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Medley of a Shattered Mind


Author Comments

Well, how should I begin this description? I usually write pretty long descriptions, but I think this'll beat most of my earlier ones.

I guess I should start off by saying why I made this piece in the first place. There's a very simple reason, and that is the fact that I became inspired by Phonometrologist's music:

Mainly, Return: http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/594235
and Improv/Prelude in E minor: http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/600393

If you haven't checked them out, I recommend you do so immediately, and if you've heard them already, it can't hurt to listen to them again ;)

I can't say that all parts of this composition resembles his songs, but I assure you they inspired this. Not only that, but he was increibly nice and stood for the production of this piece! He assigned my MIDI file to a piano sample, and mixed it, which explains why this sounds different from my other piano tracks!

Now, for the piece itself...

As I was composing it, it eventually grew a life of its own, and started composing itself, so to say. It did so part by part though, and the different sections weren't really connected to eachother, nor did they sound as if they necessarily belonged to the same piece.
In order for everything to make sense, I began developing a story behind the composition as well, which actually changed the composition itself and made it easier with the transitioning (the transition between a 3/4 rythm and 4/4 could perhaps have been done slightly better though).
I decided to give the different sections names at some points, some after a part was finished, some before, and some in the middle of creation.

Here are the different "Movements".

1. 0:00 - Mundane Madness
2. 1:02 - Lost in a Dream
3. 1:29 - Fragments of a Broken Heart
4. 2:19 - The Struggle of Acceptance
5. 2:58 - Euneirophrenia to Euphoria
6. 4:23 - A Moment of Clarity

Basically, the composition is about an elderly and demented person (gender irrelevant), sitting in a chair in some lonely retirement home, stuck in a loop of his/her own memories. The rest of the story is up to the you; the listeners, based on the names of the segments.

Yeah. I don't usually compose in this way, but trying out new things is always a good idea. And I tried out a lot of new things in this piece! I believe it to be one of my better ones, although I was sceptical at first for some reason :/

Oh, and I did fix a few errors in the original recording by editing the MIDI file, but I didn't need to do much. I played this song more than a hundred times while composing it, so my playing was pretty steady and accurate :3

Funny thing is, this piece would actually loop quite well, had I not accidentally played with such a different tempo in the beginning as in the end.

I think that was most of what I wished to say.

Thanks a lot for listening, and once again, thanks to Phonometrologist for everything!

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Ooo so beautiful :-)

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you, Jenninexus! :3

My eyes!

What have you done to my eyes?!

Why are they bleeding this clear blood stuff?

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Ooh, you somehow found this among all my other stuff?
I'm sorry for your eyes, then again I am glad that I could speak to you through my music. Thank you for listening!

This is really nice! I was thinking while listening to it that you must be my musical alter ego or something, since your chord choices sound almost EXACTLY the same as mine (at least, when I'm in this sort of emotional piano mood). The only things you did that I normally wouldn't do is that sometimes you really go heavy on the chords e.g. 3:55 (or 2:00). Aside from that, we're pretty much exactly the same :P I was thinking we should get together and play piano, but... Finland...

I have 1 technical nitpick, which is that sometimes the mixing gets a little muddy - too much sustain I think. For example :29, and :32. You generally don't want to sustain 1 base notes that are in different chords - it sounds muddy very quickly.

I have another suggestion about the composition. This piece is like I'm in a train (in Finland?) looking out the window, and I'm seeing different stuff all the time, and it's all very pretty, but to me it feels like there isn't much of an arc in the music itself. I think you could help by having more variation between your different sections. Each of your sections are the same sort of moody slow chordal stuff. There's nothing wrong with it, but you can give your song more of an 'arc' by switching it up. I mean, I'm the last person you should call a classical music expert, but even I've listened to moonlight sonata, and I'd bet a good reason it's so successful is that it starts out with a slow moody section, but by the end it's exploded into this insane arpeggiated craziness. Keeps the listener's attention!

Another thing that might help would be to try sticking with 1 melody as a sort of theme, and then try bringing it back throughout the piece. Gives the whole thing a sense of coherence.

Anywho, those are just some random thoughts. Hope that helps. I liked the piece! You have a lot of good ideas on the piano. I liked the thing at 1:44 especially. Heck, I thought that you could have got even more mileage out of it just by repeating it again! Also, isn't 3:20 the phantom of the opera theme? hahehah. for like 2 seconds anyways. It works really well.

Good job!

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Hey, this was a totally unexpected and big review! Thanks a lot!

"...your chord choices sound almost EXACTLY the same as mine..."

=> That's quite the compliment right off the bat, there! Maybe we both just have really good taste in chords ;)?

And well, 3:55 is kinda the climax of that segment, so I wanted to give it a slightly different feel, with the orchestral rhythm and all :)

Yeah... We don't exctly live close to each other (Hehehhehe, now johnfn will never get to know how bad I am at improvising along with others >:D).

I agree with the sustain pedal thingy. I'd like to blame Phonometrologist, who added much reverb while mixing the track (knowingly, because I like much reverb), but I DID hold the pedal down at such points you mentioned. On my electronic piano, it doesn't get that muddy if done like this, but with the piano vst that Phonometrologist used, the same thing is not true :p
So it was a clash between different intruments, I guess (I always play a bit differently on a real piano and an electronic one, as the sounds are still so different).

