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First Flight

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Author Comments

Today is a great day. Not only for the town, but also for you. A new Guardian of the Woods has been chosen - and it is you. While the villagers celebrate, you prepare yourself for your initiation : your first flight on a dragon.

My submission for the final round of the Newgrounds Underdogs Contest 2015. I really wish I had more time to develop it more, since it feels quite short, but his track has actually been made in about 3-4 days - I was completely stuck with my previous project and couldn't get past the 1-minute mark, so I decided to restart almost from scratch. I also spent two consecutive nights working on it as a result, I hope the final mix doesn't reflect it too much. Anyway, enjoy ! :)

Detailed intentions of each part :
0:00 - The character wakes up, knowing already this day will probably be one of the most important days of his life.
0:46 - As he leaves home, the festival has already begun.
1:20 - Finally, the longly-awaited moment arrives. The character thinks about his parents, and hopes they can see him from the Otherworld. They would be so proud of him...
1:36 As the sun rises on the horizon, the character takes flight.

Sound Libraries used :
Orchestra : CineSymphony LITE, EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Silver
Solo instruments : Berlin Grand Piano, Jubal Flute, Crystal Flute, Olympus Elements, Shire Whistle, Blakus Cello, Friedlander Violin, Chapman Trumpet, Session Strings
Percussion : TAIKO 2, StickBreakers Vol 1, Shimmer And Shake, + various freebies

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Sweet! This put me in mind of a lost theme for Watership Down for some reason. I can just imagine a dangerous quest through the woods...

This piece is amazing! There's so much in this piece that describes the story perfectly. The music goes perfectly with the story. I wish it would have been longer, but I can't complain. This piece shows that you don't need a ton of instruments playing at once to create an amazing song. Keep up the great work!

Ylmir responds:

Thanks a lot ! :)
Actually, I love writing music that follows a story like this one. :p

I like.

NGAUC Review
First off, my apologies for the extremely late review -- but, better late than never!

What worked well:
- Beautiful fantasy-based theme.
- Excellent use of instruments to accentuate the story.
- Excellent composition.
- Wonderful atmosphere.
- Highly imaginative!

What to consider for next time:
- The ideas in this track are crying because they need to be fleshed out more -- you've created something that needs a longer story. I think this could have easily been 4-5 minutes long! I understand what you mean though, time constraints can sometimes hinder the creative process.
- Some of the instruments are hidden in the track (choir, brass, etc.)! Don't be afraid to bring these sounds out in order to let them shine! The choir finally shines at the very end...it would have worked wonders in the body of the song. 0:46 - 1:20 in particular.

This is the kind of song that speaks to me, Ylmir. I can see this working in a number of RPG titles. Keep it up, I'll be keeping an eye out for your track!

Score: 9.6/10

Ylmir responds:

Hey ! No worries about the late review ! Actually, I'm a bit late to reply too. xD
Thanks a lot, it confirms what has been said before (the overall balance of instruments, the length, mainly), and really encourages me. It's been a long time I haven't composed something completely freely (apart from the deadline, of course), and I must say I really needed to.

To be honest, I surprised myself when I came up with my submissions for both the knock-out round and the finals. Trying to tell stories through music has actually been a long-time dream of mine (this is actually one of the reasons that pushed me into music-making), and this made me realize how far I went since I began music. I've seen I am now able to create what I always wanted to create, to suggest locations, events, atmospheres, only through sound. Sure, this is still not perfect, but this contest made me curious about what I could do with more time to work on music, without pressure, without having constraints.

Lately, I also changed my views on music, and decided to leave most of the teams I was working with : it was becoming more and more industrial, and I was gradually losing interest in it - little to no room for creative freedom, deadlines, a need for productivity... I realized it's not something I want. Music is a hobby for me, nothing less, nothing more, and I'm sure I'll be able to love composing as I used to, once I'll be back to this pace of "work". The NGAUC somehow helped me to realize that, to realize I needed a change of scenery, by showing me what I could do. I'm not aiming to be a professional composer anymore. I just want to be happy with what I create, regardless of the time it takes me to write a track or improve myself.

Well... I don't even know how I went writing all that stuff about me, it's not even the right place. I guess replying to reviews at 2 am is maybe not the best idea I had today. Anyway, I'm off to bed now. Oh, and thanks again for your review ! As you probably guessed it, since the NGAUC taught me what I was really looking for into music, I'm looking forward for any future contest on NG from now. :p

So, you've made it to the final round. You've clearly proven yourself. Time to judge by NGADM standards - scoring will be harsher as a result. In any case, here are some pointers for improvement.

The Good:
-Very pretty piano here. I'm getting a very chilly viking feeling from this. This is the kind of stuff I'd imagine in Skyrim (haven't played it ^_^').
-Nice subtle reverb around 0:40.
-Fantastic stringing and vocals, though the vocals are fairly buried.
-Excellent ending.

The Not-so-good:
-Why do you bury instruments? :( You make me sad. It doesn't fuck up the mix but it feels sad to know that there's detail in there which is lacking. And in pieces with more instruments, this would cause much more serious problems.
-To be perfectly honest, the biggest problem with this is probably that it's too short. All the ideas are there. All the composition is there. It just ends before it could really be taken somewhere to tell a full story.

Final score: 9.3/10. I can't really give this much of a lower score. It's fantastic. Just mainly too short, and instruments are buried, causing detail to suffer.

Ylmir responds:

Thanks a lot for your review ! This really means a lot to me.

You really point out something interesting, when saying some instruments are buried - and it's true, and sometimes wanted as well. For example, I didn't want the choirs to prevail in the part beginning at about 0:45, mainly because they were supposed to stand out more in the next section, and because I felt it would detract too much from the feeling I wanted to convey in this particular part. But actually, you're right, I maybe lowered the volume a bit too much on these instruments.

About the track's length... well, I suppose this is what I get for restarting 4 days before the deadline ? :D
I fiinished the composition with only some hours left before the deadline, and, as I already told TaintedLogic, I almost had to sum up some of my ideas in the end.

Thank you again, and thank you for this amazing contest. ^.^

Credits & Info


4.57 / 5.00

Aug 14, 2015
11:45 PM EDT
File Info
4.5 MB
2 min 10 sec

Licensing Terms

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