I'm awe-struck in how you managed to do this. Not digging that piano sound used though. It's lacking in interesting velocity. Other than that, I love this masterpiece.
It's really not that difficult :p You just need the patience to sit down and play whatever comes to your mind for an hour. I actually don't have all too good pitch recognition, so you definitely don't need a perfect pitch or something. Just a little bit of piano playing experience.
I get what you're saying about the piano sound. Sometime this year, I want to buy a slightly more expensive and good quality piano library :)
So I was off on hiatus and I come back to this... wow.
Very well done~
Although at this rate, we may singlehandedly force Newgrounds to re-up the file size limit on songs~! xD
I'll most likely have this playing in the background while I work on things. ^.^
Cheers to fellow pianists playing their hearts out on the ivories~! \^o^/ <3
~Phyrnna ^_^ <3
It'd be an amazing accomplishment if we actually managed to up the file size again XD
What's more likely though, is that Tom would just up the limits for the two of us temporarily :p
And oh God, when will this stop? After a day long improv... A WEEK? I'm up for the challenge :D
Don't judge me, but the first time I read this, I read "ovaries" instead of "ivories", and i was like... Wat? o.O
Thought you'd be interested to know that I downloaded and decided to fall asleep to this. I ended up staying awake for at least 25 minutes of it. The problem with that I was hoping for a more relaxed kind of chord progression somewhere in the middle of it with lots of space in between notes, but it seems a lot of it is filled with rhythmic energy. I typically don't enjoy improvisations all that much, because it is very difficult to have color in chord choices. I usually can tell, as I'm sure most can as well, when one hears a through composed from an improv. If compared to food, improvs tend to be the hotdog/hamburger (kyle landry), but that is okay. Who doesn't love simple foods? We don't necessarily want a three-course meal every time.
However, you do have some interesting chords played in this. It just tends to be snippets of it while not every chord resolving in a linear motion. Kind of like a conversation without much coherence. I can't improv like you as this requires great skill to be able to sit down and pour out whatever thoughts come to mind. The other notable thing about this is the rhythmic variations throughout--this keeps me interesting and intrigued to hear what you are playing next.
btw, I really like the dissonant playing at 9:10 as this just becomes memorable to me.
Thanks for downloading! I actually find it more difficult to sleep while listening to music, as I easlily get so involved in it. If I'm really tired, it works, but otherwise, not so well. You're right, I had pretty few relaxing moods in this improvisation. I think that mysterious calm is a better improvisation for relaxation, even if it has an ominous mood. All the longer pauses and such are later in this improvisation, like 38:00 and 45:50 (totally didn't just look up the long paused places in TaintedLogic's review).
I enjoy improvisations more as background music myself, usually. As for the color, it depends for me whether I want it or not. You're right that it's difficult to get a really... Crisp feel? Or something like that when one is imrpovising, unless one has a great sense of pitch, or planned the chords on beforehand.
I can usually tell if something is an improvisation/composition too. The structures are usually so different. But some of the piece's I've made by improvising more and more and adding parts without caring about structure end up a little bit like an improvisation could sound, but better.
Iteresting analogy with the foods there! Kyle Landry is super talented. I especially like his rearrangements of pieces. His improvisations are usually very good, but not necessarily my style, and I prefer more melodic composition than he usually creates. I don't know how much you listen to him, but he has made 3 compositions that find to be simply brilliant!
- Playing on my Childhood Upright
- The Separation (original) [the proposed lyrics are beautiful]
Just some tips in case you're interested.
Oh, and he also made a sonata that I think is a bit more your style:
Coherence is definitely something that lacks in this improvisation, as it didn't really have any theme I followed at all; I did whatever I felt like. I don't think it takes that much skill though, just a lot of free time. I promise you, you are already pretty good at the piano, so if you try improvising for 10 minutes every day for half a year or so, you'll be just as good if not better than me!
What takes great skill, is to keep it coherent and good sounding all the way from beginning to end!
The rhythmic variation is definitely something that I am much more experimental with in my improvisations than I am in my actual compositions. Should probably do smoething about this huh XD?
I like dissonance in general. I don't know why o.O
Thanks for the review, I can totally see where you're coming from!
