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For Love is strong as Death

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Johnfn gave me the idea to write a love song. I first dismissed the thought but then submitted to the idea. Though, it's not your conventional love song as I'm not even sure what people think of when the name "love song" comes up... maybe happy-go-lucky with some cheesy production?

So I met a girl, but I can't say that I'm in love per say for true love comes from adversity. I've not had enough time to know her where one must choose to love beyond that of how one feels. But I'm looking forward to it.

"Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the Lord.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
he would be utterly despised." - Song of Solomon 8:6-7

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LucidShadowDreamer just introduced me to this track. I just want to say that I truly believe this is a masterpiece. I'm blown away by the incredible amount of emotion this evokes throughout the entire duration.

Phonometrologist responds:

LucidShadowDreamer is such a kind soul. And I want to thank you for leaving a comment of your thoughts about this piece since you allowed me to remember and reflect of the mind I was in while writing this. I haven't thought about this piece in a long while. This was written for my wife at a time when I was only dating her for a month. Sometimes in the busyness of life one forgets how far one has travelled and I appreciate that your comment allowed me to pause for a moment.

You mentioning emotion in the music made me get into a train of thought on the purposes of music to begin with. At first I think of Shakespeare when he wrote for one of his characters:
"If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die."
And then in attempt to find the unity between music and emotion, I remember of what Philip Glass said in an interview on his definition of music:
"Music is an eloquent speech."

Homo sapiens is latin for the wise man, and I've heard that some rather ought to think the species as the spiritual man in terms of how searching man is since the beginning of what is beyond. I would go even further and say that the human species could also be accurately described as the music man. The very nature of our languages are to communicate our thoughts and emotions to one another. Moreover, it serves to connect one soul to another. Music really is meant to be a form of communication that transcends what can ever be spoken.

Beethoven once said, "Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy."
I think it's quite interesting that most composers feel that the effects of music and the search for certain sound waves to reach others could be the closest thing to the spiritual than anything else a man could do on this earth. And if I were to imagine communicating in an afterlife, it would be that our ears would be so tuned-in to one another's sound that the atoms in us make, that we can actually hear each other by merely looking at each other's heavenly bodies. To feel another's soul without ever having to say anything and to never be misunderstood. As composers, we merely organize sound as a form of communication, and we are constantly striving to practice our ability to listen to the sound of the sound so we can effectively communicate that emotion. While our vocal cords vibrate and our tongues act as a rudder to come up with words, music is no different. Every physical form is made up of atoms that vibrate and Keith Richards agrees that, “Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.”

Finally, my thoughts turn to Arvo Pärt; a very spiritual man that also treats each sound in his compositions with equal weight to any other. "The biggest treasures, they're all hidden... And the greatest miracles happen in secret." Is he talking about music or the spiritual? I think he so brilliantly speaks in a way where that question becomes indistinguishable.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU1Gusdn_o0
As a Christian man, I see so many analogies to Christ in there.
That's probably more than you what you wanted to read, but your comment got me thinking once more about the subject.

Well, I'm honestly very humbled by this. The blend of the instruments, is perfect. I being a symphonic musician can appreciate this very much. The full wind ensemble swells, are something I would Love to be able to participate in performing with an orchestra. The perfect amount of brass that comes through just at the climax, how each note in each chord is balance perfectly as if high level musicians are each playing those chords for you, knowing where they sit in the harmonic series, knowing when to detune the 7th and 3rd of each chord, and how loud to play each note to get that luscious blend you hear from the likes of the Chicago symphony, or even the London Symphony. The Chords, the progression, the tension, the resolution into more tension, the moments of true resolution, that go right back into more tension, this is the kind of symphonic music I live for, HAVE lived for, for as long as I have been involved in symphonic music. For as long as I can remember. With influences of the true classical era of music, YET flowing perfectly with romantic era influences, and even some modern, more complex ideas not heard in the romantic era. But the certain parts of this song that have that strong romantic era feel to it, I'm especially in love with.

The romantic era is my favorite era of music. Soaring french horns, after the days of the non valved french horns, when composers truly discovered the amazing range of tambours the instrument can create. The amazing emotion that it holds. With composers like Richard Strauss, and both Johan Strauss'. brings out such emotion in me.

