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AIM - distance

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Hey everyone, Troisnyx here, and joining me is EliteFerrex, presenting a new original for this year's AIM Contest, partly inspired by this piece:
https://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/anthonyarriola/forever-hold-your-peace

It is also partly inspired by my experience with long-distance relationships in the past; I wrote the lyrics and music to this as a lament, almost like a cinematic theme song to a bad ending of a film, where the effects of the waves crashing against the beach would play, and then fade out to reveal the song while the rest of the film were muted. Except, of course, we didn't include waves crashing on the beach -- this is the song that plays if this entire piece of artwork played out like a film.

Take another look at the artwork, and perhaps you might find that the lyrics are from the perspective of the one who is not clapping and who has to forever hold his peace. The artwork struck a chord with me lately because prior to meeting Seán, I'd felt that way about someone.

This marks the last track done on the laptop I received in 2014, and the first done on the new desktop that Seán and I recently acquired. I recorded all vocals on the old laptop, and then spent some time backing everything up. I sang as someone at the point of tears.

EliteFerrex asked me what I was working on in FL as it showed in my status on Discord; I was working on this. He was moved by the song and wanted to build it up a bit, so I let him -- and we're treating this as a collaboration. I'd written the piano, bassline, synth leads and some basic string parts and recorded the vocals by the time I sent the FLP over to him, and he worked his magic with the orchestral parts and mixing.

Anyway: I have confidence in this song regardless of how well it does in the competition. I believe this to be one of my recent best, if not my recent best, if only just in the way of bringing my soul forth.

----------

LYRICS:

Dear sweet friend,
I just wanted to get this out to you:
I'd written a song that I can't ever sing;
I hope this finds you well, that the joy that you've found
will never ever end.

I once prayed that the unspeakable distance between us
would shorten and close, and draw me to you,
I once dreamed of a future that we'd have together,
but that is no longer to be.

REFRAIN:
Now love has found you, don't ever let go,
think no more of what could have been:
live now in bliss, and live out your story,
the best that you can be.

As the years passed, the cracks in our hearts ever widened;
I saw inside your thoughts, and you saw inside mine;
there are some things I won't get about you at all,
and maybe you see me this way.
(to REFRAIN)

[I'm not who you once knew;
through all those years that've gone by,
you will have changed too;
I'm not who you once knew.
Perhaps I'm much stronger now,
I'm not who you once knew.]
(to REFRAIN)

Our lives are far different from what we'd imagined;
you found your forever, I'm still finding mine,
and as we draw a line over all those sweet memories,
just know that I'll cherish them still.

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Very intense

I have to say that this was some intense work you have here some really intense sound quality and this is not a short piece by any means it infact is really solid work you bring a certain stylish feel to this and thats what impressed me the most about this, the voice work was notbad either.

~~THINGS TO IMPROVE ON~~
Focus more in on the vocals and get in some deep sound there.

~X~

Oh Trois. It's been too long that I've listened to your music but I'm gonna immediately go back and listen to as many of your tracks as I can after listening to this. You're such an amazing songwriter both equally as a composer and a lyricist. Your songs and your words always tell an amazing story and you have such thoughtful elements in your tracks.

I agree that the piano would benefit well from being a lot louder, perhaps a bit brighter and with a different reverb. At times the piano sounds a little muffled and drowned out, especially because it's so quiet. I love the chord choices though and each chord flows from one to the next beautifully.

As I mentioned before, I always love your lyrics. These must be some of your best lyrics yet in my opinion. If I was solely a singer and not a composer myself, I'd totally hire you to write an album of songs for me to perform because I always resonate with your work so much! We have to collaborate sometime.

Vocal-wise, the mixing is definitely the best I've heard it! I'm not sure the reverb on the vocals supports the actual performance perfectly - which reverb plugin did you use? I think once you find a reverb plugin that really brings out the most in your voice, it will be so magical!! I love the harmony vocals. I didn't really get the right-ear heavy mix of some of the harmonies because it sounded a little asymmetrical to me. The recordings are gorgeous though and very tight, very Enya, and definitely your strength. I'd say focus your vocal practice on tonal dynamics and holding a steady tone! Your voice is always so beautiful so continue to practice controlling your voice. Your quiet vocals at the beginning and the end sound so sensitive and vulnerable, which really suits the vocals.

In terms of how much I love the song, I can't give this anything less than a 5/5. Such beautiful work. Usually I don't feel all that comfortable critiquing peoples' work - I much prefer to enjoy it! I guess Newgrounds is one of those websites that is an exception which is one of the reasons I love the honesty the audio community has to offer each other.

Seriously, collab soon pls. <3

Troisnyx responds:

Fruity Reeverb 2 was what I used. I do have Ambience but thought it'd be overkill XD

I agree with you, let's collab soon. I'm absorbing the review as I speak. I hope that it will get better somehow.