Played some games over this improv. You have amazing skill, I only listened to about 20 minutes of it, but between the 5-10 min mark is my favorite personally. 8:47- 9:00 was the best, I could listen to those slightly shifting chords all day! Then it transitioned to some of your earlier works, all in all a good mix. Question, how much of this was off the top, and how much of it was taken from previous works? Will be interesting to know :D
Thank you, CrabbWalker! I've listened to this three times or so now, and I've got a hard time telling which is my favorite part :/
Oh, only 2 parts were knowingly based on previous ideas. Not the parts you'd think either: 13:20-13:32 (That may still turn into a battle theme intro some time in the future), and the short riff at 61:08-61:15 which I continue to try developing further on for some time (fully imrpovised).
All the rest is off the top of my head, so basically everything except a few minutes if you count the whole time the riff is being developed upon. I accidetally played both short snippets of other people's stuff, and some of my older work, but usuall only a couple of seconds here and there, before I realized and intentionally changed it to something else.
And oh, the very first chord is planned, so the frist 3 seconds were planned too XD
Okay, here we go.
First of all, this is absolutely amazing! The pacing at the beginning is great, and I love the drama with that note at :14, and all the flairs of cool riffs that you managed to throw in here, like the tremolo at :28. Wait...that's it. I can't go any longer without getting something off my chest: HOLY F*CKING SH!T 65 MINUTES! Your passion for music is...inspiring! :O :D :O :D :O :D
Sorry. Continuing to review the piece now. I liked your method of drifting down the scale at 2:10. Believe me when I say I've seen a lot of people who think they can ride the scales like waves for 4 minutes (or sometimes 65) and somehow think it's interesting, but your chord progressions (like at 4:10) and such keep these otherwise simple intervals interesting. I really like the cute, yet jazzy and almost ominous vibe I was getting around 4:45 (I never would've combined those 3 adjectives before I discovered your music, believe me!). XD
I liked the texture and articulation you added at around 2:50 (and again at 3:25). Little things like that really help keep me engaged. Then there were those moments of simple haunting beauty, like around 5:45. I can't believe you improvised all of this, because it's just awe-inspiring to think that you could keep such intense focus and musicality for so long! I understand that you may have messed up at some points, but (as I believe I mentioned when I reviewed "Improv on Clarity") that it really adds a humanizing element when you do so.
7:43 had this awesome vibe like it was trying to be pompous and arrogant, but coming across as more cute than anything else, like a cat licking its paw indignantly after someone rudely splashed mud on it. I also love the dissonance around 9:13, and how that's then channeled into the brisk start-stop rhythms of 9:27. I think around 10:30 you were trying to incorporate some jazzy rhythms or something, and it kind of fell flat. It was a little hard to digest the rhythms, up until about 11:15, when it started getting better IMO. Still, maybe you should listen to/practice improvising some more jazzier tunes so you can improve your jazz-related skills. :)
At 11:55, I like what you were doing with using a theme to base your melodies around, yet between 12:10 and 12:25 or so, you tried a couple of pauses (I couldn't tell if these were intentional or not) and also sudden tempo changes that didn't really work for me. I really like the rhythms around 13:35, though. Also, nice job with the fast hands at 12:45. ;) I think that you might've needed a stronger theme to tie this piece together a little more, though. I know that's hard to do in a 65-minute piece, but maybe you should work up to it. You've done a fantastic 17-minute improv (on Clarity), so you could try to create a succinct one of 20 minutes, then 25, etc. Or maybe that's too ambitious...even for you! ^^
The piece is just going too fast for me to comment on everything I want to comment on! ARRGGHH!
I love the many various "breakdown" sections, though, such as that around 16:20. It's very tranquil there, and I think it offered a good change of pace for the piece as a whole. This, in turn, made the piece much more full-sounding and bright by contrast when it finally started picking up again. Interesting how you almost go in these cycles of structural patterns when you improvise. Considering what an incredibly long piece this is, it's rather smooth-flowing. The structure is a little bizarre, but of course it's hard to plan that when you have 65 minutes ahead of you. ;D
Like I said, I think one of my favorite things about this piece is the pacing. You slow it down and speed it up almost flawlessly. Your sense of how to transition between various sections of the piece are astounding, something I could never hope to mirror while improvising on the cello.
