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through a dark wood

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Stripping down my songs to the most important bits after I went totally over the top with everything with "soar". A focus on melody and melancholy feelings, and an overall emphasis on the sparseness of the song.

Kinda feels a little Yasunori Mitsuda to me :D

Thus concludes guitar month! Where will I go from here... hmmmm

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This is by far some of the best work I've heard.

johnfn responds:

Wow, thanks!

Ah, good! Nice to hear something more organic from you again! :D I love the instruments, especially the guitar, and all the grace notes really added a lot to the piece. The melodies are obviously amazing. I especially love the ones from :44 to 1:05 and from 1:40 to 2:09. It's just so beautiful; it really tugs at my emotions. I felt like you could've led into the ending a bit better (it seemed like it was a little rushed), but other than that simply amazing work. Also, 8 reviews in 24 hours isn't bad. ;D If you keep it up, I have a feeling your popularity is just going to explode. How can it not when you're posting a track as beautiful as this once a week? Congrats on 200 audio submissions, btw, and to many hundreds more! ^^

johnfn responds:

> organic

Yeah! Although of my last 5 tracks, 4 were primarily organic (I think)... it's kinda the direction I'm moving in (maybe).

> I especially love the ones from :44 to 1:05

I'm really surprised that these are getting most of the praise. See, even though I've posted 200 (WHAT?!?) songs, I still can't completely predict what people are going to say.

> I have a feeling your popularity is just going to explode

Haha yeah - but I don't know if i can get much more popular on Newgrounds, the community is pretty small :) I like it though because I get substantive feedback (from people like you!) rather than really anywhere else where people pretty much say "nice song brah check out mine" and move on, haha.

Sure, Waterflame gets maybe 2x the reviews I get, but you guys leave me much longer and more thoughtful reviews. I'd like to think I have a more literate and refined listener base.

:D :D :D

> once a week

Once a week? I submitted 3 songs this week! And I have 2 more that are practically done... *cackles insanely and returns to Ableton*

> 200

Thanks for pointing that out to me - I didn't even notice! That's amazing and also (for some indescribable reason) somewhat terrifying!

Beautiful notes. Great... everything! I even love the sudden (but not harsh) change to the guitar part (though the switch back to piano didn't quite feel right). The synths blend into the mix very well! My complaint is that many things feel way too isolated to one stereo channel or the other. Even if you don't fix that, I'll fix it on my copy right after I download it. :)

johnfn responds:

Thanks! Yeah so about the hard panning - I actually got that idea when I was listening to some old 60's music. Musicians would often pan the guitar solo hard left and the chords hard right - probably because they didn't have sophisticated mixing equipment, come to think of it - but our ears would be pretty good at listening to it as an entire piece. I'm going to guess that the problem in my piece is the sudden switch between non panned and panned, so I'll have to keep that in mind...

Thanks for leaving a review :-)

This reminded me of the old rpg games I used to play in my ps1 long time ago,like some stages from ffVII or something like that,anyway this one goes to my favorites list,keep the good work man.

johnfn responds:

Haha yeah I get a lot of comparisons to ff, prob because I love all that old japanese vg music. In fact just before I started writing this one I came up with a really great theme and was going to run with it before I realized it was just Terra's theme xD

Thanks for leaving a review :)

This sounds beautiful. Top-notch melodies as usual, johnfn.

I loved the piano intro. I get how some people call it dry, but it's a nice contrast to the signature johnfn style that we're so used to. You tend to use reverb a lot, and I enjoyed its relative absence in the piano of the song.

I think the reason the guitar feels a bit out of place is that it sounds like you cut a whole in the piano music and jammed it in there, like an artificial liver. Perhaps it would sound better if you cut the background guitar and replaced it with piano? That way, it might transition better. I also think the panning on the guitar is a bit extreme, but that's more of a personal thing; I know how some people enjoy panning.

I loved the synths. Once again, they sounded very custom-made, and they were, apparently. They were calming, but I think they either had a bit too much reverb or too low attack, since when two synths are played in a row, the sound from the first overlapped noticeably into the beginning of the second's, and you know how I enjoy my tempo. :P

Where will you go from here? Hm... HOLOPHONOR MONTH! But seriously, I think custom-sounds month sounds like an interesting idea.

Good job! A few things could've used tweaking, but the overall effect was great.

johnfn responds:

I didn't know that I used reverb so much haha. I kind of do these things without being conscious of them.

I get the idea of the abrupt transition between piano and guitar though, that makes sense. The only struggles I was having was that I was really enjoying the feel of pure guitar and nothing else. Maybe I could do a better transition somewhere.

> I loved the synths

I'm really glad they're getting a good reception. There was a lot of tweaking going on there, and I wasn't 100% sure that the overall effect was going to be good.

> But seriously, I think custom-sounds month sounds like an interesting idea.

I kinda wanted to keep it under wraps until boom next song hits with crazy new things but yeah I'm feeling pretty good about sound design/sound choice month. I'm already kinda headed in that direction.

Thanks for the great review as usual dude. I really appreciate your thoughtful and thought provoking reviews.

Credits & Info


4.67 / 5.00

Mar 30, 2014
7:32 PM EDT
File Info
2.7 MB
3 min 0 sec

Licensing Terms

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