"This is a NGADM Round 1 review!"
=> Lol, of course it is XD
Considering the lenght and the quality, it may as well be one ;)
I'm also glad to hear that you had faith in this track making it to the next round.
It's great that you like dem0lecule's cello! He is great at programming cello's in general. He is the cellogician ;)
When it comes to intrument balance and clarity, I actually directed quite a bit of it, based on my personal tastes. I probably caused a mixing nightmare for dem0... But things came out fine in the end, so I'm glad we put work into this :D
0:21-1:00 is all dem0lecules work. It's the base we started working on, but I think it's good that we left some of it untouched, as I too like that part.
The piano at 0:58 actually inspired me to write the melodies for the next minute, as the part felt very empty, and the piano originally lead to nothing specific at all :)
We tried to make this track more consistent than the previous collab, because even though we love it, many were complaining about the "randomness", I guess.
=> Totally my fault, hahha XD I definitely get what you mean, with it being cliche and all :p I guess I just have a natural drawing towards music boxes in general (I even own one that I can program with a sheet of paper, a bit like a player piano). The first intro I wrote for this track pretty much sucked, like... A lot! So on the day we submitted, I had two different new ideas, but we just went with this one, as we thought it was good enough, and gave a sense of the beginning and end being tied together. Sometimes, though I am a huge friend of variation, I try to be as cliche as possible, because people tend to like a sense of familiarity in music too. But I definitely see your point :3
And for the last paragraph, I agree as well. I don't think that music is something that can be objectively judged, if at all (well, to begin with, I don't really believe in objectivity at all, but that's another discussion). I possess the ability to not criticise something I am experiencing, be it a movie, a book or a composition. My theoretical skilla are bad enough for me not to recognize the chords or melodies unless I try! Which actually gives me a sense of freedom when listening to something I enjoy; I can ignore everything else, and just enjoy whatever I am experiencing :D
On the other hand, competitions like these are great ways to motivate people to try hard and evlove, as well as bring communities closer together. Leaving a score as a number is perhaps not the best system, but it works to somewhat of an extent. PeterSatera and others have discussed this before too, and tried to think up alternate ways.
Here's an interesting thought: Does everything need to have a message? I certainly didn't even have a specific and defined thought behind this track; I just did what felt right, perhaps based on something on a subconscious level. I mean, I got an image in my head after the track was done, sure, but I actually didn't intend this for anything else othar than enjoment, thus leaving the interpretation rather free. As for dem0lecule, who made the base, based on the weirdest thing, the story is more interesting. So at first, I made a track (that we'll likely use as a base for the next round), which I sent to dem0lecule. And the legend says he dreamt about the track being played by a music box in a swamp, which inspired him to write this track. Very cool :D
I don't think most people could've known that by listening to this! But I guess that the music box in the track makes sense for the wrong (or maybe right?) reasons now anyway :p
"Fantasiamaailma" had many times more intent behind it than this track though, I dare say, perhaps not surprisingly.
And then there's tracks like "Medley of a Shattered Mind", where the concept became clear to me halfway through the composing process. I think that most if not all forms of art, can be interpreted freely regardless of the creators intent, unless you want to look at it in the same way. After I've made something, although I may guide someone in looking at it like I do, I think everyone should be and is free to interpret any kind of message, or none at all.
Thanks a lot for the long review!!! Much appreciated.