I was really interested to see where you went wit 20:20, as you had led up to that point with such an intense string of soaring arpeggios, and then 20:22 didn't make it quite as climactic as it otherwise may have been. Still, it's hard to criticize you for this as, well, the whole thing was improvised! Didn't your fingers hurt by the end of this?! I seldom practice my cello for more than an hour at a time, and even in that hour I'm not continuously playing.
Anyway, the part at around 22:50 also stood out to me, as you seemed to use more of the right side of the piano to an extreme extent, while also slowing down the tempo majestically, which led quite well into the dark-sounding dance-ish theme at 22:56. The chords around 24:00 seemed to combine so many different emotions - wonder, passion, innocence, etc. I don't even know how you manage to cascade up and down the scales so fast as at 24:50. 26:15 also had an interesting mood to it, and I liked the rhythms and flair that 26:26 had. That was one time where you really nailed the jazzy rhythms and such. Have you ever thought of taking some of these riffs and basing entire songs off of them? I'd say you have a year's worth of awesome song-writing ideas just in the first half of this piece!
I also really liked the chord progression around 27:10. 27:30 had an official sort of attitude to it, yet at the same time intimidating. Sort of reminds me of the Wicked Witch's guards in "Wizard of Oz." :D I love how every minute of this piece brings out some new theme or new emotion. I was done typing that last sentence, and then I listened closer and BOOM! Beautiful theme at 28:30, completely different that the "Y-oooohhhh-ohh"s of the Wicked Witch's guards. ;)
Right around the 30-minute mark, you started essentially modulating your chords to the same rhythm every 2 bars or so, but you quickly started doing something more interesting again at 30:15. I swear, I would've collapsed in exhaustion by now if this were me. Hell, I'm practically collapsing in exhaustion with the focus of listening to this for so long. Oh well, can't turn back now.
I like how you kind of reset yourself at 32:00 a bit. Really pretty section of the piece. I like the "inverted melody" style, where all the moving notes are in the lower octaves. I also like the dark tone that started to occur around 32:50. I like how you're leaving yourself plenty of space for transitioning and setting up the flow of the piece, and the reverb helps. The part at 33:30 was probably my favorite of the piece. It was just hauntingly beautiful. Then, I also liked how you started incorporating brighter and more upbeat elements back in at around 34:40. I also liked the theme around 35:35, which you kept until at least 36:00.
Unfortunately, this piece sometimes sounds like a series of short riffs you strung together, but somehow you still smooth out the transitions with all those tempo shifts and reverb automations. I thought 36:30 was a good "arrival point," though. ;) 38:00 also caught my attention because of the especially long pauses between notes there, and I'm glad it did catch my attention, as I found it quite pretty. I, once again, will applaud you for playing with the pacing so much in this piece. I think it really paid off.
I also like the dark, almost mechanical rhythm at around 39:05. It made me think of a day when ALE TAKES OVER THE WORLD, and all the rest of the people are working in his super-factory, turning huge wheels that help power various other machinery, like hamsters (except dirtier, scarred by whippings, and generally less cute). :D
I also liked the part at 40:26, which almost sounded like pop music, except then you came in with the minor chords to make it seem less pop-ish again. :)
41:40 had a bit of that mechanical rhythm vibe again, which isn't a bad thing, as it seemed purposeful, by which I mean it communicated a certain emotion to me by sounding rigid, as opposed to being played straight and without feeling.
Another one of the big crescendo-ritardando combos was at 42:45, and 43:05 subsequently felt very heavy. Then I liked how you quickly transitioned back into content that was lighter, yet still ominous, i.e. 43:20.
44:15 kind of reminded me of a montage in a movie, or perhaps a commercial for an anti-depressant. By 45:00, they're describing the medicine and how it has helped people, and at 45:45 the commercial ends (it's a long commercial, okay? Jeez...).
For the next couple of minutes after that, you engaged me in one of your epic breakdown sections for an epic piece again. ;D I was drawn to it by the intensely long pauses again, and then 47:30 seemed like another height of emotion. Excellent work with the rhythms around 48:00, and then the subsequent tremolos and rapid scales around 48:20, which continued well into the 49th minute. I admire the self-control it must've taken to be able to gradually decrease the volume and intensity on those tremolos so that you could flow into the following lyrical section with unimaginable ease. Well done there, my friend!