But i digress, your piece only reminds me most of the romantic era, but it mostly is a very original depiction of human emotion. And I appreciate all that you've done with it.

Is it time to begin this journey? I think it is.
Sorry for the slightly delayed review, I should've been the first to review this, as I'm pretty sure I was the very first to listen. But I didn't have enough time at that point, and I wanted to give this a thorough review, hehhe.

First off, incredibly well pulled off references to "Return". Sometimes these things can accidentally occur subconsciously, but I refuse to believe that's the case here. Especially taking into note the context of "Return", and the name and context of this piece. I know that the violin used for return is real. Is that the case in this piece too? It feels so alive, with its sound, and all the dynamic.

Once again, I was surprised to have heard the entire piece, and I thought it not that long, and then when I look at the time at the end, a good 6 minutes have passed. Something about your tracks really help me live into them, to such an extent that I don't even notice the flow of time, which is otherwise something I'm very conscious about. It's a good feeling, being able to dive so deeply into a piece that the world around you becomes unimportant, if just for a moment in time.

While you say this is not a conventional love song, I'm not entirely sure I agree. Having watched thousands of movies, I've often heard similar themes reflecting several situations when it comes to love. This is not the stereotypical "forbidden" love with all of its cheesy romance and excitement. This is the love, surrounded deep feelings, doubts, perhaps even dangers, and very complex and hard to grasp situations. The only people that really get it are the involved. In some cases, this might even be possible to depict one-sided love gone wrong. Or even worse, the depth or fear for a loved one. Or simply, very complex and unique situations. But as I said, similar themes have been used to depict different kinds of love before. For an example, one could take music by Bernard Herrmann, used in Hitchcock movies. Take a theme from Vertigo as an example (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC5AzFc3coo). While it's a mystery/thriller, it has a lot of romance in it as well. I'm sure you'll notice a few similarities in the theme, and I suspect might even have heard it before, hehhe.

Oh no. I got distracted there for a while, and I lost my train of thought and flow. I'll try to get it back...

Well, while I try to get it back, I'll talk about what I've learned simply by listening to this. I've learned the importance and effect that dynamics can bring. I mean, I already use that when I play the piano, automatically. But I notice lsitening to this that I've spent far too little time focusing on dynamics when it comes to orchestral arrangement. The volume dynamics really put an emphasis on the important and notable parts of the track.
If I hadn't just writted an epic piano composition inspired by SoundChris (it'll take a while for it to be uploaded, but look forward to it! It's not as deep as the track inspired by you, but it sure is good), I'd sit down by the piano right now, and start a new journey. I will use what I have learned anyway, and try to use the piano as well in ways that I usually might not, when the time is right.
Ah yes, train of thought. Welcome back.

Depsite the interestic harmony choices in the beginning, this track never gets creepy to me. I've heard similar chords used in "Dining Room", which is a royalty free track that was used in "Ib", but instead of being creepy like they were in that track, the chords and notes here give evoke more a sense of curiosity and mystery in me. I think it's because of the way you play it. I feel no creepiness in the piano seat, especially not hearing chords like 0:59. The short sections with moods like that somehow remind me of the theme "Kathryn", made by David Carney. A pice also about love, cooperation, and whatnot, with a hint of sadness. Sorry for all the references. I think you might enjoy looking up the tracks I mentioned though, as they're all a bit unique in their own way.

Another thing I love is the structure, and the way this track moves. Really makes me think. Sometimes the strings and piano just hint at progressing somewhere, but move back a bit instead. And then, out of nowhere, things start building up, with not only new chord choises, but more instruments, more dynamics, more drama, and clearer melodies. The piano rolls are wonderful. I've heard them used in orchestras from time to time, but you implement them really well.

Moving back a bit, I like how there are not only one climax in this track, but several. And even better, in between, the track gets a bit more reserved again. Wonderful structure. I really ought to learn from this.

