I liked the atmosphere that the music creates. Although I feel you should have added more instruments, because I feel that this music lacks something more intense, all in all it is a very good composition.
Orchestral MAC Review
For the most part, I really loved what you did with your compositional choices. You remained consistent in the style and ethereal atmosphere you set from the start, which can prove difficult when writing such a spacious piece!
Your melody was fitting, but I felt it was underdeveloped. In a piece that is 3:16 in length, you can do a lot of development - both thematically and harmonically. I understand and support your choice to remain harmonically grounded for the duration of the piece, given the atmosphere you're trying to create. But with such a simple (yet catchy) chromatic melody, there are many things you could do to develop your melody. Parallel chromatic lines work well in just about any interval (I'd try 3rds or 6ths for this one), and they'd thicken your melodic texture without cluttering the music. I like your hints at a counter-melody at 1:21 in the strings, but I feel very strongly that you could have done more of that throughout the piece!
At 2:15, my interest dwindled as I heard nothing new brought to the table. Here is a perfect time to try out some changes in instrumentation, or to get creative with a variation of your melody. Make sure every section adds something to the overall piece. If a section is simply a copy and paste of something already written, make sure you're making the choice to recycle because it will help the progression and development of the piece.
I felt like you didn't take enough leaps with your orchestration. A piece with as few notes as this should have some surprises within the instrumentation. Perhaps consider using some string or woodwind effects. I'm not sure which orchestra VST you're using, but most of the big ones have a patch or two of instrument screeches, whirls, breaths, and more. I hear a hint of orchestral experimentation in here, but you could easily use a lot more. After all, an atmospheric piece thrives with atmospheric orchestration!
Have you considered moving the chromatic flute melody to different instruments throughout the piece? A glockenspiel with soft rubber mallets would fit the atmosphere really well, as would a celeste, harp, and marimba. And those are just choices I thought of off the top of my head! I'm sure you could add a lot of diversity to that line purely through orchestration. You'd give the ear a breath of fresh air (so to speak!), and hold your listener's attention for longer as they anticipate which instrument will have the melody next.
Your track was very well mixed to my ears. Your pizzicato bass notes were particularly moving. The clarity and punctuation, yet sheer weight of each note set the underwater atmosphere beautifully. And, the piece sounds great on my monitors, Mixing headphones, as well as cheap $10 headphones. That's a sign of a great mix - well done!
I applaud your minimalistic efforts! Atmospheric music is some of the most difficult music to write, and you capture the feeling of being underwater very well. When you write fewer notes in a piece, the significance of each one increases. Pay extra attention to every part, and ask yourself "Is this a crucial piece of the texture I'm creating?" If not, you can free up space for other parts without degrading the atmosphere you're trying to conjure.
The intro was fantastic, loved the melody coming from the pizzicato strings. It really did have the essence of travelling through some sort of underwater civilisation or perhaps a shipwreck. Perfectly ambient, I could listen to this for ages... and the strange harmonics coming from the flute were awesome, I really liked those. The ending was a bit abrupt for my liking, but overall the song is excellent. With a song like this, I reckon you'll do a *bit* better than 8th place!
This has the essence of Eric Serra
This really reminds me of the soundtrack that he did for Atlantis. The texture provided by those low woodwinds in the background really gives this feel of a mysterious underwater city. Something could be lurking in just about any nook or crevasse. The simplistic approached used in this song rather enhanced the feel of peaceful sunken surroundings.
Excellent track man! :D
The dynamics really shine in this piece.
For a person who doesn't do orchestral, this is excellent. Your song fits the scenario perfectly, from the instruments to the melody.
There is nothing bad I can say about this song. Your use of the background instruments is flawless. Barely audible, and that's perfect. The pizzicato and their melodies? Perfect. The Strings? Smooth and beautiful. The flute? Excellent. A solid piece all around.
10/10 5/5 dl'ed. Good luck in the contest!
(meant to drop this review earlier, but got tired after doing quite a few before.)
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