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Lost Joy

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This is a personal song that reflects some of my personal struggles and writer's block. To some extent, this is a meta song.

Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy it!

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Zelazon Official NGADM Round 2 Review

Composition

Is the song constructed well or avant-garde?

With a song like this, it is a waltz structure that is made for a duet between two instruments. The initial issue that I have with the song is that even though the theme is for a lost joy, there is a lot of confusion within the expression of the song structure itself that lends itself to confuse the listener with a direction that takes more away from the sense of joy than it adds to it. While it isn’t too destructive towards the score, I think that the motif with this particular song runs at odds with the title itself since the melody feels of dread than of joy.

How creative are you with your melody?

The melody was very structure, but deviates from the path a bit, which is a good thing. One of the issues that have with the particular issue is one that seems to be a recurring theme with solo/dual instrument songs. I really enjoy the fact that the song is expressive on the types of melodies used, however, it does appear pretty lacking in areas that could have played with some more instruments (piano or violin) parts added to it, or harmonies with both of the violin or piano playing at the same time.

Are the drums and percussion, if used, varied?

No drums used.

Is there more than whole notes with the bass?

Yes, but this will be more of a discussion for the production side..

How’s the ending?

The ending is interesting but I think more could have been done to give the end more presence with either a flow of the song into the minimal parts that you have right now. Currently, there is a lot of breaks which affects the pacing of the song, not necessarily a bad thing, but it is noticeable.

Score: 8

Production

How does the waveform look?

The waveform looks like it is at about -6 db, which is fine but it could have been brought up a bit as it does sound somewhat unnecessarily quiet.

Is there any peaking happening at any parts of the song?

Not necessarily peaking per se, but the striking of the keys causes some frequencies to leap bound above the waveform, and the violin follows suit as well.

Are there any parts that sounds muddied?

This part is going to be an interesting discussion. On the one hand, you have a nicely composed song that is doing it’s job at expressing a message that you are trying to state. On another, the issue is that the song is not balance. One of the first things I notice applying a spectrum analyzer to it is that the song seems to have a low-pass filter which causes high-end frequencies to be reduced significantly. I’m not sure why this is happening, but like other solo instrument songs that I have review in the past, the objective is getting the high notes and the melodies to be able to stand out. Right now, the bass is overwhelming the high end notes.

Are there parts that are too loud or too quiet?

At the moment, by observing the spectrum analyzer, the bass is overpowering the high end quite a bit, which makes the melody pretty hard to hear without turning up a sound system.

Score: 8

Sound Design

Has the balancing between each part allow the listener to understand the song well?

On this song, I would expect certain key to correlate with the direction that their being pressed, however on the spectrum analyzer and just by listening, it is not panned correctly. While this is a particular way of looking at sound design that might raise some eyebrows, it is important to note that the sound should be panned correctly to get a sense of stereo atmosphere.

Are there any sounds in the background to provide variety to the song?

Between the piano and the violin, I think the spacing could have been better placed as they seem to take up the same space.

Is there any elements that could be added to create a fluid design?

Everything discussed above.

Score: 7.5

Engagement

What is the artist doing to keep the song interesting?

The melody with the waltz is helping to keep the expression going with the style of music being presented here. I think one of the issues that keeps me from staying interested, as suggested above is the fact that there are many pauses throughout the song that I don’t necessarily feel adds anything to it. I would prefer more of a lead in to each part that has the break or does something that makes it worth waiting for each pause rather than a pause being used just to pause it.

Is what’s being done with this song original or similar to the same genre of music? If similar, is there anything being produced that stands out?

Many people don’t usually produce song in ¾ as it is hard for a lot of people to understand the song structure or how to fit the notes in correctly. I think the song was done well on this part

How enjoyable is the song?

I enjoyed it.

Score: 8

Complexity

Is there more than one chord progression being used?

There are a few chord progressions used in the song, and I think the creativity here is shown with the ability to make them fit together. However, the theme and the breaks cause some of the chord structure to break apart from expectation to expectation, which isn’t necessarily bad but the breaks create a predictable level of what the chords are going to do.

