Penderecki's Dream


Author Comments

Yeah, I don't expect to win with this piece as that's not the point. I just wanted to partake in the festivities, and when we have art submitted to Newgrounds like RobStanley's, why not spread the love to this dark corner of Newgrounds as well?

Although, it might not sound like it to you, this actually took me a long while to complete. Not as easy as it might seem to put organized chaos together. I followed a condensed musical form of Krzysztof Penderecki's "Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima." Considering that the "Threnody..." piece was the inspiration for the structure, Rob Stanley's artwork fits quite well with the burning atmosphere and the disfigured body. I'll leave any further interpretations to you.
And believe it or not, this music is not horrifying to me. One can become desensitized to dissonance after a time of listening to it. It merely becomes about the timbre as opposed to any kind of imagery or story. The artwork, however, is what I imagine most people would ascribe to with a piece such as this.


For any Penderecki fans, the title isn't meant to sound pretentious. I read a quote of him explaining that his "Threnody..." piece was at first imaginative in an abstract way. I also find that it's a composer's dream to be able to have access to such musical libraries as this.

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This piece makes me sick, in a good way. Like looking at burnt, blackened skin. I can offer no critique, but I can say I wish to all hell I knew where you got hands on a string library to accomplish this piece! Very nice.

Phonometrologist responds:

>>This piece makes me sick
I laughed so hard when I read this.
The string libraries represented here are these two:
8Dio's CASE Solo String FX and 8Dio's CAGE Strings

Thank you for commenting.

Ohoho A fan of Penderecki are you? I find his compositions quite wonderful to listen to. I need to get my hands on a string library that can do extended techniques so that I can do something like this! I love the way you built up the sound with the orchestration in this piece. You created some truly beautiful soundscapes. In true Penderecki fashion, I was half expecting to hear a C major chord at the end lol. Great job all around and a bold move to put something so 'modern' sounding into this contest, though I understand why most people could associate something like this with the image. I look forward to hearing more music from you in the future! 8D

Phonometrologist responds:

Thank you for commenting, and it's good to see yet another listener who enjoys Penderecki. The only two string libraries that I used for the whole track are a bit pricey, but are at least worth it for me being a Penderecki fan. They are 8Dio's CASE Solo String FX and 8Dio's CAGE Strings. I also demo'd the solo strings library so I didn't actually have to purchase it.

I love the atmosphere you start to create at 1:40ish after the first climax, that builds into the descending passages. The build at the end is really cool, it sustains for long enough to get me on edge and then just a bit longer :). I am slightly surprised that it did not get muddy with everything going. The mix is certainly crisp and clean. Also the level of realism is surprising i think if you had mixed this with the intention on it sounding it a real string Orchestra, you could have fooled me.

Really superb job putting this together, I can not image how hard it must have been to stay away from any type of harmony for an almost 5 min piece. Oh, I have to mention that this makes me think of the Dead Space score. I think this piece would make Jason Graves happy :)

Phonometrologist responds:

When I sent you that message about reverb mixes, I had this piece in mind that I was referencing to. I did attempt to create this as if it was a live recording. As a template, I created 10 different channels representing the string sections of "Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima," using the solo strings, and then I added several more channels for the library that had the whole orchestra. Having the solo strings library from 8Dio while using the whole string section from Cage really helped get a more realistic sound. I also looked at the score to see when what string sections (violins 1-4, violas 6-10, etc.) would come in in relation to the other parts of the orchestra. Very meticulous approach, but I really referenced the hell out of "Threnody..." from the musical structure to the actual sound of a live recording.

Quite horrifying indeed.....This tells a story. Although it's not melodic in the sense it flows in the usual pretty way most music does, this is the way of horror, and it flows well. This is probably one of the most horrifying things I've heard, reminds me a little of the early Friday the 13th movies, with the music I mean. It's very expressive of the artwork.

Though I do have mixed feelings, but the dynamics and mixing here are amazing. I don't know if I could listen again due to the fact my anxiety is now at an all time high....haha, is some pretty scary stuff (just like your "skull" piece that one year), but good piece still. Thing about this is, it's not all over the place, it actually has progression and build-up, and changes in the movement.

You should score a horror movie. God damn...lol

Phonometrologist responds:

Good for you for sitting through this; it was fun reading your review. It's reassuring that the "flow" or contour can be followed as I think all music should have that regardless if it's tonal or not. Thank you for the sentiment.

While I love harmony, I can also completely lose myself in dissonance.

Did you not win 1st or 2nd place with "The Place of a Skull" back in 2014? In the very least, I recall you earning a high placement. I hope the judges don't discriminate on genre or approach alone! That said, I understand why a piece like this might be difficult to judge. The mix sure is effective, as is the structure. For instance, I like the sudden silences here and there, and then the quick (almost) slashes of and hammerings on the strokes to grab the listener's attention. The buildups, like the one near the end, are also most effective.

I've heard the piece you're referring to a fair amount of times, and I think it'd be fair to say you managed to channel the structural elements of it quite adequately. Not implying you'd directly have taken anything but inspiration from it, ofc :p

Also, can we talk about the fact that the artpiece was essentially posted yesterday, if I'm not mistaken? So you must've gone full throttle with the creative process here!

In short, I really enjoyed the listen, and I suspect I shall relive and possibly indulge in that enjoyment some more, a bit later ;]

Btw, gotta love that commentary on the titling process.

Phonometrologist responds:

I'm the same way in regards to harmony and dissonance.
And no, I didn't win any place with "The Place of a Skull," but that piece at least has tonal sections. For this piece in particular, I mentioned to Macta that I really wouldn't judge this highly over others, because I don't know how one can really weigh a non-tonal piece like this with other tonal ones. Maybe if there was a non-tonal, aleatoric, and noise competition then that would most certainly work. Which would be a great idea for a contest! Haven't ever heard one of its kind before for an online competition. You and I should start one.
As for the art piece, I had a couple pieces that I had in mind of RobStanley's, but when I couldn't make a final decision to which one to use, I forwarded this music to him to see what he thought would work best. We were in communication when he mentioned that "Untitled - 105" would suit well for the piece. I ultimately agreed.
Here was my original thoughts in the artwork:
It was in the dark, unclear figure that I thought would originally be fitting because just like this music, one fills in the gaps by seeing in their mind the unseen. And we try to make sense of chaos around us by finding the patterns and organizing the content.
Thank you for your comments :)

Credits & Info


4.45 / 5.00

Apr 28, 2017
12:15 PM EDT
File Info
11.4 MB
4 min 59 sec

Licensing Terms

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