You have a good sense of emotion, but you are lacking so much in orchestration! Where's the harp? Where's the sorrowful cry of oboe? Where's the moody clarinet in its lower register? What even about vocals or a choir? A full orchestra and more can express so much more than mere strings can and shows so much more mastery of the palette than just strings alone (it is like a pencil sketch vs. a full oil painting). Trust me, it's worth experimenting with at the least. If you aren't sure about ranges, emotions, etc. hit me up, I'd be more than glad to show you some great resources and give you some instrument-specific advice.
While emotion is arguably the most important part of any work, equally important is the extent to which that emotion is expressed. Right now, this piece doesn't really pull me that much. I don't feel the tears. Sure, it's sad, but it's not really that "homely" sound you would want to hear. Most of the emotion is because of the tempo. I can promise you if I sped this up just a bit, it would sound like a heroic anthem. Thus it's really not too far from neutrality. The effect could be enhanced by, as already stated, using more instruments in their various best roles to fit this music, using choirs, and adding a bit more "light" to be piece- harp arpeggios, metallic percussion, cymbals, etc. might help.
The subject matter also doesn't fit the song specifically either. Listening to the song blindly would make me instead think rather of a gentle forest setting (I can practically hear the birds chirping away in my head). It needs a bit more of a grandeur, a heroic sound to show that symbolism of servicemen and women. Right now it sounds like a peaceful forest. Imagine yourself in the shoes of the people affected- imagine yourself as the wife/husband of a soldier lost in war! Imagine your lover or relative going off to war, watching them drive off. Tap into that raw emotion there, not just what is in your head or your heart, but what COULD be in your head or heart.
The strings arrangement itself is fair enough... the parts are too liquid for me- no idea what is going on or where the melody is most of the time. Counter-melodies should come out, by panning, volume, or pitch... which is hard when you limit yourself like so to strings. You could also do a bit more of a call-and-response style with the motifs you decided to use in the piece, for instance, having violin I and violas play one line, then having cellos and violin II play a "reply" motif, like at 00:10 to 00:12 where the violins and violas hold that note, put something embellishing it there with another instrument that is in a different area (pan), volume, or pitch (range)! More motion spread around more sections = more emotion spread around the score.
I could hear a lot more work going into this... this seems very simple and plain- suitable more for an underscore in a movie (indeed it has an excellent cinematic sound)... It's mostly linear/wandering in its form and has some more modern/pop ideas.
I heavily recommend you move this and any similar works you have to the new "cinematic genre", in which this would be much more suitable (perhaps warranting a 4.5 or 5 out of 5).
All in all a decent piece. I think you could work much harder and make a more interesting piece in the future!
Lovely piece, Ash. I can hear a great deal of epic potential in it. Could you get a new computer soon please???
Beautiful! My only complaint is the way the strings swell then cut off very sharply at the end.
I'll fix that once I obtain another computer! Thank you for the review! :D
You made me cry...
*Evil French laugh* >:D
So soothing and mesmerizing....awesome to find you. I am literary amazed I had a similar intro in my mind for one of my song. Yes with pleasure to listen your longer versions. Another fan [ a ceiling one :) ]
What a cool fan you are. ;) lol Your words make me very happy! I'm glad you like my music. :) Thank you!
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.