Official AIM2018 Review!

Trying not to be overly vague or brief here. Let me just jump right in.

Your vocal mixing/recording is getting much better. Super proud of you. Still feel like you do yourself a disservice not singing out in the beginning, but in a way, it gives you a bit more room to grow later on.

I will say right off, the free-verse-ish lyrical writing is extremely well done -- better than Disney could have done it, imo, and if not for some mixing and compression issues, this would have been very close to a flat 5 for me, for that reason alone. If I could hear a bit of sniffling as you were singing that first bit, the airy-breathy sound you were going for would have really enhanced tone.

Compositionally, awesome work. Only a few complaints of muddy mix, some elements sticking out a bit too far in the soundscape, others being all about the same volume and thus hard to hear. Perhaps too much reverb tail as well. Chord progression is solid and totally fits the mood. Instrumentation is clearly well thought out and does the job. I would have liked a little more volume on the piano to more properly accompany your vocals.

2nd refrain is where you come into your own -- and those backup vocals sound GREAT, complemented by that theremin. Seriously, nice sound. More of it please.

The rest of the track flows like hot butter. Only wish it were a bit more compressed, but I understand you may be approaching this similar to mixing classical music, which must have a lot of dynamic contrast. Still, I'd like that high point of the song, full steam ahead to the outro, to approach somewhere around at least -1 dB headroom. You had some very powerful sections that would have benefited seriously from just a bit more volume, if not some moderate compression.

Anyway, super glad you turned out for this year's competition. You've both come a long way -- getting better every day!

Really like the music in this! How it builds and progresses towards the end, with the whistling bit in particular - though it grows almost too sharp towards the end (the volume shift between start and finish is pretty high too)... it's both ambient and melancholy, with appreciatively deep piano especially during the higher parts of song. Seems to convey the atmosphere in the picture perfectly, or rather the atmosphere for that one particular person within the crowd. I imagine this in his mind, while everyone else cheers in joyous unison, their sounds ebbing out in his head, a voyage of thought...

The lyrics feel heartfelt and poetic, and worked well together even though I usually have a difficult time with things that don't rhyme. :) Reading it I felt words often seemed to clog together, like 'years that've gone by', instead of for example 'years that have gone', but when you sing it none of that seems a problem... great emphasis and pacing. Only the drawn out end bits with 'will never ever end' and 'maybe you see me this way' seem somewhat forced.

I also get the impression you sing with a bit of a whisper; a bit restricted. It's an interesting style, and though I wonder if it wouldn't be even more grandiose if you really opened up, somehow, it works well for this song, with that state of emotion it conveys. Clear and vibrant always, and especially with the latter parts, though since I notice you breathe quite often (for example the best *breath* that you *breath* can be) I'm curious if you really do diaphragm level breathing? You do seem like a pro but... if no that might really open up for longer/easier bridges and notes. Just something I wonder...

Overall this was beautiful! Music and song work together nicely and really paint that picture with a whole new layer of emotion.

-cd-

Troisnyx responds:

Thanks for the review!

I haven't had any professional training, but I've been doing my best in most cases to sing from the stomach / diaphragm. I don't always realise it, though. With this one, I think it was much harder to diaphragm-sing without basically projecting my voice out, giving it volume. Being asthmatic doesn't help that sort of singing either, so I wind up almost sighing for breath in softer passages like these. The softness came from someone suggesting to me to listen to Aimee Mann, and I got influenced by a bit of her stuff, in particular, "It's Not" -- and I hoped to convey that same breathless emotion, even if I'm no pro at it aaaaaaa

Any pointers to circumvent something like that would be appreciated. Glad you enjoyed the song! Thanks again!

"live now in bliss, and live out your story,
the best that you can be"

The first runthrough of those lyrics was powerful, my favourite part of the song, just the way it flowed through "live out your story" brought up some pretty compelling emotions just on that part alone. i took off half a star because there were parts i wish were more vocally confident, in the part i quoted the way you sang "story" flowed better than the sequential times you sang that one particular lyric, the first time around i could feel that perfect follow through where as the times after there was wavering which didn't sound as strong to me. That was just a personal gripe though, the song was still great.

Troisnyx responds:

Thank you ;A; Glad you enjoyed it, and point taken about the vocal confidence.

Credits & Info

Troisnyx
Composer
EliteFerrex
Production

Listens
2,327
Faves:
17
Downloads
26
Votes
40
Score
4.37 / 5.00

Uploaded
May 7, 2018
6:48 AM EDT
Genre
Cinematic
File Info
Song
4.6 MB
3 min 50 sec
Tags

Licensing Terms

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