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Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009!

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nathanallenpinard
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Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 18:11:25 Reply

Hey guys,

This is the first of hopefully a series of contests that I'm going to run, simply for fun, and for the fact that I don't see many contests like this.

Orchestration, in itself is an art. While it's one thing to compose a complete piece yourself, it's a whole new ball game being thrown a theme and being asked to orchestrate around it.

So I present to you, a theme orchestration contest!

Why this specific contest? I get a lot of submissions from clients, and sometimes friends and family that do not know how to orchestrate, all they know how to do is write lyrics and sing, or perhaps they are under a different style they are not used to. Some projects like this I've recieved from co-writers for Disney, christian artists trying to make a demo CD, and my own family and friends.

I simply get one thing. The melody and lyrics, and that's it. I'm forced to come up with whatever I desire from that point (or a style they are asking for)

This contest is going to be just that, you will recieve a theme (link below) and are to orchestrate that theme.

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1. You can use any style you wish. There are no limitations to what feel, style, or feeling you want to write around the theme. There is no specific tempo or time signature (however, the original theme is 3/4 time)

2. You do not have to use the MIDI file for the theme. However, the theme itself should be played at least once through note-for-note. The MIDI is there to guide you, so you can drag and drop into your sequencer and go from there.

3. There is no set chord progression. There has been a number of discussions about chord progressions on this forum, so show your stuff!

4. There is a 5 minute time-limit for your entry. Any longer will be disqualified.

5. The contest deadline is Monday, August 17th, 2009

6. The judges will be myself, and a remaining panel in which I will select. (TBA)

7. Entries will be judged on creativity, originality AND commercial aspect (meaning the general public can listen to it).

8. Engineering will also be a factor, however engineering will only be considered with the quality of instruments available to that user. So, someone with higher quality instruments than yourself, will not necessarily win. If you utilize good engineering skills and get the best out of your equipment, you will score high. Engineering will play a small factor compared to the actual orchestration.

9. No illegally pirated VIs or samples are to be used.

10. No samples from commercial products (such as dialogue from a movie, or a portion from a full mix from an album) will be allowed.

11. You entry MUST NOT consist entirely of loops.

12. Loops used as a supplement to the overall piece (such as a percussion loop) are allowed. Melodic loops are NOT suggested, and may disqualify your entry.

Please send all entries to nathan@nathanallenpinard.com with the subject containing the word CONTEST in all caps. Please send only MP3's.

The theme you are to orchestrate in MIDI file format is here: Contest Theme MIDI File (right click to save as...)

Again, this contest ends on Monday, August 17th, 2009

THE PRIZE:

Unfortunately, I cannot provide any monotary value, however I will see about the possibility of having some NG credit given.

Until that happens, there will only be one prize: I will co-produce one of the winners compositions. A complete VI replacement (if needed), mixing, and mastering! This is quite a bit of work involved, so it should be a valuable prize to the winner.

Good luck to all!

blackattackbitch
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 18:20:40 Reply

One question: Does the melody have to play straight through or are we allowed to insert breaks for varying melodies?

nathanallenpinard
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 18:25:50 Reply

At 7/15/09 06:20 PM, blackattackbitch wrote: One question: Does the melody have to play straight through or are we allowed to insert breaks for varying melodies?

You can insert breaks, but I require that the melody stay in-tact in terms of note-for-note (not rhythm for rhythm) after that I don't care. The theme needs to stay in-tact and somewhat recognizable.

So if your asking if you can put say, an 8 bar break in between of something else, but then continue to finish the theme, then that's a yes to your question.

Does that help?

sorohanro
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 18:43:22 Reply

Depends on my free time (making the studio, renovating apartment, clients...) I might be in.
Happy to see a nice contest.

btriangle
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 19:05:21 Reply

Seems like fun Nathan. Ill give it a shot.

KgZ
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 19:33:12 Reply

Damn, I was interested until I listened to the theme. It just sounds bland and "unpredictable." I would have probably done it otherwise if we as the artists were entitled to just compose in a "theme" that didn't restrict you to a melody line.


www.macjams.com/artist/kgz (Download links)

nathanallenpinard
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 19:54:22 Reply

At 7/15/09 07:33 PM, KgZ wrote: Damn, I was interested until I listened to the theme. It just sounds bland and "unpredictable." I would have probably done it otherwise if we as the artists were entitled to just compose in a "theme" that didn't restrict you to a melody line.

