes you can on the guitar, but I have to feel like the addition of a simple bass instrument would do a good deal to help anchor me throughout the piece.

The song is almost fractally engaging, in that I can sit back and feel the movement of the chords and be happy, or I can listen a little closer to the arcs of the melodies and be intrigued, or I can listen very closely to every note that you play and be fascinated by all that work too. The song works equally well as foreground or background music.

The sounds you're using sound great.

I really like all of the flamenco idioms and authentic sounding riffs that you've included throughout the piece. There are a bunch of good compositional ideas going, and sometimes you even have more than one going at the same time :P The piece is constantly interesting and is continually moving from place to place and idea to idea. I can't even pick out favorites because I'm pretty sure I'd just end up listing out the entire song in timestamps.

The one thing that sticks out to me in this piece is the ending. Like, until those final 3 chords, I can't tell that we're going towards an ending at all. The piece I like to refer to is "A Storm Over Lavender Lane" by headphoamz (I'm sure you've already heard it haha), because it does a really nice job of setting up the ending like 30 seconds ahead of time, and from there on it's seems like an inevitable fall to the final descent.

Overall, this is a piece that is not only very sound compositionally, but also one of the most compositionally unique things I've ever heard. That is probably why I struggled with writing a review for it for so long - it's such a unique and interesting piece that I was never sure that I fully understood it. I'm still not sure if I do, but I do understand it a lot more than I did before.

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Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

NGADM Review:
This was a great piece, and very very enjoyable to listen to. I can't say I expected to hear this from you, but the surprising turn of events was in the end quite welcome. You've got some excellent composition, fantastic harmonies, and that guitar just sounds amazing. Realism-wise, it's pretty much perfect, with a few teensy touches of artificial notes, but nothing major. The atmosphere is just great, and the piece is smooth and well-structured.

I would've liked to hear that voice in the beginning again throughout the piece, as I feel as if it could have provided an extra feel that would've worked pretty well. Also, while the guitar sounds fantastic like I've already said, there were some small stutters at points, and in some cases it sounded a bit unrealistic in the sense that there's no physical way to actually play that section. Nice use of those castanets though, helped the atmosphere a lot.

Overall, great piece, even if it's a deviation from your usual stuff. Keep up the good work!

Score: 8.6/10

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SoundChris responds:

Hey there Echo,

thanks a lot for review. Sorry for my late reply, but i have been really busy until the middle of decembre. I am glad you liked the composition and found the sound realistic - that was what my focus was on.
I would have loved to use the voice more often, but EWQL voices of passion is quite limited :(

I dont know if this piece really would be impossible to play. I have seen some really highskilled guitarists who played stuff like this and i think it would have been as fast and difficult as this piece.

Thanks a lot for your kind review. Merry christmas and a happy new year!


Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

This is an NGADM Round 4 Review.


I should know by now never to know what to expect from you!

What I liked:
-Amazing atmosphere throughout this piece. The dancer steps and ambient conversation noise really takes this to the next level.
-It’s a little gutsy to do a solo instrument piece without a live version of that instrument. People get away with it on piano because it’s a little more easily replicated than stringed instruments, but this sounds really good! I’m very impressed by the quality.
-This is a passionate piece, and it really conveys a story.
-Your composition is top notch.
-The ending was great.

What could have been better:
-The voice in the beginning was pretty neat, but sadly that’s the only time it makes an appearance.
-Some parts of this sound a little bit disjointed, but not always in a bad way.
-While this is an impressive and forceful piece, some of it sounds a bit unnatural and impossible to execute on a real guitar.
-I would have liked to have seen more of the castanets. They are pretty sweet.

What an unexpected piece! I really enjoyed this, and it’s refreshing to see you stepping out of your comfort zones and coming back in the game with something crazy and new. You took a risk, and I think it paid off. Excellent job!

Score: 9.4/10

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SoundChris responds:

Hey there bassfiddlejones,

thanks a lot for your detailed and kind review. This track was something very personal for me. I always admired this kind of guitar playing and also visited some classical guitar concertos. This instrument just gives me such a melancholic feeling - it sounds so strong but is also very sad and mysterious. One of the most challenging aspects for me was to get the "speed" natural, so that it sounds as realistic as possible. This wont be the last piece i will write without the daw grid. Maybe you should try this out, too. Its a great experience!