If no chord progression are being used, what is keeping the song cohesive?

N/A

Does the artist push their boundaries or stays safe?

On this one, even though it is the waltz style, it does feel more on the safe side than a push for exploration.

Score: 8

Total Score: 39.5 x 2 = 79

I like the waltzy vibe at the beginning (although I suppose any piano piece in ¾ sounds waltzy to me). The melodies sound both melancholic and cutesy, but by :18 the texture has much more of a structurally flat quality that emphasizes the melancholic part. The chords themselves are a colorful variety of major and minor, which makes me think that this piece is fundamentally about joy or memories of joy, even if that joy is presently lost. I also like the heavy low chords at :28. They really add a sense of urgency to profoundness to an otherwise mellow section of the piece. The clashing notes at :31 work well for me, too. I’m really enjoying the dichotomous character of the piece, even if I wish the angry, inward parts and the light, graceful surface were integrated a bit more fluidly at times. I also think the chord at :39 was played just a tad too loudly, even if that’s a miniscule detail. You did a really good of guiding the listener’s expectations with the gradual ritardando there and then the rich chords at :50. The violin entrance at 1:02 was rather unexpected, although it certainly fits the somber, evocative mood of the piece. I think the violin would’ve been more effective if the solo was longer there. Everything about this piece seems so short-lived and fleeting. Maybe that’s the point given the subject of the thematic content, but I wanted you to explore the ruefulness inherent in the violin solo a bit more. Still, the content that’s here is still really enjoyable. The composition might need some more fleshing out, but the emotional piano and violin riffs and fun jazzy filler content do a lot for me in a mere 95 seconds. Keep it up, Everratic! ^^ Also, if you ever need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to message me.

Mixing, mastering, and balance
1.75/2
Structure, transitions, phrasing, and variety
.75/1.5
Melody, tonality, harmony, and texture
2/2
Instrumentation and sound design
1/1
Emotion, atmosphere, and catchiness
1.5/1.5
Originality and uniqueness
1/1
Overall (how do the elements above interact?)
.75/1
Composite score
8.75/10

EverErratic responds:

I'm having trouble understanding your criticism. Let's talk about it another time.

Thank you for the review and support!

This is an official NGADM '19 Review

Composition:
Don't ever let me stop you from making waltzes. Making this a piano piece was a really cool different take on what you normally do, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This had a nice fresh take and there was some great emotion behind it. I really enjoyed having it play on repeat and pick up a new thing here and there. Never got tired of listening to this.

Production and Sound Design:
Not much to work with here since it's mostly a piano and fiddle. However, it sounds nicely polished and realistic. Instantly through me into the environment you were working in.

Structure:
Ugh this needs to be longer. Especially since you added the fiddle into it, that alone gave it the feeling of a lot more potential to develop. This had good flow and I was really enjoying how it developed.

Emotion / Conclusion:
It felt more like a waltz-like Bach piece than an Everratic piece. Lots of emotion and the potential for some serious good composition like you were already displaying in this. I'm super proud to have heard this.

Composition: 9

Production: 8

Sound Design: 9

Structure: 8

Emotion: 10

EverErratic responds:

Don't worry, I'll continue composing in 3/4, but you're right in that I shouldn't get too comfortable with one particular style.

I wish I could have made this longer, but my fingers were hurting too much :(

Saying my music reminds you of Bach's is a great compliment.

Thank you for the review!

Lovely piece really. Your friend might've not been joking when he said that, though. Music, all artforms really, are great outlets, especially for negative emotions.

For what it's worth I do hope your situation improves.

EverErratic responds:

Thank you for the review and well wish! Indeed, music is a great emotional outlet.

Credits & Info

EverErratic
Author
LucidShadowDreamer
Inspiration

Listens
493
Faves:
10
Votes
18
Score
4.73 / 5.00

Uploaded
Sep 29, 2019
3:10 PM EDT
Genre
Classical
File Info
Song
3.6 MB
1 min 36 sec
Tags

Licensing Terms

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