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Into the Old Way

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A few of you might've heard, both Jordi (etherealwinds) and I ended up going on a spontaneous trip to the US. We even met up with some other great NG users!

But, this all happened during this NGADM round. That means I was a bit worried about how I would be able to make something worthy of this round. Thankfully, I stayed in very inspiring locations in New York (the countryside, but also the city). I even found a piano I could compose on! More on that in the video I am about to link though.

Once again, I wanted to make sure to create something different from the previous rounds. This time, I composed something very focused on melodies and emotions. The song has a lot of meaning attached to it, and is my peronal favourite of my entries this year.
I am not sure how well it translates to the listener, but I think this one is (somewhat surprisingly to me) also the most difficult one to play. Nonetheless, I did my best:


Best of luck to my competitior, and the other remaining participants in the NGADM ;)

Thank you for listening!

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I like the somewhat contained, furtive sound at the beginning and the generous use of sustain. The piece has a great sense of wonder about it, and 1:01 feels like a grand arrival point - a moment of discovery. I think you overuse the rolls a bit at around the 1-minute mark, but the cutesy melody that follows at 1:14 helps bring back a more humble and innocent tone to the piece. The chords at the transition at 1:54 are a bit bizarre, but I also understand that the section that follows is something of an inflection point for the piece. From 2:00 to 2:20 or so, the piece sounds very still, and 2:15 feels like an apex of nostalgia but also longing, as if the protagonist is reading a letter from a deceased loved one. The descending scale at 2:22 is a very good transition. Once the low, richer tones seep back into the piece, it’s all the more effective at captivating my attention because of the high-pitched melodic swells of the section before. I also like how the section at 2:26 has some of the same melodic motifs, with some added decoration. It’s as if the protagonist is able to carry on after the death of his mother, but keeps her memory alive by employing the lessons she taught him every day. I also like the mysterious, pensive theme that starts at around 3:23. The key change at 3:41 sounds pretty jarring, and the ending of this piece comes on pretty suddenly. Still, this piece has a deeply satisfying arrangement, a remarkable amount of cohesion, and some super fun transitions/compositional details. Strong work again, Ale! Keep it up. ^_^

Mixing, mastering, and balance
Structure, transitions, phrasing, and variety
Melody, tonality, harmony, and texture
Instrumentation and sound design
Emotion, atmosphere, and catchiness
Originality and uniqueness
Overall (how do the elements above interact?)
Composite score

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Nice catch with 1:01! It definitely sounds like you describe; something really sinking in. I can also see your point about 1:54. The transition comes right after a unique part of the piece, which makes it feel a bit different from the rest of the piece. That is where I feel that there is some kind of change that makes the feeling of determination stronger. But before that determination blooms fully, I bring back the intro a bit at 1:54, which might be why the change back feels sudden. I also agree with your analysis and pointers with the time marks in general; that's more of less how I intended the structure to feel. As for 3:41, I agree the key change is a bit unexpected, but that's partially why I like it. I feel that the reason it works, is because it specifically brings the piece back to the original key.

"It’s as if the protagonist is able to carry on after the death of his mother, but keeps her memory alive by employing the lessons she taught him every day."

=> As per usual, I really like hearing your story-like interpretations of music, since they're always so specific, and allow me to hear the piece again, perhaps a little bit through someone else's eyes (ears?).

I definitely took a more melodic and clearly structured approach to this track than some of my more experimental tracks. I still feel like I challenged myself quite a bit with this one. I'm very glad to see that you enjoyed it!
As always, thanks for your hard work with the reviews, good luck with the rest of the competition, and thank you for listening!

i really need to listen to more of your stuff, this is absolutely gorgeous. have heard brilliant things about your music, and listening to this, they are entirely justified (:

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you, stardew! I feel similarly about your music. It's so nice to listen to both of your work this year! Good luck, and I'm looking forward to hearing more of your stuff :)

Soooo good! Everything connects together really well, great stuff!

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thanks! I'm glad you caught on to how I tried to make everything link together in a natural way :D

Amazingly worked-out motifs and flow.
Love it!

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you! Your song is insanely catchy gaaah! Good luck :D

whoa! who'd you meet?

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Dunno, some weird guys :/

Credits & Info

4.96 / 5.00

Oct 20, 2019
10:56 PM EDT
File Info
9.3 MB
4 min 5 sec

Licensing Terms

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