The part at around 50:48 also struck me as being quite beautiful, especially when you got to that high note at around 51:10 - it sounded like a bell! The following melodrama regarding the lowest couple of octaves was also quite well done at 51:30. I liked how your brought the tremolos back at around 52:45. I guess that's one theme you kept consistent throughout the entire piece. ;)
The part at 53:20 was, of course, beautiful. Nice work with the emotion there. 54:05 seemed like a big arrival point too, even though you essentially dragged out that transition from 53:50 for a long time to get there. XD I see this is the last main breakdown section before the "coda" of the improv, if you will, although I suppose it would be fitting if such a piece ended with a breakdown-like part.
I really liked the climax into around 55:45. 56:06 also had its own beauty to it. I feel like I had heard that melody/progression before 56:06, but a) I'm too lazy to go back and look for it and b) I've heard a lot of melodies and progressions over the last 56 minutes, so I'm probably just deluding myself. I loved those slides around 57:30, though. They added a lot of character to what would've been an otherwise rather bland section.
I think I was hoping for a quite, smooth ending to this piece the whole time, and these oddly specific dreams of mine started to become reality at 59:30. :D In fact, I think the last few minutes of this piece encapsulated my favorite larger section of the piece. It has an energy, yet the energy itself is almost strangely resentful. It's kind of like a young schoolboy, whose backpack weighs more than he does, rushing to class, as if hurrying to get there would make the class itself end sooner. It's infinitely admirable how you can keep up this amazing quality of musicianship to the very end of what must've been an extremely long recording session! :O
One thing I might suggest is that you make a piece like this (i.e., of this length) more coherent in the future. I know that it does have some structural (and maybe even melodic) repetition, yet as a casual, first-time listener, these repetitions are extremely hard to detect. Still, I applaud you for an insane accomplishment. Your ambitious projects are truly inspiring, Ale. I can only hope to have the motivation and passion for something one day that you have for music.
Anyway, about the ending: I loved the chords at 64:30. I thought it was funny that this piece looped, as if to say: "MWWAAHAHAHA! You've listened to it for an hour, now listen to it FOREVER!!!" Holy shit, maybe you HAVE taken over the world...
In all seriousness, I thought it was an appropriately conclusive ending, and it looped really well too. You sure showed @Phyrnna. XD Next stop: 2 hours! I would seriously be willing to review a piece that long, but not anytime soon. There's actually a lot I want to do between now and when I graduate high school in a few weeks. Still: you. Me. This summer. Piano improv. 2 hours. Let's go! ;D
In all seriousness, though, this is a huge accomplishment, Ale, and I'd like to congratulate you again. Now, I believe it's time for me to go. I literally have 2 characters left. :O
Tssk tssk. Two characters left still? You lazy bum.
Okay, that's it. I can't go any longer without getting something off my chest: HOLY F*CKING SH!T ONLY 2 CHARACTERS IN A REVIEW LEFT? WTF? o.O!!!
I think that my longest review thus far is 9606 characters long. Which means that you totally beat me, just like Phyrnna did. But you know what that means? When you release a track that I can really review everything about, I will get my revenge, and write 2 characters more than you. MUAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH >:D
Seriously though, thanks an unlimited amount for all the effort. I've already read though your review twice and cheked with the spots, and everything you say is spot on. I can't imagine the amount of focus that must've required. I don't think I need to tell you, but this is easily the most awesome review I've ever received. That is why, you deserve an awesome response, so here goes...
*Opens three windows, one for song, one for writing, and one for reading, to save time*
Warning: there's no way I'm spell checking this, as it's already 7 am. Sorry for that ;)
"0:14 and 0:28"
=> Yep. I like single notes, and they give me time to think of how to continue. I don't know if I'd call that a tremolo (but I know nothing about music theory, so yeah..) but I know what you mean.
=> Funny thing is, I actually have know idea what exactly I was doing there, but it clearly involved 2 hands. I should look at the midi file some day to see what I've been doing, as my pitch recognizing ability is so bad that I don't even know what I myself have played XD
I get that wave-scale thingey too. If it's really unusual/beautiful chords, I get that it can be done for a while and sound good. But unless it's purely atmospherical background music, I don't think it's that good to do for long periods of time.
=> I AM UNIQUE! Thank you, I take that as a compliment (and it was meant as one too, so yeah). I have difficulty hiding my style even when I want to...