The point of the contest IS to be constricted. It's ups the difficulty a bit.

You listened to a midi file with one track, of course it's bland. The melody itself is not.

I'm not sure what you mean by unpredictable?

PGegen
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 19:58:15 Reply

A question: can we also submit our entries to the audio portal?

nathanallenpinard
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 20:02:26 Reply

At 7/15/09 07:58 PM, PGegen wrote: A question: can we also submit our entries to the audio portal?

I don't see a problem with it.

Entrants will be able to use their entries for any non-commercial purpose.

I suppose I might've walked into this one, but the theme is technically mine. So you won't own it, but can still use it for CC purposes as NG is based on.

KgZ
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 20:17:52 Reply

At 7/15/09 07:54 PM, nathanallenpinard wrote:
At 7/15/09 07:33 PM, KgZ wrote: Damn, I was interested until I listened to the theme. It just sounds bland and "unpredictable." I would have probably done it otherwise if we as the artists were entitled to just compose in a "theme" that didn't restrict you to a melody line.
The point of the contest IS to be constricted. It's ups the difficulty a bit.

You listened to a midi file with one track, of course it's bland. The melody itself is not.

I'm not sure what you mean by unpredictable?

Sorry, I don't mean to be rude in my posts. I just didn't like the melodic motif you gave us, it sounded "forced". In between the motif, It feels like the melody doesn't know where it's going. I don't want to say random, but I feel like after listening it to it it doesn't stick in my head. Forgive me for my bluntness.

I agree it does make it difficult when you're restricted, but I feel like the style of the melody is so specific that the tone of the submissions will be similar (I am not referring to the genre).


www.macjams.com/artist/kgz (Download links)

Zooloo75
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 20:23:37 Reply

Count me in!

When I finish it, i will upload it here and give you a link.

Zooloo75
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 20:37:21 Reply

Nevermind, the melody is random, like someone above me said. It's like the melody makes you assume what the next notes are going to be, but then some other notes are filled in instead.
It is difficult to make anything good out of this IMO. But that's just me...

nathanallenpinard
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 21:02:53 Reply

The melody I wrote is insanely simple. If I orchestrated it right now, you'd see what I'm saying. The melody has structure. What you are perceiving isn't attached to an actual chord progression though, so I may have a bias in that comment.

I don't see how it's random at all, unless on your end something has changed.

I will upload an mp3 of a VI playing it to make sure.

nathanallenpinard
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 21:14:09 Reply

Ok, two updates:

There was one beginning note missing on the MIDI file, so I re-uploaded a new, and quantized version of theme.

http://www.nathanallenpinard.com/music/N APContestTheme.mid

Also, here is an MP3 with just a piano playing it, just in case there's a compatibility error or otherwise on the MIDI file: http://www.nathanallenpinard.com/music/N APContestTheme.mp3

KgZ
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 21:50:25 Reply

At 7/15/09 09:02 PM, nathanallenpinard wrote: If I orchestrated it right now, you'd see what I'm saying. The melody has structure.

I'm trying to say its too structured. You're giving us something in 3/4, in the key of D minor, that has a fairly complex and unpredictable line. Actually, if you just gave us the melodic motif by itself (A-F-E-D), I personally think that would give artists more versatility. No doubt in my mind could I write something like this, but the problem is the chords themselves already seem locked in place without sounding awkward.


www.macjams.com/artist/kgz (Download links)

nathanallenpinard
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 21:56:33 Reply

At 7/15/09 09:50 PM, KgZ wrote:
At 7/15/09 09:02 PM, nathanallenpinard wrote: If I orchestrated it right now, you'd see what I'm saying. The melody has structure.
I'm trying to say its too structured. You're giving us something in 3/4, in the key of D minor, that has a fairly complex and unpredictable line. Actually, if you just gave us the melodic motif by itself (A-F-E-D), I personally think that would give artists more versatility. No doubt in my mind could I write something like this, but the problem is the chords themselves already seem locked in place without sounding awkward.

You can still use other chords than the lended chord structure. If this contest doesn't work, then it doesn't. But this is what I get as projects. That's the whole point. Test yourself in how usually the real world of music works.