Well, I think this is probably it for this track. I won't go so far into this as analyzing the different chords and melodies specifically, as that's not really my thing. Even if I can transcribe the chords and the melodies if I want to, they don't tell me nearly as much written on paper, as they do when I listen to this.
That said, this has still been more of an analysis, than a traditional review. My thoughts, while listening to this track. This is also making up for not reviewing return more properly. I have to say, while I find similarities between the tracks, in the core, they're still very different. Personally, I enjoy Return just a slight bit more (it's a track I just keep returning to). Something about the almost constant unforgiving drama and sorrow in that piece is something that will not easily be topped in my eyes and ears. That said, this tracks works way better with the slower and not as active parts, which instances of real intesity.
That said. As much as I have enjoyed your latest uploads, this is now my second favorite of yours that I have heard. And you said you might not have time to partake fully?
If this doesn't make it to the next round, I don't know what will.
Also, the sfx is very nice, even though it wasn't really in focus of my review.

Sorry for the long read! I don't much care to check my spelling at the moment, so I apologize for that too. Obviously, I have no criticism of this track, or I would've mentioned it long ago. I hope things will continue to develop well between you and said girl :)

I honestly, thoroughly enjoyed listening to this track. You keep surprising us all with great tracks, deeper than the deepest sea. I hope you'll keep that up ;)

Phonometrologist responds:

As I'm typing my response, I'm listening to your music references, because I haven't heard any of these. Where does one start? Man, I enjoyed your review for sure, but I will say a few things:
The violin in Return is real, but the viola here in this piece is me playing on my keyboard via midi. Return is still my favorite piece as well because of what it took for me to write it. It's been one of the most fluent pieces I've written to project that feeling and thought that I was able to write.
Unfortunately, the only thing that links these two pieces together is my transparency in writing them. Most tracks I write are for fun or for some kind of purpose outside of myself, but with Return and this one, it's really just an expression of who I am. That being said, it really was part of my subconscious if you hear references between the two. And it only makes sense to me now that you would think of the two in that way. Even the philosophy behind the two pieces have parallels. For example, "Return" is about love and loss when it comes to a mother losing her unborn child. This piece derives from a similar love. Even in context to the Song of Solomon, which is what I find to be the most poetic description of love, has a verse that preludes 6-7 describing a passionate love between two lovers and a mother with her child:
"Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
leaning on her beloved?
Under the apple tree I awakened you.
There your mother was in labor with you;
there she who bore you was in labor." Verse 5
Why on earth would a dialogue between two romantic couples bring about Solomon seeing his fiance's mother in a vision being in labor with the one he loves? Kind of an odd place to put the two, but to me it makes sense when I see that love really is born from pain. I love life because I know how sorrowful it can be. Because I think of death, I can fully live per say.

"Something about your tracks really help me live into them, to such an extent that I don't even notice the flow of time, which is otherwise something I'm very conscious about. It's a good feeling, being able to dive so deeply into a piece that the world around you becomes unimportant, if just for a moment in time."
That's the greatest compliment as that's about all I could ever hope for when I compose. Hence why I like Philip Glass so much but in a different way whereas his music slows down the perception of time.
You mentioned so many encouraging things such as the structure and etc for which I thank you for letting me know. I'll continue to read this over again when I begin doubting myself again. And as for this girl that inspired this, I've come to the point that if I don't marry this girl, then I don't care to marry at all.

I like the rain FX and the pensive piano at the beginning. The progression is really interesting. There's a lot of dissonance, yet in a way that gives it a soothing, jazzy vibe. At times I thought the rain FX was a bit too loud, especially towards the beginning, and I think you needed a stronger transition at 1:19. Otherwise, the strings come in a bit suddenly, and I highly doubt any sort of suddenness would fit with the flowing and emotional mood you were going for here. I love the sense of climax into around 2:10. 2:10 serves as a grand "arrival point," and it's important to have contrast in a piece like this. Another great arrival point was 3:30. I love your efforts to harmonize more at that point, and how you mold the mood towards a darker and more apprehensive sound. The pulsing strings are excellent, and I love how you bring the song full-circle by bringing back the tranquil piano chords at around 5:20. The ending was mysterious, even ominous, yet also conclusive enough. I love how you played with the pacing a bit at the end, as if the rain was slowing down and the sun coming out. :) Overall, this is clearly excellent work. As far as I can tell, the mixing and mastering is solid, and I'm impressed with the emotion, dynamic contrast, and progression. Keep up the good work, Phonometrologist! :D

9.25/10

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Listens
2,663
Faves:
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Votes
22
Score
4.73 / 5.00

Uploaded
Jul 31, 2015
11:56 PM EDT
Genre
Classical
File Info
Song
13.9 MB
6 min 5 sec
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Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.