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In Remembrance

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A lot of my pieces have been relaxing classical pieces to which one could just kick back and enjoy the gentle colors of the music. Simple, melodic, and often short. This piece, though, is totally different. It definitely has moments of dissonance with it's clashing harmonies and even jarring transitions, but all of it is intentional. It's is a challenging listen in some respects, but if you really give the music your focus and understand the context behind what is going on, the experience should be more rewarding.

This piece embodies the torrent of feelings that accompany losing a loved one. It is something that I've recently experienced, and I want to describe that through music.

:01- During the summer, I watched as my grandma began to die, and that created a number of complicated emotions. I didn't want her to be gone and yet wanted her suffering to end. Everyday that I watched her strength drain away, I wondered when the end would come. All of these complex feelings of confusion and dread swirled around, and it was as if my breath was being held for an entire month in anticipation of what was coming. This section uses dissonance in a rising string section to show the conflict of watching a loved one leave.

1:03- My grandma finally passed away, and all that confusion faded away. All that remained was pure, simple sadness. It was a time to be with family in remembrance of the grandma we all loved. In a way, it was almost a relief not having to wonder when it would happen anymore and to have a chance to just stand back and contemplate. Musically, the dissonance from the past section gives way to something that is harmonically and melodically simple and melancholic.

2:24- In high school, a very close friend of mine died from a head injury that occurred during a football game. It felt like life came to a screeching halt when he passed. The whole community was shocked. Speechless. Eventually though, life began to move forward. People did their best to move on, and happier times eventually came. Life would feel wonderful and full of optimism for a time, but on the occasional day the memories would all come flooding back and I would miss my friend. You can hear that optimism in the rising, major chords of the music that soon fall back into melancholy.

I could go on piece by piece but want listeners to be able to interpret the rest as they wish. The whole point of this piece though is to illustrate the cycle of life and death. People die and heart wrenching emotions overtake us, and then life continues on and we find ways to cope. Soon enough though, it happens all over.

This piece ends similar to how it starts to portray that cyclical nature. It builds one last time and then fades to a single note that dies off, leaving only the wind. That too soon fades. This represents the last moments of our own lives. We fade until only that final breath remains, and then we go.

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Been a long time since I've been on Newgrounds, so glad I popped on to check up on old favorites.

I didn't read your description until after I listened the first time. It's really sweet. I particularly like the ending quarter.

BlazingDragon responds:

Thank you for checking up on my work. I'm glad you liked this one. :)

The part at 2:24 really captured the slow motion moment of you witnessing the actual heart attack during the game. Then the death, you coming to grips with it, and despair. You then start to heal from these deep wounds. to realize that life is worth living, in honor of them. That's what I felt through this. This was a great piece, here, indeed.

BlazingDragon responds:

"To realize that life is worth living, in honor of them. That's what I felt through this."

I'm glad you wrote that. It's tough losing someone, but I do indeed believe that life is worth living, in part to honor them. Thank you for your review. :)

I'm only 15. My father died when i was 12.
Oddly, this song made me remember of this.

BlazingDragon responds:

I'm sorry to hear that. Losing a loved one is really indescribable, isn't it?

This is a wonderful and well rounded piece, but it required quite a bit of effort from me before I could really 'get' it. I have to be in a certain mood to really get immersed in this and not have it feel like a bland orchestral backdrop. And even then, it gets somewhat boring after 4 minutes or so, since each part evokes a different nuance of mostly the same mood. It was also less harmonically interesting than, say, Children's overture (though 1:46 through 1:51 was nice), and the instrumentation felt a lot blander than in Alpine. Despite your description, I did not find the dissonance to be anything out of the ordinary.

Mixing-wise - some of the notes from the strings and the cymbals were unpleasant and piercing, and the mix in general is quite top-heavy.


BlazingDragon responds:

Thank you for the helpful review. I'll make mixing more of a priority in pieces to come. :)

NGADM 4 and stuff.

The themes running through this piece are fantastic. It's soothing, touching... moving. This is one of those songs that you can really watch a movie to while listening to it... in your head. With minimal effort, this song painted a picture in my mind as I listened it through. While I think what it painted a picture of, or what the story it told was, is irrelevant, the fact that it does so-so effortlessly is impressive.
Better yet was the way you subtly changed the mood from beginning to end without it ever sounding abrupt or out of place, it flowed smooth as butter. And this is one of the few songs on NG that have truly given me chills, the good kind, while listening to.

Complaints... not many, mostly that I think overall this felt a little on the quiet side, while I enjoy some good dynamic in a song, this spent a lot of time on the quieter, more mellow side of things, and I think you could have pumped up the quiet sections just a tad to make the entire song a little more consistent, given that it wasn't very often that a lift in the music came along.
I also was a little unsatisfied with the ending, while I understand what you were going for, I do think you could have done a little more to establish the feeling you were going after. As it is, I felt it just kind of disappeared, leaving no real conclusion. I think the issue I take is mostly with the note you ended on... Unfortunately, I can't really find words to describe how I'd improve it.

Overall, chills, stories, and emotions. This was done very well, and I'm quite impressed. 8.5/10.

BlazingDragon responds:

Your reviews always seem contrary to those of everybody else, and I appreciate that. Several other people have mentioned how this sounds stitched together, but you wrote that it flows smooth as butter. XD

I understand what you're saying about the ending. If I recall correctly, this piece was composed in a 15 hour marathon from start to finish and was turned in right before I left for college classes in the morning. To be honest, the ending was partly out of convenience and time-restraints, although I did have a thematic purpose in mind as well.

Thank you for the thoughtful review. :)

Credits & Info

4.75 / 5.00

Oct 5, 2012
7:37 PM EDT
File Info
13.8 MB
6 min 1 sec

Licensing Terms

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