I can totally see the train analogy, as this is a progressive piece in the way that it always moves forward, without looking back (Which is also why I don't have repeating melodies that moce across the sections!!!).

While I agree with every criticism you give, I'll still give you my point of view. While the melodies and chord are different in different sections, I agree that they are all similar (well, there was the clumsy change from 3/4 to 4/4 at one point, and a few other rhythmic parts) to each other. The reason for that is mostly how I approached the peice. I first made a few different melodies and parts, in a similar manner, as I wanted to glue them together into a sense-making piece. However, they turned out to be too different from eachother (when I was about midway done, or so) for me to easily be able to make them sound part of the same piece. This resulted in them being similar in the way you mentioned, yet different in the way that they don't mix well together. That is why I decided to come up with the story for the piece. My thought process was that while the sections represent different emotional times of a persons life, it's still the same person in all the parts, which is why there are both differences and similarities. So basically, I made a medley :)
That's just my take on it though, as much is up to the listener.

I still agree with what you said though. It's just that I was so far gone with the piece already, so I was too lazy to make many changes :p

(I love the first and third movement of the Moonlight Sonata).

I do sometimes stick with 1, 2 or 3 main melodies that repeat in different ways, but many times, coherency is not what I go for. I also like to switch up the melody and change it a bit, using the same chords, or play the same (or a very similar) melody, but with different chords.
It is a very useful technique though!

You definitely helped! I didn't even think about the pedal thing at all, for instance. You have a great ear for music, as usually. You know, I actually thought about repeating 1:44, while making it a bit more dramatical, but I ended up with 1:56 instead :/
And I can see what you mean with Phantom of the Opera; there are some similarities in the overall tone as well!

Thanks a lot for the big and sudden review! I really appreciate it!
Now... Time to go review your newest upload...

Beautiful! It's very dark and reflective. Makes me think of sad memories at first, then a strange floating sensation. It's hard to describe...anyway, I loved the subtly distinct movements, and, as is with all your piano improvs, it flows really well. I really liked the chord at around 3:18 that was quite a bit more staccato than your usual style. Still, I'm going to have to call my favorite chunk 2:30 - 3:00. But, really, it's all so beautiful! :'D If one could dare to suggest an improvement to be made for this piece, it might have progressed a little too quickly at times. Still, amazing work LSD! Keep it up, my friend. Also, I have a challenge for you: can you make a piano improv that is not smooth and flowing, but rather punchy and jarring? I'd be interested to see what you do with that idea... >:D

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Aww, thanks :3

For some reason, I've always been drawn to dark stuff... It's good that it makes you think of memories, as that is kinda the point! This does indeed flow well, but this is not an improv. I might as well stop making songs if my improvs were this good XD

Oh, you noticed 3:18? Very well done my friend! It is intentional, although I accidentally overdid it a bit. Luckily, Phonometrologist saved the part with a perfect amount of reverb, so it sounds quite nice :p

I do agree that this does progress quite quickly at times, however, I'd like to point out that that is intentional! That said, some transitions definitely could be smoother... THAT SAID, I'm often a fan of rough, unexpected transitions and modulations :3

OOOH! I like that challenge. I will take it on for sure (I have in fact done more bouncy and unflowing pieces earlier, but it has been a long time since...). Thanks for the suggestion!!

Lastly, I'll try to reply to yourm PM before wednesday. Believe it or not, I've had a pretty full schedule lately o.O Hopefully, things'll call down soon again so I can focus on my projects as well...

Well I don't think I can elaborate even more on a review than what I already told you about this. But I wanted to say that you're too generous in your comment section. It was a pleasure mixing this for ya because it really is beautiful and alluring to listen to.
I will also say that as I was falling asleep the other night, I put this piece on and was about moved to tears. What the heck? I don't understand how I can inspire such a beautiful piece-- don't feel deserved for it. Was taken back by the gesture and I didn't expect it. This piece stands alone in my eyes...
A moment of Clarity is still my fav part to listen to. Haunting...

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Aww, man, you're making me blush :3
I'm glad you liked mixing this piece, and as LunacyEcho said, this is much better produced than my usual stuff, so I don't think I was overly generous in the description!
Well, I'd say that it's very easy to understand how you could inspire this piece. In my ears, "Return" is better than this piece by a league! I still listen to it constantly , and I showed it to a friend of mine, and he was amazed by it too. It may not have as many chords or sections as my piece, but the raw emotion in the strings and the melody go straight to the heart, which really makes me think. I was already inspired at this point, but when you released your next track, I decided I definitely had to try something different from my usual style. The first chords in my composition are even based off of the first chords in "Prelude in E minor" :p

You know, many people have told me that A Moment of Clarity is their favorite part. I understand why. You don't need a lot of complicated melodies and base lines to make an impression, and that part is as simple as piano playing gets; a beginner could play it with ease. I believe that though complicated compositions can affect people, it's the simplest chords and melodies that really make an impact. Further on, I think my own favorite section OF that section is between 4:45 and 4:53. I used an entirely new chord progression to me, which is a bit unusual (I've used so many in the past). And it's so simple! It's just A minor, E minor and then the soft switch to G minor and D minor.

Anyhow, it's a tug at my heartstrings that you appreciated the piece I made which was inpired by you. Thank you, dear friend :)

Credits & Info


4.95 / 5.00

Jan 14, 2015
11:19 PM EST
File Info
11.8 MB
5 min 11 sec

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