Fjaellpolska [RAC7]

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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 ;)

And a final note, here's a link to the contest:
http://www.newgrounds.com /bbs/topic/1314127/1

Update - I got my dad, a folk musician, to play & record an adaption of the polska in this track - check it out:

https://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=qKVFvnbOW7Q

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love this song, i am both Swedish and Norwegian, this song reminds me a lot of my family:) nice work

But "Polska" means "Poland" in polish ;_;
This is really nice, I like folk music

descara responds:

Heh, quite true - the polska originates from the polonaise, which, as you might know is of Polish origin, hence the rather Polish name!

Its a really nice song in my opinion the song has 2 parts, you have an intro that lasts too long and may drive away some listeners, i would give 3/5 until 2:22. From that point foward i love the song it all fits together beautifully and i personaly think is amazing 4.5/5 for that.
I thing that if you diversified a bit more in the intro or cutted like 50 seconds of it the song would be amazing, top 5 in RAC for sure, this way still a top 10 in my book.
Good luck in the RAC7!!!

I felt like the violin was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too rough and lacked feeling, and that the "intro" violin solo took up too much time. Although the style you were trying to replicate may be repeated over and over and over, you should've cut to the chase a little sooner.

That being said, things were starting to look up when you finally added more things at the end around 2:20. I felt that you could've put a little more work into this song, but It was a good start.

A very thoughtful piece, I really like it :) Good luck with the contest!

My criticisms:
I honestly haven't got much bad to say about the piece as it is pretty wonderful! The only things I've noticed that you could do differently, and this is only from personal opinion, are:
- Have the background instruments play a bigger role during the build up to around the 2 minute 20 mark. So after the main melody is introduced, have the instrument fall off to the background for a bit, making it quieter and bringing in the other instruments for a while and then reintroduce it later, combined with all the other instruments, to give it a greater effect.
- You could introduce another fun instruments before the 2 minute 20 mark to add some variety, perhaps something like a harpsichord or something more fitting and have it play some melodies while the main instrument takes a seat in the background.

Credits & Info


4.45 / 5.00

Aug 13, 2012
7:17 PM EDT
File Info
9 MB
3 min 57 sec

Licensing Terms

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