"2:50 + 3:35"
=> Another fun fact. You've analyzed this track far deeper than I ever thought while making it. That means that your review is insanely good, and not only long. You noticed a lot of details about rhythm and tempo and such that I never really thought about. Because I really do this completely on a whim, and trust my subconscious to control my fingers. Only at occasion do I think through the listeners perspective; when I think something is not working or is getting super boring. I just let my fingers dance like they want to, which causes all small riffs and such.
"Focus on musicality"
=> If only that were the case though! In a way, you're right. But if anything, I feel like I lose all focus, and let the auto-pilot do its thing. This hour (well, more like 80 min, but issues :/ ) flowed past really quickly. FLOWED. Becuase I was in flow when playing this. It's a psychological thing. I'm sure you've experienced it thousands of times. But I'd imagine this is more difficult to listen to than it is to actually play! But in a way, lack of focus, IS FOCUS, no?
=> Ooooh you don't even KNOW. It's much difficult to hear, but a lot of sections didn't go nearly as planned. You heard some of them, like the failed jazzy-ish ones and such. And there are literally thousands of technical mistakes. But as you said, there's some beauty in that.
=> Great catch. I totally get where you're coming from!
=> I love dissonance.
You noticed 9:27, but didn't mention 9:42. And I thought that sounded good :/
But I guess it's pretty simple in core, and I can't expect you to mention everything, as it would never get room into a review :D
I wasn't really trying jazzy, but I happened to pick such a scale. What I wanted to achieve was complete but rhythmic chaos. But my damn fingers kept hitting keys between intended rhythms all the time XD So this is one of the thousands of technical errors.
And yes, my jazz skills, especially with the left hand, suck! The reason is most likely that jazz chords can be pretty specific, and a little failing can ruin them totally. The rhythmic aspect of jazz is one of fy weak spots as well, along with the fact that I never practice scales... (My laziness is bittersweet).
11:50 is one of the weirdest happenings in this piece. My brain stopped working, and all the pauses are besically attempts to reset my brain before too much damage was done. You see, it failed doing the simple back forth motion with the left hand. It's very odd, but I guess that happens from time to time :D
So the pauses are intentional, but not wanted, basically XD
Thanks. It's not actually that fast when you get used to it, but I couldn't play them faster either, or it'd sound weird. It's pretty fast, but thanks to learning the intro to https://goo.gl/Oiuafx , among other things, I can play much faster!
Yep. I kinda like them too. Probably unconsciously inspired by Decisive Battle from FF6, Faint1Pulse version!
=> Repetition for an hour? No. I like the fact that this kinda flows on while disregarding pretty much all compositional rules. But perhaps sometime in the future. Improv on Clarity was pure luck and flow. One in like fifty 10 minute imrpovs turn out to be nearly as good, and never recorded. Perhaps when I am a further evloved pianist though! :D
=> You caught it! That is actually 20 seconds that were somhow stored and saved from the third, otherwise lost part. At 16:38, original first part starts!
As for the breakdowns, they happen automatically. Sometimes, I just like slower sections, but the beauty with them, is that they let me rest my mind and fingers, while for a moment becoming conscious again to figure out what could be a cool thing to do next!
I also like to alternate between dark and light / combination when playing. It's all automatic. My brain sees the piano as some kind of weird game (as I've heard that many pianists do), and it likes to vary all the things that are going on, and come up with unique combinations, if possible.
"could never .. on cello"
=> Well, I'm sure you could if you'd try improvising for 1000 hours in 2 years XD Some transitions are good, others not as much. Slowing down and speeding up helps, but even I know a couple of chord combinations that can help. And I also got such a sound out of the piano that nothing really sounds really wrong, unless the rhythms are bad. You know how on a Steinway, no matter what you do, it sounds pretty good, and on a bad piano, everything except very specific things sound bad? Sound does a lot.
20:20 is an accidental anticlimax indeed.
And nah. My fingers didn't hurt at all. This wasn't that intense work for them, as only really fast things for a really long time is tiring for my fingers at this point.
This is also not the longest improvisation I've played. I believe something around 4 hours is my record (but that is a couple of years ago now).
For some reason 22:50 doesn't sound all too good to me. I guess I don't like the chords that much. I like 22:56=> though. I totally get all the emotions you described.
