NP - The False Memory

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Author Comments

This composition is for the Orchestral NAC. Thanks for the listen.

I just got out of the hospital and decided to make this contest my first project, so I was in a bit of a dark place while writing it.

I had a strange scene in my head for the middle section: a parade of Dali mosquito-elephants and giant skeletal stilt harlequins. Your mileage may vary.

Edit: Thank you so much for giving this eccentric little piece third place and a feature! Much appreciated.


kindof classic.

this is a good thing.

sometimes the blurr/haze clouded parts but no biggie.
i liked the dancing of the flute here and there.

very atmospheric, natural.

good stuff. :)


I loved the melancholic feel to this, it also has good structure and progression.

I can't decide..

At some points I suspected the song to take a turn for the darker side, and then it gently floated (for lack of a better word) off into the lighter chords. It was a fascinating piece, but, unlike some of the other contest submissions for the Orchestral NAC, it doesn't put a story in your head. It almost left me wondering what direction you were going for, a light at the end of the tunnel? If so, there were some holes punctured in it, allowing light to pass through at odd intervals. It almost felt to me as if it was a sort of "silver lining" piece at times, while at the end I wasn't sure. It felt like a cliffhanger, leading into something that never came, and then looped again into itself. The beginning and middle would have been fine if there had been some sort of "resolution" at the end. It was a very interesting piece, and obviously took time and effort to put together, so I give you a pat on the back, an atta-boy, an 8/10, a 4/5, and a "you tried. That's all that matters."

ProudAardvark responds:

Thank you for the review. I don't agree that orchestral writing requires either a simple story or a straightforward resolution. It is after all called "the false memory" not "the happy dream".

Interesting Name...

Of course fitting for such an interesting song! This song really speaks a story to me... I love a good song, that as you listen to it, you can imagine an entire story in your head. To me, a song can make or break a key moment in say something like a movie or a play. This takes me back to the old days, when they made movies purely around music, no dialogue... Ah, how I wish we could go back to those simpler times...

None the less, amazing piece you have written my good sir! Absolutely exquisite! Marvelous really! This is a time were words truly cannot describe one's feelings. I honestly listened to this song three full times through before realizing that it was being looped. Honestly though, I loved every minute of it.

Keep up the great work, and I look forward to seeing more in the future from you my good man!

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ProudAardvark responds:

Thanks so much Crash! So glad you enjoyed it. More on the way.

Orchestral MAC Review

Composition: 7.5

I loved your introduction. The strings were very voiced and sounded very professional. You have a great grasp for harmonization!

You kept my undivided attention up until 1:18. You regained it at 2:08, and then lost it again at about the 3:00 mark. I admit I'm slightly exaggerating, but to make a point. With 4:23 seconds worth of music, you have more than enough time to take your listener somewhere far away, force him to grow and mature, bring him back, and show him the world from an enlightened perspective. Unfortunately, I felt like the world I came back to was no different than the one I (briefly) left at 2:08.

You've laid the ground work for a fantastic work of art, but something is missing. I didn't hear any memorable melody established at the beginning. Sure, you were going for an airy, yet darker mellow sound (and you very effectively captured it), but that doesn't mean you need to abandon melody. As the music progressed, I didn't feel like I went anywhere because I didn't have much help setting my bearings at the start. I think you have wonderful samples, but because they're so good you're leaning on them a little too much. How would this piece stand up with General MIDI sounds? Great orchestral music usually won't need awesome samples to make it great. Using the natural texture of the ensemble is wonderful, but that's only one piece of a very large puzzle. If you give yourself more material to work with, you can do more to develop the music as you progress through the piece.

Orchestration: 8.1

As I said previously, you've orchestrated this piece well, especially in the strings. I love your sparse use of percussion as accents throughout the middle section, as well as your orchestral effects. Nicely done! While you handled all of your instruments well, I don't think you used the orchestra to its full potential. Low brass could have been very effective at the end to help thicken the bass line as you draw the piece to a close. Trumpets would have helped heighten the climax at the end, setting an arrival point and giving the piece a sense of accomplishment. Orchestra bells with a soft rubber mallet would have helped the piece sparkle (you have them very briefly). This would have been a nice contrast at the middle or end of the piece.

My main point is this: with a full orchestra, you have LOADS of options. Don't restrict yourself to just a few instruments from each family. Every instrument has its own color, texture, and range; each brings a unique offer to the table!

Mixing: 8.5

Overall, I thought your mixing was very well done. You added a healthy dose of reverb, which helped fill out spaces in the music. This track's mixing has a professional sound to it, great work! My biggest suggestion would be to watch out with note overlaps. In your strings, there are moments when notes overlap a little too much, creating unintended dissonances. This sounds like just a sequencing error (and is pretty easily fixable), but make sure to keep an eye and ear open for any excessive spill-overs. It can make the music sound muddy and unrefined. Also, some of your melodic notes popped out of the line excessively - make sure you go through and smooth your velocity levels with a fine-tooth comb!

Overall: 7.8

Your introduction was well-written, and the thick chords you scored in the strings throughout the piece created a strong foundation for the rest of the ensemble. I didn't hear enough direction throughout the four and a half minutes. That's plenty of time to take the listener somewhere distant and bring them back, but I didn't feel like I had moved very far by the end. In soft, lush music like this, a full-ensemble climax can be extremely powerful. If you're paying the whole ensemble to play your music, don't be afraid to use every player!

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ProudAardvark responds:

Hey David, thanks for the thoughtful review. I really appreciate the time that you and the other judges put into making this contest happen, it was a lot of fun.

I only have one point of disagreement with your review, namely the idea that I was somehow "leaning" on high quality samples. I think you are severely underestimating the amount of work that went into making this sound how I wanted it too. I don't have an "easy" button. I will instead take it as a compliment that you liked the sound quality and leave it at that.

Thanks again for the review!

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Credits & Info

4.34 / 5.00

Jan 20, 2011
12:22 PM EST
File Info
8 MB
4 min 23 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.