ANOTHER ADDITION:

When I said the melody should remain intact, let me clarify by saying FOR THE MOST PART it should remain intact. Removing a note, changing a quarter to a half note, etc is acceptable.

I made that rule so someone doesn't submit something they just decided to compose for themselves rather than follow the theme.

KgZ
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 22:09:57 Reply

At 7/15/09 09:56 PM, nathanallenpinard wrote: Test yourself in how usually the real world of music works.

Not sure what's you're trying to imply here. Do you mean that in the real music world you can't write for yourself? Because yes, that is in most cases true.

Anyways, this is your contest so do what you think is best.


www.macjams.com/artist/kgz (Download links)

nathanallenpinard
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 22:43:07 Reply

At 7/15/09 10:09 PM, KgZ wrote:
At 7/15/09 09:56 PM, nathanallenpinard wrote: Test yourself in how usually the real world of music works.
Not sure what's you're trying to imply here. Do you mean that in the real music world you can't write for yourself? Because yes, that is in most cases true.

Anyways, this is your contest so do what you think is best.

Well, usually song writers end up hiring other people to orchestrate or perform their music. Very rarely do songwriters play a part in the production, unless they are one of the few out there that write, perform, record, and engineer their own work.

As far as can't writing for yourself, I suppose that's a case by case basis.

Fuoco
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 22:56:27 Reply

I don't see what people are complaining about. The melody is quite simple, it isn't that hard to orchestrate. Plus, it's lovely. I hear a sorrowful -yet passionate- orchestration. If I find some free time, I'll give this a go.

It's nice to see contests like this in the AF.


Sakura's theme | Bunnykill 5
Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.

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Chronamut
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-15 22:56:22 Reply

im in - simply just to pwn the rest of you apparently talentless individuals who can't seea good challenge when you see one - if you arent capable of working around extreme restrictions in life then you will never learn to be innovative. >:(

Chronamut
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-16 00:14:56 Reply

hmm looks like i might have to hold off... brokendeck raised the point that this is taken from Harold Gregson Williams and we dont wanna all get sued..

BrokenDeck
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-16 01:11:27 Reply

At 7/16/09 12:14 AM, Chronamut wrote: hmm looks like i might have to hold off... brokendeck raised the point that this is taken from Harold Gregson Williams and we dont wanna all get sued..

No, I said it sounds very similar to one of his leitmotifs in Chronicles of Narnia. I never said it was "TAKEN" from the soundtrack.

p4c
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-16 01:53:41 Reply

when you say "use any style you wish," do you mean like any genre, or any style of something an orchestra would spew out? i think you mean orchestra stylez, but im just making sure.

MaestroRage
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-16 01:58:17 Reply

At 7/16/09 12:14 AM, Chronamut wrote: hmm looks like i might have to hold off... brokendeck raised the point that this is taken from Harold Gregson Williams and we dont wanna all get sued..

and even if it was, it's not like any of us are making money off it. Are you SERIOUSLY going to use that as an excuse :P?

Sounds like a damn fine idea Nathan. If I can find the time, count me in.

Chronamut
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-16 07:48:08 Reply

fine fine selcuk ill do it lol

Deflektor
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-16 08:31:47 Reply

Hey, guys, i hope you're not thinking i won't take part ! Count another challenger !


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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-16 12:39:27 Reply

At 7/16/09 07:48 AM, Chronamut wrote: fine fine selcuk ill do it lol

You'd better.

nathanallenpinard
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-16 16:51:02 Reply

If you could provide the song that you think it was taken from, or inspired from, please post it here.

It has a similar feelt other things like...every other piece imaginable.

Oh also, this was written BEFORE Narnia if I recall. But this was in 2006 I believe when I wrote it. I can't recall when the first Narnia came out.

BigRed
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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-16 17:26:44 Reply

I'd love to give it a crack. I'm a musician, singer, writer, etc and definitely weak on the production side. Perfect opportunity to practice :)


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Response to Contest: Theme Orchestration 2009! 2009-07-16 17:29:12 Reply

I'm in... for now
Style: Hip-Hop

I do think the midi is pretty long though, gonna be tough.

I figure I'll give it one play through note for note (Since I have to) and then tweak it
Or...Technically I have to give it one play through, so I can tweak it starting out, and then when the song ends just have it play through once with one instrument, just to meet the requirements.