I just wish I wouldn't have been as clumsy as here. I should've gone a little slower, to get it cleaner. I used both hands for this though, so you have the time of one hand playing to move the other. So it's not as difficult as it may seem.
And you nailed catching this spot. How do you keep the focus up, seriorusrley?
"Song writing ideas"
=> You know, this is actually how several of my song ideas are born. Not as many as one would think, but several. It usually has a lot more repetition in it when I'm trying to actually write something though. This is all about leaving one idea and moving on to the next one :D
I like the part a liitle bit after 27:10 too. I have no idea what I was doing though XD
27:30 I actually know what I was doing, to some extent. Probably some kind of D minor with Bb dim or something like that XD
"Wizard of Oz"
Brings me back. Both the movie, and the books. Good times.
=> I really like this part. It was very unexpected. It uses harmonies I don't usually use, which I always like, as my ears are tired of my brain coming up with similar ideas all the time.
=> Almost at the halfway point in the track.
"Hell, I'm practically collapsing in exhaustion with the focus of listening to this for so long."
=> Well. You've done an amazing job. I think that listening and reviewing is at least 20 times more exhausting than actually playing, so :D
=> Great catch once again. Returning to the "tremolo note thingeys", one of the only returning things, along with some chords progressions that repeat througout the entire song. I rarely use these in compositions, so I thought I should use them in an improvisation, as I got the opportunity. I actually really like them!
33:30 is easily one of my favorite parts as well. Again, unusual harmonies for me! If you like 34:05, check out Kairi's theme ;)
34:40. I actually play happy stuff at times. Weird, isn't it?
Technical issue = fade out, spotted.
=> Weird rhythm here, but I quite like it myself.
"...this piece sometimes sounds like a series of short riffs you strung together..."
=> This. Not only riffs though. I do things with the left hand too, and such. Riffs are more of an extra add for me. I try to creat a whole, or a melody :3
38:00 was partly inspired from the good feedback I received from the final section of "Medly of a Shattered Mind". I wanted to make something similar.
=> Darker mood indeed. That picture you painted though XD! Lol x 1000
You didn't mention it, so I must admit that although simple rhythm, I like "40:00" a lot. And at 40:26, I get what you mean with the pop-iness. It's in the rhythm too :D
=> Interesting adaptation. I for one think it's very filled with humanism. I guess I must've played it more strict to tempo and rhythm than usual. If you listen closely though, there's a slight decrese and increase in tempo, in waves!
=> 90% inspired by "You Can Hear the Cry of the Planet", and 10% based on one of my first ever recorded improvisations.
I like 43:15. Sounds like something that exists already though! Idk what exactly...
=> Hahahahah. That visual XD But yeah, I guess you're right! How do you come up with all of this?
"For the next couple of minutes..."
=> Another one of my favorite parts. Simple in theory, but awesome accidental chords and harmonies. The reverb really help.
I can actually hear a few mistakes here, but maybe it's good despite those!
=> Another one of the places where I think I succeeded. I think that LunacyEcho would really like this part. This was rusprisingly tiring for the fingers. A few of the slowdowns were intentional, so that I wouldn't get too tired XD
"51:10" Kinda does sound like a bell!
=> Some weird rhythmic change here, but I like it.
Those alternating octavic keys are indeed one of the recurring things!
=> These random parts really come out of no coherent place in my brain. Suddenly, they're just here o.O
=> Totally buying myself some time here XD
55:45 = one of the weirders transitions I've made in this improv, I think, apart from 56:00, which comes right after it, hahha :D
As for 56:06, I could almost swear that those are the same chords that I began "Improv on Clarity" with! The melodies are different, but I see through myself :D It was accidental, but a nice reference nonetheless >:)
= I came up with those myself. I rarely hear them being used, but I know like 2 pieces with them, I guess.
It's no wonder you like the last section! That's the most base-riffy thing I've plaed in ages, so it's probably in your style XD
I rarely incorporate cool bass riffs in my songs. I should do it more often.
=> Technical issue transition spotted >:'D
"motivation and passion"
=> Translates to a lot of free time ;)
=> BLASPHEMY! KILL THE WITCH!
I'm glad you like the fact that it loops :')!
2 hour improv challenge accepted.
Amazing review my friend, I hope the respone is ok.
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