The Horror of Self

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If you knew me in real life, you'd probably know I absolutely adore early music. This piece borrows melodic sensibilities from Hildegard von Bingen - a female composer noted for her ascending leaps of 4ths and 5ths. It's a melodic gesture that doesn't turn many heads today, but is something that wasn't really idiomatic for the 1100's.

This sketch came out of a personal low point. We work hard to succeed at doing the things we love, but sometimes a crack in our egotistical armor compromises structural integrity and everything comes crashing down. This short vignette is a lamentation of short-comings when your best is just not good enough.

The modal gestures are heavily influenced by Hildegard von Bingen, but the portamento violin takes its cues from appalachian music. The harmony is loosely based on Arvo Pärt's tintinnabulation technique, though I took liberties where I felt necessary.

I wrote this because I'm a total failure piece of shit.

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Thank you for this. I've not heard of Hildegard von Bingen, but she sounds fascinating. Research time!

Beautiful string melodies at the beginning, although the drone that plays in the background for at least the first minute or so sounds a little dry and dull. This piece has a simple beauty to it that I like a lot. Sounds like an introduction to some sort of movie, perhaps one that takes place in Scotland. XD The progression was rather beautiful, although that drone is still bothering me tbh. I might've transposed it down an octave at the very least, where it sort of rounds off the texture a bit and gives this piece a fuller-sounding mix. You could've done a lot more with this, too. I might suggest holding the slow-paced melodies you have playing here to a minute or so, and then coming in with something more energetic and climactic. I wouldn't really regard this as a structurally complete piece. Either way, I like the sound and I hope you expand upon this at some point! ^^

sleepFacingWest responds:

Thanks! I wanted to go further with this one, but I wasn't 100% sure where to go. I could keep meandering with the modal melody, but it seems to lack direction after awhile.

As far as the drone goes, the stagnant quality was sort of on purpose. I like the way that it creates this dull lifeless ground from which melodies can ricochet and intertwine. I took a lot of influence from early plainchant like this -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eFPJa95qQE

That's one of my favorite pre-polyphonic composers (ca 1100).

I had a teacher who always stressed that a drone is never just a drone and that it's important to find ways to activate them somehow. It's pretty much what I feel like you're saying as well. All good advice. I'll spend some time trying to figure it out. I WOULD like to continue writing this piece, and that might help give it a more solid sense of direction.

Now words can describe the epicness of this. Keep up the awesome. :)

- V

sleepFacingWest responds:


Actually sounds good for a mid evil opening tittle for a game

sleepFacingWest responds:

Thank you. Do you know of a game that needs an opening title? ;)

Oh jeez i really like this. It's too short, but that's because I'm used to hearing music like this with a length of minimum 6 minutes hehe. so yea, I'm not very knowledgeable so i can't say much more than that I loved it and thank you for the 2 minutes 44 seconds.

sleepFacingWest responds:

I think you're right. Part of this sleep facing west project was about writing quickly and moving on without overthinking things, but I do feel that this is too short. I've resumed work on it.

Credits & Info

4.03 / 5.00

Jul 23, 2015
1:06 AM EDT
File Info
6.2 MB
2 min 43 sec

Licensing Terms

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