I would have loved to use the voice a little bit more, but unfortunately EWQL voices of passion is so limited to use - if you dont get melodyne, which i now own but didnt when i composed this.

I am really glad you liked the piece. I really would love to collab with you someday - i think it would be really fun to - especially because our musical preferences are quite similar.

All the best to you, merry christmas and a happy new year!



Rated 5 / 5 stars

A fantastic piece, it his such elegance and fluidity. This certainly doesn't feel the first time you've created Flamenco Guitar because it's just beyond unbelievable.

The melodies are fantastic and do a great job of connecting section to section. I found myself swaying to this throughout the numerous plays, never getting old, and still isn't as I write this. The playing of the guitar is extremely tight to genuine sound. Having that coupled with the wide sound I initially though you had recorded it until I read otherwise. I'm absolutely stunned, and I love the overall sound, it was a pleasure to listen to.

The composition was great, I love how you went in and out slowing down and speeding back up, but it was blatent nor obvious, or even in your face, it was almost impossible to spot, meaning your transitions from section to section was beyond superb. Sometimes I feel like a soloist instrument can't keep up with the grandness of collective force, but in hearing this you've proved significantly otherwise.

Superb SoundChris! One of my fav' pieces of the competition!

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SoundChris responds:

Hey there peter - glad you liked the piece! I was always a big fan of spanish guitar music and after i had purchased gypsy from east west i just wanted to "use the force" :D Because i wanted to create that free feeling of accellerating and slowing down i had to ignore the grid and just compose by ear. I can recommend this procedure to get more realistic solo instrument performances, but it can kill your nerves totally! Nevertheless - just try this out - doesnt matter if with solo strings (violin / cello), singing, guitar, piano or whatever. Its just an interesting experience and can be very helpful for not to lose the reference to the natural way such instruments are performed. So thanks a lot man - your review is highly appreciated!


Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

G'day sir.

The Good:
-Gotta love the introduction with the crickets. Very nice touch there.
-Composition is spectacular like usual. Don't need to say anything more there.
-Overall realism of the guitar is fantastic. I love the quick runs, it's very entertaining and pretty to listen to.

The Not-So-Good:
-So where did the voice go? I don't hear it at all after 0:20. It would have been great if it were more a part of this.
-Since you're obviously trying to make this guitar sound realistic, guess what? NITPICK TIME. I notice that at certain high velocities the twang of the guitar is almost exactly the same. A fantastic example of this is at 0:10 and 0:12. A real guitar might have then be similar, but not that exactly the same. This occurs in several other places, but that's very clear.
-Some of this seems pretty much impossible to play on one guitar, such as having a constrant tremelo on one note with other notes playing at the same time.
-That tapping gets kinda annoying after awhile, to be honest. It also doesn't sound very realistic at all. I don't think anyone can tap their feet that fast, and obviously the solo guitarist isn't tapping his guitar seeing as he's doing crazy playing the same time.
-The ending seems somewhat sudden and unexpected. It winds down, then out of nowhere BURST OF COMPLEXITY AND FINAL CHORD. Props for not doing the same ending as usual though!

Overall: Score of 9.4/10. Good job going out of your comfort zone and the overall quality of the piece. Now, what I'd like to hear from you is something COMPLETELY out of your comfort zone.

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SoundChris responds:

Hey there,

first i am glad you liked the piece. The voice has just been inserted as a little intro effect to illustrate the piece would be about a sensual woman. For realistic flamenco music i would have needed a male singer who cries arround like hell - so that was hard to get :) What you say about the high velocities is right. Unfortunately i still have not a good midi keyboard with better dynamics. If i try it hard maybe i can get 10 different sounds (out of 127 possible, which is annoying). I also needed a modwheel.
I know its hard to believe, but there are real players who can play those stuff - which is incredible, e.g. Don Cortes Maya, Andres Segovia and others. Also the footstomps are realistic. You can watch some interesting fandango / flamenco stuff on youtube where they move even faster :D
The sudden and unexpected ending is the classical way to end this kind of guitar pieces. First comes a more lyrical introducion of the ending which becomes extremely virtuous and cuts the piece extremely abrupt - just wanted to be stylistically accurate.

Dont really know what would be really out of my comfort zone because i dont know if i even got one. But there will be metal and chiptune soon.